BUFFALO, NY – As they began interviewing candidates for three new positions, Nora and John Eberl of Eberl Iron Works “were not necessarily looking to hire young people,” Nora recalls. “It just turned out that way.” The cousins, who took over the family business on January 1 as president and chief financial officer, respectively, “wanted to spend more time working on the business than in the business,” explains John.
Their successful search opened up new career opportunities for Corey Beck, Justin Carr and Nathan Henderson, whose ages range from 22 to 28. And although only three jobs were added, their impact on the 89-year-old company has been substantial.
“We had several goals when we decided to augment the staff,” John reveals. One was simply to enable employees to take a vacation without overburdening their colleagues or their bosses. “When people were away, Nora and I often had to fill in. Instead, this past summer, I focused on projects that are turning into revenue sources,” he explains, listing new products, marketing and website updates as examples.
While they’re proud of EIW’s many long-tenured employees, John and Nora also foresaw a potential knowledge gap when those staffers retire. Bringing on new people has inspired new training and cross-training programs to build expertise, transfer experience and preserve institutional memory.
As for the three new hires, “we sought people who would thrive in our environment, and would appreciate the opportunity to grow and develop in a company that’s growing and developing,” John points out. “It’s amazing how quickly they adapted to their roles – their energy is impressive.”
Corey Beck joined EIW’s metal fabrication department in May, just after graduating from University at Buffalo. His architecture degree serves him well in his role as customer service representative and estimator. “It gives me a good base for interpreting what customers really need, especially if they don’t specifically know,” he explains, describing the satisfaction of providing the right solutions.
Justin Carr is also a UB graduate, earning a B.S. in business administration and marketing in 2011. Now studying for an MBA at Canisius College, he came to EIW as an intern in January and was named a sales associate in September. Justin considers his job “a phenomenal opportunity to establish a solid foundation in business and sales practices, one that my career can expand on in the future.”
Nate Henson accepted a customer service position in February when his predecessor, Greg Jones, was promoted. What clinched his decision was Greg’s response when asked what makes EIW a great place to work: “He said ‘management and ownership,’ and that’s not something you hear these days. Plus so many employees have worked here a long time, and that’s also rare.” Although he must now relocate for family reasons, Nate appreciated EIW’s collaborative atmosphere: “Everyone is easy to get along with, everyone understands everyone else’s roles, and that creates a good working environment.” EIW is actively recruiting for his successor.
New blood is key to EIW’s pursuit of new avenues and strategies for growth. “In just a short time, all three young men revealed how much they bring to the table,” John concludes. “We are excited as a company about the potential of harnessing fresh talent.”
Established in 1923, Eberl Iron Works serves markets across the Northeast. Its manufacturing and distribution businesses include custom metal fabrication, Unistrut metal framing products, traffic safety products, rooftop support systems and systems installation.