by Susan Marquez
For 36 years, Morrison Welding has been doing business from their home base in Rankin County. “God has blessed me and my business,” says Jared Morrison.
Welding isn’t something Jared grew up doing. “Welding was not in our family at all,” he says. “This was strictly God’s gift.” When he was just a little guy, Jared recalls his dad having someone come to their hog farm to do some welding. “They put the welding helmet on me, and of course it was way too big. But something about it was exciting to me.” Jared’s dad had a small welding rig, but wasn’t really adept at using it. “As I got older, he showed me how it worked, gave me some welding rods and said, ‘go after it.’ I just started playing around with it and whenever I had a chance to be around professional welders, I asked a lot of questions and watched what they did.” Jared got his start doing welding around the family farm.
Jared, who grew up in Florence, went on to college at Hinds where he was taking agricultural courses. “I didn’t really like sitting in a classroom, and I told my parents I wanted to quit and go to vo-tech school to study welding. They wouldn’t have it.” Jared went on to earn a business degree. “After college, all I really knew how to do was farm, so that’s what I did.” But during the off season, a couple of welding shops in the area allowed him to work. “Being around those who did welding all the time, I realized I had some kind of skills.”
Welding opened doors to Jared he had never dreamed possible. “I have been to places around the world to do sub work with other companies,” he says. “I’ve been to Saudi Arabia, Chile, and Venezuela. Welding gave me the opportunity to experience other cultures.”
When Jared first started his own company, he had a raggedy pickup truck with an old welding rig on a trailer. “I thought back to my time studying business in college,” he says. “We learned about the psychology of color, and how different colors can affect people. The example my professor had used was McDonald’s. He said people the world over know what the golden arches are. I figured if it was good enough for McDonald’s, it was good enough for me.” Jared painted his whole truck, trailer and rig bright yellow in 1988. “People remembered it. They called me ‘Trailer Man.’”
Jared realized that his upbringing on the farm and his business degree both worked in his favor as he was starting his own business. “I was used to getting up early and working long hours, which was good in the welding business, because when something is broken, it shuts everything down. The sooner I can get there to repair it, the faster they can get back to work. I hate to tell anyone no, so I’m up and on the road early every morning and I’ll work as late as I need to in order to get the job done.”
Over the years, Jared has picked up certifications in various areas, including pipe welding. “I try to learn all I can, so I can be of more service to my clients. I didn’t realize until much later that the business classes I had in college was God’s way of preparing me to expand my business.” Jared says he was a one-man show for a long time, and he built his shop slowly over time. He added additional help, and is proud that he is able to help others earn a living. “I’ve never had to let anyone go.” His son, who is now 35, is learning and developing in the field as well. “He knows much more now than I did at his age.” And Sheila, Jared’s wife, has had a hand in the business, helping with bookkeeping.
The key to Morrison Welding’s long success in business, according to Jared, is that they do good work, provide good service, and always show up when they say they will. “We’ve been through ups and downs, but we just keep looking ahead.” As a member of the Rankin County Board of Supervisors, Jared says he can’t imagine doing business anywhere else. “I love sitting in our meetings, because I can focus on helping our people and our community. You have to work hard to make sure you are making a difference. That’s what I try to do every day.”