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Company History


If it involves metal, chances are we can do it.

Partnering with Premier means experience, dependability, and dedication from our employees rooted in a foundation of quality with customer service.

history-farm-shop-1What we know today as Premier Fabrication humbly began in 1973 as “The Farm Shop, Inc.,” an equipment repair work and specialty custom shop in a 36′ x 54′ wood pole structure located on the same property as Premier stands today near Congerville, Illinois.

Our locally-owned company grew through the efforts of our first owner Ernie Stahl, who gained an entrepreneurial spirit through his work as an Army maintenance welder in Vietnam and other jobs. Stahl sold the company to employee Dave Zobrist in 1989, who ventured into structural steel and took on larger production jobs. That grew the company to 28,000 square feet and nearly two dozen employees by 1996 when Bruce Hohulin was hired to further grow the company.

In 1998, Bruce and Charlene Hohulin became the sole owners of The Farm Shop which then exploded to 50,000 square feet and 55 employees. To accommodate growth, we reorganized into three divisions: Custom Fabrication, Production Fabrication, and Structural Steel. And we changed our name to Premier Fabrication, Inc. in 2005 to better reflect the business and products.

Scott AberleScott Aberle joined Premier as President in 2008 and helped oversee further expansion initiatives with a 25,000 square-foot facility to house a new state-of-the-art automated structural steel beam line and paint booth. This increased our ability and capacity to 50 tons of steel per day. Over the next two years, the plant complex also featured a new laser-cutting machine and a CNC machining center.

The increased plant capacity and technology uniquely empowers us to effectively compete in the structural steel market and better serve our industrial customers. Along with the increased level of professional staff, Premier has grown and expanded in design, drafting, and detailing to help keep us on the leading edge of customer service.

In July of 2014, Premier entered an exciting next chapter as a business. President Scott Aberle led a management buyout of Premier from Bruce and Charlene Hohulin. As a sign of continued support, the Hohulins re-invested in the company as minority unit holders. Their investment shows their ongoing commitment to continue Premier’s legacy as a values-based, locally-owned company.

Aerial PhotoToday, we employ nearly 150 talented staff and we are blessed with over double the sales and production since the 2008 expansion. Premier now provides complete design and manufacture of numerous products that meet unique custom fabrication needs of our customers. This includes fabrication services, commercial structural services, custom fixtures, prototypes, and numerous types of raw steel. Key markets we serve include farm machinery & equipment, construction equipment, conveyor equipment, power & energy equipment, fabricated structural metal products and industrial machinery.

Our strategic mission is to be the Premier Provider in markets we choose to be in. We do this by pursuing excellence in our client relationships through our talented people, our quality products, and our responsive services. And above all, we strive to do the right thing always, on time, with excellence.