These are tough times in our country and in the industry; however, as I look back, it’s clearly evident that the industry has been very good to many of us. The one thing I have noticed in the numerous shops that I have been fortunate enough to visit, is our industry’s involvement in the local community; not just in the owners through sponsorship, but in the employees working in the shops who coach teams, manage fundraisers, taxi carloads of kids to events and activities, and provide food for each and every game.
I want us to thank these great men and women who represent all of us, and make us proud to be a part of the tool and die family. Many of the shops are still family-owned and care about each family they represent. As I thought about these good people, I wanted to challenge all of us. What I have seen is that a reward more significant than money is demonstrated in the lives of these men and women and their success stories. Many shop owners, office staff, and especially the employees out on the floor, have made giving back to the community a priority.
Every year, thousands of dollars and tens of thousands of hours are spent on our youth through scholarships, hosting high school and college tours, the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and by sponsoring youth sports leagues. In addition, many give to charities including Toys for Tots, St. Jude’s, and the 1st Program (a national robotics competition), as well as many other great charities. All of this involves donating time, funds and equipment to our youth in the local schools and community colleges.
This is the good news about our mold building community, yet many people never hear about it. These business owners and industry leaders are not selfishly stuffing their pockets with million dollar bonuses, but are giving back to our community. Their bonus includes the trophies they proudly hang in the halls of their shops, the team pictures of kids in every kind of uniform, a congratulatory plaque for years of donating to cancer research, young men sitting in wheelchairs playing basketball, and a Thank You award for working in the positive community Anti-Drug Program.
I think we all should be very proud of the tool and die industry, its leaders, and employees who have always made a point to give back to the youth and others in our community. Please take a moment to show your appreciation to people around you who give and not just take. I hope this will challenge all of us, especially during our economic tough times, to be involved in helping others by donating our time and charitable resources now, and throughout our lives.
For more information from Kent Hanson call (616) 453-5451, e-mail KHanson@hsdie.com, visitwww.hsdie.com or visit www.moldmakingtechnology.com.