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Rochester Top 100: Acquisition sparks new growth for company

Rochester Business Journal
March 28, 2014

Jackson Welding Supply acquired some assets of a Buffalo firm in 2011. (Photo by Kimberly McKinzie)

An acquisition some three years ago has fueled growth at Jackson Welding Supply Co. Inc.

“2011 was a big year for us,” said Robert Jackson, president and CEO of the firm, which does business as Jackson Welding and Gas Products.

The Gates-based firm distributes industrial, medical and specialty gases, as well as gas equipment and welding supplies.

A family-owned business, it was founded in 1947 by Jackson’s grandfather. It expanded into the Buffalo area at the end of 2011 after entering into an agreement with Irish Welding Supply Corp. to acquire some of the Buffalo firm’s assets.

Under the agreement, Jackson Welding acquired the industrial, medical and specialty gas assets of Irish Welding. That meant the company secured a location in Buffalo to serve customers, expanding the territory it serves.

Since the deal was completed, Jackson Welding’s workforce has continued to grow. The business has 42 employees, up from 40 in 2012, 39 in 2011 and 34 in 2010. Jackson said the firm could add two more employees this year.

Sales have increased as well. He declined to disclose revenues but said they grew 3 percent in 2013, 18 percent in 2012, 14 percent in 2011 and 3 percent in 2010. He attributed the increases to organic growth at the Rochester area locations as well as the addition of the Buffalo site.

The acquisition was one of two changes the firm has undergone recently.

In 2012, the company moved into its current facility. The 30,000-square-foot building, which has 30 percent more usable space than the previous location in Rochester, serves as the headquarters and atmospheric gas packaging plant. The building also houses the company’s retail store.

The business has additional locations in Avon, Livingston County; Batavia, Genesee County; and Newark, Wayne County.

The company spent the past couple of years integrating the Buffalo acquisition into the business and adding equipment to its new Gates facility. It is now ready to focus on expanding the business, with new customers and possibly geographic areas within a three-hour drive of the Rochester area, Jackson said.

Another focus is on gaining more market share in the Buffalo area.

“It’s time to turn up the heat on sales,” he said.

Tim Witter, vice president of operations for Gorbel Inc., said Jackson Welding provides welding gases and other supplies for his company.

Gorbel, based in Fishers, Ontario County, manufactures overhead cranes and lifting devices. It is a long-standing customer of Jackson Welding.

Witter spoke of the personal touch provided by Jackson Welding, adding that he knows most of the company’s employees.

“That makes for a good supplier-customer relationship,” Witter said. “It’s not just about the sales process, but (also) the experienced supply chain management.”

A challenge Jackson Welding faces is adapting to industry changes. The company works largely with metal fabricators, and while it remains a priority and a big part of the business, the workload is changing as the cost of steel increases and more manufacturing jobs leave New York.

Other industries it serves include biomedical technology, food processing, manufacturing and agriculture.

Jackson sees additional areas for growth in higher education, where the business can supply physics and chemistry departments and other disciplines that focus on research and development work. Other growth areas include health care and optics.

He believes that while the marketplace is changing, there is still work to be found.

“The demand is still there; it’s now just a different base than what we grew up on,” he said.

The Rochester Top 100 program is presented by the Rochester Business Alliance Inc. and KPMG LLP. Launched in 1987, it recognizes the fastest-growing private companies in Greater Rochester. This year’s Rochester Top 100 event will be held Nov. 5. For more information, go to

Jackson Welding Supply
Co. Inc.
Distributor of industrial, medical and specialty gases, as well as gas equipment and welding supplies.
Founded: 1947
Top executive: Robert Jackson, president and CEO
2013 ranking: 78
Employees: 42
Location: Gates

3/28/14 (c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email


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