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Manufacturing Good Jobs in America

Manufacturing firms often don’t equate good jobs to good business. They push for low labor costs and high productivity. But employees don’t need to suffer for the bottom line – some manufactures have created a win-win business model.
Marlin Steel Wire, a metal manufacturing firm in Baltimore, is a testament to the employee-employer win. President Drew Greenblatt has figured out how to train and retain his employees, while motiving them to produce high-quality work.
According to Drew, “My real job is picking great talent, giving them clearly defined
objectives, giving them the tools, investing in their training, and then getting the
heck out of their way.” Drew employs simple tactics to train and motivate his employees, including:
• The Skills Matrix: A simple spreadsheet to show which employees have learned different skills at Marlin. The Matrix fosters motivation and versatility, rewarding employees for mastering new machinery. Cross training employees helps Marlin push production forward and remove potential bottlenecks because skills are spread across the workforce.
• Production Bonus: An incentive program that gives employees cash bonuses if they hit their production goals. This wealth-sharing model incorporates employee success with the company’s success. Employees can increase their weekly pay by 10-40%, which keeps them motivated to produce quality and timely work.
These tactics to invest in employees have helped Marlin grow for eight straight years. Marlin has ranked as one of the fastest-growing businesses located in America’s inner cities for the last two years, growing revenues an average of 11% from 2005-2012. In fact, Marlin’s business practices have inspired other small
businesses trying to position themselves for growth.
The Hitachi Foundation also took notice of Marlin Steel Wire. The foundation firmly believes that companies can do well by doing good, and recognizes “pioneer employers,” who strategically invest in lower-wage workers. The Hitachi Foundation recently named Marlin Steel Wire as a Pioneer Employer in the manufacturing sector. Watch this video to learn more about how Marlin has successfully aligned the interests of employees and management to create better results for entire communities.


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