I’m always asking readers to send in information about projects, personnel moves and new products. But one thing I rarely ask about is community involvement. Maybe I should start.

That occurred to me as I was working with associate editor Emma Klug on this month’s cover story, which features SET Duct Manufacturing, a Detroit-based sheet metal contractor. 

As you’ll see in the story, SET is a successful operation that is part of an even larger organization that specializes in metal processing services. SET Duct started in March 2010 — a time when a lot of sheet metal companies were struggling just to stay in business. And it set up operations in Detroit — a city that has been a Rust Belt exhibit of hard times for almost 50 years. 

And while some companies say that simply providing good jobs in a community is enough, officials with SET don’t agree. When we visited SET, company executives were quick to point out that they had rehabilitated an overgrown, neglected playground across the street from their sheet metal forming facility. 

What was once weed-choked and trash-covered is now clean, mowed and available for use by the people who live in the surrounding neighborhood.
But SET does more than just keep a community playground clean. SET’s website lists the company’s involvement in charities such as Toys for Tots, participation in local food and clothing drives, anti-breast cancer fundraisers and other endeavors.

The company’s current CEO, Victor Edozien, is a board member of a nationwide scholarship program started by Sid Edward Taylor, the retired founder of SET Enterprises.

“It’s pretty much embedded in us that we do have a responsibility to give back to the community,” SET general manager Jerry Liddell told us. “I think the whole motto is ‘Team work by everybody.’ We could talk about assets all day long, but probably our best asset is the employees that work here and that is by far more valuable than any item on the floor.” 

I am sure SET is not the only HVAC or sheet metal company with that philosophy. I’d like to find out what type of community involvement other Snips readers take part in. Do you sponsor a Little League team? Hold fundraisers for a local food bank or give to another charity? I know that some people and businesses are shy to talk about such work, but they need not be. If you believe a business has a duty to support the community that supports it, I’d like to hear about it. Email me at mcconnellm@bnpmedia.com or contact us through one of our social media channels.

April Snipsmag.com poll results:

Who do you think should win? 

The Sheet Metal Workers union has endorsed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in her bid to be U.S. president. Who do you think should win the Democratic nomination at this summer’s convention in Philadelphia?