Growth Report 2: Compco Celebrates 70 Years in Business

Compco Corporate Director of Sales and Marketing

COLUMBIANA, Ohio – Clarence Smith Sr. founded the company in 1952, yet his true start in business came at age 10 when, as a homeless orphan in Youngstown, he found shelter with a local grocer. Clarence spent his days learning about business as an apprentice to the shop owner and, at night, he slept in the basement. Within 10 years, he founded his first business: Diamond Steel Construction.

Years later, he and partner Martin Poshner created Compco Metal Products to fill a need in the metal pipe hanger market. Before long, they recognized an opportunity in manufacturing tank heads.

Today, as Compco celebrates 70 years, we continue striving to be a world-class manufacturer. We ship millions of tank heads across the United States and Canada. Our tank heads can be found in industries such as propane, gas, water storage, water heater, pressure vessel, air receivers, fire suppression and cryogenics. Compco’s quality and engineering team members are called on to solve problems and troubleshoot for companies around the country. We also provide stamping, cutting, welding, assembly and fabrication services.

Compco, based in Columbiana, is in its third generation of Smith family leadership, with the fourth-generation training for the future. The family’s priorities of people and customers above all else make for engaged and productive team members who strive to exceed customer expectations.

In 2021, Compco initiated the Unlocking Potential Mentor program at Salem City Schools in conjunction with the United Way of Northern Columbiana County. This program involves 36 underprivileged fifth and sixth graders. Once a month mentors go to the school and visit for lunch, a team-building exercise and group movement or exercise.

“Community outreach is very dear to us and we are privileged to have opportunities to make a difference through positive interactions with our youth,” says Christy Kamperman, Compco corporate training manager.

Compco’s support of Unlocking Potential has made a positive impact on the Salem community. In addition to this program, Compco sponsors the Youth Sports Network and many youth sporting teams.

Compco has a long history of supporting the region and the next generation of leadership has jumped in by starting the Unlocking Potential program, which we hope to expand.

We have a lot of momentum going into 2023. We invest in our people, making on-the-job training and professional development priorities from the shop to the office. We also have a renewed focus on increasing efficiencies and, as always, on-time delivery, quality and customer service.

Pictured at top: Compco employees gather for a picture to mark the company’s 70th anniversary.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.