Lumber Industry Cuts to Workers Needs with Unique Workplace Chaplain Program

October 31, 2013  |   tagGeneral

Noisy power saws and powerful axes strike down and cut hundreds of thousands of trees in timberlands across America. Conversely the comforting words from trained workplace chaplains are uplifting and making a difference in the lives of others, as several innovative CEOs from lumber companies across the country have found.

Companies nationwide have made Marketplace Chaplains part of their employee benefit program, helping their timber employees and family members in the often dangerous, and much needed profession.

“If we didn’t have Marketplace Chaplains, then we can’t say that we did everything we could do to help our people,” said Dan Hackett, President of Frank Miller Lumber Company in Union City, Indiana. “That’s what we want to do.”

When hired for the job three years ago, Hackett made it a priority to meet each employee to ask what they liked about Frank Miller Lumber and what they would change. He said the innovative chaplain service came up frequently, and on always the positive side.

Frank Miller Lumber has used Marketplace Chaplains since 2004.  Louisiana-based Roy O. Martin Lumber Company, with locations across the Southeast, has used the service for nearly two decades, providing needed help and support for their hard-working employees.

“Roy O. Martin believes the safety, health and well-being of our employees is fundamental to our success,” said company President Jonathan Martin. “Marketplace Chaplains have led the effort to be certain our employees are healthy and have a long term view of eternity.”

Martin began utilizing Marketplace Chaplains in 1998, for its hundreds of employees spread out in the timber fields of the Southeast, as well as their lumber plants and company offices which process all the orders.

Marketplace Chaplains Debbie Perry, Ron Perry and Bert Riddle have been working with Martin employees for the last 17 years.

In Pennsylvania, the lumber and employee needs are just as great as Marketplace Chaplains has been serving Weaber Inc., headquartered in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, since 1997.

“Within the noise and possible dangers of the lumber industry, employees constantly have needs, hurts and burdens that are addressed by a trained, caring Marketplace Chaplain,” said Marketplace Chaplains’ President and COO Richard S. De Witt.  “A chaplain makes all the difference every day!”

Martha Mathias, Chairman of the Board and Owner of Frank Miller Lumber Company, which has been in her family for more than 100 years, agreed.

“At first the employees were skeptical and didn’t know why they wanted to use the benefit but Marketplace Chaplains did a good job of explaining the program and when we had a crisis, they were here to help,” she said. “Now it’s something they (employees) all want to have.

Marketplace Chaplains, America’s largest and original workplace chaplaincy organization, provides ethnically diverse male and female chaplains to care for employees on a regular basis in companies all over America, in 4 foreign countries and the commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Currently, 2,807 Marketplace Chaplains serve in 3,104 locations, 44 states, 979 U.S. cities, and 23 international cities.