DeWys Manufacturing Inc. - 2019 MFG Community Impact

DeWys Manufacturing is a manufacturer that gets it. Through their in-house culture, their philanthropic and volunteer efforts in the community and a deep-seeded partnership with West Michigan’s K-12 system, community colleges and universities, DeWys is a prime example of how manufacturers can combine good business with outstanding community service and stewardship.

“We are a family owned company that prides itself on being a part of the community and of giving back,” said Laura Preuss, DeWys Manufacturing’s workforce development manager. “It’s not just a gimmicky conversation tool. We’re embedded into West Michigan because it’s a fundamental piece of who we are.”

“Our mission includes ‘bettering our stakeholder’s experience by how we A.C.C.T.’ and that stands for Advancement, Character, Customer Astonishment and Talent — the basis behind all the service work and educational initiatives that our team is a part of,” explained Bridgette Crawley, DeWys’ marketing coordinator. “We have a team who embodies the cultural characteristics that can leave a positive imprint on each other and on everyone they come in contact within their day-to-day lives, both here and in the community.”

Working as a team allows for continual encouragement, challenges and rewards to inspire innovative work and well-rounded support.

The company’s A.C.C.T. program allows for individual team members to nominate each other for awards highlighting the ways they are giving back and making a difference. Team members have been recognized for helping veterans outside of work, inviting co-workers into their homes when they needed a place to stay, donating money to a family at church or returning lost items found around the facility.

These small acts lead to a culture shift that shows itself in how they conduct their business: greater customer satisfaction, longer lasting relationships and more repeat business. This focus on helping others also ripples through the community.

Through volunteerism, DeWys has assisted in Kids Food Basket, Habitat for Humanity, Adopt-A-Family, companywide food drives, the local 4-H program and HQ, a drop-in center that provides meals, laundry, showers, employment, educational resources, a computer lab and other basic needs to young adults who experience unsafe or unstable housing.

“DeWys really strives to help individuals and families in need whenever and wherever they can,” said Ryan Crandell, a member of DeWys’ innovation team. “When we have the chance to give back, I think it really strengthens the bonds of our team and drives home the culture we’re trying to build.”

Always looking to the future, the company is also on the forefront of efforts to boost awareness about manufacturing careers and shatter the outdated perceptions that still haunt the industry. Over the last 10 years, DeWys has formed partnerships with Ferris State University, Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids Community College, Muskegon Community College, Muskegon Area ISD, Kent ISD, Coopersville High School, Kenowa Hills High School and throughout the local K-12 systems. They are also vocal on talent-based groups like Talent 2025 and Discover Manufacturing.

“We provide internship opportunities in everything from engineering and welding to IT and accounting — manufacturing encompasses so much more than just what you see on the shop floor; it’s truly full of opportunities for everyone,” said company CEO, Jon DeWys. “Receiving this award is something we’re all honored by because we understand that community begins at home. Manufacturers must look beyond themselves and to the next generation — both future workers and their community. It’s not just the right thing to do; it’s something we need to do.”

The MFG Community Impact Award recognizes a manufacturing company that has shown exemplary leadership in serving its community or state, and is an example of the involved and giving nature of manufacturers. The award is presented at the annual MFG Excellence Awards in November.