Community Service at Huffman Engineering – A New Employee’s Perspective
Jeff Austin, Operations Manager
I joined Huffman Engineering nearly 8 months ago. Following my 30-year Naval career, there were certain things I was looking for in my post-military “dream job.” One of the things that I had listed in my “top 5 must-haves” was my new job had to provide a valuable service to the community and value community service. During the interview process and following the job offer, I had a specific request: I asked that I be allowed a half-day each month for community service through my church. Needless to say, I didn’t know what to expect when I put forward my request. I was relieved that the response was my request would be “easy to accommodate.”
After being here at Huffman Engineering for 8 months, I’ve come to realize that service to others and the community is fully embedded into the company culture…and that starts with the example of Howard and Wendy Huffman. As Howard says “we want to provide value to our customers, value to our vendors, and value to our company and community.” Service to others is a bedrock value at Huffman Engineering. As I’ve gotten to know all the talented individuals that make Huffman Engineering work, I realize how the bedrock values are put into action by all employees.
The company encourages acts of service by their employees. We have two individuals who serve as Assistant Scoutmasters in two local, Lincoln-area Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Troops. The company and engineers sponsor a local Robotics team in the First LEGO League (FLL) of Lincoln; one of our engineers has even received recognition for FLL volunteer of the year. One employee has continually been a sponsor of the UNL Formula SAE team and served as advisor in 2016. Howard Huffman is directly involved in sponsoring and supporting the Powerlifting competition for the Cornhusker State Games and encourages others within the company to participate in supporting the competition. Several other Huffman Engineering employees have served as coaches for various youth sporting events, and one employee was recently recognized with the “National Indicator Fraternity” award for his work as a softball umpire at the high school level. Many employees volunteer in their churches, communities, and with their schools at the high school and collegiate level. Huffman Engineering also has an employee serving on the Board of Directors for the Food Bank for the Heartland in Omaha.
Huffman Engineering’s culture is one of giving back to the community. The pinnacle of the company’s service was evident during the recent Christmas holiday season. The annual Holiday event began with the “State of the Company” address by Howard followed by a wonderful lunch at a local restaurant. After the meal, almost all of Huffman Engineering’s employees proceeded to Lincoln’s City Impact organization to help with their annual Gifts of Love store, an event that allows low-income individuals to buy Christmas gifts for their children at a reduced rate. Each employee provided over 2 hours of service. Huffman Engineering Inc. had teams out collecting gift items, packing gifts to volunteers, and working to sort through and inventory items that were going to go to the City Impact store. Not only did they encourage us to serve but also give monetarily if we wished to. For what employees contributed in cash, Huffman Engineering would double it and donate directly to City Impact. As a company, in addition to the time spent, over $2000 was donated by Huffman Engineering, Inc.
I’m proud to be associated with Huffman Engineering and the many talented individuals that work here. They not only provide value to our customers, they continue to provide value and service to their community.