Employees of Flexcel Customized Manufacturing Solutions in Post Falls know how important it is to make a first impression. An on-site service for customers is a hallmark of the firm that manufactures metal office furniture, panel systems and file storage products.
They extend that corporate ideal to the environment and want to ensure that first impressions of motorists entering Idaho are positive and lasting. That’s why they have been cleaning Idaho’s first mile of Interstate 90 at the Washington border the past decade.
That commitment to environmental stewardship earned Flexcel employees District 1 Adopt-A-Highway Group of the Year honors from the Idaho Transportation Department last week.
In a Thursday presentation at the district office in Coeur d’Alene, representatives accepted a plaque and a clock fashioned from a sample Idaho license plate from Transportation Board member John McHugh.
The company’s core values could serve as a standard for groups participating in the state’s Adopt-A-Highway program, according to Shirley Walson, of ITD’s traffic section, who coordinates cleanup activities in the Panhandle.
“Flexcel Customized Manufacturing Solutions, a unit of Kimball International, operates under a set of guiding principles. One of the guiding principles focuses on the company’s self-appointed responsibility that states:
How seriously do employees take their responsibility? One highway cleanup volunteer found dried bones of a coyote along the interstate and took them home to study. Another found an emblem from a private vehicle that was used to replace one missing from the volunteer’s own Ford.
Kimball International produces furniture, related components and electronic assemblies for customers throughout the world. The Flexcel office in Post Falls is one of nine operating under Kimball. Others are located in Indiana, Kentucky, Mexico and China.
ITD’s statewide Adopt-A-Highway program organizes the cleaning of Idaho roadsides by volunteer groups. Those groups “adopt” a specific stretch of highway – usually two miles long – and take responsibility for keeping it clean through regular litter patrols.
More than 1,100 groups spent approximately 30,000-person hours statewide removing litter in 2005. About 50 percent of state highways have been adopted, leaving ample opportunities for other groups and individuals to become involved.
The volume of material collected from the shoulders of Idaho makes a tremendous difference in the appearance of Idaho’s highways, said statewide AAH coordinator, Sherie Sweaney.
Volunteers collected more than 2.3 million pounds of litter, resulting in a savings to the state of nearly a quarter-million dollars that can be applied to other projects that improve safety and driving conditions.
For more information about adopting a stretch of highway, contact Sweaney at (800) 443-2878.