Wieber Machine strives to build partnerships with employees and customers.
By Tim O’Connor
Dennis Wieber has always been an entrepreneur. He had a paper route at 11 years old and started his own snowplow business as a teenager. In his early 20s, he got into the machining trade and realized he could turn it into a career. “I thought it’d be cool to have a machine shop someday, but I didn’t know how to get there,” he says.
Wieber decided to go back to school and finish his business degree while continuing to work as a machinist. At school, his management professor saw his entrepreneurial spirit and helped him write a business plan to start his own shop. Eight banks rejected his application for a business loan to purchase a Doosan DNM500 before one finally said yes. The rest of the startup costs was covered with his own savings and money borrowed from friends and family. “At 29 years old, I cashed in my retirement and went for it,” Wieber says. “My heart was in it. I was all in.”
Wieber Machine made its first part on Jan. 3, 2011. At the time, Wieber supplemented his income by teaching night school at a nearby community college. But, at eight months in, he decided to drop the teaching position he had for three years and purchased a second machine.