Farewell to a metalworker

June 1, 2022

Image Credit to One Beautiful Life Photo

Lance Talley, our custom metal shop supervisor, is retiring at the beginning of July. He’s been in the industry since 1979 and with Capital for 13 years. 

Lance forged an interest in metalwork as a young man. There was a single bridge leading into and out of his hometown and he explains that just after you crossed it there was a metal shop along the road that always had its doors open. Driving past, Lance could see a bunch of cool stuff on the walls inside. He also noticed that everyone who worked there drove a 4-wheel drive truck, something he wanted, too.

So instead of following in the footsteps of the firefighters in his family, Lance became an apprentice metalworker at the shop.

Back then, an apprentice in industrial metalworking put in four years before becoming a journeyman. Once Lance completed that step, he put in long stints working in different industrial contexts: on projects for a harbor and for pulp and lumber mills. He also oversaw the construction of a Foster Farms poultry operation. And he bought that truck he’d been dreaming about: a Ford F-150 with a lift kit and rims. “It looked cooler than heck.”

His years working with a sheet metal shop that contracted with a shipping company allowed Lance to work on some of the most dramatic projects of his career. For instance, if a longshoreman saw that a boom was dented, they’d halt work and the shipping company would call in the sheet metal workers. Lance’s team would spend several long days on the dock getting it fixed. 

After years of putting in long hours away from home and his kids (he’d often spend two hours on the road per day, each way), Lance decided it was time to switch to commercial work. He joined Capital’s custom sheet metal shop in 2009. Since then, he’s worked with our team on commercial and residential HVAC projects (such as ducting and other ventilation components) and doing custom work, such as countertops, hoods, and backsplashes for commercial kitchens, custom car parts, house components, and more. 

Asked what he’s done well all these years, Lance replies with a typical shrug, seemingly unaware of his hard-earned expertise and experience. “The main deal was that I liked taking a job in the beginning and figuring out how we’d do it and getting people to do it in a timely manner. I liked getting the most out of people. Having them do things they thought they couldn’t do.”

While he was the shop foreman at Capital, Lance developed our fabrication abilities and capacity for custom sheet metal work and for ductwork fabrication. He was responsible for a new shop layout, and selected new automated fabrication equipment such as an upgraded plasma table, a new water jet table, and an autobrake. With his skill and insight for fabrication and automation in our industry, he was able to strengthen our ability to provide quality products for our customers, from simple ductwork to custom countertops to a copper roof.

Lance was also responsible for supporting all our field crews by providing shop-fabricated ductwork and installation materials along with the logistics required to successfully complete a commercial HVAC installation. Our business is better off because of his improvements and dedication.

Lance plans to live a good, quiet life after retirement. He mentioned doing things around the house, spending time with his three young grandkids, and traveling with his wife to Colorado, Hawaii, and Las Vegas. They also hope to hit I-90 and travel all the way to the East Coast to see the country and spend time on the road. 

Thank you for your hard work all these years, Lance! We’ll miss you around here and we hope your retirement years are golden ones.

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