Katie Warner, a Kris-Tech ERP specialist, provides school supplies from the company’s parking lot.
Kris-Tech is a niche wire manufacturer, but it has a broad sense of mutual trust for employees, customers and community. Below, Wendy Calabrese, director of employee engagement, discusses how that mindset translates to its community in Rome, New York.
Back-to-school can be a difficult time for families in the Mohawk Valley. But sometimes, a little kindness, a handful of volunteers, and a mission to support the community are all it takes to make a significant difference in their lives.
It was a gloomy, humid August morning, but cars started lining up nearly an hour before the gates opened for our “Hungry for Education” giveaway. By the time our team handed out the first backpack stuffed with school supplies, more than 60 cars were stretched around the corner.
The community spirit has never been lost on our Kris- Tech team. When I first asked for volunteers, we had an incredible outpouring of support and had to tell some team members that we had enough help. Eight people stuffed more than $150 worth of school supplies into each backpack. There were 500 backpacks in total. Another 10 employees helped collect food and distribute supplies as part of an assembly line in the Kris-Tech parking lot. All told, nearly $40,000 worth of school supplies were given to needy families, and the Salvation Army’s pantry received about three months of food.
We live, work and play in this community, from working with local schools to getting their school supply lists to ensuring every parent who showed up had everything their child needs to be successful, it’s part of Kris-Tech’s DNA to give back. We love this community and want to do everything possible to help it thrive.
This isn’t an uncommon scene for our team. It’s only the latest in a long series of events Kris-tech has hosted to support our community. Two years ago, we hosted a “Drive ‘n Dine” food drive. For a bag of groceries, donors were awarded a $100 gift card to one of 35 local restaurants.
By day’s end, we gave out $50,000 worth of gift cards while collecting enough food to keep the Salvation Army’s pantry stocked for four months.
Sometimes our efforts go far beyond Rome. The company has donated 16,000 ft of custom cable to two non-profit organizations to help build water purification systems in Kenya.
Kris-Tech feels obligated to do more than just pocket profits. We make monthly donations to local causes based on performance. We have a mission to support our team members and community because they make us who we are.
Manufacturers GIVING BACK
This is part 5 of Wire Journal International's first-ever feature presenting 16 manufacturers that have given back to their communities: hundreds others could just as easily have been here. Each entry has a unique story, yet the common thread is the people—of all ranks—who care about their companies as well as their communities. Big volunteer efforts deserve applause, but so do smaller ones as they all head in the same direction. In a time when there is seldom a lack of daunting news, one can take pride in the industry spirit.
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Looking for other parts of this feature series?
Hitachi Cable America (now Proterial Cable America), Viakable, Acme Wire Products, High-Performance Conductors (HPC), Kris-Tech, Allied Wire, Ulbrich Stainless Steels & Special Metals, Inc., Cerrowire, Belden, Fort Wayne Metals, Optimus Steel, Prysmian, Minnesota Wire, Southwire, Service Wire, Alloy Wire International
> Employer alert! Volunteers make for a better workforce.
> How can a small business start a ‘giving back’ program?