Mathews Brothers Wins Silver Collar Awards

October 1st, 2013 by DWM Magazine

Many window manufacturing firms cite problems finding qualified labor and an aging workforce, but one window company was recently awarded for being a “senior-friendly business.”

Maine’s State Workforce Investment Board’s Older Workers Committee announced that Mathews Brothers in Belfast, Maine, has been named one of the best employers for workers over the age of 50 for 2013.

“Our state needs and values the contributions of all members of our workforce, no matter their age, and the Silver Collar Awards recognize this,” says Governor Paul R. LePage.

Robert Maynes, director of marketing, says Mathews Brothers sees as great a value in its newer employees as in its more experienced ones. He says the company is fortunate that people in the area have a “genetic predisposition to having a very high work ethic. Maybe it’s due to the long history of being farmers, loggers and fishermen … who knows? But, for whatever reason, we’re blessed with a great population from which to choose.”

So young or old, he says the company is very particular in who it hires.

“Now, what makes our so-called ‘older workers’ particularly valuable is the fact that they ‘get it,’” he says. “They know what the Mathews Brothers definition of quality is, and what our customers have come to expect from us. So, they are invaluable as mentors to our newer workers.”

He adds that approximately 80 percent of the over-50 crowd has been with the company for more than 10 years.“We also have a lot employees in their 30s and 40s, that have 20-plus years in, which for us is a good mix,” says Maynes. “We also have a lot of so-called seniors who are relatively new to Mathews Brothers. So, for us, it’s a combination of the best each group has to offer.”

Maynes add that the award was an eye opener of sorts.

“We actually never thought about the age of the people who work here until this was announced,” he says. “To us, we’re all just part of the Mathews Brothers family. We have fathers and sons, mothers and sons, mothers and daughters, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives, all working side by side… we really don’t look on each other as older, younger, male, female… we’re just Howard, or Moe or Marcia or Lois. Maybe that’s what helps us keep our tradition of quality and customer service alive and well.”

The company was honored last week, during National Employ Older Workers Week, September 23 through 27, 2013.

Currently, 46 percent of Maine’s private industry workers and almost 62 percent of government workers are at least 45-years-old. Within the next 20 years, at least 40 percent of the current workforce for most sectors will be 65 or older.

The Silver Collar Employer Award honors employers whose policies and practices match the needs of mature employees, capturing their skills and experience, strong work ethic, flexibility and enthusiasm.

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