Manufacturers in Nebraska: Behlen

This post is part of an ongoing series of manufacturer profiles. The blogs will cover some of the many names in manufacturing in the state of Nebraska. Check back later for more posts in the series. To see previous posts in the series, click here.

There’s something really cool about manufacturers in the Midwest with lots of history, and Behlen Manufacturing Co. is one Nebraska manufacturer with a lot of history.

Founded in the garage of Walter D. Behlen in Columbus, Nebraska in 1936, Behlen Mfg. Co. first produced steel toe caps for work boots, and clamps for wooden egg crates.

Growing throughout the 50s and 60s, they continued expanding, eventually diversifying into several specialized sub-businesses:

  • Behlen Building Systems
  • Behlen Country
  • BMC Transportation
  • Behlen Grain Systems
  • Behlen Custom Fabrication
  • Distefano Technology & Manufacturing

The products they produce range from farm & ranch equipment (Behlen Country) to custom-made buildings (Behlen Building Systems), and regardless of the product, everything that Behlen produces is held up to strict quality-control standards, making them a local (and national) manufacturing leader.

Behlen sticks strongly to their principles and prides themselves on being an employee-driven company–they really take their employees’ opinions to heart, and always strive to make sure that everyone who works there is fully represented. Even across their wide variety of businesses, they’re a great example of the good manufacturing employers in Nebraska that we always like to mention.

Their commitment to their employees, in addition to the many awards they’ve received, remind us that what we say in all of our Nebraska manufacturer profiles is true: that Nebraska manufacturers are locally, nationally, and even globally competitive in the manufacturing space.

Sure, many manufacturers here in Nebraska may have their roots in small garages producing small parts, but many of those same manufacturers are still producing parts for big businesses and consumers all across the globe. And really, it’s hard to beat that kind of rich history and competitiveness when it comes to manufacturing anywhere else in the world.

Oh, and one more fun fact, tying into the rich history we mentioned: Behlen buildings were the sole survivor of an atomic bomb test in Yucca Flats, Nevada, in 1955. The photo that’s attached to this manufacturing profile is of one of the buildings left standing. How cool is that?

If you’re interested in a visual walkthrough of Behlen, you should see this video below:

Like history? Check out more on the history of Behlen Mfg. Co. in this brochure here. If you have any questions about the company we featured today, or about anything else related to manufacturing, let us know in the comments or on Twitter! We’d love to hear from you.

Photo credit: Nebraska History