Members Give Back: WireCrafters and Carolina Handling


Empowers Future Welders at Pleasure Ridge Park High School

By Nicole Needles

In a bid to address hiring challenges and provide local high school students with valuable skills beyond the classroom, WireCrafters, a leading manufacturer, has partnered with Pleasure Ridge Park High School (PRP) to support its welding program. Chad Anglin, the operations manager at WireCrafters, is the head of the program and shares his insights on the motivations behind this initiative and the positive impact it has had on both the company and the students. The decision to collaborate with PRP stemmed from WireCrafters’ dual challenge of recruiting qualified candidates and the desire to offer their employees opportunities beyond work.

“So it was actually kind of a kind of a twofold problem we had. We were having trouble getting qualified candidates in here and getting welders in place,” said Anglin. “Also, I heard some rumblings from a couple of my guys that as much as they enjoyed work, they wanted something more in life, something that added value outside of just work.”

Anglin shared that the partnership was a strategic move to bring in young talent while giving experienced welders at WireCrafters the chance to mentor. Through this collaboration, WireCrafters actively participates in PRP’s welding program, with its team of welders regularly visiting the school to teach techniques and welding settings and share insights on professional welding.

Beyond the technical aspects, WireCrafters contributes to the curriculum, ensuring that students are equipped with the knowledge and skills essential for success in the welding industry. Anglin emphasized the importance of broadening students’ perspectives, including insights into workdays, break times and even the development of curriculum on lean manufacturing to provide students with a competitive edge in the industry.

Anglin, as the driving force behind the program, expressed his passion for helping students discover alternative paths to success.

“College isn’t for everybody, and you can have a successful career without it. We tell kids that you don’t have to go to college to have a successful career. But which kids do we celebrate? The ones that go to college, get signing days and get scholarships,” Anglin shared. “So I was passionate about the fact that we could show these kids a path forward. We could show them that if they want to go to college, that’s outstanding. If you don’t, here’s a skill that you can make a very reliable living.”

Looking ahead, Anglin envisions the program expanding its reach and impact. He shared ambitious goals of increasing the percentage of their welding workforce from the program, reaching out to more students beyond welding and ultimately seeing program graduates take on leadership roles within the initiative.

WireCrafters’ commitment to community engagement goes beyond the welding program. Anglin highlighted the company’s involvement in Boys and Girls Haven, where employees volunteer to support various needs of the facility. Additionally, the company actively participates in the Toys for Tots toy drive during Christmas, showcasing a consistent dedication to giving back.

“The community takes care of us. We owe a debt to make sure we make this community as strong as we possibly can,” Anglin said.

Carolina Handling’s Sweet Gesture

A Pie Toss on National Whipped Cream Day Raises Funds for Ronald McDonald House

By Nicole Needles

Carolina Handling took a unique approach to fundraising in 2023, recently sharing its success online on National Whipped Cream Day. The company wide initiative was staged to raise funds for six Ronald McDonald Houses throughout its territory, aligning with their commitment to giving back.

“We embrace every opportunity to give back to our community and we include a philanthropy project as part of every companywide event. It’s especially meaningful when our industry peers want to extend our efforts and support an organization that is so special to our associates and our company,” said Donna Waldrep, director of marketing.

The innovative fundraising idea unfolded during the company’s fiscal year kickoff event in April, where associates purchased 2,552 pies at $5 each to toss at their managers and leaders. The company then matched these contributions, resulting in an impressive $25,520 raised for the Pies for a Purpose campaign. The decision to support the Ronald McDonald House, an organization providing accommodations and meals for families with children in nearby hospitals, seamlessly aligned with Carolina Handling’s philanthropic direction.

Beyond financial contributions, Carolina Handling has established a broader partnership with Ronald McDonald House by participating in volunteer activities, such as cleanup days and cooking meals. In Charlotte, the company implemented a Raymond Lean Management project, enhancing the efficiency of the Ronald McDonald House’s space.

Notably, Carolina Handling’s commitment to giving back extends beyond financial contributions. The company embraces philanthropy projects in every companywide event, including the MHEDA Regional Networking Summit, where busy kits for the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte were assembled.

The motivation behind Carolina Handling’s dedication to community service lies in its core values of service and caring, instilled since the company’s founding in 1966.

“Being an Elite Serving Organization begins with caring about our fellow associates and making teamwork a fundamental part of our company culture,” Waldrep said. “By making caring an intentional part of our day, we ensure that we respond promptly and effectively to our customers and give back in meaningful ways to the communities where we work and live.”

The support for Ronald McDonald House holds personal significance for Carolina Handling, as several associates have experienced the compassionate services provided by the organization during challenging medical situations involving their children.

In addition to the Ronald McDonald House support, Carolina Handling’s culture of caring shone brightly during the New Associate Orientation in November. Associates participated in the Go Baby Go program, modifying toy electric vehicles for children with physical and developmental disabilities. This mobility assistance initiative, in collaboration with Prisma Health Center for Prosthetics and Orthotics and Touch the Future, Inc., underlines Carolina Handling’s commitment to making a positive impact.

Waldrep said, “We believe in serving each other, our customers and the communities around us.”