With the sequestration in full effect and no sign of any deals anytime soon, companies are finding ways to cut costs in order to make the hefty profits pre-recession by outsourcing, automating, and downsizing, but one company refuses to do so. The story of Avedis Zildjian Company sounds like something of a myth especially since in its 390 year history of cymgal manufacturing has never laid off a worker at least in recent history. Instead of laying off employees, the company retrains them for a new position when their jobs are automated plus offers incentive pay for increase productivity. The CEO Craigie Zildjian told NBC about the relationship with workers explaining, “It comes down to trust doesn’t it? You take care of us, and we take care of you.” Being the oldest family owned business in the U.S., the Zildjian company made cymbals in Turkey during the Ottoman Empire, then in Massachusetts during the Great Depression and can trace their history to Avedis Zildjian who was an Armenina alchemist whose secret formula for metals created cymbals with such an entrancing sound that he was invited to live with the sultan in the palace according to AOL jobs. Today, the facotry in Norwell, Mass., is run by 14th generation embers of the family and the Zildjian cymbals have been used by everyone from 19th century composer Richard Wagner to big band drummer Gene Krupa and Ringo Starr. The company currently controls 65 percent of the cymbal market with Craigie Zildjian as CEO and her sister Debbie Zildjian as vice president of Human Resources. The company’s commitment to retraining employees for new jobs is in stark contrast to employers who have cut back on training for decades which increased during the recession leaving only 1 in 5 workers with new skills from employer provided training in the past five years, according to a recent survey. For the past fifteen years, the company has offered 125 employees incentive pay for greater productivity and accuracy which has lead to only two months in 15 years where employees haven’t received a bonus according to Debbie Zildjian. This explains why so many employees are lifers who have been with the company for decades. Zildjian has been inviting music legends to test out their products and help them innovate for decades and to this day they send good tidings and birthday wishes to their artists on their twitter account which almost has 50,000 followers. The company has evolved with time as Craigie and Debbie Zildjian are the first women to run the company. The company’s success may also be due to the special rules for family management which requires as BBC reports that no family member can report to another, everyone must have job experience, college degrees are required, and no spouses allowed.
There are so many things now in the news that bring tears to my eyes, but for once this story makes me feel hopeful for the future and that humanity is not completely gone in today’s empire of greedom. With debates or sequestration and gun control continue to make no progress at all, I am glad to see a bank take some of the major problems facing everyday Americans under their wing. Even with corporation’s own self interests at an all time high and squeezing the American for every last penny, its nice to see a company harken back to the days of the great depression at time not so different from now. At least someone can make a decision and find a way to help others get back on their feet as well as be rewarded for their efforts handsomely. What am I talking about? Let me explain.
Most people see banks as income sucking entities that only care about their bottom lines. However the problem with this analysis is in order to have a good bottom line they have to care about their customers who bring in the money to the bank. Well with any business it is important to care about the customer since its the company’s reputation that will be destroyed in the end. There are a range of mortgage relief options from the well intended to the deceptive and illegal, but one bank is offering a way to transform the lives of the unemployed mortgage customers who can’t make their payments. Fifth Third Bancorp based int he Midwest is offering 16 weeks of job assistance free to its customers who miss two consecutive mortgage payments due to unemployment reports the Chicago Tribune. The job assistance is coming from NextJob a Bend, Oregon based employment firm who provides one on one coaching and job search software. Since the housing market burst in 2008, unemployment has soared causing many jobless homeowners to struggle and lenders to step in to help them. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac began offering and extending temporary reprieves from mortgage payments, but for many that these solution are short term and many home counselors say long term solutions are needed. During the program’s trial last year, 11 of the 28 partcipants found work by the end of the six months nearly 40 percent. The Fifth Third group believes it is smart business since the job search only cost $1,500 per person compared to the $40,000 to $60,000 that banks lose when a home is foreclosed on and unemployment is the main problem causing people to default. NextJob has expanded its job finding capabilities beyond just finding help for employees laid off by employers. The company also has two 40 foot buses filled with computer stations that they park in undeserved communities to offer financial help. “Job loss, followed by the loss of one’s home, is severely damaging to individuals and families,” NextJob’s CEO John Courtney said while speaking about his new multiyear contract with Fifth Third Bank. “This program is a simple but big idea and it’s time has come for the banking industry.”
I could not have said it better myself. I encourage everyone to listen to the words and think really hard about their lives. This video encompasses what my blog is about the heart of everything. What would you do if money didn’t matter? This is the key to happiness but only you can unlock it. I hope that the young to the old will find inspiration in the words and go on a journey to find your happiness because in the end that is all we have that is constant yet ever changing. Inspiration can be found everywhere you just have to be willing to listen and follow your dreams.
Why not be smart about it whether legal or illegal? I think Washington state is taking a smart approach to the legalization of marijuana in the state. In Tacoma, Washington, state officials are looking for a green thumb with extensive knowledge of the black, or at least gray, market according to Huff Post. The state is trying to figure out how to regulate legalized marijuana, so why not hire an advisory on all things weed really from how to grow, dry, test, label, package and profit even make brownies. Hey take a page out of our foreign neighbors who have become pros at this…I am talking to you Amsterdam. On Wednesday, Tacoma saw its fair share of flannel and ponytails even men in suits and out of towners vying for the position as a pot consultant. The Liquor Control Board, the agency developing rules for the marijuana industry, reserved a convention hall for the state bidding expert to take questions about the new position. A pot related conviction is fine, but a heinous felony would not be acceptable. Washington and Colorado were the first this fall to legalize the recreational use of marijuana and have already started setting up systems for licensed growers, processors, and retail stores where anyone over 21 can buy an ounce of the heavily taxed product. Hey Obama maybe you should take a page from this and realize that people are going to use it anyway so why not collect some money instead of paying out money to fight something that is going to happen anyway. While planning is underway, the exact number of stores and growers is unclear as well as testing the pot to make sure no one gets sick. Sales will begin in December in Washington. The board has advertised in four categories for consulting services including product development, quality testing, regulations, and statistical analysis. The state is hoping for one contract but if that is not possible they will award multiple contracts in order to get the best expertise. The bids are due by Feb. 15, but the contract will not be awarded til March. Whoever wins the bid cannot also have a state license to grow, process, or sell it as it would be a conflict of interest, but once the contract is up they can apply. State and federal governments are missing out on a great revenue opportunity to help with the deficits most states and the federal government are trying to deal with right now.
Really really important you read this article because we are all about to be screwed over by our so called government. This article will explain 10 ways your money will be affected if our government doesn’t come to a deal before Dec 31. Good luck to everyone because we are going to need it if no deal is made. The selfishness of certain government officials will affect the young to the old, the taxes you pay, the size of your paycheck, unemployment benefits, jobs, and government aid. I encourage everyone to get involved because this is what happens when we let the government dictate our lives and the only interest they have is their own.
Some good news in this turbulent economic climate. It is a bit of relief but hopefully they stick to the deal and do what they say they are going to do. For more details on this click the link and tell me what you think.