Manufacturing employee Melissa Lindsay on June 20 testified before the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections on the importance of a flexible and caring work environment for families. Lindsay is the bookkeeper for Marlin Steel Wire Products, a small manufacturer of wire baskets, hooks, rack hooks and wire forms used by Caterpillar, Boeing and Toyota.
"After giving birth to my first child, I made the decision to work part-time," Lindsay said. "I feel blessed that Marlin's President Drew Greenblatt found me and that I now have a job that allows me to be there for my family and to build a company that provides good jobs to its employees and makes good products for its clients. Without the family friendly atmosphere of Marlin Steel Wire, my husband and I wouldn't be able to raise our daughter the way we want to."
Lindsay also recounted other benefits which colleagues at Marlin enjoy, including 401(k) contributions, telecommuting, vacation time, tuition benefits and flexible leave.
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) top labor expert, Jason Straczewski, said Lindsay's comments are representative of manufacturing as a whole, and demonstrate that employer flexibility -- flexibility to choose the benefits that are best for each company and their employees -- is vital to workplace success.
"Good companies recognize that their employees are their best assets, but employers and employees need to work together to design flexible benefit packages. We are grateful the committee addressed the benefit for a balance in work-home life, but would also like to stress the critical part employer's play in the process," Straczewski said.