Why We Value Our Amish Culture

Aerial Shot of ProVia Building with Ohio's scenic Amish Country in the background

As many of you know, ProVia is headquartered in Sugarcreek, Ohio, in the heart of Ohio’s Amish country. Several of our production facilities are located in this region, where expansive farmland is nestled in the rolling countryside. This setting is stunningly beautiful and inspirational, and we are grateful to have the privilege of living and working here each day.

While Amish employees don’t make up the majority of ProVia’s workforce, there’s no mistaking the fact that Amish culture greatly influences the quality of our local labor pool. We think this is very much for the better.

In today’s building products environment, with labor being such a challenge for most companies, we consider ourselves blessed to enjoy these advantages. Our employees are a huge part of our success, and here are some of the reasons why:

Long Work Tenure

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in January 2020 the median tenure for wage and salary workers in the manufacturing industry was 5.1 years (and many other industries are significantly lower than this). High employee turnover is costly in many ways, and companies go to great lengths to avoid this.

Compare this tenure to the number of years Amish people spend at their jobs, and the picture is vastly different. Overall, the Amish people seem to prefer working within their communities. Another obvious factor is that the Amish don’t drive vehicles, and horse-drawn buggies are not a practical means of transportation to a job (this would require many caretaking activities for the horse during a work shift including things like pasturing, feeding, supervision, etc.).

This means most of our Amish employees either ride a bicycle to work—even through the challenging winter months—or utilize local van route drivers. Given this mode of transportation each employee has a finite number of choices for a workplace they can commute to, so we see folks staying with us for many years. Of course, ProVia also has extensive programming in place to retain our valued employees, and we’re well known in our region as being a highly-desirable, equitable and generous company to work for. We don’t take our employees for granted and go to great lengths to make sure they know they’re appreciated. All together then, ProVia has many forces at work that support our ability to retain employees.

Amish employee applying stain to a door, example of factory applied door colors, painted exterior doors, and exterior door stains

High Quality of Work

Amish craftsmanship is legendary, and when you think about it, high quality of work is strongly associated with number of years on the job. When employees find a good job with a great company, they tend to stick with it, and when you stick with a job for a long period of time, you tend to get very good at it. Combine that longevity with a deep desire to live out the following Bible passage and it’s a recipe for a very strong work ethic: “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” (Colossians 3:23-24)

Pictured here is just one example, a valued employee we’ve fondly given the nickname “Stainer Dan.” During his career, Stainer Dan stained hundreds of thousands of doors and as a result, became extremely good at it. Having expert craftsmen like this on the job is one of the reasons we produce high-quality building products, again and again, over time.

Strong Family Values and Work Ethic

The Amish are a religious people and very family focused. Life in many ways centers around family, and this leads to wholesome values, lifestyles, and priorities. You’ll find that many Amish families remain together for multiple generations, with children growing up, getting married, and building a house on their parents’ property. On evenings and weekends the family all works the same farm, and then they go to their respective jobs each weekday. This strong family-centric lifestyle is very focused and minimizes the typical distractions that come with a more modern and mobilized culture.

Providing Unmatched Quality and Service

Being located in Amish country provides us with many excellent benefits, and having a strong pool of talent to tap into is a unique advantage that truly sets us apart. We feel our people make it possible to pursue our Vision, “To be the premier building products manufacturer, providing unmatched quality and service.”

Last Updated: January 27, 2022

By Joe Klink

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