Marlin Steel Supports the Marian Greenblatt Education Fund

 

The Montgomery County Public Schools Announces Their Finalists for Teacher of the Year!

Since 1988, the Marian Greenblatt Education Fund has promoted educational excellence in Montgomery County by recognizing top teachers in the county. The fund is named for Drew Greenblatt’s mother Marian, a dedicated teacher and advocate of improving the quality of public education.

When Marian Greenblatt was elected to the Montgomery County, Maryland Board of Education, she set to work immediately to assure that the students of the county could have a higher quality of education, one that would prepare them better for life after high school. She sought to raise academic standards in her county, fighting against laissez-faire administrators who would maintain a status quo even if it meant that their students were trapped in overcrowded classrooms with too few textbooks and no real preparation for the working world. Her first successful effort was to require each of the 100,000 students in the system to read fifteen minutes per day, under their teachers’ supervision.

Marian changed the MCPS system during her term of service on the board, both as a member and as president of the board. By the end of her time as a board member, attendance in classes were up, the teacher to student ratio had improved, and the textbook budget for each student had doubled, allowing students to actually have textbooks to take home for homework. Frivolous courses were reduced dramatically, and stricter adherence to countywide curricula was maintained.

In 1984, Dr. Greenblatt retired from the MCPS Board of Education in 1984 and took up a position as the Director of the Presidential Academic Fitness Award Program for President Reagan, a position that she held until her passing in 1988.

Recognizing MCPS’ Best Educators and Students

In honor of Marian’s efforts to improve the quality of education for students in Montgomery County, the Marian Greenblatt Education Fund was founded to recognize excellent educators. The fund, which is recognized as a 501c(3) organization by the IRS, is managed by her family, led by her husband, Dr. Marshal Greenblatt.

Over the years, the fund has grown in scope, adding more efforts to encourage excellence in education, such as:

  • Veteran Teachers Award
  • County Teacher of the Year
  • Rising-Star Teacher Award
  • Aspiring Teacher Award for students at the University of Maryland School of Education
  • Excellence in Social Studies by Juniors in High School
  • Jones Family/Plasma Fellows/Greenblatt Scholarships for Excellence in Foreign Language
  • Montgomery County Students Information Technology Foundation, to teach computer repair as part of the curriculum

Yes, not only are teachers being recognized for providing a top-quality education for their students, but outstanding students are recognized by the award as well. All told, the fund has awarded over $125,000 to teachers and students since 1989!

While many educators would covet any of the various awards from the Marian Greenblatt Education Fund, the MCPS Teacher of the Year Award is especially prestigious. Winners of this award are entered into a competition to be named Maryland Teacher of the Year. A Marian Greenblatt winner and subsequent MCPS teacher of the year, Kim Oliver, went on to be named the National Teacher of the Year and was honored at the White House in 2006 by the President in a Rose Garden ceremony.

Our Teacher of the Year Finalists

This year, the Teacher of the Year finalists are:

  • Kathryn Hageman, a fifth-grade teacher at Diamond Elementary School in Gaithersburg.
  • Jane Lindsay, an eighth-grade English teacher at John Poole Middle School in Poolesville.
  • Aaron Shin, an eighth-grade U.S. history teacher at Parkland Middle School in Rockville.

Each of these Teacher of the Year finalists are winners of the Marian Greenblatt Veteran Teacher Award, chosen for her/his ability to inspire students and fellow educators alike to be the best that they can be.

No matter which of these three educators goes on to earn the final prize, they can take pride in the fact that they were nominated for this award. Simply being nominated for this honor demonstrates that they have gone above and beyond the minimum standards set for educators by the MCPS system, and that is cause enough to be proud.

Marlin Steel is honored to be a part of this tradition through our CEO’s involvement in the Fund from its conception through its annual work of selecting who we in the county think are the best of the best. We look forward to seeing these educators shape future generations through their hard work and dedication. Hats off to them!

If you would like to learn more about the Marian Greenblatt Education Fund, or make a tax-deductible contribution to our 501c3 organization, please visit the Fund’s website today. Few things are as important as improving the lives of our children and giving them the resources they need to be successful in the future, and it’s never too late to start helping. If you would like to know how you could start a similar organization, email us at info@greenblatteducationfund.org.

Natural gas is bringing manufacturing back to the U.S. [Commentary]

 

U.S. prices for the energy source are low, and it may also become one of our best exports. Drew Greenblatt is president and owner of Marlin Steel Wire Products in Baltimore. He recently wrote an article for The Baltimore Sun regarding the effect natural gas has on the manufacturing industry in the U.S. You can read the full article here.

Promoting the Benefits of Automation in the Manufacturing Industry

 

 

Marlin Steel

3 Marlin Steel employees in front of Marlin Steel’s Trumpf laser

A3, the Association for Advancing Automation, has launched a new website to help educate people, particularly employers, about the benefits that come with automation.

What is one of the key stories featured on the website? A video about our company, Marlin Steel.

In the video on the A3 site, our CEO/Owner, Drew Greenblatt, talks about how making the switch to automation saved Marlin Steel from bankruptcy. Not only that, but automation has actually helped Marlin Steel generate new jobs and retain our dedicated and experienced workers.

When Drew acquired Marlin Steel more than 15 years ago, our company was known as the “King of Bagel Baskets.” For a time, that was fine. Using traditional hand-crafted methods, each employee at the plant was able to produce 15-20 wire baskets per shift for bagel shops all over the country. Back in those early days, the customers were looking for a commodity product that worked good enough, not the most high-quality product.

However, Marlin’s status as the king of bagel baskets would come to an end not long after Greenblatt acquired the company. Chinese metal wire basket companies began to move into the market, often selling their products for less than what Marlin had to pay just for the  steel to make the baskets. With a cheaper product on the market, clients began to dry up and Greenblatt had to make a choice: adapt, or go bankrupt.

Thankfully, Drew decided to adapt by bringing in new automation equipment, much to the chagrin of Marlin’s overseas competitors.

The Benefits of Automation

Back in the day, the hand-crafting methods were, relatively speaking, slow, inefficient, and not very precise. Using the hand-bent assembly method for wire baskets, Marlin Steel was able to handle products that had an error tolerance of plus or minus one inch.

Not only that, but the hand assembly method was inherently dangerous, with as many as four safety incidents occurring every year. Many employees had severed fingers and eye injuries, which only increased the risk of future injuries. Fatigue caused by exhausting manual labor also contributed to the chances of an accident occurring.

Making the switch to automation has allowed Marlin Steel to reap numerous benefits, including:

  • Increased production capability –Machines don’t “get tired” after performing a task for hours on end. Not only that, but for tasks that require the precise application of brute force, a mechanized process can get the job done much faster than older manual methods. For example, our new automated machines can pull and bend hundreds of feet of wire each minute. This increases total production by so much that orders which once took four to five days to complete can now be fulfilled in a single day.
  • Improved employee safety – Another benefit of machines doing the manual labor is that it vastly reduces job injuries. Where we once had as many as four injuries each year, we now have gone more than 1,680 days (over four and a half years) without a safety incident. Our staff certainly appreciates the newfound safety that comes with the automated systems. And our workman’s compensation bills are way down.
  • Reduced employee fatigue – With the switch to automation comes a reduced level of exhaustive manual labor. Our employees are now able to focus on tasks that work their minds rather than their muscles. Their work is less physically demanding, repetitive, and mundane, which makes for improved job satisfaction and less fatigue. We don’t have to recruit employees who are just big and strong.
  • Enhanced precision – A machine can bend and shape steel to the exact specifications that it is given, every time it performs that task. Before introducing automated manufacturing techniques, we would make products that had a tolerance for error of one inch or less. Using automated manufacturing, we can now make products with a tolerance of +/- 1/4000”, which opens up our list of clients to include those who need extremely precise products, making Marlin Steel more than just the king of bagel baskets.
  • Higher profitability – Increasing the output of our production line and expanding our list of clients has improved Marlin’s profitability by six times. That’s six times as much capital to invest back into our company, adding even more automation and benefits for our work force.
  • The ability to hire more employees – Not only has changing over to an automated production process saved our company from the threat of bankruptcy, saving the jobs of everyone here, it has allowed us to expand our work force. Since going automated, Marlin Steel has nearly doubled the size of the work force, adding engineers and automated production specialists to our existing team. While many might fear that automation eliminates jobs, here at Marlin Steel, it has created new opportunities for employment, and we know that it can do the same for many other businesses.
  • More competitive benefits for employees – Now that Marlin Steel’s employees are more productive than ever before, we provide them better pay and more benefits to match that increased productivity. Our employees receive medical coverage, 401(k) plans and vacations in addition to an increase in their base pay. Plus, by working with automated machinery and acquiring new job skills, our employees will be better positioned to work with other high-tech businesses in the future.

Ultimately, the move to automation for Marlin Steel has been overwhelmingly positive. If you want to see the video, you can find it here. Or, if you have other questions about our company, contact us today.

Lights…Camera…Marlin! Transforming Marlin Steel Wire Products

 

Marlin Steel Wire ProductsMarlin Steel Wire is now featured in a video produced by The Hitachi Foundation. This video highlights our core strengths – “Quality Engineering Quick.®”  In five minutes, it shows how Marlin Steel was able to turn our wire products business around and meet our customer’s needs, strengthen our bottom line, boost earnings and offer our associates advancement opportunities. It also showcases our SkillsMatrix that emphasizes cross-training and our focus on production bonuses and paid training.

In 2013, The Hitachi Foundation designated Marlin Steel a Pioneer Employer – awarded by the Precision Metalforming Association – in recognition of our growth in revenues as well as our focus on creating opportunities for our associates and our investment in their professional success.

The video shows how Marlin aligns the interests and objectives of our employees, management, and customers to achieve high-quality results. By linking our client’s expectations with production team goals, we are able to share Marlin’s financial success with our associates.

The video features interviews with a few of our exceptional Marlin Steel team members – Nathan Myers, Liston Clise, Kenny Browning, Hector Carmona, and Andy Croniser.

Please watch the video and share it with your colleagues.

The Hitachi Foundation also blogged about us in – From Bagels to Boeing. It tells our comeback story and showcases how our team’s advanced manufacturing skills and agility have kept us growing eight years in a row.

Marlin Steel president on health care on Greta Van Susteren last night

 

 Greta Van Susteren

Marlin Steel President Drew Greenblatt was on the Greta Van Susteren show last night to discuss the impact of health care insurance costs on small business after testifying on the topic earlier in the day before a Senate committee on behalf of the National Association of Manufacturers. Click here for the video link.

Newest U.S. senator to Marlin Steel president: “You rock”

 
Marlin Steel President Drew Greenblatt

Marlin Steel President Drew Greenblatt

U.S. Senator Cory Booker

U.S. Senator Cory Booker

At a hearing this morning on health care before the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, at which Marlin Steel President Drew Greenblatt testified, we appreciated the stream-of-consciousness comments (1:48:23 – 1:53:00) of the newest U.S. senator, Cory Booker of New Jersey, who proclaimed Mr. Greenblatt an honorary “Jersey boy.”:

“Mr. Greenblatt, first of all, I appreciate your Jersey connection (as) a guy who vacations in Jersey. You have some Jersey-boy-aura to you and I want to say there’s a geologist saying “You rock” and you rock not because of your Jersey connection, but because I feel a kinship to you. We both came down to Washington. You get to go home, I think, and I’m gonna stick it out here and battle it out. You deal with the pragmatism that I deal with. I had to cut 25 percent of my employees as a mayor and one of the reason I had to cut so much is because health costs were going up so much, my taxpayers couldn’t afford it. I had to balance a budget every year. So do you. And the challenge that you have and that I’ve seen from working with global manufacturers in my city that I wanted to expand — and you said you export products to China, right? You’re competing globally, right? I like you a lot — and when you compete globally you’re competing against companies in Europe and Asia and across the globe, right?, and many of those countries have different health care systems and most of our competitor nations have much lower health care costs, right?”

When Marlin Steel’s president also pointed out large tax inequities that make it difficult to compete globally, such as against Canada, Senator Booker responded, “I want to compete with Canada in every way, expect for Toronto. Their mayor is having challenges there ….” Continue reading

Which is better for parts washing baskets: Teflon or Halar?

 

Industrial parts washing baskets are often coated in plastic to better protect the objects being washed or treated, and the baskets as well. The plastic has to withstand the solvents and heat involved in the wash process.

Marlin Steel Halar-coated stainless steel wire basket

A Marlin Steel Halar-coated stainless steel wire basket

We are often asked by prospective customers: What plastic coating is better? Teflon or Halar?

Both are brand names for different fluoropolymers, a durable plastic widely used in everything from nonstick cookware to aviation materials. Here’s what Marlin Steel engineers have to say as well as experts in the plastic coatings industry with whom we deal regularly: Continue reading