10/26/07 — APV named 2007 Industry of the Year for Wayne

View Archive

APV named 2007 Industry of the Year for Wayne

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on October 26, 2007 1:45 PM

With 135 employees and 25 years at its West Ash Street location, APV Heat Transfer Systems was named the 2007 Industry of the Year Thursday night at the Wayne County Industry Celebration reception.

"This year was the closest contest we've ever had," Wayne County Development Alliance existing industry specialist Mike Hainey said.

The industry of the year -- an award that has been given out for 16 years -- is selected by the five previous recipients each year. Six to eight finalists are chosen by the alliance, but Hainey emphasized that he and president Joanna Thompson have nothing to do with the winner.

"This is perhaps the most appealing part of receiving this recognition -- the fact that you are chosen by your peers in industry," he said.

The award, Ms. Thompson explained, is based on a number of factors, including corporate citizenship and programs for employees such as wellness, education and training efforts and opportunities.

"It's everything," she said. "It's a very broad spectrum of the total company. It's more than just how much money they made last year or how many employees they added."

And, she continued, based on those criteria, APV Heat Transfers, which produces heat exchange units for use in a variety of products, including those involved in food preparation, is a very worthy recipient.

The company is a member of the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce and is active in United Way of Wayne County. It has helped raise more than $11,000 for Relay for Life. It offers its employees eight hours of paid leave each year to give in community service and last year, those men and women donated 598 hours to Wayne County.

APV also provides up to $15,000 annually to any employee seeking a certified diploma, whether undergraduate or graduate, and provides their children with internship opportunities.

Additionally -- and after the voting was over -- APV became the first industry in Wayne County to complete the new WorkKeys job profiles and to begin employee career readiness training.

On Wednesday, 20 of its employees were the first in Wayne County to receive their WorkKeys Career Readiness Certificates, as part of a new workforce development program implemented by the county and Wayne Community College.

"They've been here a long time," Ms. Thompson said. "I think this says volumes about the kind of company they are."

It was, said Tim Taylor, director of operations, a great honor.

"We are very, very happy to be part of Wayne County. We were surprised to receive this honor this year," he said.

He credited his employees and their participation in the community for APV's selection.

"Our employees are our best asset," Taylor said. "That's why we work here, not only to make money for our company and to distribute heating products across the globe, but also to make a difference here in Wayne County and help others."

And supporting such companies, Ms. Thompson continued, is a large part of the alliance's mission.

In Wayne County, there are more than 60 manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and machine shops employing more than 9,000 people.

"Most folks think that recruitment is all the economic development office does, but retention and expansion is a major part of our program," she said. "It's hard to recruit new businesses when you don't take care of the ones you have."