Hegins, PA Location Receives VPP Star Recommendation

Posted Jul 31, 2019

Photo of VPP Presentations

You could say that MI Windows and Doors has become a star-studded company.

VPP Star-studded, that is.

Today the Hegins plant became our fourth facility to earn OSHA’s extremely prestigious Voluntary Protection Program Star, joining Prescott Valley (2017), Gratz (2017), and Profiles (2019).

Established in 1982, the Voluntary Protection Program was created to encourage companies to go the extra mile for workplace safety. Currently, fewer than 2,300 jobsites across the country – out of eight million – have the VPP Star.

“This is a culmination of years and years worth of work,” Hegins General Manager Jason Wolfgang said. “It started long before I joined the MI family: I just happened to be the one who pushed the ball across the goal line. It was great work by everybody involved; this has been a long journey.”

The announcement came after a three-day audit by a five-member OSHA team, led by Region III VPP Manager Terry Penn. When Penn made her announcement, the approximately 60 MI team members in attendance erupted in applause.

“I was about ready to jump out of my seat when Terry announced it,” said Cassidy Long, an MI Pillar Leader at Hegins who works the third shift. “I’m excited to go back to night shift and let everyone know.”

Officially, Penn and her team still have to make their recommendation to OSHA. Once Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor Loren Sweatt approves their recommendation – which usually takes a few months – the Hegins’ Star will be official. However, this last step is typically just a formality.

During its audit, the OSHA team conducted more than 200 interviews with team members, listened to presentations, and took tours of both production buildings on the Hegins campus. Their suggestions for improvement at the end of days 1 and 2 were immediately acted upon by Hegins team members.

“As we continue to grow, we’re doing the right things for our team,” said Hegins Campus Safety Manager Chris Koperna, who has been an integral part of all four of MI’s VPP audits to date. “They do a fabulous job. They give us all the puzzle pieces, and we put it together.”

Although there were plenty of celebratory handshakes and backslaps in the room as MI team members celebrated Wednesday’s announcement, there’s still plenty of work to do. Next year, both Gratz and Prescott Valley will go through their three-year VPP re-evaluation. 

“We’re going to continue to get better,” Koperna said. “This, by no means, is an excuse to sit back and relax. We’re evaluating our gaps and planning to get stronger at the things we need to get stronger at.”