With locations across the country and Mexico, New Millennium Building Systems and its employees are in position to not only serve customers nationwide, but also help many communities and populations in need.
Giving back to the communities and the people in those communities who have welcomed you as a neighbor might be good business, but more importantly it is just good.
The efforts of New Millennium and its volunteers include working with local charities, collecting donations, making monetary contributions, and supporting skilled trades programs in high schools and community colleges.
In Lake City, Florida, the New Millennium team is involved in two local programs, giving back to the community in the form of participating in the Build My Future event and sharing expertise with high school students.
On Oct. 20, New Millennium sponsored and exhibited at the Columbia County Builders’ Association’s Build My Future program, a hands-on event that enables high-schoolers to experience skilled trades up close, meet technical school representatives and learn how to complete necessary certifications for various career paths.
Ben Pitchford, engineering manager, worked with students at the New Millennium booth and helped them put “chords in jigs, lay the webs and squeeze clamps.”
“We had the opportunity to interact with over 100 students and let them actually touch the steel and build a joist,” he says. “It was great to see so many students exposed to a wide array of career opportunities that exist in our community that do not necessarily require college education.”
Blake Landen, an engineering project lead, and Josh Sikes, a line supervisor, guided students as they assembled joists, step by step. Although students could not build a completed joist since steps like welding were not possible at the event, Landen and Sikes explained the process.
“We’re building anywhere from 300 to 800 of these a day,” Landen told students in a Lake City Reporter video, eliciting a “wow” from the audience.
Bryan Zecher, vice president at Columbia County Builders’ Association, says sponsors like New Millennium are essential to Build My Future, offering ideas, funding and organizational support.
“It is great to have the support of large corporations in small communities like ours,” Zecher says. “It is also important for companies like New Millennium to make the students in our community aware of opportunities locally.”
Elsewhere at Lake City, Lorenzo Jones, production manager, and Josh Roberts, quality control supervisor and certified welding inspector (CWI), serve on the advisory board for Florida Gateway College’s welding technology program. In their role as board members, Jones says they advise students and explain what New Millennium is looking for in employees. The Lake City plant also donates steel for students to use in the welding program.
A pandemic couldn’t stop the Memphis, Tennessee, team from continuing its relationship with United Way of the Mid-South. In the spring of 2020, New Millennium employees there collected food, clothing and other items for the United Way to go along with $13,000 in monetary donations.
“We are givers,” says Bob Hudson, general manager in Memphis. “We live in a city where there’s a lot of need. There are a lot of people that realize that and respond.”
Porter-Leath, a resource for at-risk children and families, is just one of the organizations working with the United Way that will directly benefit from the New Millennium donations. Since 1850, the non-profit has been empowering children and families to achieve a healthy, optimal and independent lifestyle.
“New Millennium has been a voice for people living in poverty by helping to ‘move people from where they are to where they dream to be,’” says Annette Knox, manager of annual giving at United Way of the Mid-South. “This team has gone above the call of duty to engage with the community on multiple levels.”
Although much of the organizing and planning around the campaign took place over video calls, the Memphis plant achieved a 70 percent participation rate.
“We have an extraordinarily giving team,” Hudson says.
As a result, for the second straight year, Memphis earned a Best of the Best award from United Way for having the highest percentage of employee participation among the city’s small businesses.
“While United Way is proud to work with corporations at all giving levels, our smaller companies like New Millennium seem to pour their passion into wanting to equally make a difference in the community in which we all live, work and play,” Knox says. “Our relationship with New Millennium has been priceless.”
Hudson says the Memphis plant’s next campaign will take place sometime in the spring of 2022.
Support the United Way of the Mid-South here.
Giving back to communities doesn’t necessarily involve collecting donations. Jim Rediger and the rest of the Butler, Indiana, team support the local high school’s welding program.
Rediger, a CWI and the quality control supervisor in Butler, lends his expertise to students in Eastside Junior/Senior High School. He has provided instruction, evaluated students’ welds, and tested them in their flat, horizontal and vertical up positions in accordance with the requirements of the American Welding Society.
“I test and evaluate welds for welder qualifications,” he says. “I have given some instruction to the students prior to and during the testing process to help them understand what they need to do or what they have done wrong.”
Rediger says giving the students the opportunity to learn a skilled trade can benefit them later in life as a career or hobby. As a whole, the Butler plant has donated steel for testing plates and welding practice as well as material for individual student projects. Other volunteers have built welding booths for the program.
“We are thankful to have the relationship with the school to further the education and ability of the students to excel in the classroom as well as in their life,” Rediger says.
Giving back is our most important project at New Millennium. Thank you to our employees nationwide who make donations, volunteer their time and introduce us to new opportunities to make a positive impact on the world around us.
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