Obama Recognizes Marvin Windows

December 7, 2011
Noteworthy

In a speech in Osawatomie, Kan., yesterday, President Barack Obama cited Marvin Windows & Doors for its commitment to its workforce and community.

His comments, from a speech focusing on the economy and fairness,  follow:

“In the end, rebuilding this economy based on fair play, a fair shot and a fair share will require all of us to see that we have a stake in each others’ success. … American business leaders [must] understand that their obligations don’t just end with their shareholders. …

“I think about a company based in Warroad, Minnesota, called Marvin Windows & Doors. During the recession, Marvin’s competitors closed dozens of plants and let go hundreds of workers. But Marvin did not lay off a single one of their 4,000 or so employees. In fact, they’ve only laid off workers once in over a hundred years. Mr. Marvin’s grandfather even kept his eight employees during the Depression.

When times get tough, the workers agree to give up some perks and pay, and so do the owners. As one owner said, ‘You can’t grow if you’re cutting your lifeblood – and that’s the skills and experience your workforce delivers.’ For the CEO, it’s about the community: ‘These are people we went to school with,’ he said. ‘We go to church with them. We see them in the same restaurant. Indeed, a lot of us have married local girls and boys. We could be anywhere. But we are in Warroad.’

“That’s how America was built. That’s why we’re the greatest nation on Earth. That’s what our greatest companies understand. Our success has never just been about survival of the fittest. It’s been about building a nation where we’re all better off. We pull together, we pitch in, and we do our part, believing that hard work will pay off; that responsibility will be rewarded; and that our children will inherit a nation where those values live on.”

C-Span provided coverage of President Obama's speech.  His remarks about Marvin Windows appear at 52:30.