Board Coverting News, August 31, 2020

Colbert Packaging Makes A Difference Employing And Mentoring Youth

Seven plus years ago, 19-year old Kyle Kamerer Jr. was in transition and sleeping in his car. Times were tough, and he needed work. Recognizing his potential, Tim Price and the Colbert Team offered Kamerer a chance with a job performing general manufacturing labor. Fast-forward to pres- ent day, and Kyle Kamerer Jr. is married, supervising a department and

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supporting a family as a valued Colbert Packaging employee. “Colbert taught me so much more than how to just have a factory job,” he said. “I learned about integrity and workplace pride, and that changed my life!” Mentoring Kyle and seeing the results sparked Tim Price’s passion and interest in finding a community service program to help change lives in Elkhart’s underserved community. When Price, Colbert’s Vice Presi- dent and General Manager of its Elkhart, Indiana, facility, learned about the Elkhart Urban Enterprise Association (EUEA), a new relationship was forged as he joined the Board and now serves as President. The EUEA was started in 2012, with a mission to improve the quality of life for Enterprise Zone residents, roughly covering 2.5 square miles of the city’s most challenged area. It awards $1,000 scholarships to aspiring local students in a work exchange program and Colbert Packaging has benefit- ed from the enthusiasm of students it has sponsored over the years. “You reap what you sow.” says Price. “When we give back to the community, it’s also an investment in our company’s future.” The paid interns help with summer coverage by filling scheduling gaps for vacationing employees or with whatever is needed as customer de- mands arise. They learn more than their assigned task – they also learn the principles of a good work ethic, along with solid business practices and teamwork. “We try to teach them more than the job,” says Price. “For example, some may get a chance to operate a CAD machine. Others may be invited to a business meeting. Some end up supporting our quality department.” Students are coached about how to dress for a presentation, and the im- portance of a firm handshake and making eye contact. While these may be considered ‘soft skills’ by some, Colbert believes it all adds up to Colbert PRIDE. The 2020 Colbert student intern team, from left front, Erica Foust, Alexx Dream- er, Noah Hickey, Austin Lee, and Caitlynn Durbin. From left, back row, Jason Foster, Cody Cox, Vincent Gutermuth, Evan Price and Tylor Roberson.




August 31, 2020

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