Congratulations to Pete Gowin, Sr. (right), Benton Foundry’s 2nd shift Employee of the Year. Pete currently works in our Molding Department as a machine operator. Pete has worked in many departments since starting in 1999. He resides in Mildred and enjoys hunting and fishing in his spare time. Good job Pete!
Congratulations to Annette Brown (left), Benton Foundry’s 1st shift Employee of the Year. Annette has worked in the Human Resource Department for over 30 years. She has numerous duties including answering a majority of the incoming calls. Annette is pleasant, courteous and professional with employees, customers and vendors. Awesome job!
Benton Foundry held its 22nd annual company picnic on Saturday, August 12th at Knoebels Grove. It was a beautiful day in the grove and we enjoyed a good meal, prizes, games and rides. Many prizes were donated once again and appreciated by all. Thanks to all those that attended and made this event possible. A special thank you goes out to Annette Brown whose hard work has made this event possible the last 22 years.
As people and employers everywhere become increasingly aware of the need for exercise and proper health, both at home and in the workplace, we wanted to get an idea of how the various jobs around our foundry were contributing to activity levels. The American Heart Association recommends that people in good health take at least ten thousand steps every day to maintain cardiovascular health. Of course, depending on your age, gender, weight, and physical shape that number may be higher or lower,but it is a good benchmark to go by for the general public. We have been using a Fitbit Charge 2 to monitor the physical activity of many positions around the foundry and some very interesting data began to emerge.
First a bit of explanation of the reported activity categories and what they mean:
Steps: This should be viewed as “step equivalencies” as there are activities that mimic steps (to the tracker), but are not steps taken as you or I would count them. Still, these activities will provide similar activity to a step taken from a cardiovascular stance.
Distance: This is a calculated quantity based on your height, gender, and steps. In a more personal setting this can be further pinpointed by customizing your length of stride, but it is a close enough approximation for the purpose of this experiment.
Floors Climbed: Among the various sensors it houses, the tracker contains a barometer that measures changes in elevation. Like the “Steps,” this should be seen as equivalent flights of stairs climbed as some actions can mimic stairs climbed, but again, actions that mimic stairs climbed to the sensor should fairly closely mimic stairs climbed to your body.
Calories Burned: This value is a calculated quantity based on your age, gender, height, weight, assumed basal metabolic rate, resting heart rate, and heart rate throughout the day. This quantity, while fairly accurate as far as what is able to be measured and calculated by a wrist unit, is more useful as a relative comparison.
Active Minutes: This value is a measure of how many minutes during the monitoring period that your heart rate was elevated into the “fat burning zone” which is considered 50-69% of maximum.
This value becomes more accurate the longer you wear the tracker, but again it is a pretty good estimate considering the evaluation period being used. This is not yet a complete list of the foundry positions and we will continue our monitoring as we go, so stay tuned for additional updates. Please remember this data is approximate – no fitness tracker is perfect and people have arguments for and against them all, but all of this data is coming from the same tracker and it is pretty decent with respect to benchmark values. Each person was monitored for two days and both days appear on the list. We did our best to keep sensitive information out of the list (like height, weight, age, etc. which are all factored into the calories burned calculation). Please remember this list is not meant for anything other than an interesting look into our foundry from an angle never before explored. Please remember all of this information is approximate and none of this information should be used for diagnostic purposes or for modifying an exercise regimen – please consult your doctor for those.
|Floors climbed||Calories burned||Active minutes|
|Landfill Truck Driver||M||8409||3.69||22||3243||0|
|Landfill Truck Driver||M||6999||3.07||40||3092||11|
The Benton Foundry Health Care Plan runs yearly from November to October. For the year dated 11/1/16 to 10/31/17, Benton Foundry paid the following to Capital Blue Cross (CBC). (This does not include dental and vision as you pay 100% of those premiums.)
|Medical bills paid||$1,804,798|
|Total Paid by CBC||$2,221,438|
|Excess Limits Insurance Policy||$ 128,868|
There is an Excess Limits Policy for very large medical bills over $175,000 on top of this. The value of good health insurance is something you truly appreciate once you’ve had to use it. This is because you realize how much Benton Foundry pays that you do not. Until you have a major medical event, this is sometimes lost on you. It’s like Car or Homeowner’s Insurance in that you hope you never use it.
The top 5 people with medical bills totaled approximately $700,000 or 32% of the total $2,221,438. The numbers below represent an average breakdown of employees insured during the last 12-month period. Of note is that Benton Foundry insures your spouse presently which is different than what is in OBAMA Care.
|Subscriber and Spouse||40|
|Subscriber and Child||7|
|Subscriber and Children||4|
|$2,221,438 Paid by CBC ÷ 171 Policyholders =||$12,991/year on average per policyholder|
|$1,083/month on average per policyholder|
|$6.49/hour worked based on 2,000 hours/employee|
Benton Foundry realizes you pay a significant portion of this total amount. Benton Foundry pays approximately three quarters (75%) of the total cost of the plan. So, the moral to the story is that health care has become very expensive, but we need it. Use it wisely. Use it effectively by trying to control your out-of-pocket cost and Benton’s ultimate cost. Use generic drugs where you can. If you need tests, know the purpose, cost and your out-of-pocket amount by asking questions of your health care provider. Exercise (working at the Foundry helps with this requirement), eat nutritiously, get your rest and go to the doctor annually for a checkup. Any questions, comments or suggestions on the above, please submit to Tim Brown.
Congratulations to Pete Gowin, Sr. (right), Benton Foundry’s 2nd shift Employee of the Quarter (3rd Qtr. 2017). Pete currently works in our Molding Department as a machine operator. Pete has worked in many departments since starting in 1999. He resides in Mildred and enjoys hunting and fishing in his spare time.
Congratulations to David Emmett (right), Benton Foundry’s 2nd shift Employee of the Quarter (4th Qtr. 2017). Dave currently works in our Grinding Room as a robotic grinder (Foxall) operator. He previously worked in our core room and has been employed since 2011. Dave resides in Hunlock Creek and enjoys spending time with his children and grandchildren.
Congratulations to Eric Piatt (left), Benton Foundry’s 1st shift Employee of the Quarter (3rd Qtr. 2017). Eric works in our Maintenance Department and has been employed since 2005. Eric attended Penn State Hazleton’s campus for additional training. Eric lives in Bloomsburg with his wife Laura and their five children.
Congratulations to Annette Brown (left), Benton Foundry’s 1st shift Employee of the Quarter (4th Qtr. 2017). Annette works in our Human Resource Department and has been employed since 1987. Annette resides in Millville with her husband Jim and enjoys spending time with her family and pets.
As strange as it may seem to someone who is not a chemist, the movement of a single hydrogen atom from one side of a molecule to the other can change a simple naturally occurring food ingredient into a deadly substance.
The transformed ingredient I’m speaking of is trans fatty acid, or trans fats as consumers know them, a core component of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. For most of my life, trans fats were prominent in all manner of packaged, bakery and restaurant-prepared foods.
The descriptive “trans” refers to the fact that when a liquid vegetable oil like corn oil is treated to make it more solid and stable at room temperature—as, for example, in preparing margarine - a hydrogen atom moves from one side of a double chemical bond to the other so that two hydrogen atoms are now opposite one another instead of on the same side of the double bond.
That tiny molecular shift creates a substance that is now well known to be a potent precipitator of cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks, strokes and sudden cardiac deaths. Trans fats, in fact, are far more deadly than the saturated fats that heart-conscious people have tried to limit for decades. Their damaging effects include a rise in artery-clogging LDL cholesterol, damage to the lining of arteries, and inflammation, which can destabilize arterial plaque and precipitate a heart attack or stroke.
A mere 2 percent increase in calories from trans fats can raise the risk of coronary heart disease by as much as 29 percent. Substituting a healthy fat like extra virgin olive oil or canola oil for these containing trans fats could prevent 30,000 to 100,000 premature deaths a year, the American Medical Association concluded in 2013.
Government regulations have sought to minimize or eliminate the use of artificially produced trans fats years after their hazards were first recognized in the 1990s. Faced with having to declare the trans fat content on food labels in 2006, many major manufacturers heeded consumer concerns and reformulated their products to avoid partially hydrogenated oils. Next year, thanks to a ban by the Food and Drug Administration, these oils will no longer be permitted in industry-prepared foods.
Michael Jacobson, head of the Center of Science in the Public Interest, a consumer advocacy group that has long called for a trans fat ban, noted that “government-sponsored research led to the understanding that a product considered safe for about 100 years was shown to be the most harmful fat in the food supply.”
Lest there be any doubt as to the value of banning trans fats, recent studies have demonstrated a remarkable benefit to the hearts and lives of residents in places where governments restricted the use of partially hydrogenated oils years ago.
Denmark was the first to act, banning trans fats from food products and virtually eliminating them from that country’s food supply in 2004. Within three years, the ban had saved an average of 14.2 lives per 100,000 people a year, according to a study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
Starting in 2007 in New York City, New York State pioneered trans fat bans in this country. Scientists from the F.D.A. and Erasmus University in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, analyzed death rates in New York counties that forbid artificially produced trans fats in food sold in restaurants and bakeries. When death rates in these counties were compared with those in similar areas without a ban, the researchers found that restricting trans fats resulted in 13 fewer cardiovascular disease deaths and a saving of about $3.9 million per 100,000 persons annually.
A more recent study showed a comparable decline in cardiovascular disease rates as well. By comparing counties with and without a trans fat ban in food service establishments, Dr. Eric J. Brandt, a cardiovascular disease fellow at Yale University School of Med-icine, found that three or more years later, heart attacks declined by 7.8 percent and strokes by 3.6 percent in counties with the ban over and above what occurred in counties without a ban, though the stroke numbers were not statistically significant.
In an interview, Dr. Brandt noted that many manufacturers have substituted palm oil, which is high in saturated fat, for partially hydrogenated oils. He said, “Even when saturated fat is used in place of trans fat, there’s still a net benefit,” although a heart-smart consumer should avoid too much saturated fat, including palm and coconut oil.
Dr. Brandt became interested in trans fat as a student at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. In 2011 he published a paper pointing out misleading labeling practices that could result in people unwittingly consuming harmful levels of trans fats, a finding still relevant today. FDA labeling rules allow manufacturers to list as zero any amount of trans fat less than half a gram per serving. So, someone who consumes only three servings a day of foods that each contain .49 grams of trans fats would quickly exceed that .5 gram level.
“There really is no safe level for artificially produced trans fat,”
Dr. Brandt said. “It’s best to avoid all products that have any partially hydrogenated oils.” He noted, however, that less is better.
Canada, among other countries, lists trans fats down to a level of 0.1 gram per serving and he wondered why the United States doesn’t do likewise.
Complicating the trans fat picture is the fact that there are natural sources of this substance, found in meats and dairy products derived from ruminant animals.
“The jury is still out as to whether these are a hazard; the data is not clear about what natural trans fat means from a health standpoint,” Dr. Brandt said. He added, however, that “cardiologists mainly endorse a plant-based diet as the healthiest option.”
Below is a photograph of current employees that have chosen to continue their education through different programs offered by Benton Foundry. Many work in our maintenance and quality departments as various technicians. Some have gone through qualified certificate programs, while others have chosen two or four-year programs, which are also offered. We are currently interviewing individuals that will soon be selected for the next round of higher education. We believe investing in education benefits us all and we will continue to do so in the years to come. Congratulations and keep up the good work.
We have also recently been able to offer e-learning classes through AFS (American Foundry Society). We have had several employees take advantage of these classes as well. AFS offers a wide-range of class selection that give employees a better understanding of the metal casting industry from educational professionals that know this industry. Many individuals from our melt and quality departments, as well as new office employees, have taken advantage of these classes. Anyone wishing to increase their foundry knowledge is eligible to take the AFS e-classes, during non-production time. The following employees have taken classes.— Tom Boatman 12, Bo Boston 6, Chad Davis 10, Mike McAndrew 3, Ethan Fritz 7, Randy Kadtke 22, Matt Kittle 14 and Caroline Mengine 10.
When anglers talk trout fishing destinations, the conversa-tion often turns to northwestern states. It’s no secret that states like Montana, Colorado and Wyoming offer incredible trout fishing. Northeastern states like Pennsylvania deserve their fair share of attention. With over 85,000 miles of streams, 4,000 lakes and ponds, plus Lake Erie, the “Keystone State,” offers plenty of water to find trout. So, let’s track down some of the best PA trout-fishing locations.
Sinnemahoning Creek: 15.7 miles of water branch off from the Susquehanna River and make Sinnemahoning Creek. Here anglers enjoy fishing for trout in natural surroundings of the Elk State Forest. Several productive fingers of the river like the Bennett and Driftwood branches fish also very well for trout.
Large trophy-size trout between 14 and 20 inches are now a part of the stocking program in certain areas. Put on by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, the Keystone Select program stocks these larger trout in only limited areas. Fish the First Fork of Sinnemahoning Creek for a chance at one of these prize trout.
Lackawanna River: Through restoration efforts, the Lacka-wanna River is as good or better wild trout fishery than ever before. Suffering from effects of acid runoff from old mines, the fishery is now alive and abundant with wild brown trout. In total, anglers have 11 miles of Class “A” Wild-Trout-Stream– classified water to fish from.
Dense woods and lush foliage line the banks of this beautiful river, but be sure to know the fishing regulations. You’ll find the Trophy Trout waters begin at the Gilmartin St. Bridge in Archbald and continue to the Lackawanna Avenue Bridge in Olyphant. This protected stretch requires artificial lures and anglers may keep only 2 trout, 14-inches or over.
Letort Spring Run: One of the most gorgeous places to fish in the entire state, Letort Spring Run sits near the town of Carlisle in Southeast PA. Foliage and tree growth around the spring is dense to the point of enclosing, making it jungle like fishing. The run looks deceptively shallow in places because of moss overgrowth on rocks though it holds enough room for wild trout to thrive. A mile-and-a-half of the run has a special Heritage Trout Angling designation. The section requires barb-less hooks, with catch-and-release fishing only. The browns in the run don’t average great size, but they’re better in the protected section. They’re also tougher to catch. Head down to the lower part of the run for easier casting and a better shot at a wild brown trout.
Lake Pleasant: Erie County, PA is home to the Lake Pleasant where anglers fish for all kinds of species. Anglers catch large-mouth bass, common carp, northern pike, and more than a handful of other fish. Among them and perhaps most sought out are rainbow trout with their larger lake trout relatives.Fishermen approach Lake Pleasant both from boat or on shore. The surrounding countryside boasts a northern hardwood forest like so much of PA does. Hemlock, sugar maple, and American beech trees follow as far as the eye can see and help maintain the health of the watershed. Troll the deep water for lake trout or cast salmon eggs from shore, either way you’ll enjoy the ambiance of Lake Pleasant.
Lake Erie: Another location for a shot at a trophy lake trout in PA is Lake Erie. Find a fair-weather day when the wind isn’t screaming and head out with some trolling gear. Lake Erie is the fourth largest of the Great Lakes, but it’s also the shallowest. Shallow water warms up in summer months which isn’t a good condition for lake trout. You’ll want to know where to find them.
Neil Strait passed away on August 13, 2017. Neil worked at Benton Foundry for 17 years. He was a robotic grinder (Foxall) operator. Our condolences to Neil’s family.
Roy Green, 93, passed away August 13, 2017. Roy worked for Benton Foundry for over 15 years, before his retirement. Our condolences to Roy’s family.
Paul Bartlow, Sr. passed away August 19, 2017. Paul worked for Benton Foundry for 39 years as a molder, retiring in March of 2012. Our condolences to Paul’s family.
Charles (Charlie) Hamilton passed away on October 25, 2017. Charlie started working for Benton Foundry in 1974. He worked in our molding department and pattern shop retiring in September of 2010. Our condolences to Charlie’s family.
Shirley Green passed away on October 29, 2017. Shirley worked at the foundry from 1988 through March of 2009. She worked in our grinding department. Shirley was married to Ron Green who was also a grinder. Our condolences go out to Shirley’s family.
Don Reichenbach passed away on December 25, 2017. Don worked at Benton Foundry for 37 years as a molder, before his retirement. Our condolences to Don’s family.
Why do we sing “take me out to the ball game” when we are already there?
Brain Post: How Far Does the Average Human Walk in a Lifetime?
The average moderately active person takes around 7,500 steps/day. If you maintain that daily average and live until 80 years of age, you’ll have walked about 216,262,500 steps in your lifetime.
Doing the math, the average person with the average stride living until 80 will walk a distance of around 110,000 miles; which is the equivalent of walking about 5 times around the Earth, right on the equator.
For the second consecutive year, Benton Foundry has re-ceived a Supplier Recognition Award for 95% or better on-time delivery, as well as quality.
Thank you to all for a job well done.
Pictured above from left to right: Aaron McHenry (Production Control Manager), Lynn Miller (Account Coordinator) Carl Stackhouse (Quality Control Manager)
We have been able to maintain this rating since we began doing business with this company. Keep up the good work and let’s try for three consecutive years!
How many retirees are pictured at the Knoebels picnic in this issue and what are their names?
Answer will be in 1st Quarter 2018
Answer from 2nd Quarter question:
If you spend 85% of your money and have only $75.00 left, how much did you start with?