A few weeks ago I toured the Henniges plant with Ronnie Cross. Henniges employs 300-350 people in our area. The fact that this plant exists in Frederick, Oklahoma is a huge honor. It is amazing to think that each new Chevy pick-up, lots of Cadillac’s and other types of cars are all made possible by a plant in Frederick.
Cross gave me the grand tour, explaining each process and method to me. I saw the raw rubber that comes in to the plant from Iowa, turn into compressed, long rubber pieces, a process called “excursion.” These long rubber pieces are formed to a specific part and that part is then taken to a place where they drill holes in it, add clips and color coating if needed. These parts are then inspected, tested and eventually shipped out across the world.
As we walked throughout the plant I was impressed with the relationship Cross seemed to have with his employees. He knew everyone by name and they knew him. The workers all seemed to be happy and content doing their assigned tasks. No one was over exhorted and the general atmosphere was chipper and relaxed.
Before my tour I had thought of the workers at Henniges as people who either liked working long, hard hours, or as people who weren’t interested in working at all. After my tour, I see the workers of Henniges as very skilled individuals. Consistent and detailed in the particular labor. Their jobs fascinated me and gave me a sense of respect for the commitment these people have to excellence. Besides that, how cool is it to say you work on projects that are distributed around the world, into thousands of cars daily?
We need to appreciate our Henniges employees more. They work long hours without much interaction in the community. As the chamber, we want to make sure these employees feel welcomed, loved and appreciated when they are inside the walls of our town. What can we do to show respect to our neighbors at Henniges? Surely everyone has a friend or relative who works at the plant. Give them an encouraging word today.