ELWOOD, KS – As summer draws to a close and parents rush from store to store to make sure their kids have everything they need for the first day of school, there is one place in town where school supply lists aren’t a problem. Nor-Am Cold Storage recently finished passing out 90 backpacks to their employees in Elwood and Saint Joseph. An additional 150 backpacks were passed out at locations in Iowa, Nebraska and Minnesota.
“We want to give our employees the gift of time. Receiving the school supplies for their children is appreciated, avoiding the stores during one of the biggest shopping weeks of the year is a true relief” says Justin Brandt, General Manager at Nor-Am.
This is not a cookie cutter program, Nor-Am’s management team finds out the name, school, and grade of each child and pulls their school supply list from the school website. They order exactly what their employees kids need and set up a “Back To School Pick Lane” where their management team stuffs the backpack for each child, QA makes sure they don’t miss anything, and the bags are staged to deliver. It’s a good thing the company knows a little something about logistics.
“This year I ordered 221 glue sticks and 149 boxes of pencils” says Ashley Albers, Human Resources Manager. “We want our Nor-Am kids to feel special, taken care of, and ready for their first day of school. It’s an exciting time for a kid! We even find out their favorite color so we can get a backpack that is just for them.”
When asked why Nor-Am started the backpack program the answer seems pretty simple. “We aren’t the biggest or the highest paying company in most of our locations.” Says Scott Albers, VP Operations. “What we think we are the best at is taking care of our people. We’re a family operated business, for us, taking care of the families that work for us, is taking care of our business.”
Nor-Am purchased the former Affiliated Foods building located on Oak St. in Elwood in November 2017. They have been ramping up the business in the new location since the first of the year and have approximately 55 employees at the location. “We are coming up on our busy season and are expecting to continue to grow our team in Elwood” says Brandt. “One thing all businesses have in common is that we are always looking for good people.”
“We do a lot of employee programs, tailgates, Christmas parties, lunches, and nights out at the Mustangs. The Back to School event is everyone’s favorite. We’ll definitely be doing it again” says Albers.
If you’re interested in a career with Nor-Am, you can apply on-line at www.nor-am.com or text NORAM to 48421 to see current openings.