At Leetonia the words change and daily life are almost synonymous. Change is not always easy and can be uncomfortable. Change sometimes happens quickly – “like pulling off a band aid” and some changes take time “like watching your kids grow up.”  It is only when we take a moment to step back and look back down the mountain do we appreciate just how far we have come.

To put some of the changes into perspective the following summary statistics highlight some of the changes and challenges from 2014 through 2015:

  • We hired 70 people and unfortunately we also lost 41 people
  • We built a 175,000 square foot building
  • Installed $33 million worth of buildings and equipment
  • Had the office staff split between two different buildings separated by a tenth of a mile
  • Worked through most of the winter without a wall on one side of the production building – and it was cold!

As we grow, we find some things that still work and some things that we need to do differently. Leetonia is going through some growing pains and finding new ways to deal with challenges of more people, more customers, and starting up and running new equipment. We are proud of the good people that are digging in and accept the challenges with a “we can do it” attitude.

We also must look up the mountain to our next base camp and plot our course of how we are going to reach the next summit. We have many teams focused on the steps necessary to get us moving vertically. We have teams focused on completing the fabrication business cells, process improvement, yield, training, costs, and safety. Many hands make light work.

Metal Exchange invested in the future of Pennex and positioned Leetonia for growth in extrusions and fab. The Pennex Team is a winning team! There are challenges, but we will persevere because we have great people, exceptional equipment, and tremendous backing.

By Mark Mantooth