Hazelett Corporation, a pioneer in the world of continuous metal casting, celebrated 100 years last Thursday. Governor Phil Scott spoke in honor of the Colchester-based company’s milestone birthday, noting the importance of businesses like Hazelett to lead Vermont’s economy forward.
“They feed you like this every day?” the Governor said as he walked up to a podium in front of the Hazelett gathering. “No wonder you’ve been in business for 100 years.” Employees in blue company t-shirts with “100 Years” emblazoned on the front laughed in response.
Even though Hazelett is at the forefront of twin-belt casting and a global giant in manufacturing, the company is still fourth generation family-owned.
Clarence W. Hazelett, founder and grandfather to the current company president, first dipped his toe into the world of continuous metal casting in 1919. Over the years, he designed and engineered casting machines until establishing Hazelett Storage Battery Company in 1924, the world’s first commercial continuous metals casting and processing company.
It wasn’t until 1956, when Clarence died, that his sons started Hazelett Strip-Casting Corporation. His son, R. William “Bill” Hazelett went on to serve as company president for over fifty years, eventually retiring in 2009 to hand the company over to his son and current president, David Hazelett. According to the company website, David’s son, Peter, joined Hazelett in 2014.
The 100 year celebration was held at Hazelett’s main location in Colchester overlooking Lake Champlain. As he started his speech, Scott also called out a couple familiar faces in the crowd of employees—friends and old peers from his school days.
“I have the same kinds of roots as a lot of you,” Scott said, noting his early interest in a machine trades program and tech education, before moving on to business.
Clarence Hazelett’s dream didn’t blossom overnight, Scott continued. “He had long sleepless nights. He took risks. I hope companies like yours, with a spirit like Hazelett’s, inspires entrepreneurs across the state,” said Scott.
The governor also devoted some time to acknowledging Hazelett’s strong team and how the most talented people can work on one team but won’t achieve success without good chemistry.
In front of the governor sat rows of tables piled high with food—almost everyone in the crowd wore a company shirt, echoing Scott’s refrain that Hazelett invests in teamwork.
President David Hazelett also spoke at the celebration, adding a personal element to his speech as well an in depth company history.
“This year we’re making history,” he said.