An independent news publication of
United Way of Lancaster County


Through foundation, High Industries’ business supports local nonprofits

As Gov. Josh Shapiro, right, looks on, High Cos. CEO Mike Shirk speaks at a press conference at High Steel Structures on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023. (Photo: Tim Stuhldreher)

Nonprofits in Lancaster County and other Pennsylvania communities are benefiting from High Steel Structures’ work on projects like the Interstate 95 repair in Philadelphia, High Cos. CEO Mike Shirk noted in his remarks during Gov. Josh Shapiro’s visit on Monday.

By the numbers: High Foundation 2022 grants

  • Health & human services: $947,700
  • Education: $441,700
  • Community & economic development: $720,500
  • Historic preservation: $520,200
  • Arts & culture: $219,700
  • Environment: $118,700
  • Social enterprise: $30,200
  • Other: $42,800
  • TOTAL: $3.0 million

Source: High Foundation 2021-22 Impact Report

“Your support of us will come back to Pennsylvania communities in spades,” Shirk said, “in direct investments that we are making.”

That’s because last year, the High family transferred the ownership of High Industries to its philanthropic foundation. Going forward, 100% of the profits from High Industries’ enterprises go to the foundation for allocation to initiatives combating poverty, promoting social innovation and supporting the arts.

According to the foundation’s 2021-22 impact report, it distributed just over $3 million in its 2022 fiscal year. Among the local recipients and their funded initiatives:

The foundation anticipates scaling up its giving to $5 million a year or more, foundation Executive Director Robin Stauffer said in 2022 when the ownership transfer was announced.

High Industries employs about 2,000 people about two-thirds of them at its Lancaster sites. Besides High Steel Structures, the High Industries’ business lines include concrete and construction.