Employees start their shift at Worthington Industries of Delta at all hours of the day and in various areas of work- many possibly never coming into contact with each other during their career at the steel manufacturer.
However, after hours, a handful of employees are brought together to by one common vision: to better both the Delta community and Fulton County area through the plant’s Community Involvement Committee (CIC).
First started in 2006 with a mission to help identify and decide potential community causes employees would like to support, Plant Operations Manager Jeff Leeper wanted to get employees involved in the decision-making process on how to best support the community, rather than leaving the decision to a few select managers- and it’s shown results.
“Having an employee-led committee that makes decisions on how we support the community has really driven employee engagement in our outreach efforts – they’ve done a wonderful job,” Leeper said.
The committee has taken on various projects throughout the year across Fulton County. They donated funds and helped construct Wauseon’s Imagination Kingdom Playground, provided highway clean-up, donated steel scrap to the Delta FFA Chapter to teach students welding skills, sponsored prizes at the Delta Chicken Festival, and donated to after-prom parties, youth sporting events, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, The Knot Hole Club, and 4-H Clubs to give safe and educational outlets for children.
Even with an impressive résumé, the CIC goes beyond donations and community events, but bolsters their success by including all of its employees in a friendly battle for the cause at hand.
“Our facility hosts a food and personal items drive during the holidays. Employees turn it into a contest with departments competing to see who can donate the most. Over the last three years, we’ve donated over 6,000 items to the Delta Community Outreach Food Pantry. The winning department’s ‘prize’ has been to boost the CIC donation to Toys for Tots, which has contributed $1,000-worth of gifts the last three years,” said Senior Communications Coordinator Brittany Smith.
Meeting monthly to review requests, determine financial gifts, and help coordinate volunteer opportunities, the employee-led committee is made up of Lab Technician Craig Armitage, Quality Engineer Lani Bolarinwa, Assistant Operator Troy Boze, Administrative Assistant Sonya Conners, Lab Technician Carrie “JoJo” Mull, and Maintenance Technician Desmond Yarnell.
“I’ve been a part of the Community Involvement Committee since we started. It really makes you proud to be part of a company that gives you the time and resources to give back,” said Committe Chair Carrie “JoJo” Mull.
Their next event is one of their largest and most meaningful. At the Fulton County Relay for Life, held June 9-10, 2017, the committee will again operate the Beef Stand and host an on-site, free-will donation taco bar. Many employees also choose to run the annual 5K at the event. All of this is done in memory of Jim Zickes, a 22-year employee or Worthington who passed away of pancreatic cancer in 2013. The committee’s efforts brought in $8,000 last year.
“Citizenship is an important part of our Company philosophy – through charitable contributions and volunteering, we do our best to improve the quality of life in the communities where our employees live and work,” Smith said.
Requests for donations and assistance through the CIC can be made through calling the office at (419) 822-2572 or by sending to Worthington Industries, 6303 County Road 10, Delta, OH 43515. However, they are unable to support individuals, religious organizations, ethnic organizations, labor groups, fraternal organizations, or any request seeking financial support for debt retirement.
Seemingly just a handful of employees who make and distribute steel in rural Fulton County, Worthington Industries’ Community Involvement Committee is anything but ordinary. Their efforts have renewed an era of corporate volunteerism and crystallized a habit of service, to a tune of $100,000, and countless lives touched, over the last decade; a legacy that continually expands daily.