On this episode we talked to a few people from Imperial Systems about what it means to them to work for a company that manufactures American Made products and also is American Owned. We talked to a little bit of everyone from all parts of the company. It was great to hear the pride everyone has being a part of an American Company. This episode is published on July 4th, 2020 to show how thankful we are for the freedoms we have.
If you have any suggestions on Dust Collection Equipment please feel free to email us at email@example.com.
Dusty Jobs Podcast Episode 7 – July 4th Special with Imperial Systems
Narrator: Welcome to the Dusty Jobs Podcast from Imperial Systems. Industry knowledge to make your job easier and safer.
Donovan: Thanks for joining us again on the Dusty Jobs Podcast. Today we’re live from our shop talking to our workers that work here at Imperial Systems. We’re kicking off our Proud to be an American Made in America month. We’re going to be talking to our workers about that and what it means for them to work at an American made and American owned company. So, first up is Justin Badger.
Justin: Thanks for having me.
Donovan: Thanks for coming on again Justin.
Justin: You’re welcome.
Donovan: So how do you fell about made in America? What does that mean to you when you hear the phrase “Made in America”?
Justin: When I think made in America, its quality and pride in production and manufacturing. When you buy something made in the United States you’re buying the best product that you can possibly buy. It’s important to me because I see that if I buy something made in America I’m supporting American jobs and not sending my money overseas to something being made in a third world country.
Donovan: Supporting you neighbor. You feel like if you buy an American product you’re supporting your neighbor. You’re putting food on your neighbor’s plate.
Justin: Absolutely. That’s important.
Donovan: How do you feel about working for an American made company? We’re American made and American owned. How does that make you feel when you come to work each day?
Justin: Well, being in sales I love it because I get to go out in the field and talk to other manufacturing companies that are actually making in the USA and attempt to hopefully sell them our products that we get to make here in the United States which supports jobs locally, here. It keeps our guys working and our ladies working shipping our product in the United States. Seeing our product after its been sold in the process where its being used, our dust collectors, making the health and safety of our customers better in their facility. I really think its cool full circle.
Donovan: Yeah, we’re helping to not only support our local economy but keeping Americans healthy and safe while they’re doing their jobs to boost our economy.
Justin: Absolutely. It’s really exciting.
Donovan: Thanks for your input. We really appreciate it.
Justin: Thanks for having me.
Donovan: We’re going to be having a few other guys.
Justin: Alright. Have a good day.
Donovan: We also have joining us Neina Morocco. She does aftermarket sales here at Imperial Systems.
Neina: I do, yes.
Donovan: The question today is how does made in America make you feel? How does that idea, that phrase make you feel?
Neina: It makes me feel great. It shows that we’re busy. It shows production, manufacturing, growth. So I love American made. I’m happy to work for an American made company.
Donovan: Thanks. Thanks for sharing that. In your role, how do you feel being an American made company. Does that help you in your role here at Imperial?
Neina: Yeah, I think people take great pride in American made products, so it only boosts our business if you will.
Donovan: Well thanks for coming on.
Neina: Yeah, thanks for having me.
Donovan: Yeah, appreciate it.
Donovan: Next we have joining us Lemoyne Moffett. He’s one of our welders here in the shop. So Lemoyne, what does American made mean to you? How do you feel when you hear American made?
Lemoyne: I think our workers are proud that they work somewhere that everything is American made. We’re using American goods to produce a product that we’re proud of and knowing that we’re supporting our families and other families.
Donovan: How do you like working for an American made company knowing that its American ownership and knowing that everything kind of stays here. How does that make you feel?
Lemoyne: It makes you proud knowing that you’re doing your part for America.
Donovan: Yeah, that’s it. Well thanks for coming on. Keep up the good work.
Lemoyne: Thank you. We will.
Donovan: Next is Dwayne King from assembly. He’s been working here for a while. He’s also a farmer. Thank you for doing that. Thank you for not only working here making American made products. How long have you been farming?
Dwayne: I’ve been around the farm all my life. I just probably got back into it in the last two or three years.
Donovan: Not only are you helping make American made products but you’re helping produce food for America.
Dwayne: That’s right, absolutely.
Donovan: So how does that make you feel? How do you feel working for an American made company helping make American made products.
Dwayne: Well, it really makes you feel good. A lot of stuff that we get doesn’t have “Made in America” on it. I try to buy anything that’s made in America. It makes me feel good when I do that. That way you’re supporting your local people and everything like that. I’m also a member of the Lion’s club so I’m in community service and stuff like that. Made in America is the only way for me.
Donovan: There you go. It makes you feel good at the end of the day when you go home and know not only that you helped build a good product but helped support those in your community.
Donovan: Thanks for everything you do here. We appreciate it. Thanks for giving us a minute.
Dwayne: Sure thing. Thank you.
Donovan: Joining us now is Xavier Ranelli. He works on our press brake over there. You’ve been with the company for how long?
Xavier: Two years now.
Donovan: Two years. So when we say American made and American made products – I’m just trying to get a feel. What does that mean to you? What does that make you feel like? What does that bring to your mind when we say “American made.”
Xavier: When I think of American made I honestly think of better quality, more safe, better for the environment.
Donovan: With that all being said. We’re an American made company and American owned. How do you like that? How do you like working for a company that an American made and American owned company?
Xavier: I love it. Every piece of steel that I bend I have so much pride going into it knowing that there’s no chance that anything is going to mess up or break because its faulty.
Donovan: yeah, that’s it. Well thank you so much for what you do. Thank you for your time that you’re here. Thanks for coming on today.
Xavier: Of course. Any time.
Donovan: Joining us next is Mitch Augustine. Mitch does sales here at Imperial. Mitch tells us what you feel like when you hear the phrase “Made in America”.
Mitch: Well Donovan, two words really come to mind. The first of which that really stands out above all is quality. It just seems to me that everything made in America usually has a higher level of quality. It will just be built better and last longer than things that aren’t.
Donovan: So working for an American made and American owned company how do you feel about that? How does that make you feel at the end of the day?
Mitch: Pride would be the first word that comes to mind. Theres a real sense of pride about what we do and the industries that our product goes in. Being in sales I am extremely fortunate to be out in the field seeing first hand where our equipment goes and sizing and designing to that. I mean everything from cabinetry to lift trucks to, you name it, recycling. I get to see a lot of them. The finest places in America.
Donovan: You get to see other American made products being put together and helping our product help keep their people clean and safe and healthy.
Mitch: Absolutely. We see a lot of the foreign failures as well. We’ve had the chance to rip out some of that stuff and replace it with ours.
Donovan: Well hey thanks for coming on today. We appreciate it.
Mitch: You bet Donovan. Thanks for having me.
Donovan: Joining us next is Ian Weller. He helps with our programming here at Imperial Systems. Ian, when you hear the phrase “Made in America” how does that make you feel? What do you think about when you hear that?
Ian: How does that make me feel?
Donovan: Yeah, what do you think about? How does that phrase make you feel?
Ian: I’d say it inspires a bit of confidence.
Donovan: When you think of an American made product, what does that make you think about?
Ian: Honeslty the first thing that comes to mind if I were to describe it with like an adjective would be beefy.
Donovan: Nice. That’s good. So working for an American made company, an American owned company, how do you feel when you go home at the end of the day working for a company like that.
Ian: Pretty good. I mean, I feel good about it.
Donovan: Well good. Ian, thanks for coming on today. I appreciate your time. Thanks for what you do here.
Donovan: Joining us next is Randyll Bearer. He also helps with our computer department, programming, helping develop software at Imperial Systems. Randyll, when I say the words “Made in America” what do you think of?
Randyll: It’s a complicated phrase. For the most part its means to me that its being made by your neighbors, pretty much. It’s the people around you, same area. As long as everyone around is producing and consuming for each other, everyone is good to go.
Donovan: So with that in mind, working at a company that’s American made and American owned, how does that make you feel being part of that system that you just described. How do you feel at the end of the day?
Randyll: Other than exhausted?
Donovan: Ha! Yeah, other than exhausted.
Randyll: Theres definitely a sense of pride to it. I mean we’re becoming more and more of a global world for the most part. Being able to see that what you’re doing helps someone near you, that its a visible result, feels really nice.
Donovan: Well we really appreciate what you do here. Thank you for all your work, and thanks for coming on today.
Randyll: Yeah, thank you. I appreciate it.
Donovan: Joining us today is Jeremiah Wann, the owner of our company. Thanks for coming on Jeremiah.
Jeremiah: You bet.
Donovan: Today we’ve been talking about American made and we’ve had a lot of people from our company come on and just talk about what it means to them to not only work for an American made company, and develop that product with American made products, just what it means to them in general. When they see a product that is American made how that makes them feel. You as the owner of the company helping drive an American business forward to help in development, to help strengthen our local economy and really put products out there for everybody. When you see American made, what does that mean to you? How does that make you feel, like helping to make that part of an American reality?
Jeremiah: I don’t have a problem with something being made in another country, or do I have a problem with another country whatsoever. I’m totally fine with that and I know that in some other countries they make better products than we make here. Theres just no way around that, but especially in recent days with the COVID virus and the shortages we were having with our supply chain and some different issues. Today I think its more important than ever to make sure we are vertically integrated meaning we bring everything in house that we can. We make it right here in Mercer, PA or wherever we’re at within the US, and our suppliers. We went back through our supply chain and said, “We don’t buy very much internationally at all for supplies, but there are a few items that we either felt like we didn’t have a choice to go overseas because maybe they weren’t made anywhere else or we just didn’t know because we were buying through a third party. So we went through and we identified the ones that were made overseas. Really they kind of identified themselves in a way that when we were going through the tougher times and we’re in somewhat of a green phase right now. We’re not out of the virus at all. We’re still in it. But those items identified themselves because they weren’t here. They didn’t show up.
Donovan: They weren’t available.
Jeremiah: Yeah. We had some hinges on some of our lighter products that we were just buying from a supply house and we started tracking it down and found out that they were made in China. So, we said “Can we get US made hinges?” So we went back through thinking, “Man, its going to be a lot more expensive.” Come to find out that they weren’t much more money at all. They had a higher rating, as far as a load rating, and they’re made right here in the US. So it was a simple decision for us to do that. So we’re doing our best right now to buy everything US made. All of our steel is made in the US. Sometimes we get some stuff from Canada. We don’t have complete control over that. 99% of it is made right here in the US. Theres definitely a certain level of pride with that. I talk about a lot that I think that my grandfather’s generation was very proud of that because they were the World War II generation and their parents were the World War I generation. So they fought, and they had brothers and sisters and family members that died fighting for the freedom we have today in this country to do what we’re doing right here, in this podcast, right?
Donovan: Right, right.
Jeremiah: And to have this business and this opportunity to be in sales or to be in marketing or whatever the case may be. There were people that gave their lives for that. When I was a younger kid there was much more pride about the American flag and about that product being made in the US than there is today. Although I will tell you that now there seems to be more of a movement in the direction that people are very proud to have things that are made in the US. I’ll tell you a real life experience. The other day my wife and I were looking at lawn furniture for our backyard and I said “I’m not going to buy that if it’s not made here in the US.” Go try to buy lawn furniture right now that’s made in the United States. So we did some web searching and we found a company in New Jersey that makes beautiful lawn furniture that’s made right here in the US. I probably paid 20% more for it, but I’m happy to know that it was by American workers, by an American owned company, and that just made me feel better. It’s all personal preference. Being that we are a manufacturer here we know what it takes. We know the blood, sweat, and effort that is put into this every day. I feel hypocritical if I’m not supporting other US manufacturers.
Donovan: Yeah, I hear you. A lot of people here feel the same way. We’ve heard a lot of those same sentiments today on the podcast. Thanks for giving us a minute of your time, and to give us your heart.
Jeremiah: You bet. I’ll tell you one other thing too though that I think is just as important is that it’s not just American made but American owned, right? A lot of the companies right now are coming in from overseas. They’re setting up manufacturing in the United States, which is good. We’re glad to have them. All of that money goes back to overseas. So we’re trying really hard right now to build our economy, all of us are. We’re all in it together. We want a better economy. We want a better life. So if you really want that, then I encourage everybody to try to buy US made. Good luck buying your clothing made in the United States. It may look a little different than some of the styles you like or the brands you like, but try if you can. Nothing against other countries. We wish them the best. We want to help them too and support them. I know for them it would help them as well to strengthen their own economy by building within their own economy. So, I’m glad you guys are talking about it. I heard we’re interviewing some folks
I think also I would like to share another quick story about some of the patriotism that I have been seeing here lately. We are currently putting a project through the plant that is going to the Marine Corps base in Okinawa. I had kind of heard that we were putting this project through but I didn’t really. I kind of forgot about it because it was a month or so later and I was walking through the plant and one of the welder came up to me and said “Hey, that collector that’s going to Okinawa – my father was based in Okinawa.”
I said, “Oh, really? For the military?”
He said “Yeah, World War II.”
I said, “Okay.
He said, “Man, it just really brings back a lot of memories.” He was building the structure for it.
I said, “Oh, that’s fantastic. Thanks for sharing that with me.” I kind of moved on and the next day I’m standing out in the plant. I’m in that same general area and he comes over to me and he said, “Do you have a minute?”
I said, “Sure.” He literally had probably thirty photographs with him. You know, a big portrait of his father, and all these stories. They were real newspapers from Okinawa that were like – and I didn’t read them all – they were like, and I’m going to get the dates wrong.
Donovan: But they were from during that time frame?
Jeremiah: Yeah. ’46? ’45? I can’t remember the exact dates.
Donovan: That sounds about right.
Jeremiah: I’ll double check myself. Anyways, he was so proud of those photos. He was saying, “This thing is going to go to the same area where my dad was.” Now, at the time I don’t think that the Marine Corps base existed probably at that time, but a lot of our US troops were over there. Later the welders were saying, “Man this thing is going to the Marine Corps base in Okinawa.” The enthusiasm and patriotism has been shining through the whole plant right now, in sales and everywhere. Even up in accounting they’re talking about it. So, I don’t know. I don’t plant this stuff. It just kind of comes up. Thats just a true feeling we have as Americans. We’re proud about that. I’ll finish that story. So, he comes to me. He’s showing me pictures of his dad and all he did. I said “How’s your father doing now? How is he?” He said, “He passed away. I was seventeen years old.” So, the man fought through World War II. He started to raise a family. Then in his letters you could see where he was talking about the kiddos and stuff. Then he came home and when Lemoyne was 17 years old and his dad was in the backyard cutting a tree down the tree fell and killed his dad. So he never really got to know his dad. The emotion and how choked up he got was so authentic and so real. It hit me. I just told him, “Thanks for sharing that story with me.” I wanted to document it so I actually took some photos of Lemoyne and his love for his dad. For two thirds of his life – I mean, he probably doesn’t really remember what his dad was like except faint memories of him, but he still just absolutely loves him. I just reassured him. I said, “You’ll be with your dad someday again in heaven. You’re blessed for doing that, and thank you for letting me in on that part of your story.” That’s patriotism and that’s why we’re proud to be American made.
Donovan: Yeah, that’s a lot of stuff…
Jeremiah: Yeah, I know you didn’t ask for all that.
Donovan: No, it’s great! It’s great because it goes beyond just the pieces of steel that we’re welding together here. It shows that our community and our family of Imperial Systems and how we work together not just to build our economy and build a great product but how we try to take care of each other here in the plant. Theres a lot more that goes into it than just a product. So thanks for sharing that. It really helps us, and I think that really does talk a lot about what it means to be made in America and made by your neighbors, and made by people who share those stories and understand the sacrifices that we made and our grandparents and those before us made to allow us to have this opportunity.
Jeremiah: And some are still making today.
Donovan: They still are. Well, hey, thanks for joining us on the Dusty Jobs Podcast. We really hope that you’ll join us on the next one and for now be safe and God bless America.
Jeremiah: Thank you very much Donovan. Alright, buddy.
Narrator: Thanks for listening to the Dusty Jobs Podcast. Breathe better, work safer.