Branch Spotlight: South Metron – Chicago, IL


Today’s branch spotlight takes us to the land of deep dish pizza, full of public art built from metals and iconic architecture! That’s right; we’re talking about our South Metron Chicago metal supplier, located just 25 miles from Wrigley Field.

This 360,000 sq. ft. service center operates on the grounds of the Illinois International Port District as one of our most excellent value-added facilities in the midwest. The ISO 9001 registered in quality system branch delivers throughout North America and is rail and barge served by Chicago South Shore.

Apart from location and key equipment, the greatest advantage of this branch is the tenure of its leadership and employees. James Traut, Inside Sales Supervisor, has 19 years with Kloeckner, and he says, “You always hear that we spend more time with our coworkers than our family or friends, so it’s a good thing to like them.”

Traut followed this thought with personal testimony, “Here, we have fun and are invested in each other’s personal growth and development. When I started in June of 2003, I had no idea what the steel business was all about, but I came in with a work ethic and ambition to learn. Kloeckner Chicago is truly my home away from home.”


Earlier this year in February, this Chicago branch celebrated two consecutive years with no Lost Time Accidents, and they continuously make the highest rank in SafeStart methodology. Will Ross, a Burner Operator who just celebrated his 10-year anniversary, spoke to the Top Dog safety program we rolled out at all our branches at the beginning of 2022.

Ross says, “I am truly honored to have been awarded the Top Dog award for the second straight quarter. Programs like this and the ‘look out for each other’ culture in place shows that Kloeckner genuinely cares about their employees.”


With such a seasoned workforce, performance is never a concern. The branch dutifully and consistently serves OEMs and industries that touch above-ground storage tanks, propane tanks, and pressure vessels. John Brown is a Warehouse Supervisor who was proud to tell us, “I have worked my way up from the bottom over my 39 years, and I know firsthand that when you truly enjoy what you do for a living, it doesn’t feel like work.” He expressed his pride in the attitude his team shares on the job every day, “There’s always a new challenge – either a customer deadline to hit or some new business that we’re after.”

Maintaining that level of goal engagement is a deliberate act. Vets like Brown, who lead with positivity, help keep everyone reminded of their collective accomplishments. That goes for the transactional orders that benefit from our large inventory of pattern widths and flame cut lengths, as well as the large recurring contractual orders that take full advantage of our consignment and just-in-time programs.


The South Metron branch knows no bounds in value-added services, offering high-definition plasma cutting, oxy-fuel cutting, plasma beveling, oxyfuel, and machined beveling. The facility also houses a ½” x 96″ cut-to-length line, a ¼” x 76″ cut-to-length line, and a 5/8″ x 84″ Red Bud stretcher leveler.

Commonly stocked products in this division include Hot-Rolled sheet, plate, Hot Rolled Pickled and Oiled, and floor plate. Sue Harper, a 40-year veteran who carved her path in Inbound Shipping & Receiving, speaks from the heart about her work on the floor, “Helping my coworkers solve an issue or giving a customer the service that they expect is very rewarding, and knowing I have a hand in that brings a smile to my face.”

We’ve got a lot of love for this model branch in The Chi, and we admire their ‘all for one’ mentality around the shop. Help us give them a big round of applause, and stay tuned for more branch love.

Lauren Wiggins
Lauren is the Communications & Engagement Manager at Kloeckner Metals, spearheading different programs that facilitate conversation throughout the entire organization, while enhancing company reputation across digital mediums. Lauren has a background in experience in social media management, as well as copywriting for big brands from an ad agency position. She’s a graduate of the University of South Carolina, an AmeriCorps alumna, and a published storyteller.
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