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PHOTO PRODUCTS DEPARTMENT
SlP0U> VOL. 15, NO. 1
YEAR PAST. AND
YEAR TO COME
As we enter the new year, I
want to thank each of you for
your help in making 1981 a suc
cessful year for the Brevard plant.
Sales volume remained stable;
overall safety performance was
much improved over 1980; and
the majority of our employees
elected not to participate in the
major USWA - DuPont organizing
As you know, many plants
around the nation did not fare as
well as we did at Brevard. The
full force of the recession hit
many areas in the United States.
Segments of our economy remain
in serious trouble affecting major
industries like autos, housing, air
lines, appliances, steel, and even
computer sales. Recession means
unemployment which brings hard
ships to millions of families. In
many cases employees are losing
wages and benefits gained during
more prosperous times. The choice
is often simple—make concessions
or join the ranks of the unem
ployed. In the final analysis, job
security is the fundamental issue
that concerns every employee. I
am grateful our plant did not face
these kinds of problems. But
what about 1982?
The future is difficult to pre
dict, but there are some things I
feel can be said about 1982. As a
general statement, our x-ray busi
ness should remain stable. Changes
in polyester base demand and in
creased departmental manufactur
ing capacity will require adjust
ments to the casting schedules.
The extent of these adjustments
has not yet been determined.
Medical x-ray products will
continue to feel the impact of an
increased level of competitive ac
tivity. Domestic x-ray sales will
continue the trend toward slower
growth rates. Factors that impinge
on our business include nation
wide pressure to reduce rising
medical costs and emerging elec
tronic imaging systems.
There are things that must be
done if we are to maintain our
competitive position in the domes
tic marketplace and gain new bus
iness in foreign markets. Compe
titors are actively investing money
and resources to achieve produc
tivity and quality improvements.
It is essential that our plant take
advantage of every opportunity to
increase market share. This can
best be done through successful:
• Cost containment programs.
• Improved productivity.
• Improved product quality.
To achieve these goals, it will
be necessary to continue our ef
forts to upgrade existing equip
ment through rate increase pro
grams, quality improvements, and
finishing area mechanization. In
addition, a study is underway to
determine the feasibility of mod
ernizing IB coater.
A number of people frequently
ask about employment opportuni
ties for relatives and friends. The
number of people who leave our
employment during the course of
a year is very small, and I antici
pate new hiring will be very limited
Many challenges lie ahead, but
I remain optimistic about the fu
ture of the Brevard plant. If we
continue to exhibit the qualities
that have made this plant success
ful in the past and recognize the
need for cooperation and dedica
tion to the task before us, 1982
will be another good year.
Do-It-Yourself Vonpool is
One Year Old, Going Strong.
Have you ever stopped to figure out
how much money it takes to get to
work? Jackie Hall and Jim Cabe did,
and their findings persuaded them to
start the Brevard Plant's only official
It sounded simple, but a vanpool is
more than "just folks riding to work
together." The pool operates under spe
cial laws administered by the N.C. De
partment of Motor Vehicles, according
to Federal guidelines established by the
Department of Energy. Licensing require
ments are strict for both the vehicle and
the drivers. Careful accounting for all
money is required. In exchange for the
extra trouble, the operator is able to
purchase the necessary licenses and
insurance at special rates, and if gasoline
is ever rationed, the special "VANPOOL"
license tag guarantees top consideration
on a full tank of fuel. The state also
agreed to cover capital losses incurred
during the first year, but this help was
The first year ended January 26, and
this is a success story.
The 15 members have enjoyed de
pendable transportation for a year, and
there have been 8 fewer cars on the road
and in the parking lot. The van goes 63
miles each day at an average fuel rate of
10.4 MPG: that’s 156 passenger miles
per gallon. As fuel is conserved, riders
also save on costs of maintenance and
insurance of personal vehicles. Each
member pays $2 per day, and "spare
riders" are waiting to fill seats when
ever a regular is out.
"We call that $2 the 'stopping charge',"
says Jack Hall, "and the rest of the trip
is free. We don't charge by the distance
each person rides, because a single share
of the difference in gasoline cost is such
a small part of the overall operating
expense. I think we figured out that
it would be about $2.05 for the longest
rider, and $1.95 from Island Ford Road,
the closest stop to the plant.
"Two dollars for everyone makes the
Address Correction Requested
Box 267, Brevard, N. C. 28712
"About a third of that goes for gas,"
says Jack. "The rest covers maintenance,
insurance, and payments on the van."
Van payments are a large item in the
budget because the van is a first-class
vehicle. All the running gear is heavy
duty for best reliability, and passenger
comfort is considered in the carpeting,
tinted glass and extra padding in the
seats. Heating and air conditioning
systems have outlets both front and rear.
"It's not perfect," says Jackie, "but
the only things I would change are the
radio—I should have bought one with
FM stereo—and the cruise control. That
sounded like a good idea, but we never
Jack Hall is the operator of the van-
pool and the principal driver. Gertha
Shipman and Lester Chapman, the alter
nate drivers, also hold the required
"Class B" operator's license.
When Hall and Cabe first saw the
need for a vanpool, they spent several
years trying to get help on the project.
Finally, after two years of discussing
DuPont sponsorship, they concluded
that the best way was to do it on their
They looked at leasing and found
it impractical, so Jack traded in his car,
and Jim paid the first $500.00 insurance
premium. Cabe's schedule changed be
fore he got his money's worth, but the
pool has been able to pay back the
unused portion. In another 3 years.
Jack could recover some of his invest
ment by being the owner of a 4 year old
Dodge van with 80,000 miles on it.
"Trade for a new van," Jack answers.
"VVe're saving money, saving gasoline,
riding in style and enjoying each other's
company. This is a game where every
And it also seems to validate Poor
Richard's classic advice: "If you would
have a thing done well, do it yourself."
Brevard, N. C.