Top Shops: Keystone Koatings, Top HR and Training Programs

President Rick Gehman says employees and management that have helped earn a Products Finishing Top Shops award for the past two years, and its HR practices could mean it will be recognized for years.


Keystone Koatings president Rick Gehman says his employees and management team have helped earn the coater a Products Finishing Top Shops award for the past two years.

 

Keystone Koating's president Rick Gehman says his company’s best work is kept hidden inside the walls of its Pennsylvania facilities in Lititz and Mifflintown.

Gehman says it’s his employees and management team that have helped earn the coater a Products Finishing Top Shops award for the past two years. And Keystone’s human resources and training practices could mean it will be recognized for years to come.

“If our team didn’t care, it would reveal itself later in rusting, coating delamination and more,” says Gehman. “We’re grateful to have a team that brings years of experience to preparing and finishing metal. We trust them.”

Keystone Koating employees often speak about how they feel valued by management and the company owners. The company promotes teamwork and a sense of quality into its human resource training.

“Because I’m friends with everybody here, even outside of work, it makes me care more about my job,” says Joe Slautterback, who has worked at the Mifflintown plant for almost 10 years.

Todd Carvell says he enjoys what he’s doing at Keystone, and the people he works with.

“Every day there’s a new challenge to work with, and I’m treated well by my employees,” he says. “I can tell they’re interested in my growth, and there’s room to grow.”

Keystone Koating was founded in 1986 by Nelson Zimmerman. He realized that two companies he was associated with—Zimmerman Cattle Control and CropCare—needed an improved coating process. Zimmerman wanted a coating system that provided superior corrosion protection and durability that could be applied in a safe and environmentally friendly way.

“We probably spent more than a year in research trying to settle on the best option for improvement,” Zimmerman says. “The biggest challenge getting started was learning all the unique nuances associated with the process.” he says.

Keystone Koating has two automated coating lines and a pair of batch systems at its Lititz plant, and an automated line and a batch system at its Mifflintown location. The company serves several industries, including industrial, automotive, medical, retail, architecture and agriculture.

Jason Hockenberry, who has spent 10 years at the Mifflintown facility, says the Keystone Koating management team communicates well with all employees.

“There’s an even playing field,” he says. “It’s like having family away from home. I know I’m going to feel good about going to work. Being named a Top Shop means we’re thriving. It has to be related. It says something about our work culture.”

Keystone has two automated coating lines and two batch systems at their Lititz plant. They have one automated line and a batch system at their Mifflintown location.  

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