Ben Zweber has more than five years of experience holding various manufacturing roles while working for different companies in the Yankton, South Dakota, area. But what keeps him at L&M Mesabi® Radiator in his current role as Steel Prep Supervisor is the career growth opportunities, the family atmosphere, and the clean working environment.
“You don’t see this in manufacturing — the way L&M takes care of its production floor. It’s the cleanest place I’ve ever worked,” Zweber said. “I think the way people take care of and respect their workplace and surroundings says a lot about them and Yankton’s facility is clean, organized and runs very well.”
Zweber has spent a lot of time on the production floor at L&M as an assembler until his most recent promotion to first shift steel prep supervisor in November 2021.
Zweber remarked that most people don’t understand the scale of work L&M does until they step into the facility or start a job with the company.
“We build some of the biggest radiators in the world — every day,” Zweber said. “You don’t really realize the magnitude of our work until you see everything click together —the teams working with each other and the size of the products we can design in-house, built on site, and sent around the world.”
Intention for Retention: Employees Starting a New Career at L&M are Trained with Care
“It’s true that these manufacturing roles require training, even if you’ve had previous experience in the field,” Zweber said. “But no matter if this is a new career for you or you’ve got some experience, the six-month mentorship program and training that L&M provides to its employees will grow your confidence and your skills.”
The training Zweber is referencing includes everything from safety on the floor, to reading a tape measure to practicing identifying the materials needed for a steel prep job.
“Usually, people will start out on the saws in steel prep; in assembly people often begin with brushing the tanks or assisting with some painting,” Zweber said. “When a new employee joins us, we want to teach them the entire process of how a radiator is built as it moves through our facility.”
It’s normal when starting a new job to feel overwhelmed but Zweber’s experience with L&M has shown him that members of the Yankton facility are a team, and everyone wants the person beside him or her to succeed.
“In production or manufacturing roles new employees take things slow and L&M really cares about finding what you’re good at,” Zweber said.
Career Growth and Exploring new Positions
Zweber oversees supplying weld vendors with the proper materials, noting shortages and making sure product arrives on time. He also helps run saws and organizes kits with cut lists and blueprint sets for the assembly and steel prep processes.
“Nathan Stolz, first shift assembly supervisor, took me under his wing when I started out at L&M,” Zweber said. “He was my first introduction to a lot of these manufacturing roles and prior to working at L&M, I had never held a direct leadership role, but he encouraged me to try new roles and take the next step in my career. I wouldn’t be where I am today without him.”
When it comes to career growth at L&M, promotions and new roles are available, and sought after.
“I thrive on moving forward. For me, pursuing success is getting to that next level,” Zweber said. “I want to prove I’m worth my salt; I want to be known as someone the company can rely on and the type of team member that my colleagues view with good rapport.”
Zweber added that part of investing in your own career at L&M means investing in your team.
“We win together here,” Zweber said. “We complete these huge projects because everyone is integral in the process. We support each other to the finish line.”
Looking to make your big career move?
“I would absolutely recommend anyone to come here. I would tell them if you’re willing to put the work in, it’s the best place for you,” Zweber said. “L&M is an innovative and growing company. There are the bare bones selling points – the salary, the workplace culture and the company benefits, but also you can make a career at L&M at any role you start in and the workplace on the floor is clean and safe.”
Join the L&M family. Start a career in a clean working environment with great people who want to help you reach the next level. Click here to explore careers with the team.
Zweber’s priority outside of work – Family time
“I love spending time with my beautiful fiancé and daughters,” Zweber said. “My extended family also lives in Yankton, and I have seven siblings, so there’s always something going on.”
Zweber’s family activities depend on the season but right now he can be found on the sidelines of soccer games cheering on his daughters Ava, 4, and Scarlett, 6, or taking them to dance class.
“Working at L&M Radiator, I know I’m working for a company that supports my family,” Zweber said. “They treat you like family here. People take an interest in your life and if something is important to your family, like a concert or a graduation, it will become a priority for the company too.”