Oklahoma City motor repair business still revving after 50 years

Roland Harrison was 25 years old when he and a business partner founded Capitol Electric Motor Repair in July 1964. 50 years later, Capitol Electric in Oklahoma City has 13 employees and does about $3 million worth of business each year.
by Brianna Bailey Modified: July 4, 2014 at 3:00 pm •  Published: July 4, 2014


photo - 
Motor technician Thomas Shotts inspects the inside of an industrial motor at Capitol Electric Motor Repair in southwest Oklahoma City. The company is celebrating 50 years in business. Photos by Paul Hellstern, The Oklahoman
  PAUL HELLSTERN - 
Oklahoman
Motor technician Thomas Shotts inspects the inside of an industrial motor at Capitol Electric Motor Repair in southwest Oklahoma City. The company is celebrating 50 years in business. Photos by Paul Hellstern, The Oklahoman PAUL HELLSTERN - Oklahoman

“Things were tough — companies were going out of business right and left,” Ron Harrison said. “It makes us really appreciate how good the business climate has been the past five or six years.”

Today, a lot of Capitol Electric’s business comes from elevator maintenance companies, as well as the food distribution business and oilfield equipment.

Many of the company’s customers have been doing business with the Harrisons for decades, including some whom Ron Harrison can remember coming into the shop when he was a child.

“We work hard, and take care of our customers, whether it’s night or day—we’re on 24-hour call,” Roland Harrison said.

Longtime Capitol Electric employee Rick Muirhead said Roland Harrison is “like a dad” to him and other workers at the shop, many of whom have been with the company for decades.

Capitol Electric offers its employees health benefits, a 401(k) plan, and buys lunch every Friday.

“They just do little bitty thing like buy our insurance, our uniforms, they take very good care of everybody,” Muirhead said.

Ron Harrison said he learned that from his father.

“You have to take care of your employees — they are your business.”

by Brianna Bailey
Business Writer
Brianna Bailey has lived in Idaho, Germany and Southern California, but Oklahoma is her adopted home. She has a bachelor's degree in Journalism from the Univerisity of Oklahoma and has worked at several newspapers in Oklahoma and Southern...
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