After 50 Years, S&B Metal Products Still Growing and Hiring Vets

In 1974, Chuck Sterling and Paul Balliette founded S&B Metal Products in Macedonia, Ohio, just outside of Cleveland.

Like many folks up north, Sterling took a vacation to Florida in the 1980s. Drawn by the weather and the potential, he went back with the idea of expanding here.

Nearly 50 years after the business began, S&B Metal now has four locations in Florida – Bradenton, Lakeland, Apopka and Daytona Beach.

With more than 160 employees, the business is growing and needs to hire welders and other machinists.

“Over the last two to three years, we’ve seen a severe shortage in qualified welders,” said Brent Cessna, president of the company. “That’s our most immediate need. We are growing and we have more work than we know what to do with.”

By serving different business sectors and clients – in aerospace, automotive, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, and more – the business has been able to sustain continuous growth. 

“If we had all of our eggs in the automotive basket, we wouldn’t be having this conversation,” Cessna said. 

Between 20 and 25 percent of the company’s workforce are veterans.

That includes Charlie Balliette, a Marine who is the company’s CEO.

“Veterans have an idea of what they’re getting into and they are often mechanically inclined,” said Balliette. “We are a little more trusting of someone who is a veteran.”

The company trains from within and that personal attention has paid off; the current average length of employees at S&B is around ten years.

Some of the veterans employed by S&B started there with a SkillBridge internship, assisted by Veterans Florida.

“It’s been a good, positive experience,” said Cessna.

If you’re a veteran or separating servicemember interested in a career at S&B Metal or other manufacturers in the state, sign up today and a Veterans Florida team member will be in touch!

And visit the S&B Metal Products website for more information on their work and opportunities.