This article was originally published on Clevelandbanner.com.
Charleston-area manufacturers held a “Good Neighbor Night” at Charleston Elementary School on Tuesday, in an effort to reach out to local residents.
Billed as an opportunity for “parents, children and the Charleston community to meet their industrial and community services managers,” the event was held at the school’s gym. and featured representatives from local manufacturers including Wacker Polysilicon, Resolute Forest Products, Olin Chlor Akali, Dilling Group, DHL, Lonza Group and Tarver Distributing.
In addition, personnel from Charleston Fire & Rescue and Bradley County Emergency Services were also present.
Lisa Mantooth, Wacker Polysilicon communications and executive coordinator, said the event was inspired by ones held in Calvert City, Ky., where a Wacker plant, as well as other similar manufacturers are located. She said Wacker Polysilicon vice president Mary Beth Hudson wanted to establish the same type of event for its Charleston neighbors.
“Wacker held these events in Calvert City, when Mary Beth Hudson worked there,” Mantooth said. “And she wanted to have one here in Charleston.
Mantooth said the event is a great opportunity for the community to meet its industrial neighbors.
“They can come here, meet them and put a face with the company,” Mantooth said.
Located throughout the gym were tables where each manufacturer handed out gifts for the community, including coloring books for children, pens, paper products, as well as informational materials listing the types of products they manufacturer.
Ross Tarver, president and GM of Tarver Distributing, a local Anheuser-Busch distributor, said his company also distributes water to communities affected by natural disasters.
“We sent water to California a week ago and will continue for the next several weeks,” Tarver said.
Tarver said his company supplied fresh bottled water for residents of Mexico Beach, Fla., which Hurricane Michael devastated, including severely disrupting the availability of fresh water. His company also distributed fresh water to local victims of the tornado outbreak that took place in 2011.
Olin plant manager Chris Anziano said his company regularly works with local schools.
“Employees come to the school to read to the kids,” Anziano said. “We also helped to establish the school’s STEAM lab.”
STEAM is the acronym for science, technology, engineering, art and math.
In addition to paper products and polysilicon, the local manufacturers also produce chlorine, bleach, as well as supply mechanical and electrical services to area industrial plants.