Give Back: Caster Concepts Gives Back Through Caster Cares

Caster Cares was born because the Caster Concepts company was already so proactive about helping the community of Albion, Michigan. They thought it only made sense to put a name to their efforts, invite volunteers and employees to join, and make an even more significant difference. Years after its conception, Caster Cares has made a world of difference to many people.

Recently, the Michigan Public Service Commission named Caster Concepts Inc. a recipient of the 2022 Corporate Impact Award. A few of their many efforts include launching Innovate Albion, a tech nonprofit that educates local kids and teenagers about STEM topics and robotics. They’ve developed the curricula, and the program has made its way into local elementary schools. In addition, they redeveloped a three-story building in town that has been around for 100 years. This building is where Innovate Albion is, and it includes classrooms, an engineering lab and a robotics field. It’s one of three of its kind in the whole state of Michigan.

Another notable work of Caster Cares is the Swingin’ at the Shell summer concert series. The crew realized there was no community get-together event for Albion where families could enjoy a pleasant evening outdoors listening to music. Eighteen years later, the Victory Park Bandshell has hosted over 150 concerts. Caroline Hurteau, special projects manager at Caster Concepts, has said they’ve watched children grow into teenagers and see their families return year after year.

Most of their projects are reactive rather than planned out. They see a need and fill it rather than sticking to their agenda, and that’s what makes them so unique. Hurteau says they ask, “Why doesn’t Albion have this?” and they make it a reality.

Caster Cares has received awards and recognition, but Bill Dobbins, president of Caster Concepts, emphasizes the focus on people first.

“I appreciate the opportunity to tell our story. Not because we think we deserve credit, but we think that hopefully we set an example, and somebody else can say, ‘You know, we could do something like that.’ And so somewhere along the line, it moves somebody else to get involved. I think that’s part of what comes out of what we do,” Dobbins said. “Our focus is social impact investing and through actions and use of our resources to make a difference in our community.”