Euclid Heat Treating Celebrates 75 Years in Business

“This year marks a milestone anniversary for Euclid Heat Treating, which has now been a family-owned and -operated business for 75 years. Founded in 1946 by the Vanas family, Euclid Heat Treating began out of a small garage a few doors down from its current location at 1408 E. 222nd St. in Euclid, with just a couple of salt pot furnaces, said second-generation owner John Vanas. It has slowly expanded over the decades to consist of five buildings totaling over 200,000 square feet with several different kinds of furnaces, including vacuum and pit furnaces, and induction hardening equipment — all to heat treat metal parts tailored to the specific uses their customers are looking for.

“What we do is take steel parts, stamp parts and machine parts, and we heat them up to what we call the austenitizing temperature, so when we rapidly cool it we change the atomic structure,” Vanas explained. “It makes them stronger, harder and more wear resistant.” He said the majority of their customers are machine shops, stamping houses and tool-and-die shops, which send their parts to Euclid Heat Treating for strengthening. “We cover the gamut of the metalworking field, and there’s a lot of that right here in Cleveland,” he said. Vanas grew up learning about metalworking and heat treating from a very young age as he watched his father’s company grow.

“My dad would bring me in here on Saturdays when I was a kid and I’d sweep the floors, take pipes apart and carry things back and forth for the maintenance guys,” he recalled. “And then at about 15 years old I started working actually running furnaces during the summers. So, I’ve been here about 61 years in total.” Euclid Heat Treating currently employees about 62 people, including Vanas’ three adult children, who’ve all been working with the company for at least 15 years themselves. Many other employees have been there for decades as well.

Operations Manager Deidra Minerd, one of the third-generation heads of the company, didn’t think she would end up working at the family’s heat treating business as she grew up and began studying pharmacy — but after a discussion with Vanas about who might run the company if he decided to retire, she decided to give it a shot, and never looked back. Minerd decided to get a degree in metallurgic engineering. “I transferred majors, transferred schools, and I figured if I was terrible at it, I would just go back to pharmacy,” she said, “but I loved it.”

While Minerd oversees operations now, she didn’t start out that way. She recalled learning a lot through working on the shop floor every summer during college, which she noted is certainly the hottest, hardest time of the year to be working around furnaces, but she got plenty of experience. Like many manufacturing businesses across the country, Euclid Heat Treating has seen a decline in applicants from younger generations seeking careers in the trades, but Vanas and Minerd agreed they hope to see that trend turn around.

They believe the best way to help is to begin making sure high schoolers are shown that if they don’t want to go to college, or it’s not an option for them, or maybe they just prefer working with their hands — there are plenty of viable career options within the manufacturing industries. “We’re excited because we’ve been struggling trying to find employees, but we actually have a handful of new ones that show a lot of promise,” Minerd said. “For younger people we’d like to show that this, and manufacturing, could be your career. Even if you didn’t grow up knowing that it was an option.”

In an effort to help give a boost to manufacturing education, the company will be donating some heat treating equipment, along with expertise from staff who will teach a class on how to use it, at the new Transformation Training Center currently being built on Tyler Boulevard in Mentor. Spearheaded by the Alliance for Working Together organization, the training center will be devoted to providing hands-on manufacturing education to high schoolers and unemployed or incumbent workers.”

Euclid Heat Treating is celebrating its 75th anniversary as a family-owned business this year. Second-generation owner John Vanas (right) runs the company with help from his three children, including Deidra Minerd who serves as operations manager.

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