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Columbia Business Monthly

Top Work Places #3 Large Company - T&S Brass and Bronze Works, Inc.

May 03, 2018 01:36PM ● By Makayla Gay

By AnnaMarie Koehler-Shepley

  Spread out across a 24-acre campus in Travelers Rest, T & S Brass and Bronze Works, Inc. is not your typical manufacturing hub. Privately-held and owned by the Theisen family, the company was founded in 1947 and specializes in faucets, fittings, and specialty products for a variety of different industries.

Vice President of Human Resources Mary Alice Bowers has been with the company for 27 years and says that what makes the company a Top Workplace is that everyone feels like extended family.

“The culture is very familial and human: it’s what makes this place special,” Bowers said.

Bolstering that climate includes perks at work, like catered lunches and ice cream trucks, or free health services, like having an onsite health clinic and “lunch and learns” on health and wellness. It also includes events outside of work, like an upcoming family day at Frankie’s Fun Park where the company will have the whole park to themselves for a Sunday afternoon with coworkers and their families.

The company’s turnover rate is also impressively low (ranging from 2 to 3 percent, Bowers said), which is something she attributes to the company’s unique manufacturing process and the flexibility it lends to employees.

“I think for a manufacturing plant, we are extremely flexible: we want our associates to have a life outside of their jobs,” Bowers said. “Rules have to be very rigid in many production environments, but because of the unique nature of our manufacturing process, we can offer a little more flexibility.”

And with the company growing on an international scale, Bowers says that that has not made leadership any less accessible. She says that owners and top leadership are very involved in the workforce, and that the VP of manufacturing can frequently be found out on the floor.

“It’s truly family, and people feel that,” Bowers said. “When they are recruited here from larger corporate culture, they can feel the difference. We know each other by name, we engage with each other, and we know what’s going on with each other’s families—it’s part of who we are.”