Climate Engineers – Hiawatha Pulse
Since 1947 Climate Engineers has provided high-quality custom sheet metal fabrication for Hiawatha and the greater Midwest. Twelve years after inception, a pivotal decision was made to shift the company’s focus from residential service to industrial. A redirected focus proved to be a boon for the young company, setting its trajectory to become a highly successful multi-location company.
Today, Climate Engineers employs nearly 120 people; roughly 25 of which are local residents. As a community-minded organization, both leadership and employees put forth the effort to benefit Hiawatha and surrounding areas as much and as often as possible. This is shown through their physical location, who they employ, who they do business with, and the generosity that stems from a philanthropic culture they’ve cultivated.
Get to know Climate Engineers better by reading some questions they’ve recently answered.
Q: Climate Engineers’ headquarters was originally on Shaver Road in Cedar Rapids; what prompted the move to Hiawatha?
A: As with many local businesses, and residents for that matter, the flood of 08’ kicked things off. In 2014 we looked for a different location and found something that would work perfectly in Hiawatha. Our current 40,000 sq. ft. facility was available at the right time, met our needs, and was a compatible location for our logistical needs.
Q: What sets Climate Engineers apart from the competition?
A: Our dedication to customers. We are highly diversified among HVAC, industrial, and specialty fabrication services which means a customer can come to us one day needing a tank built, and the next day they could ask us to fabricate a specialty stainless steel counter. We are a one-stop shop for a lot of customers.
In addition to fabrication, we also have crews that go out and install the units we fabricate. Climate has always done what it takes to have the newest technology in the market, and we are always striving to improve our processes, which allows us to pass those savings on to the customers and maintain our competitiveness in the market. An example is that we just purchased a new laser cutting table that we hope to have in place by mid-October. This will allow us to fabricate more quickly and will produce a better product.
Our people are also a huge factor in what sets us apart. A diverse workforce, great retention, and a focus on safety are a few areas we feel are vitally important to maintain. Finally, a strong dedication to the communities we’re a part of and who significantly contribute to our success. We proudly support organizations and initiatives such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, United Way, Junior Achievement, Breast Cancer Awareness, YMCA, and Tanager place to name a few.
Q: What are some of the larger-scale projects Climate Engineers has completed in the area?
A: We’ve completed projects for and have excellent working relationships with businesses like Quaker Oates, Mercy Medical Center, St. Luke’s, Cargill, U of I, and Dave Wright Nissan & Subaru.
A: As a business, Climate Engineers has given over $1.4 million to local charities in the past ten years; if that gives any indication where our heart is at. The business has also been an active participant in United Way’s annual campaign as well as local Junior Achievement. Employees have taken time to assemble volleyball and bowling teams for local events, participate in Day of Caring, HACAP Projects, support Tanager Place, and MANY more critical initiatives.
Q: What is Climate Engineers’ approach to customer service?
A: A good share of our work is from returning customers due to our quality, problem-solving abilities, and doing what it takes to get the job done on time for them. Years ago, Climate Engineers started a night shift in our fabrication shop to help customers that needed something from us after normal working hours due to a break down (or similar situations). These are the lengths we go to in order to satisfy a customer.
Q: Was there a specific reason Climate Engineers became a HEDCO partner?
A: Since relocating to Hiawatha in 2015, it’s been our goal to become a known entity in the community. HEDCO has a long history of building significant relationships with businesses within the community, promoting them, and helping them connect, which indicated to us that it would be highly-beneficial to become a partner.
Q: Is business proportionally split between each of your services or does one keep you busier than the others?
A: Our workload is split fairly evenly between our offerings. What is nice is our workforce is very well-rounded meaning if one area is slower we can easily shift manpower to a different area that’s busier without any problems. This allows us to keep our employees working when some areas of the market are slower and also helps us meet the demands of our customers.
Q: Does Climate Engineers plan to expand its operation?
A: We started leasing a facility early in 2017 due to the increased demand for our larger projects we were fabricating. Recently, we started the process of purchasing the property. This facility gave us the extra square footage of fabrication space we needed (74,000 sq ft) and allowed us to build multiple projects at the same time.
Our new facility is where we fabricate a lot for the large weldments such things as conveyors, tanks, silo’s, and more. We’ve got a number of overhead cranes ranging from a 5-ton capacity to 60-ton capacity, and the crane heights are much taller than our other facilities. This allows us to be safer and more efficient in our processes. Since we started leasing the property we have kept an average 15-20 people working in the facility and our hope is business gets stronger and we can increase that number in the future.
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