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Healthy Companies Beget Healthy Employees

By: Brad Kuvin

Friday, April 01, 2011
 
Or is it vice-versa? Which came first, chicken or egg? If you look at the website of The Hitachi Foundation, which supports “business practices that create tangible, enduring economic opportunities for low-wealth Americans, their families and the communities in which they reside,” you might find information that helps answer the question. The foundation believes that actions of businesses directly impact societal well-being.

To prove it, and to convince companies that they can make an impact, the foundation developed the Pioneer Employers Initiative. Through this initiative, it’s seeking to tell the stories of businesses across several industries whose “innovative strategies benefit shareholders and lower-wage workers,” not just white-collar workers.

Equally important: Can the building of a highly engaged workforce actually give companies a competitive advantage, and support profitability? I say “yes” to that question, and I’m sure you’ll agree.

Why am I bringing the Pioneer Employers Initiative to light here? Well, I’m proud to announce that the PMA Educational Foundation (PMAEF) has received a grant from The Hitachi Foundation to seek out and publicize “pioneering companies” in the metalforming industry. Such companies exhibit innovative business and human capital practices that create tangible opportunities for low-wage workers, while protecting and even enhancing their bottom line. Companies earning such recognition from PMAEF will receive a Metalforming Pioneer Award, and also will be recognized via an article in MetalForming magazine. Further recognition will come when these magazine articles are repurposed on various industry websites and developed into presentations to be featured at follow-up live events, roundtables and webinars.

The Hitachi Foundation has done this in other industries, and the results are impressive if not downright inspiring. For example, consider NewAge Industries, Southampton, PA, a $22 million manufacturer of industrial tubing and disposable pharmaceutical processing systems. Here’s a stirring quote from its president, Ken Baker:

“Our deep investment in employee development and our incentive pay structures are key to fostering great team behavior. It puts the responsibility on all employees to be responsible for the wellbeing of the organization and for their own pay. Everybody is locked together, creating and sharing the wealth.”

Okay, ready for the punchline? Here it is: If Mr. Baker’s quote sounds like a good description of your company and its workforce initiatives, please consider participating in this case-studies project. To learn more, contact PMAEF executive director Dave Sansone: dsansone@pma.org; 216/901-8800. Let’s explain to the world the business case made by metalformers for investing in the training and development of the manufacturing workforce.

 


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