The third annual American OEM Staff Appreciation Lunch recently took place at Turney Center Correctional Facility, the manufacturing location for American OEM. The celebration was started to recognize the efforts of the company’s 200 offender workforce and correctional officers for a year of hard work, and to ensure they feel a part of the American OEM family.
The management staff serves the offenders a home cooked meal of pulled pork and chicken, prepared by the company’s COO, Todd Braun. In order to feed the crew, Braun and a team of other employees will work for three full days to barbecue over 300 pounds of meat. Classic southern sides, like macaroni and cheese, collard greens and cole slaw complete the feast, which is the highlight of the year for the manufacturing workforce.
“Serving the staff is our way of showing them that their tremendous efforts throughout the year do not go unnoticed or unappreciated. They are fundamental members of our team, and without them, we could not be successful,” says Doug Van Nest, vice president of manufacturing.
Last year’s celebration included a motivational talk by U.S. veteran, Christian Brown, who has the company’s hardwood floors installed in the smart home he received from the Gary Sinise RISE Foundation. This year, American OEM will highlight key production milestones and show the workers and Department of Corrections staff a snapshot of company activities from other areas of the business – highlighting how the product is sold in market and how beautiful it is installed In actual projects.
“It is important to show our team how the job they do every day ties into other parts of our company and help make us successful” explains Allie Finkell, executive vice president. “Product photography, displays with our products at retail, and seeing the final product of trade show booths they built in the plant provide them with a big picture perspective that they would not otherwise be exposed to in their role.”
When questioned about his willingness to cook for 72 hours straight in humid July, Braun responds, “It would be infinitely easier to cater the BBQ, but I put in the work as a tip of my hat to all the unsung heroes whose efforts contribute to our success, day in and day out.”