Family atmosphere essential to company

First Posted: 12/24/2014

BLUFFTON — “Family” means 85 employees to Diamond Manufacturing in Bluffton.

The family-owned metalworking company strives to make every employee feel like a part of its family.

The owner, Tom Langhals, bought the company, previously named Diamond Machine and Manufacturing, in 2010 and moved it from Delphos to Bluffton, changing the name to Diamond Manufacturing of Bluffton LTD.

In the 210,000-square foot building on East Jefferson Street, employees take raw steel and tubing and turn it into automotive racking for large automotive companies to transport vehicle parts from manufacturing plants to assembly plants, Langhals said.

Two of his four children work there every day, helping run the metalworking company and promote a family atmosphere.

The atmosphere is so important to Langhals’ daughter, administrative manager Tammy Whitlow, that she asks applicants about it during their interview.

“(I ask) if they’ve ever worked for a family-owned company,” she said. “I think people who work here actually do enjoy that atmosphere. They feel part of the family.”

Brian Langhals, Tom’s son and the facilities manager, appreciates the family atmosphere as well, as it makes him want to go to work each day.

“Every day is a challenge,” he said. “I always do like a challenge.”

The atmosphere also translates to an emphasis on teamwork and a passion for giving second chances.

The company employs mostly welders, but it also has machine operators, design engineers, assemblers, coaters and material handlers. Each employee works as a part of a team on a line.

“We have a very good workforce, and they understand what needs to be done and what has to be done. They work together in these groups and these lines,” said Gene Heitmeyer, general manager at the company.

Beyond teamwork, Langhals wants his employees to feel an ownership of what they’re doing “so at the end of the day they have pride in what they accomplished,” he said.

He also believes in giving second chances.

“Everybody made mistakes in their life,” he said. “I just feel as though there’s a lot of people out there who can change their lives to the better if you just give them a second chance.”

The company works with the WORTH Center to employ some former inmates.

“I think Tom has been doing [this] all his life,” Heitmeyer said. “He’s been giving people a second chance for a long time.”

Employees just have “to have the willingness to learn and listen and show up,” Whitlow said.

The company is almost always looking for welders. The starting yearly rate is around $20,000, and pay goes as high as $60,000 a year.

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