By JOHN KLINE
THE GOSHEN NEWS
GOSHEN — The pursuit of health and wellness took a major step forward at NIBCO’s Goshen facility Thursday morning with an official ground-breaking ceremony for the facility’s new fitness center.
Founded in 1904, NIBCO Inc. is a world leader in flow control products. Its Goshen manufacturing plant has produced plastic plumbing fittings since 1968.
According to Aaron Nichols, senior human resources generalist for NIBCO Inc., the new fitness center is a direct result of NIBCO’s Goshen facility, located at 701 Eisenhower Drive N., winning a 2012 tobacco cessation competition.
“Every year we pick a few plants and we pit them against each other in a tobacco cessation contest, and last year it was the battle of the plastics plants,” said Nichols said. “So there were three different plants that competed against each other, and the one who had the highest percentage of quitters got five pieces of free fitness equipment.”
As incentive for the competition, NIBCO reportedly covered 100 percent of cessation costs for any Goshen associate, spouse or dependent that wanted to quit. At the end of the year, Goshen had 11 successful quitters — more than any other competing location.
“If you’ve ever tried to do a tobacco cessation campaign, that’s an incredible result,” Nichols said.
To celebrate this accomplishment, NIBCO’s Goshen leadership team chose to capitalize on its forward momentum toward healthier living and is now building a fully-appointed fitness center to house its new fitness equipment.
The facility will be open to associates and their spouses and will include men’s and women’s locker rooms with showers and a fully-appointed kitchen to prepare healthy snacks and meals.
Nuway Construction, a design/build contractor located in Goshen, was selected to construct the center.
“They had a nice little gym in there, but it really was just four temporary walls inclosing a StairMaster and an elliptical,” Nichols said. “So with five new beautiful pieces of equipment, they decided, ‘You know what, lets go all out and use this momentum and this success that we’ve had and do it right.’ So with Nuway’s help, and now with the financial backing of corporate and Alice Martin and the founding family, they are putting this wonderful new gym and kitchen combo fitness center in, and it’s hopefully going to be completed by the end of the year.”
Pat Forrest, plant manager of NIBCO’s Goshen facility, spoke glowingly Thursday of his company’s efforts to improve the health and wellness of its associates.
“I can’t say enough about what NIBCO is doing for us here at the Goshen plant and for all our associates here, the opportunity to become more fit and healthy,” Forrest said. “We’ve done a lot over the last several years with healthy eating habits, trying to change what people do along with exercise, and this will be a great thing for this facility, to be able to use the exercise equipment and have a kitchen where we can actually prepare good food for all the associates to eat and change their way of eating. That will make a big difference.”
Also on hand Thursday to praise the company was Goshen Mayor Allan Kauffman.
“I just want to congratulate you on your project here,” Kauffman said. “It’s always a great day when we can work on our wellness. NIBCO’s been a great industrial partner in the community and has done great things for us, and we appreciate the diversity that you bring to our industry.”
David Daugherty, president of the Goshen Chamber of Commerce, echoed Kauffman’s comments.
“We just appreciate having you hear, and having you work with your associates to get them healthier,” Daugherty said. “It’s just a great example of what can be done when associates really work together.”