What a year, 2022! Blog Post
As we reflect on the past year, we see multiple themes come to the forefront for our business: growth, change, accomplishment, acknowledgment, strength, and leadership. These commonalities in the highlights of our year can be seen in everything from the acquisition of WCCO Belting and starting a new era in Continental’s Conveying Solutions business area, to the seven awards we earned from local and national sources, to demonstrating increased thought leadership through various articles and media interviews in the industries in which we do business.
Check out all the reasons why growth, change, accomplishment, acknowledgment, strength, and leadership were defining themes for us this year:
- The biggest and most impactful event for WCCO Belting was on July 5, when Continental acquired WCCO Belting and our sister company, CSI Calendering. This acquisition complements Continental’s growth in off-highway markets including its Conveying Solutions targets in the agricultural industry.
- In February, The Wahpeton Breckenridge Chamber of Commerce named WCCO Belting as Business of the Year.
- In April, WCCO Belting received two awards from the Manufacturing Leadership Council, a division of the National Association of Manufacturers. We earned the 2022 Manufacturing Leadership Award for Transformational Business Cultures in the Engineering and Production Technology Category, and engineering employee, Danielle Renham, earned the Next-Generation Leadership award as one of manufacturing’s brightest future stars.
- Also in April, WCCO Belting earned four workplace safety awards from the North Dakota Safety Council (NDSC), including Emerging Safety Champion Award, Workplace Safety Milestone Award, Workplace Safety Merit Award and Lifesaver Award. Additionally, WCCO employee Stefani Mikkelson was acknowledged at the awards ceremony for earning her Advanced Safety Certificate in 2021.
- In June, then CEO/president, Tom Shorma, earned the Global Ambassador Award from the North Dakota Trade Office. The award recognizes an individual or organization that selflessly assists in the promotion of North Dakota products worldwide and helps strengthen the relationships between North Dakota companies and their international partners.
- In August, WCCO Belting was named to the 100 Best Workplaces for Innovators list by Fast Company. The list celebrates company cultures that empower employees at all levels to improve processes, create new products, or invent new ways of doing business. WCCO earned the 57th spot on the list, alongside companies ranging in size and industry like Google, Siemens, Kohler, Milwaukee Tool and so many more.
- In September, WCCO earned a place on Prairie Business Magazine's list of 50 Best Places to Work in 2022 for the eighth time, thanks to the support of our employees. The list is compiled from employee nominations that highlight some of the reasons they believe make their place of business a great place to work.
- In December, WCCO Belting earned the Export-Import Bank of the United States ‘Exporter of the Year’ Award at the organization’s 2022 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. We were one of eight companies across the country to earn the award.
- Several articles ran throughout the year written by WCCO experts on a variety of topics including our Direct X belt used in the aggregates industry and many manufacturing topics like creating an innovative workforce, shifts in manufacturing through the pandemic, retaining employees through The Great Resignation, how WCCO has improved safety efforts and culture in the manufacturing facility, and rethinking automation in manufacturing.
Seeing all we accomplished in one place is always exciting and uplifting, and we could not have done any of it without the support of our employees. Here is a special thank you to each team member for all you do. THANK YOU for choosing WCCO! We are grateful to have you on our team.
Cheers to closing the books on 2022 and bring on 2023! We can't wait to see what the new year has in store for WCCO Belting’s products under the Continental flag.