PDJ Cutting and Fabricating: A Journey of Growth and Innovation in Manitowoc

Written by Emma Huehns

PDJ Cutting and Fabricating, named after its founders and their son – Patrick, Deanne, and Jarrett – has been a vital part of the local community for the past 14 years, offering a diverse range of fabricated solutions that set them apart in the manufacturing industry. What started as a modest venture with one piece of equipment in a 1500-square-foot space with no heat or running water has now blossomed into a dedicated and full-service manufacturing shop in Manitowoc.

PDJ Cutting and Fabricating specializes in a wide range of fabricated solutions, offering services such as industrial cutting, precision manufacturing, die cutting, shearing, CNC machining, plasma cutting, laser cutting, ironworking, welding, and mechanical design. Pat’s extensive background in manufacturing, coupled with Deanne’s unwavering support and Jarrett’s active involvement, has been the driving force behind PDJ’s success. Their commitment to purposeful investment is evident as they expanded from their initial location in plant three of the Mirro Building to a 4,000-square-foot facility on North 30th Street in 2010.

The turning point for PDJ Cutting and Fabricating arrived in 2015 when they made a strategic move to their current facility – a sprawling space exceeding 10,000 square feet. This expansion not only allowed for the incorporation of new equipment but also symbolized their commitment to growth and excellence.

“We are very conservative by nature when it comes to our business; any machine or equipment we buy is because we have a purpose for it.” emphasizes the family. Their cautious approach, however, did not deter them from taking calculated risks to elevate their business to new heights.

Pictured: Owners Patrick and Deanne Weier

Pictured: PDJ Cutting and Fabricating’s first machine used when they began operations in 2009. 

While their roots are firmly planted in Manitowoc, PDJ has a national footprint, with large pieces of their work making their way across the country. This expansion was not just about physical space but also a testament to their commitment to quality, precision, and innovation in the manufacturing sector.

Their success was not without challenges. Building a brand from scratch meant earning recognition in a competitive market and obtaining credibility among established businesses. Identifying their unique selling proposition—knowing who they are, what they do, and what they offer— also proved to be a significant hurdle. It was a journey of perseverance, with Pat and Deanne pushing boundaries and taking calculated risks to elevate their business.

Progress Lakeshore’s E-seed entrepreneurial training program in 2008 provided them with crucial insights, bridging the gaps in their knowledge about launching a business. This program not only redirected their path towards creating their own business but armed them with a comprehensive business plan and the essential connections needed for financing and support.

The Green Bay Packer Mentor-Protégé Program in 2016 was another milestone for PDJ Cutting and Fabricating. Winning the title of most valuable protégé, the family found a valuable support system that provided exposure, resources, and guidance to catapult their business growth. The program’s intensity and the hard work invested were justified by the transformative impact it had on PDJ, ultimately graduating in May 2017 with newfound wisdom and connections.

Starting with just one part-time employee, PDJ Cutting and Fabricating has grown its team to include two full-time workers and three part-time workers. Notably, one of their part-time employees, Dan, has been with them for an impressive 10 years, highlighting the family’s commitment to fostering a positive work environment.

For PDJ, the best part of owning their business is the tangible impact on their community. Their work, showcased in projects at the Lincoln Park Zoo and the arch near the Wisconsin Maritime Museum, reflects a commitment to craftsmanship that will enhance Manitowoc for years to come.

PDJ Cutting and Fabricating stands as a shining example of the power of family, and the belief that any challenge can be turned into an opportunity for success with hard work and perseverance.

Pictured: Arbor installation piece made by PDJ at Manitowoc’s riverfront.