Not only does Estwing have passionately loyal customers, they also have loyal employees. The company recently recognized three such employees for achieving 25 years of service in 2023—Dobrivoj Kljaic, Jose Laguna and Robert Lewis—bringing the total of current employees with 25+ years of service to 46.
Each year, Estwing hosts a dinner honoring current and retired employees who have joined this exclusive club. And this year’s recognition event took on special significance as part of the iconic tool manufacturer’s 100-year anniversary celebration.
Dobrivoj is a machine operator who started at Estwing as a temporary employee.
“When I started here, everything was difficult for me, because my English was not good,” he said. “[Estwing] was my work and school, because I learned English at work.”
Robert Lewis is a vinyl sander who never imagined he’d still be with Estwing when he started 25 years ago.
“I had that young mindset thinking I wasn’t going to be here that long,” he said. “But it was a good learning experience. Once you get into it and learn the job, it’s pretty fun. It’s been lovely working here.”
And it’s not just the paycheck that keeps these Estwing employees around for decades. Dobrivoj says Estwing feels like a second home thanks to his coworkers, “I have a lot of friends here. All us old guys, we stick together, we work together, we hang out together, and we celebrate together.”
“Everybody gets along. When you have that good camaraderie with your coworkers, that makes it fun,” Robert said. “We all kind of help and support each other.”
Like Estwing customers, Estwing employees care about the quality of their workmanship, especially those who have made it a life-long career.
“You have to respect every job here, doesn’t matter what you do,” Dobrivoj said. “It’s not just a piece of steel, it’s a lifetime tool.”
“There are a lot of jobs around here that challenge you,” Robert said. “But it’s all about taking pride in what you’re doing. It’s about making sure we do a good job for our customers.”