According to President Barack Obama, Marvin Windows and Doors is a great model for the rest of the nation's businesses.
In a Tuesday speech about jobs and the U.S. economy, Obama lauded Warroad-based Marvin for its commitment to maintaining its work force amid the economic downturn.
The remarks came after an energetic discussion about middle-class struggles, the president's economic priorities, and a harkening back to Theodore Roosevelt's economic values.
Rebuilding the U.S. economy "based on fair play, a fair shot, and a fair share will require all of us to see that we have a stake in each others' success," Obama said, adding that business leaders must "understand that their obligations don't just end with their shareholders."
"During the recession, Marvin's competitors closed dozens of plants and let hundreds of workers go, but Marvin did not lay off a single one of their 4,000 or so employees-not one," Obama said. "In fact, they've only laid off workers once in over 100 years. Mr. Marvin's grandfather even kept his eight employees during the Great Depression."
Obama pointed out that during difficult times, Marvin's employees and its owners have opted to sacrifice some perks and pay to allow the business to move forward without cutting jobs.
The president went on to quote Marvin CEO John Marvin, who described the importance of the close-knit rural community in which the business operates. "We could be anywhere. But we are in Warroad," Obama recited.
"That's how America was built," Obama continued. "That's why we're the greatest nation on earth. That's what our greatest companies understand. Our success has never just been about survival of the fittest. It's been about building a nation where we're all better off. We pull together, we pitch in, and we do our part, believing that hard work will pay off, that responsibility will be rewarded, and that our children will inherit a nation where those values live on."
Obama delivered the speech in Osawatomie, Kansas, and a video of the complete discussion is available here. It's roughly an hour long, and the remarks about Marvin begin about 52 minutes in.
Twin Cities Business recently reported that while some Minnesota companies, like Austin-based Hormel Foods Corporation, doled out profit-sharing bonuses this year, Marvin won't disburse bonuses this year-a move that aligns with the company's commitment to make financial sacrifices instead of layoffs. The company also got some positive ink in The New York Times for its commitment to its workers.