About the Award Winners: Strongwell

In October, SVAM honored Southwest Virginia manufacturers with awards for manufacturing companies who go above and beyond in various categories. Through this blog series, we would like for you to get to know the award winners and learn more about their accomplishments.

tekai headshotStrongwell in Bristol, VA received the Community Impact Award. To learn more about the company and the impact of the award, we interviewed Te-Kai Shu, Social Media and Business Development Manager at Strongwell.

Tell us about your company.
Strongwell currently has 500 employee located throughout its four facilities in North America. This makes Strongwell the world’s leader of pultruded fiber reinforced polymer composites and structures.


Tell us about the program(s) you have implemented that led you to win this award.
Strongwell’s guiding principles are what drives our training, social impact, and business model. Our social impact initiatives recognize that our people are our most important resource and integrity should never be compromised. Our initiatives are always driven by sustainability and the community at large. We participate in a variety of educational programs, wellness outreach projects, and classroom to workplace outreach projects. We also sponsor many local organizations as a corporation.

How do you feel your company was set apart from other companies who might apply for this award?
All of the nominees were deserving of this award as manufacturers are large community stakeholders. For over 60 years, Strongwell has been a community advocate and partner of the Twin-Cities in its short and long term objectives. Our involvement with education, mentorship, wellness, and career outreach have resonated well with our workforce and community.

Where do you see the future of your company in regard to community impact?
All companies should embrace social impact as we are all investors within our communities. The competitive business landscape requires businesses to recruit and retain new ideas and talent. The best way to engage in community impact is by hiring and inviting stakeholders to participate, engage, and advocate on how their community needs should be met. We will continue to explore internships, career fairs, camp involvement, and mentorship opportunities.

What has winning this award meant to your company? Have there been internal or community impacts of winning the award?
Careers shouldn’t be just about jobs. It should motivate people on how best to serve their community. It has been a humbling and rewarding opportunity to celebrate and highlight the work of our associates and our company. Our employees are enthusiastically looking forward to 2020 and our social impact initiatives.


Strongwell also won the Community Choice Award. They were nominated for the award by Marissa Sluss. Ms. Sluss nominated Strongwell for their internship program. She said, “Strongwell was at no obligation to allow any interns into the plant, but they did because they want to establish connections with the community and more importantly to establish connections with the next working generations. In addition to the internship program, I found that Strongwell does other outreaches with the University of Tennessee and even with young girls in the STEM programs of the surrounding area. I was, and still am, truly astonished at the initiative Strongwell is taking to connect young people with manufacturing.”

To learn more about Strongwell visit their website www.strongwell.com.

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