In an era of continuous and unrelenting globalization, it is difficult to find a company that was started in the U.S. and still maintains all of its operations here in the country. Finding well-paying jobs at a company, especially if they include manufacturing, can be difficult at times because of the competition from cheaper labor in East Asia. However, in Joplin, Missouri TAMKO has managed to achieve exactly that ideal goal since 1944 when the company was founded by E.L. Craig. The company’s success story is one that people should look at and pay attention to because it proves America’s business capabilities.
TAMKO is named after the original states which the founders E.L. Craig and his wife Mary Ethel believed they would primarily represent: Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma. The family-run company was started out of a streetcar barn in Joplin and was a basic roofing business. The company remained fairly small and localized to the states it was named after until E.L. Craig’s son-in-law, J.P. Humphreys, took over as company president in 1960. From 1960 until 1993 when he died, J.P. oversaw the largest geographic expansion of the company. This led the company to have 12 manufacturing plants today with warehouses and offices spread out across the country.
The company is continuing to expand today, however, the new expansion involves the range of products being developed and produced at TAMKO’s plants. Since J.P. and Ethelmae Humphreys’ son David Humphreys became TAMKO President and CEO in 1994, the company has branched out into producing polyester mat, facer paper, waterproofing, coatings and composite decking and railing.