Wiley Metal is a family-owned metal fabrication company that is proud to call Marion home. Started in 1982 by Verne Wiley, Wiley Metal is now owned and operated by Verne’s sons, Ed and Rob, and Ed’s sons, Mike and Ben. Wiley Metal currently has about 130 employees and 2 locations in Marion.
Over the company’s 38 years of operation, Wiley has grown exponentially throughout the years, expanding its footprint and product line. Some of Wiley’s most easily-recognized products include fire truck bumpers, RV luggage doors, semi-truck parts, lift baskets for electrical trucks, and jet bridges (passenger boarding bridges from airplane to terminal).
In a time of historically low unemployment rates, where recruiting and retaining skilled talent is a nationwide problem, Wiley has successfully implemented programming to drastically reduce their turnover. First, Wiley enhanced their onboarding program: conversing with each employee about expectations and opportunity within the company, having quarterly “check-ins” with employees, and fostering relationships so that each employee feels valued and integrated into the familial culture. Second, Wiley implemented the “Compensation Program”: a program designed to motivate employees to learn additional machinery in exchange for increased pay. Employees have the opportunity to make more money by learning more skills within the company and maintaining quality hours of work. Third, Wiley cut the time of temporary employees in half so that “temps” would become full-time employees faster, therefore accessing full-employee benefits faster. Lastly, Wiley has created internship opportunities for high school and college students to learn about the welding trade. This last summer, Wiley hosted 12 welding interns from Madison Grant High School, and 4 of the students went on to a welding school in Florida for further training.
Between the more robust onboarding, the compensation program, reducing the number of temps, and offering internship opportunities, Wiley has drastically improved employee retention. In 2016, they hired over 280 people for 8 positions, but in 2018, they hired less than 60 people for the same 8 roles — a substantial reduction in turnover! Wiley Metal has embraced the millennial workforce by offering opportunities for growth and continued learning as well as fostering a family-oriented environment.
Grant County Economic Growth Council