Our History

Welder Helmet in Display Case


From our humble start as a Depression-era welding shop whose technological leadership would revolutionize bridge building, to our current status as a vibrant, diverse, and growing organization of business units, the High® companies always have been committed to innovation, industry leadership, environmental stewardship, and helping meet the needs of our community.

While our headquarters and organizational roots are planted firmly in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania — a distinctively hardworking community that strongly influences the character of the High companies — our values-driven approach including hard work, trustworthy relationship-building, and innovative leadership, is shared by High coworkers all throughout the eastern United States.

At the High companies, we actively seek a strong role in the betterment of our community through the generous volunteer culture of our employees and the philanthropy of High Foundation — our nonprofit organization committed to addressing significant community needs including affordable housing and homelessness, education, health and human services, and culture and the arts.

Our environmental commitment is a multi-faceted effort across all of the High companies to minimize our carbon footprint, conserve energy, and provide products and services to help customers achieve their sustainability and environmental objectives. Whether creating green-friendly properties, revitalizing historic structures, or carefully managing our own resources, the High companies continue our long history of responsible stewardship.

We began our work in 1931 with firmly established ethical standards and a strong belief in quality, innovation, and integrity. To this day, those guiding principles and our dedication to customers, employees, and our world continue to drive our success.

High Welding Company, Founded 1931



High Welding Company was founded in Lancaster, Pa., by Sanford H. High


High Welding Company moved to a new facility and expands its fabrication capacity


Sanford High's oldest son, Calvin G. High, joined the company after attending Goshen College


High Welding Company moved to a new facility on Old Philadelphia Pike

1956 - Sanford High and his son, Calvin, incorporated High Welding Company


S. Dale High, the youngest son of Sanford High, joined full time after graduating from Elizabethtown College


High Realty Company was formed, marking the beginning of expansion into other businesses


High acquired Kurtz Precast which became High Concrete Structures


S. Dale High was named Chairman, President, and CEO of High Industries Inc.


High Steel Service Center opened as a full-line value-added metal processor and distributor


High acquired Lantz Builders which became High Construction Company


A partnership with High restored Old Town, a historic neighborhood in southeast Lancaster


High Associates was formed to sell, lease, and manage commercial, industrial, and residential real estate


High Foundation, a philanthropic, non-profit organization, was formed. Its mission is to make a significant difference in the lives of those most in need in our community


Sanford H. High, the company’s founder, passed away. His vision and values remain at the heart of High today


Williamsport Fabricators was acquired by High Steel Structures, increasing market share and service to customers


High Hotels Ltd. was formed to develop and manage limited-service hotels. Pictured: 1989 groundbreaking of the Hampton Inn Lancaster


High formed Greenfield Architects to provide architecture, adaptive reuse, interior design, and planning


The S. Dale High Family assumed full ownership of High Industries Inc. and its affiliates.


High Family Partnership was formed seeking growth through development and acquisition of real estate


Following a career of more than 45 years, Calvin G. High retires as Senior Vice President of High Industries and continues to serve on the High Industries Board of Directors


High Concrete Group acquired its Springboro, Ohio, architectural precast plant


The company consolidated management of real estate assets and operations under High Real Estate Group LLC


High Companies celebrated 75 years


High Steel began fabricating approach spans for the New Tappan Zee Bridge replacement (photo courtesy New York Thruway Authority)


Michael F. Shirk succeeded Nevin D. Cooley as CEO of the High companies


Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences opened in Greenfield


The S. Dale High Leadership Center opened; High Associates opened The Reserve at Greenfield and acquired four additional apartment communities; High Hotels opened two SpringHill Suites hotels and acquired a Courtyard by Marriott


High Real Estate Group opened The Crossings at Conestoga Creek, Main Street-oriented, mixed-use development, smart growth project that includes retail, multifamily and hospitality components


Greenfield rebranded as a Center for Community; High Associates opened The Flats at Kennett community; High Concrete completed a plant expansion


Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology's Transportation Center opened in Greenfield


High celebrated 90 years; Villages at Greenfield community expanded; Infinity260 apartments opened in Charlotte


The High Family transferred ownership of High Industries Inc. to High Foundation, directing all profits to community needs (L-R: Mike Shirk, CEO, High Companies; Suzanne High, Vice-Chair, and Robin Stauffer, Executive Director, High Foundation, and Dean Glick, Director, High Family Office)


The High Family transferred ownership of High Real Estate Group LLC to High Foundation, directing all dividends to community needs (L-R: Mark Fitzgerald, President and COO, HREG; S. Dale High, Chair of the Board, High Foundation; Mike Shirk, CEO, High companies; Robin Stauffer, Executive Director, High Foundation; Dean Glick, Director, High Family Office)