The following letter was sent by the PHL Neighborhood Growth Project to neighborhood, business, and civic leaders.

Dear Friend,

The employee-owners and friends of Stockwell Elastomerics celebrated our 100th anniversary last month. From our roots on Sixth and Arch Streets, a few decades on Shackamaxon Street, then to our current home in Northeast Philly – we’ve seen lots of change. We are proud to be manufacturing in Philadelphia and supplying our products globally, made by a highly skilled and world-class workforce.

A few years ago we chose to expand our campus and add a third building, which should provide enough room for us to continue our growth. We have been able to support that growth by hiring from the neighborhoods of Philadelphia and giving all residents the skills needed to thrive in a modern economy.

Last year, we were introduced to Baker Industries and discovered a new source of motivated employees by looking at nontraditional employees. Baker’s Kensington workforce training center has an innovative work readiness program that prepares workers with criminal backgrounds for successful reentry. We offer second chances to formerly incarcerated individuals and recently hired two – we are thrilled with their work production and integration into our company culture. Helping them re-enter the workforce boosts the economy, lowers social welfare spending, reduces recidivism, and makes our communities safer.

As a partner of the PHL Neighborhood Growth Project, I highly encourage other Philadelphia manufacturers and service providers to try this innovative approach to hiring motivated, responsible workers. Make a hire, provide a second chance, and help our city.

In the Spirit of Growth,

Bill

Bill Stockwell is the President of Stockwell Elastomerics, Inc. and a coalition member of the PHL Neighborhood Growth Project.