Working Iowa: New Leader Manufacturing

Making sure employees feel heard is something CEO Rocki Shepard believes sets NLM apart from other businesses.
Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 8:37 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Building quality spreaders for fertilizer, compost and more. That’s the focus of New Leader Manufacturing in Cedar Rapids.

Anthony Barnhill is an H6 Weld Specialist at New Leader Manufacturing. He’s worked at NLM for five years.

“I had a friend that worked here. He was explaining to me how great the culture is here, and how much he liked it, so I decided to make the move,” said Barnhill.

Making sure employees like Barnhill feel heard is something CEO Rocki Shepard believes sets NLM apart from other businesses.

“Everybody’s approachable so you have a voice here, and I truly believe that we listen and we try to react to all things our employees are asking us, things they’re concerned about or things they want us to do,” said Shepard.

New Leader Manufacturing started in 1939. With facilities in Cedar Rapids and Brazil, NLM makes precision spreaders for agricultural and highway equipment. Benefits include profit-sharing, summer hours and flex hours.

“If you need to leave early to take a kid to a doctor appointment or you need to come in late because of a situation at home, as long as you make up those hours during the week, everything is fine, and we work around that with our scheduling,” said NLM President Jeremy Wild.

Wild says ideal employees want to continue NLM’s focus on safety, quality, and service. While experience is great, especially for welders, it’s not necessarily required.

“If you’re good working with your hands, pay attention to detail, have a strong work ethic, we’re definitely willing to train you,” said Anthony Barnhill.

“If you’re somebody that wants to work for a company where you can make a difference, come to work everyday and know you’re going to be heard and make a product that is truly impacting not only here in the U.S., but in the world, come here,” said Rocki Shepard.

To see career opportunities at New Leader Manufacturing, click HERE.