Businesses have an obvious impact on a community by employing people and paying their wages. Such opportunities sustain families and bolster the community’s economic base, but those are not the only measures of value.
How a business and its employees contribute to the welfare of the community is important, too.
Columbus has a history of businesses that have done much for the community as a whole. However, one stood out last year, and as a result earned the richly deserved Company of the Year award from the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce at its March 2 annual meeting.
Faurecia, the French-based auto supplier with two Columbus plants that had once been part of community staple Arvin Industries, has made a big impact with creating jobs and in helping the community.
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The company broke ground last summer on a new manufacturing facility near the former Walesboro airport that will produce a new emission-control product and create about 130 additional jobs.
Equally beneficial is what the company did last year to help Columbus residents. As part of its companywide mission to help those who are hungry and need food, the Columbus employees provided more than 51,000 meals to Love Chapel’s food pantry through fundraising efforts. Employees also volunteered at the food pantry by cleaning, stocking shelves and making repairs.
Already a supporter of Columbus-based Our Hospice of South Central Indiana, which provides end-of-life care for individuals and their families, Faurecia increased its help beyond sponsorship of the annual Our Hospice fundraising concert. The company created a competition to see who could build the best and most elaborate grills, which were sold through auction with proceeds given to Our Hospice.
Faurecia also became a cornerstone partner of Foundation For Youth, which provides programs for children, and supported the Columbus Recycles program — two important quality-of-life amenities for the community.
Those examples don’t even include all of the company’s significant contributions.
Faurecia stepped up — and not just by writing a corporate check, but engaging hundreds of its employees. In doing so, Columbus and its residents benefited significantly. For that, Faurecia and its employees are to be commended.