Last year, Cormetech’s team building and training exercise led the employees there to put together 20 children’s bicycles that were distributed to families who were affected by the April 27, 2011, tornadoes in Bradley County. The donations were coordinated through United Way of Bradley County and the Long-Term Recovery Organization.
This year, Cormetech is again working with United Way to help clients of one of the agency’s partners, the Home-Delivered Meals program. Cormetech employees built 20 rocking chairs to be handed out to these homebound individuals who receive food through the program.
“We have been able to partner with the United Way in the past, and in the spirit of community giving, we wanted to do so again and find a project that would not only be enriching to our employees, but to those receiving the product of our team exercise,” said Director of Operations and Development Denise Rice of the Cleveland facility.
Teams of four or five employees were developed to put together the chairs, which were purchased in packets from Cracker Barrel. Each team member was given a specific duty, and without that person carrying out that specific job, the chairs couldn’t be built correctly.
“I was on a team, and strangely enough, they put me in charge of supervising the group,” Rice joked. “They said I was the perfect person to be the supervisor.”
Last year, Cormetech had several employees affected by the tornadoes, so it was a no-brainer to do something that would help those in need from the April storms.
“This year, our HR department got together with United Way, and I don’t know if it was Matt’s (United Way president and CEO Matt Ryerson) or Patrick’s (United Way vice president of community impact) idea, but it worked out well,” Rice said. “This is a perfect way we can give back to the community that has been so good to us.”
The chairs will be distributed to several of the Home-Delivered Meals clients in the next week. Faye Goldston, who coordinates the program for the Bradley-Cleveland Community Services Agency, said the clients receiving the chairs “... will be so happy.”
“We have had churches donate sweaters and blankets, and our clients are so excited when they are given to them,” Goldston said. “These rocking chairs will be such a big blessing to them.”
Ryerson said Cormetech is a loyal United Way supporter and partner. He said this is not only evident in the company’s team-building project to help United Way agency clients, but in the United Way campaign held at the local plant.
“They continue to amaze us with the dedication of their employees in helping others,” he said. “Not only do they do a great fundraising campaign, they have many who volunteer on various United Way panels. We are very appreciative of all that they do for our community.”
Rice was proud that giving to United Way by Cormetech employees increased this year, not only in money donated but in employee participation in the campaign. “We really do value this partnership,” she said.
This is the sixth year this type of training exercise has been conducted at the Cleveland plant. Rice said that it not only improves camaraderie at the facility, but helps the employees to learn more about different departments within the plant.
By putting together a product, it helps to stress the importance of quality, and leads the employees to be even more aware that what is produced at Cormetech needs to be of the highest quality possible.
One of the special parts of this year’s project is that some Cormetech employees will have the opportunity to be with the Home-Delivered Meals drivers when they deliver the rocking chairs. It is hoped that each delivery will include someone from Cormetech in the group.
It is hoped that all chairs will be delivered to Home-Delivered Meals clients by Thanksgiving.
“We hope that those who receive these chairs will know that they were put together by men and women here at Cormetech who have caring hearts, and want to help those who need help,” Rice said.