by Pauline Lally
Every company has a story, and I would like to share how PSI came to be the business we are today. It all started with a simple request, which was my father asking his Dad for a raise. My Grandfather had lived through the Depression, and when his son asked him for a raise to get married, he had to say no as he could not afford to give all his sons a raise.
That answer of “no” prompted my father, Eugene A. Lemieux, to start his own company. His first job was working at a grammar school down the road, and he did everything, including getting the prints to bid on the job. Once his own business got started, my mother did the bookkeeping, and my father ran the jobs. The company name was originally Eugene Al Lemieux Heating Contractors, and it didn’t change any, several years later, when my father met George Simmons.
Together, they funded Lemieux Engineering and Piping Systems, which were two separate companies, with George Simmons managing the work through Piping Systems and my father managing the business side. However, my father was active in the Local 77 pipefitters union and was a founding member of the apprenticeship school.
Expanding and Growing
In 1972, John Taylor became the first official employee of Piping Systems. Mr. Taylor was a welder, but he was not a union welder at the time. He did work on a permit when needed and was instrumental in the fabrication we did in our shop. John also provided us with some top welders, a few who still work with Piping Systems today. (He has now retired after 38 years with our company.)
During that time, Fall River, Massachusetts, was a hot spot for manufacturing. Our company became well-known for providing steam piping for the mills, and we were busy and growing as the industry expanded. We also moved into working on piping systems in commercial buildings, installing heating systems, and providing full air, water, and steam piping on properties throughout the area.
Originally, the first shop was in New Bedford, and it was an old laundry facility that had been converted into a shop. This is where I came into the picture. Watching my Dad work on this giant old mechanical calculator, I was encouraged to learn the office side of the business.
I worked with a bookkeeper to learn how to manage payroll, and it was all done on this ancient and monstrous NCR machine. For the time, it was state of the art, and my father always tried to have the latest in technology in the business.
I completed a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from UMass Dartmouth and began working for my Dad. He was very progressive and encouraged my sisters and me to be independent and involved in the company. This included allowing me to go out in the field and learn the business from the ground up.
Where We Are Today
Today, we have continued in our growth and expansion. This includes moving into fire protection, helping us to build our relationships with new clients.
Our employees are all licensed in their trades, and many have multiple licenses. We focus on training our employees and encouraging them to be a part of our team. We are dedicated to the people who work here, and they are dedicated to constant improvement to provide better services to our customers. We value our staff as key parts of our business, and we also value our customers and strive to exceed their expectations on every job.
Today, I am excited about the growth of the company, and the addition of our second and third generations of the family coming on board. We continue to grow our business, providing the quality services our customers have come to expect.