Thanks to tax reform, Advanced Superabrasives of Mars Hill, North Carolina, is creating high-paying jobs, investing in workforce training and growing its operations. But what’s even more impressive is it has already given many of the 43 employees not just one, not just two, but three pay raises in 2018.
“For a small business like us, our biggest burden has always been taxes,” explained Jonathan Szucs, general manager of Advanced Superabrasives. “We would love to have had the opportunity to reinvest money in our company, in our employees and our communities—rather than give it to the government. Because of tax reform, now we finally have that opportunity.”
“We’ve handed out more raises this year than ever before in the history of our company,” Szucs said. “We’ve never done more than one raise per year—but so far in 2018, we’ve given as many as three raises to many of our employees. And we’re only halfway through the year!”
In addition to the hefty new pay bumps, Advanced Superabrasives is also using its tax savings to continue to pay 100 percent of their employees’ health care premiums—something that would have been impossible in 2018 under its old tax rate.
“The cost of our plan jumped 23 percent between 2017 and 2018,” Szucs said. “Without tax reform, there was absolutely no way we could’ve kept paying. It’s not cheap—I know, I write the check every month! But tax reform means we can still do this for our employees.”
Szucs plans to continue to put employees first, even as the company grows substantially. Because of the savings netted from tax reform, Advanced Superabrasives plans breakneck growth, doubling its workforce by 2022 and constructing a new 110,000-square-foot facility.
Szucs admits that attracting solid talent has always been a challenge. With plans to create 47 new jobs over the next four years, Advanced Superabrasives is investing in workforce development now to ensure that the company will have a pool of workers with the skills and credentials it needs.
“In our area, there are 1,200 open machinist positions,” explained Szucs. “But each year, only 12 to 15 people graduate with relevant associates degrees.”
“This year, we’ve been a lot more active because we have the financial ability to do so,” said Szucs. He outlined the kind of programs that Advanced Superabrasives has launched—reaching kids of all ages and showing them the benefits of a career in modern manufacturing.
“We go down to local elementary schools and donate software for computers and iPads to get kids excited about manufacturing,” said Szucs. “We bring middle schools to tour our facility. And for high schoolers, we offer paid internships both in the summer and during the school year and host an annual career fair.”
As a result of its workforce development, Advanced Superabrasives has hired more paid interns than ever before—including one recent graduate, who is currently transitioning to a full apprenticeship with the company.
“Without tax reform, we would not have the cash flow to have four interns,” Szucs emphasized.
The workforce development will come in handy as Advanced Superabrasives continues to grow.
“Tax reform has allowed us the capital to add new product lines, which adds to our growth,” Szucs said. “They’re really, really taking off. We have a great optimism because of tax reform.”
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