At Southwire, headquartered in Carrollton, Georgia, we work hard every day to discover, develop and distribute strong and sustainable solutions that exceed the expectations of our stakeholders around the world. We continue to build on our nearly seven decades of rich history by looking to a future where needs will be met through high-end systems and solutions, guided by the technologies, forces and trends shaping our industry.
One of North America’s leading manufacturers of wire and cable, we now have more than 7,800 employees who work in one of our 34 plants, 10 customer service centers or our sales and support offices across the globe.
Our commitment is to remain generationally-sustainable for the next 100 years and beyond. This goes beyond not only selling the best quality products at the lowest cost, but encompasses all of the areas that we believe create a sustainable business — Growing Green through our efforts to reduce our environmental footprint, Living Well by focusing on the safety, health and overall satisfaction our people, Giving Back through service to our communities, Doing Right by keeping ethical practices at the forefront of all aspects of our business and Building Worth for all of our stakeholders.
So, how are we doing this? Like many in our industry, we are considering and developing programs and strategies to address the impact of megatrends, especially the skilled trade shortage on the future of our business.
Long ago, we made the decision to require our employees to have a high school diploma. Sounds simple, but in the early 2000s, the graduation rate in our largest area of operations was around 66 percent. Our labor pool was shrinking, and there were social and economic challenges in the community. So, we went to the school system and asked how we could help; we wanted to support a transformation in our community.
These ideas and discussions paved the way for 12 for Life®, a partnership with local school systems, inspiring at-risk students to earn wages by working in a Southwire manufacturing facility while completing high school. The program has graduated and changed the lives of more than 2,900 students, some of whom continue to work at Southwire and some who have gone on to pursue post-secondary education, military service or other occupations. In that same time, the county’s graduation rates have improved to above the national average, helping us sustain a larger potential workforce in the community.
And, 12 for life is not the only way we are working to meet the growing need for talent. Our company invests in STEM education at the high school level through our Southwire Engineering Academy, and we have strong and vibrant partnerships with universities and technical colleges in the places we call home. We also work with national apprenticeship programs, supporting them with time, resources and dollars to encourage further education in skilled trades.
Inspiring the next generation of our workforce is a major piece of how we will remain sustainable, but we must never take our eye off of taking care of those who already call Southwire a great place to work. Building Organizational Capability is one of the key components of our company’s strategy, and it is vital that we make the right decisions as we continually enhance Southwire’s great culture.
In the course of the last two years, we were pleased to reinvest approximately nine million dollars back into the lives, and pockets, of our employees as a result of recent tax reform. In addition to one-time employee bonuses, we expanded our parental leave policy and took steps to strengthen our commitment to education, skilled trade development, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs and diversity in the workplace. Through this same investment, we were able to provide 64 hourly employees with the opportunity to continue their education through the Bridge Scholarship Program.
Southwire was recently acknowledged for the second consecutive year by Forbes as one of America’s Best Employers for 2019, ranking #114 on the list of 500 top businesses!
So, you can see, we’re growing, and we’re ever-searching, ever-seeking and ever-committed to create those strong and sustainable solutions that will take us from good to great — both for the present and in the future.
Southwire Tools & Equipment is one of the foremost providers of electrical cable in the United States. Their seven decades of experience in the construction industry gives them great insights into the world of electrical contracting.