Welcoming and Supporting Environment Keeps Employee at L&M after Family and Friend Connections Brought Her There 10 Years Ago


What makes a great place to work? One sure sign is the number of recommendations from current employees to friends and family members to consider applying for open positions at a company.

Paula Pinkelman is a good example. Pinkelman joined L&M Radiator almost 10 years ago after a number of her family members and friends, who already worked for L&M, recommended she give it a try. And she hasn’t looked back since.

Pinkelman started in assembly but quickly moved into tubing as a Tube Machine Operator. As a Tube Machine Operator, Pinkelman runs the lines that produces the tubes used in Mesabi radiators.

“Running the line involves three steps: assembling the tubes, inspecting the tubes, and then clipping the tubes if necessary,” explained Pinkelman. “We do a variety of jobs in the three-step rotation so it never gets monotonous. I truly love the variety.”

Paula Pinkelman’s leadership skills were quickly identified by her L&M Radiator teammates. Pinkelman enjoys L&M Radiator’s culture because she can ask questions and continue to learn and grow in her role.

Leadership Skills Identified by Supervisors

Her helpful, supervisory skills were identified early on by her supervisors and now, in addition to being a Tube Line Team Leader, Pinkelman was recently promoted to Back-up Supervisor.

“I love solving problems and helping people. As a team leader and back-up supervisor, I get to use those skills regularly. If anyone needs anything, I provide them the assistance they need to keep the line running,” noted Pinkelman. “It is a perfect fit for me, and my supervisor helped to make it all possible.”

Pinkelman worked at Wal-Mart for three and one-half years prior to starting at L&M and is also currently Village Clerk for her hometown of Saint Helena, Nebraska, a small community of 96, located 16 miles south of L&M’s Yankton, South Dakota, plant.

Pinkelman handles bookkeeping, meeting preparation and execution for the town, as well as paying the town’s bills. If anyone in the town has an issue or problem, they tend to call Pinkelman. It was ideal training for her current back-up supervisor position at L&M and the Village Clerk hours are part-time, so it works perfectly with her L&M schedule.

Company Environment and Benefits Keep Talented Employee Challenged and Rewarded

“The people at L&M are great and so are all the company benefits, including our medical, dental, vision and 401k with a match,” said Pinkelman. “It’s a safe and relaxed environment, and it is such a welcoming place where everyone helps everybody out. L&M is just an overall great place to work.”

Running three lines at a time within an 8-hour shift (plus overtime as needed) and 10-hour shifts on third shift (plus overtime as needed), L&M is flexible when working with its employees.

“The company really works to find the right fit for you — both in terms of hours that work as well as the right job where you can contribute and thrive,” said Pinkelman. “The company provides a variety of necessary training for you to succeed at your job and for you to advance within the company if, and when, you desire.”

Pinkelman had never seen mining trucks up close prior to working at L&M. “It’s impressive to say the least,” said Pinkelman.

Over the past 10 years, Pinkelman has come to know there is no such thing as a dumb question.

“I’ve asked a million questions since I started and I still continue to learn,” added Pinkelman. “There is so much to learn and the company supports your learning with comprehensive training and support so you can be challenged and successful – no matter what job you are doing.”

When Pinkelman is not working, she loves to spend time with her family. “I’m really just a homebody,” added Pinkelman. She has a daughter, a son and a granddaughter and enjoys listening to 80s music and watching her Nebraska Cornhusker football team.

Learn more about working at L&M Radiators at click here.

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