AKRON—It's time for rubber industry veterans to step forward and take a bow.
Here's how you do it. In the Aug. 8 issue of Rubber & Plastics News, we'll have a section marking the 40th anniversary of this publication, which Ernie Zielasko founded Aug. 16, 1971.
OK, your first thought is “That's nice. Who cares?” You might—let me explain.
Americans just love anniversaries. As time passes, everything has an anniversary, and personal ones are important to people, nostalgic creatures that we are. The press recognizes that, and never lets one pass without using it to review or recast past events. The year-later stories about the BP oil spill in the Gulf appearing everywhere today are a good example.
Companies often celebrate their founding, and we've used that event as a vehicle to take a look at a manufacturer, where it came from, what it did, where it's going.
We're no different—we've had anniversary issues for our 10th, 20th and 25th years.
That Aug. 8 issue will have the expected trip down memory lane in various forms. And we'll be profiling people in today's rubber industry who are under 40 years old—hopefully, the movers and shakers of tomorrow.
But what about personal stories about the veterans of the business? We want to give them their due, too.
What we've come up with is a short survey for people who have been in the rubber industry at least 40 years. Their responses will run in our anniversary issue.
I started by passing out the questionnaire at the perfect venue, the 25-Year Club Luncheon on April 20 at the ACS Rubber Division meeting in Akron. The only requirement for that long-running club is that you be a member of the rubber industry for a quarter century, and most of the people involved have been in the business a lot longer.
The first completed survey I received came from none other than this year's Charles Goodyear Medalist, Joseph A. Kuczkowski, late of Goodyear. You'll have to wait for the Aug. 8 issue for the rest of his responses, but to the question how did you get into the industry in the first place, he said he sent 330 letters seeking employment, and got exactly one positive reply—from Goodyear.
Smart move, Goodyear. The other 329 companies...well.
The survey has questions such as where were you employed on Aug. 16, 1971; what was your job title; how much were you paid; name a memorable person you met during your career; would you do it all over again; would you recommend this business as a career path to a young person?
If you fit in one of those categories—under 40 or a 40-year veteran—we have a place for you at our anniversary issue table.
Noga is the editor of Rubber & Plastics News.