ARCANUM — A little nostalgia was at work for a dozen Wagner Paving Inc. employees at Arcanum High School on Tuesday afternoon.
Students who had graduated from the Arcanum district were paving the parking lot around the new 20,000 square foot multi-purpose building at the school. The latter designed by Garmann, Miller, and Associates of Minster that will house welding, woodworking, small engine repair facilities, agriculture labs, classrooms, a greenhouse, and a meeting room.
It was a unique moment to have so many former students who had grown up together, now working together on a cold but sunny afternoon at their former school.
At the helm was Wagner Paving Superintendent, Bob Spitler who knew many of the students from his days coaching summer baseball.
“It’s what is so great about it,” said Spitler. “They are all a bunch of good kids.”
Wagner Paving Inc., out of Laura, is celebrating its 50th year, a paving contractor that started with six employees in 1970 to a robust near 80 today. Their reputation for quality, good wages, and benefits, is one of the draws for so many in the area.
“That’s what keeps us in business, reputation, quality of work, customers can depend on us,” said Spitler. “We will stand behind our work and take care of our customers.”
Word must be positive. In the last two years, the company has obtained many former Arcanum students. Spitler is already anticipating two to three current students to join the team after graduation this year.
While not all the former students were onsite that same afternoon, Spitler provided their names, and for some the year they graduated from the district:
CJ Regelski (K-10th) Cole Spitler (2018), Carver Gostomsky (2019), Benny Birt (1998), Autin Fourman (2019), Alec Atchley (2017), Isaac Myers (2013), Kirk Clark, Evan Atchley (2019), Hunter Saunders (2016), Dalton Lindemuth (2015), and Gene Keiser.
“It’s a good company. They can still get their college degree and make good money and not have that college debt,” continued Spitler. He can personally testify, he found work with Wagner Paving after a layoff and has been with the company ever since.
Spitler is an Arcanum graduate, too, his sister, Lisa Scheiding, is the office manager, and his son, Cole, works for the company, as well.
“It’s a family company,” said Spitler. He shared that Thomas Earl Wagner Sr., founder, and owner of the company, passed away in August. Wagner’s youngest daughter, Cheri L. Kress, is now at the helm.
Overall, it is hard work but one that Spitler calls an art. During the winter months, the company will train anywhere from four to eight employees. Not only do they have competitive wages and benefits, but they can save thousands of dollars obtaining their CDL license as a Wagner Paving employee.
While many companies are struggling to find employees, Spitler says they’ve been fortunate to have a great workforce and that they “try to take care of them.”
Reach reporter Bethany J. Royer-DeLong at 937/548-3330 or email email@example.com. Read more news, features, and sports at DarkeCountyMedia.com.