Come Two by Two. A Look Inside Noah’s Ark

This article was published in the August edition of the DHI Door + Hardware Magazine and reprinted here with permission.

Come Two by Two. A Look Inside Noah’s Ark, by Ginny Powell

Tucked into the “All American City” of Lakeland, Florida, is not just a community, but the realization of a dream initiated by a small group of parents nearly 20 years ago. It’s called The Village at Noah’s Landing.

Nearly two decades ago, a small group of parents of adult children with special needs met while watching their children take part in sporting activities. They began talking with each other about what would happen to their kids if they were no longer around. Who would oversee their care?

Their worries were further reinforced when they discovered that the options for care in and around Lakeland were extremely limited. But instead of becoming defeated, these five sets of parents took action. Big action. In 1997, they created Noah’s Ark of Central Florida.

The first homes were built between 2002 and 2007 and are located near downtown Lakeland. Called Noah’s Nest, this clustering of four houses is home to 17 residents living independently with the support of their fellow residents, family, and friends.

Noah June 2016 -10

A Dream of Building a Community
While Noah’s Nest was a great start, the dream was always to build a bigger community for adults with developmental disabilities. The Villages of Noah’s Landing, with Phase 1 scheduled to open later this summer, is precisely that.

Phase 1 can accommodate up to 132 developmentally disabled residents and only takes up a fraction of the property’s 62 acres. When all phases are complete, the community will offer a wide selection of social, recreational, educational and vocational choices, and provide for the health care needs of its residents.

More …

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Classroom Barricade Devices and why focusing on them makes us vulnerable to threats

There has been a lot of information written about classroom barricade devices. We have been watching this subject closely and are dismayed to see states overriding State, Federal and International Building Codes by allowing barricade devices. Ohio, sadly, has lead the charge. There isn’t a simple or quick solution to this issue but our goal is to remind parents, students, teachers and politicians to look at the whole picture and use their building code officials and the door and hardware industry as expert sources.

The article below was written by Lt. Joe Hendry, CLEE who is a 26 year veteran of the Kent State Police Department. He serves as an Intelligence Liaison Officer for the Ohio Department of Homeland Security and has been named a subject matter expert by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office for active threat response. Lt. Hendry holds a bachelor’s degree in telecommunications and served honorably in the United States Marine Corps. He is a trained crisis intervention team officer in mental health. He is an instructor in solo-engagement tactics, active shooter response, preventing and responding to suicide bombing incidents and tactical chemical weapons. He is a national instructor the the ALICE Training Institute and has trained staff and students, and consulted on security plans for pre-school, K-12, universities, hospitals, libraries, MRDD facilities, business and industry. In other words he is an expert.

This article appeared in the October edition of DHI Doors and Hardware Magazine. Lt. Hendry has graciously allowed us to reprint his article in order to help continue the education on this emotional subject.
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The first time I ever observed a secondary locking device, it was at the State Fire Marshal’s Academy in Ohio. I was teaching an ALICE Instructor course, and a student in the class brought a device he had made to help secure a door. During a break, he demonstrated the device, and yes, it did what he said – it secured the door using the bottom of the door and the wall.

It had a few steps to install, and at the time, with Sandy Hook only four months in the rear view mirror, looked to be an impressive device. Several educators and law enforcement officers in the class remarked that they liked the device. I was non-committal but felt it might bear looking into given the concept failure of lockdown in the building breach at Sandy Hook. Looking back, the irony of the device, the location, and my naiveté has not been lost on me.

During the past two years, I have learned more about codes, doors, locks and devices than I ever thought I would need to know as a police officer. Learning the reason behind code development, door and lock manufacturing, visual communication design, and tactical civilian and law enforcement response to threats has become a way of life. As a law enforcement expert in the field of active threat response, I’m repeatedly asked for recommendations on what secondary locking device to purchase for buildings. My original thought of, “These might be the answer to our prayers,” to, “These may be the worst idea we have ever had,” evolved as I studied and learned.

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National Safety Month – Part IV

June is National Safety Month and we have heard from Ed Dyling, Jennifer Scott and Edward Robinson about why they choose safety. Now we hear from Tina Williamson who is Hager’s Safety/Environmental Supervisor in our Montgomery plant. 

“As we come to the end of National Safety Month, we reflect on what it really means to be safe. Our campaign of Safety by Choice, Not by Chance was used to entice employees to think about how they make decisions; do those decisions include being safe or are they careless acts that they have always done, but just haven’t been injured doing them yet.”

“We encounter unsafe conditions every day. We drive to work every day and are faced with unsafe conditions; other drivers driving reckless, weather conditions, etc. It’s the unsafe acts we introduce with those unsafe conditions that cause injuries. For example, a thunderstorm is an unsafe condition. If we are driving during a thunderstorm and are speeding and don’t allow a safe stopping distance between the cars in front of us, we have introduced two unsafe acts in an unsafe condition. The chances of being injured are increased because of our unsafe acts. We become complacent because we’ve done it before and haven’t been injured. An accident can occur in a split second and the consequences can be devastating.”

“As you go through your work week and even when you are at home think about what you are doing that is unsafe. Are you being complacent? Do you think it can’t happen to you? It can happen to any one of us. Just remember, someone is counting on you. Make safe decisions, if not for you, for those you love.”

Thank you to Tina and the Hager team members who graciously participated in this month’s National Safety Month campaign. We hope these stories convey our commitment to safety for our employees and encourage you to also choose safety.

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June is National Safety Month – Part III

This is Part III of our contribution to National Safety Month.

With manufacturing and distribution facilities located around the world we are aware of the potential safety risks to our employees. We diligently work to minimize those risks with employee training and safety meetings, including programs like Safety by Choice, Not by Chance.

Edward Robinson is a Warehouse Worker who began working at Hager’s Montgomery Distribution Center in 2006. He transferred to our Phoenix facility in 2010.  Edward’s job duties include receiving, stocking, replenishment, picking, shipping and itemizing. 

Here is why Edward feels Safety by Choice, Not by Chance is important:

 
Safety by Choice Not by Chance is important to me because I’m a
 motorcycle rider in a state that you wear a helmet by choice. It’s my
 choice to wear my helmet and be as safe as possible. I had an
 accident and if it wasn’t my choice to be safe and wear a helmet
 I probably wouldn’t be here today, so safety by choice is very
  important to me. It may have just saved my life!”

We are happy you wore your motorcycle helmet too Edward! Thanks for making safety your choice!

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June is National Safety Month – Part II

June is National Safety Month – Part II

We are continuing our Safety by Choice, Not by Chance series. 

This week we are introducing you to Jennifer Scott. Jennifer began working at the Hager Distribution Center in Montgomery, Alabama as a temporary employee. In December of 2014 we were lucky to have her join us full time. As the administration assistant Jennifer wears many hats, from completing paperwork, processing orders, shipping small parcels and shipping LTL. She does whatever it takes to get the job done.

Jennifer shares why she participates in Safety by Choice, not by Chance:

“I choose to work in a safe manner by always being aware of my surroundings, understanding my limitations and asking for assistance when needed. This is important to me because I am blessed with a loving family and wonderful friends.” 

There are some jobs we think are inherently dangerous. Remember the photo of the steel workers having lunch on a steel beam high above the ground? Now steel workers are required to wear fall protection as safety precautions.

Working in an office can have dangers also. Trip hazards or lifting a 50 lb. case of copy paper incorrectly (or at all) as examples. We are glad to have Jennifer on board and appreciate she makes safety a choice!

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June is National Safety Month

Hager Companies believes strongly in life safety, after all that is our business. We take the safety of our employees just as seriously. Tina Williamson our Safety/Environmental Supervisor in our Montgomery, Alabama manufacturing facility, recently ran a Safety by Choice, Not by Chance program.

Everyone has something they live to see or experience. A bucket list so to speak. Whether it’s walking your daughter down the aisle or seeing a Broadway show, we engage in safe behaviors wherever we are so we can live for those moments.

We asked our Montgomery employees to share their stories about why Safety by Choice, Not by Chance is important to them. More …

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Women in Construction

We join the world in celebrating Women in Construction Week March 1-7th and International Women’s Day March 8th.

We have many women working at Hager Companies. Some have been here for over 40 years while others are just starting out in their careers. All contribute daily with their hard work, passion and fortitude. Here are just two of the fabulous women at Hager Companies in their own words.

Tina Williamson
Safety/Environmental Supervisor
Montgomery, AL

The National Association of Women in Construction celebrates its Women in Construction (WIC) Week March 1st – 7th!!!

Hager Companies is a NAWIC member company.  Under our corporate membership, I am the appointed representative for Hager. You may be asking yourself, “I thought Hager was a manufacturing company?” We are a manufacturing company but we provide construction related services/products to the construction industry. I am the Safety and Environmental Supervisor for Hager. Prior to working at Hager, my ex-husband and I were self-employed in the construction industry. It was very difficult and very competitive. It was challenging for me because construction was a male dominated industry and most men did not want to discuss details of the jobs with me (this was 25 years ago too). I look back now and consider those times as learning experiences that have helped make me who I am.  

I can relate to the challenges the women in construction face every day. Being in NAWIC has helped me understand the needs women have and the struggles they face in meeting those needs. Even when women have strong partners many still have this overwhelming need to be that traditional woman that everyone perceives; care giver, soccer mom, team mom, caring friend, etc…Women in construction feel they have even more to prove to themselves and their co-workers. Building a network with other women in construction provides a foundation to build on.  NAWIC members are all over the country and just phone call or email away. The core values of NAWIC are: Believe in Ourselves, Persevere with the Strength of our Convictions, and Dare to Move to New Horizons. Join me this week in celebrating WIC Week and encourage a woman you know to believe in herself!

Sheryl Simon, CSI, CDC
Architectural Specification Consultant
St. Louis, MO

I started out coordinating service calls for a family owned overhead door company. As the business grew and branched out into hollow metal doors/frames and hardware I made the progression into sales. This was the beginning of what would become a lifelong career in the building industry.

Throughout the years I continued increasing my construction knowledge by working as a project manager for local door/frame and hardware suppliers. I was always a supporter of Hager products so when I learned Hager was expanding their product offerings and were looking for experienced hardware representatives; I made the transition from distribution to manufacturing. 

Three years later Hager grew again by adding a specification department and I had the opportunity to help develop that department and be part of a new era at Hager. 

I have always been interested in design so meeting architects and creative people is a great fit for me. I enjoy sharing Hager product knowledge as well as finding solutions to unique door and hardware conditions.

When I began my career over 20 years ago, there were very few women in the Construction industry. I am happy to say that trend has changed considerably. I feel that women are taken more seriously today however, regardless of your gender, extensive product knowledge as well as knowledge of the construction process is a must particularly when consulting with architects, specifiers and end users. 

I am thankful for the opportunities that I have been given and would encourage any women looking for a challenging career to consider the construction industry.  

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Safe Schools Week

Last week marked the American’s Safe Schools Week sponsored by the National School Safety Center, state governors and state school superintendents.

Of course the most distressing incidents in recent years are school shootings. Everyone in the AEC (Architectural, Engineering, Construction) community are looking for solutions on how we can prevent loss of life, especially with our most vulnerable citizens; our children. There are new ideas on the market today from caring individuals, sometimes parents, who see a need and take their time, energy and money to contribute to a solution. Often times life safety and fire codes are not understood and therefore not considered, which can result in code violations or even endanger the occupants of the school. More …

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