Our People

Transforming a Job into a Career

It was the appeal of working with her hands that drove Suzi Coulter to apply for a job on the Cylinders team at Worthington Industries in 1984. She heard the company was hiring temporary workers and thought it would be a welcome change from working in restaurants.

While it took some persistence to be considered for what at that point was considered a man’s job—at the time there weren’t even any women’s bathrooms on the plant floor—she joined the packaging line, and some time later was recommended for a permanent position by the Employee Council.

Wearing a beanie and a flannel shirt, Suzi may have looked just like one of the guys, but according to her foreman, that’s where the comparison stopped. “One day, when Mr. McConnell stopped by, my foreman said to him, ‘She works circles around these guys,’” she recalled. 

Finding Her Place

Suzi’s team welcomed her right into their circle. At first it was helping her learn her way around the plant, but soon they were teaching her to play golf—a popular off-work activity for the group—and now, decades later, even after moving off the plant floor, Suzi describes them as family.

In addition to the packaging line, Suzi worked on the paint line, she sanded and capped and spud welded. “I was in the best shape of my life,” she said.

I’ve seen the business from many angles. Every job I had, I’m grateful I had it because that knowledge, things I didn’t even realize I was learning, helps me do my job today.

New Opportunities

One day a supervisor asked her to move to the annealing department at the Worthington Steel Columbus facility. She worked there five years loading and unloading annealing bases. While she liked the job, this meant changing shifts, which was a challenge while raising her son.   

That’s when Suzi decided to seek out a job in the office, so she could work day shifts. She was promoted to hot sheet coordinator and inside sales, where she worked about 10 years, eventually becoming a lead person in Sales. She then went to demand planning before landing in her current role as an outside processing coordinator.

“I worked as a coordinator, dealing with certain processors. From there I went to purchase order creation. Then I kind of built my own niche working with accounts payable (AP) and processor invoicing. Every processor has a different system, so I work with AP to make sure these folks get paid. It’s really interesting because now I get to see more of the financial side of the business,” Suzi said.

Our People

Suzi has seen and experienced a lot of changes at Worthington Steel in her 40 years here. In addition to the evolution of her own role in the business, she’s noticed the positive impact of new technology and increased employee benefits.

What hasn’t changed, said Suzi, is the culture. “I don’t know how we do it, but all through my career, we have had really great folks here."

“I’ve got one picture of our sales office from 15-20 years ago and I laugh because some of these people are still here,” she said. “The people here are like family. It’s just like talking to your brother or your sister, and these are the people you tap into for your job, so it’s even better, a win-win.”

And sometimes the joy is just the little things people do for each other. Suzi recalled one summer day back when she was working in annealing. “It was really hot where we were working, and then you add in that it was summer, and it was just crazy hot. But then Mr. McConnell came through the annealing bay in a golf cart with cold pop for all of us,” she said.

I don’t know how we do it, but all through my career, we have had really great folks here.

Reflecting on Four Decades at Worthington

Now, after four decades at Worthington Steel, Suzi talks about how retirement is in her near future. She’s thinking about traveling, seeing her family, fixing up her house, and taking care of her cats—but she still loves working here. 

“I got the job and found that the company was—and still is—amazing. The people were incredible. Our Golden Rule has always been to treat others like you want to be treated. And that’s why I’m still here today,” Suzi said.