From welding to blueprint interpretation to production, Sabrina Sage wants to learn it all. Her enthusiasm for diving into challenging projects and being open to acquiring new knowledge and skills has been the driver behind Sage’s growth at L&M Radiator.
A production assistant at L&M Radiator’s Yankton, South Dakota facility, Sage is in her eighth year with the company. Prior to stepping into her current position, she spent six months in the painting department, washing and preparing equipment before transferring to assembly, where her organizational and management skills led to a role as a team lead. Sage attributes this to eagerly collecting experience from multiple departments throughout the company, from working in the warehouse to cross-training with the tubing department.
“I am continuously gaining knowledge of processes in different departments and learning how everything is linked together,” said Sage. “In my current position, I confirm the prints and paperwork that accompany parts through the shop floor as Mesabi® radiators are assembled.”
This is a large responsibility, given that the Mesabi heat exchangers that Sage helps to make are used on some of the largest and most essential heavy equipment in the mining and oil and gas industries. Mesabi heat exchangers power underground mining operations in Australia, chug through swampy marshes in South Carolina, and retrieve iron ore near the Arctic Circle – to name just a few.
Growth Around Every Corner
Sage is a high-performing professional with years of experience under her belt – but believe it or not – she didn’t always feel so self-assured.
“When I first started at L&M Radiator, I was super shy and intimidated because of my lack of experience,” said Sage. “I didn’t even know how to read a tape measure! But the people here are so welcoming. You can really tell that your supervisors genuinely want to see you do well and to teach you new things. As the weeks went by, I felt much more confident in my work.”
A fast and determined learner, tasks quickly become repetitive for Sage. That’s why she seeks out as many opportunities as she can to learn and grow her skillset. Sage credits her mentors, including Mike Swenson in the painting department and John Sage in assembly, for teaching her everything she knows today and always having her best interests and long-term growth at heart.
“After I got comfortable with my first position at L&M, I started looking for opportunities to grow. I reached out to my supervisor and asked him for more responsibilities and knowledge, and he was incredibly receptive to that,” said Sage. “If you want to build your knowledge with the company, they give you endless opportunities to learn.”
Employee Representation (and Fun!) Matters
Sage first heard about L&M Radiator through her husband who worked at L&M.
“I was looking for a change; the organization I was at before was not a happy environment,” said Sage. “I had heard great things about the company culture at L&M Radiator, so I decided to apply.”
After starting her career at L&M Radiator, Sage was immediately drawn to the employee opportunities and committees offered by the company. She joined the audit committee and the 5S committee (a methodology that seeks to promote a clean, organized and quality work environment for the physical and mental health of employees) at L&M Radiator.
“Committees are designed for networking. They are a great way to build community and interact with folks who might not work in the same department as you,” said Sage. “At meetings, office staff and floor employees can bring their feedback and first-hand experience and make changes if need be – however we can make people feel the happiest and most represented.”
The community-building committees are not solely functional. Sage enjoys taking the time to host fun events for the rest of her team with the help of her committee members.
“Christmas parties are the absolute highlight of the year because that’s where we can go crazy on spoiling the employees with gifts, the supper and the DJ. The energy at those gatherings is just amazing,” said Sage. “The anticipation is crazy, to the point where we start thinking about the holiday season in Yankton in March. Each year we strive to make it even better.”
For those seeking a more supportive work environment, Sage offers some advice:
“At L&M radiator, what always stands out to me is how much they (we) care,” said Sage. “They want to see you happy and they want to work with you when times get rough. They want to make sure you feel supported on your best days and on your worst. If you don’t have that at your current position – you’re missing out.”
Seeking Out Adventure
An innovator at heart, Sage considers herself a “big crafter.” One recent project she completed was making her very own customized tumblers by hand.
When she’s not crafting or working, you’ll find Sage going on fun adventures with her husband and two kids – their son Tristin (3 years old), and daughter Adalynn (1 year old).
“Once a month we go out of town on a mini-vacation. There are lots of great camping and fishing opportunities in the area, and we love going to the parks and taking advantage of those activities,” said Sage. “Last summer, we went to the waterpark in Yankton and that was great for the kids. In the winter, we love sledding!”
Join the Team
No matter where you are in your career, if you’re looking to join a people-first environment, there is a place for you with L&M Radiator. Click here to explore careers with the team.