Oreck Corporation Brings Hope and Opportunity to Employees
Oreck Corporation, the 45-year-old family operated company known for their signature vacuum cleaners, has been invested in the Gulf Coast for nearly half a century, locating their headquarters in New Orleans and manufacturing plant in Long Beach, MS. On January 30th and February 1st, Oreck distributed 188 grants, totaling $887,900 from their employee assistance fund. The fund is administered by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation.
Following Hurricane Katrina, Oreck has reaffirmed their commitment to their employees and communities, re-opening their Long Beach facility within two weeks of the storm, and finding ways to help their employees through this difficult time.
Flor Guandique, a staff accountant and New Orleans employee, commented, "Oreck has been great. In a time of great despair and uncertainty, I was reassured that I'd still have a job, that somehow my family could recover." Flor, a recipient of employee assistance, was one of over a hundred employees that Oreck helped evacuate to Dallas with their families.
Returning to their homes after the storm, many of the New Orleans employees found significant damage: roofs collapsed by fallen trees, water lines marking flood damaged walls. In Long Beach, many employees found their homes swept away, shifted a few feet over or simply splintered into an unrecognizable tangle of debris.
Geralyn Mouille, a 17 year veteran, remarked, "There just isn't a substitute for the loyalty and compassion this company has shown me. From helping my family get out of harm's way, to providing shelter while my roof was repaired, Oreck has kept me going, looking forward, and thinking positive."
In Long Beach, one of the hardest hit communities, Oreck has set-up a company community known playfully as Oreckville. There, the company is providing temporary shelter in trailers, and access to counselors. Most important, say employees, is the opportunity to return to work. That's where the recovery begins.
Margelia "Margie" Marrder, a ten-year employee of Oreck, said, "I can't imagine where I'd be today without Oreck, where my family would be. This company cares about its employees, realizes that their future is tied to our recovery."