The following is a Q&A with Marilyn Kapp Moran, Public Relations & Marketing Manager. Marilyn has a diverse network of educational, non-profit and corporate connections and is instrumental in coordinating their efforts for the benefit of MIW, its corporate divisions, and the community at large.
Moran Iron Works has always been a participant and/or contributor to many community events, organizations, etc. Why is community involvement so important to the company?
We want the communities that we work and live in to grow and be sustainable for our employees and their families. Our top three initiatives are health, education and art. We believe by providing opportunities and funding in these areas we are able to contribute to the long term viability of our families and community infrastructure.
Congratulations on the recent opening of Awakon Park! How has the turnout and feedback been so far since the announcement this past summer?
Since the announcement and opening we have worked hard to prepare a master plan for future development and collaboration. Currently we are working with the DNR, The City of Onaway, Top of Michigan Trails Council and area residents to join the trail system and community parks with Awakon Park. It has taken countless volunteer hours and planning and we are excited about our future plans and the economic impact it will have on the City of Onaway. Additionally, we are overwhelmed with the visitor count and support from the community. Our vision is to make Awakon Park a world class destination.
MIW is often hosting school groups to come and tour the shop. Can you share a little bit about that?
It is important that we take time to showcase manufacturing career options to students. Last year we hosted over 500 students on tours at our Onaway facility. Staff members from the CEO to a fabricator will give student plant tours that includes identifying what MIW produces and what job opportunities are available. A typical tour will take approximately 45 minutes and it includes a 3 minute company video and a Q&A session with MIW professionals.
How has the development of the Industrial Arts Institute (IAI) and the presence of the facility helped the community?
We believe IAI has been and will continue to be a catalyst for growth and infrastructure improvement. We know that our students require housing, food, gas and other essential needs over the course of their 15 weeks of instruction. The response from the community has been welcoming and accommodating in all regards. In May we will offer an additional 15 week course of study in construction trades that will include residential electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and general construction technology. Our vision is to become the premier trade school in our nation.
Are there are any new upcoming projects or events on the horizon that you can speak about?
Currently we are working on a modular steel constructed housing initiative. In an effort to produce modern, sustainable housing in our downtown area, we have designed and will be constructing our first proto-type for public viewing this summer. Our goal is to produce one new home per year in cooperation with the students at IAI.
What is Tom planning for the July 4, 2016 float?
That is an “in house” secret! However, I will let you know he is working on a couple of ideas that will fit nicely into the master plan for Awakon Park.