In 1981, Challenge Manufacturing started with one machine in a garage in Walker, Michigan. Today, still headquartered in Walker, Challenge is a Tier 1 automotive manufacturer that employs 3,000 people supported by 1,000 industrial robots across ten locations in North America and Asia. In 2016, the employees of Challenge Manufacturing came together to start the annual tradition of fundraising for the communities where they live and work with a United Way workplace campaign.
“We see our team members like family at Challenge. When one team member is going through a tough time, other members of the family step in to help,” says Taylor Rose, marketing and communications manager. “United Way mirrors that particular feature in our culture.”
Why United Way?
United Way’s national presence allows our team members to give to an organization that benefits the communities where they live and work. United Way amplifies the impact they can make through their financial donations or by volunteering time in their community. United Way’s offerings may even be beneficial for our own team members with programs like the 2-1-1 and the tax coalition program.
What community issues affect Challenge Manufacturing employees most, and how does United Way address those issues in our community?
Education, housing, personal finances and family stability are all important issues that affect everyone on different levels. United Way helps to address those community issues by implementing programs, offering valuable resources, and creating awareness in the community that is affected.
When you give, what do you get back?
When our team members give to United Way they get back satisfaction. They know that they directly or indirectly helped someone in their local community, and that creates a feeling that is hard to describe – but a memory that will last forever.
This interview has been edited and condensed.