NAM’s Coveted Trowbridge Award Given to New Hampshire Firm


HANK COX (202) 637-3090


Hypertherm Demonstrates Exemplary Commitment to Community Service

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 2, 2008 – The National Association of Manufacturers today conferred the coveted Trowbridge Award upon Hypertherm, the world leader of plasma arc metal cutting technology. The Hanover, New Hampshire – based company engineers and manufactures advanced metal cutting systems used in a variety of industries including shipbuilding, manufacturing and automotive repair.

The Trowbridge Award is named after the late Sandy Trowbridge, former Secretary of Commerce, who served as President of the NAM from 1979 to 1989. Trowbridge was known for his decisiveness and leadership on behalf of manufacturing, and also for his commitment to community service. He devoted himself to a variety of charitable efforts, including A Better Chance, which aids minority youth in attending top boarding schools; the Foundation for Management Education in Central America, which provides advanced business education in Central America; the International Executive Service Corps, which sends retired U.S. executives to serve in third world countries; the Washington Center,; Junior Achievement; and Outward Bound.

“Sandy Trowbridge was a Washington institution who has left us a marvelous legacy,” said NAM President John Engler. “He was first and foremost an articulate advocate of manufacturing, but he always found time in his busy schedule for worthy causes. Hypertherm exemplifies that proud tradition of business commitment to community service through an imaginative variety of activities in which both the company and its employees reach out to help the less fortunate in their community.”

Hypertherm was founded in 1968 by Dick Couch who invented water injection cutting, a major breakthrough in the field of plasma cutting. Over the years, he and Hypertherm’s 1000 associates have developed a variety of cutting edge innovations including technology that made it possible to cut underwater. Other innovations include HyDefinition and HyPerformance plasma which helped people make better cuts at faster speeds. The company has grown and prospered in tandem with its technological leadership, and at the same time undertaken an array of community outreach activities.

“The community service of our associates is a great source of pride for Hypertherm,” said Dick Couch, Hypertherm President. “I believe this kind of engagement not only makes for a more prosperous and healthy community, but it generates rich dividends year in and year out that provide a more than full return on our investment.

“We greatly appreciate this honor awarded by the National Association of Manufacturers, and are proud to carry on in the tradition of Sandy Trowbridge,” Couch said.

Hypertherm and its associates, with enthusiastic company support, have undertaken a variety of exciting community outreach programs to enhance the quality of life for people in need of assistance. Among the company’s outreach efforts:

  • Hypertherm’s Community Service Time Program provides all associates (employees) with 16 hours, the equivalent of two full work days, of paid time for community volunteer work.
  • Hypertherm donates a percentage of its revenue to nonprofit organizations, with a focus on groups that promote development of children and families. The company routinely purchases full page newspaper ads to solicit community help in identifying worthy nonprofits that need help. An example is COVER, a local charity that repairs homes for the needy and recycles used building supplies. Hypertherm provides direct financial support and volunteer work.
  • Hypertherm Associates participate in the Hypertherm Owners Philanthropic Endeavors (HOPE) program which is devoted to the well being of children and families. Different Hypertherm associates work with HOPE on a rotating basis.
  • About 75 Hypertherm Associates have planned, organized and implemented the New England Fall Special Olympics that serves about 75 athletes. Events include volleyball, horseback riding, track and field events and bowling.
  • More than 30 Hypertherm associates participate in Junior Achievement every year, a program that uses business volunteers to teach children business skills. The volunteers go into a classroom once a week for six weeks with a defined curriculum.
  • Through Everybody Wins!, a reading program, Hypertherm Associates go into local elementary schools and volunteer an hour of their time reading with a child one day a week.
  • Hypertherm is an active supporter of United Way. The company matches employee contributions on a dollar for dollar basis. In the most recent campaign, Hypertherm and its associates raised $100,000 for United Way.

Other finalists considered for the Trowbridge Award this year were Lion Precision, St. Paul, MN; Precision Brand Products, Inc., Downers Grove, Il.; PTR Baler and Compactor, Philadelphia, PA.; Taylored Labor Products, Inc., Menomonee Falls, WI.; and Weldon, Williams & Lick, Fort Smith, AR.

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