B y Krystle S. Morey

Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics gave away more than 250 turkeys for Thanksgiving this year.
All of the company’s employees and retirees get turkeys. There is no cost to the recipients.
“We order enough to supply our active employees and retirees, and then we order extra to give to the charities,” said Granville plant manager Christopher McGlynn.
The company distributed 255 birds last Thursday during two sessions, in the morning and evening. A large truck arrived at the plant at Sealants Park off East Potter Avenue and members of the company’s management team handed out the frozen turkeys, wishing each recipient a “happy holiday.”
“You want to recognize all of the hard work … and it’s a good way to give thanks to your employees for all of the work they put in over the year – the countless hours and dedication they’ve had,” McGlynn said. “It’s a small token. It’s a good way to give back.”
“We ask a lot of our employees … and we expect a lot,” McGlynn added. “This is just a way to foster that relationship. This is just a small way of recognizing the hard work that they put in.”
McGlynn said there’s a good mix of families who receive the turkeys each year. There are single-person homes, homes with seven people and some with retired couples.
“It’s something the employees really count on,” he said, because they get their turkey a week before Thanksgiving.
Retiree Bob Sloan said he appreciates getting a free bird for the holidays.
“It’s a good gesture,” he said.
Sloan, who worked at Saint-Gobain for 37 years as a supervisor, retired in 2009.
He’s picked up his free Thanksgiving turkey from the company every year since.
“It’s a good-sized turkey too,” Sloan said.
The turkeys are anywhere from 18-22 pounds. Saint-Gobain purchases the Butterball birds from a wholesaler in Albany.
Sloan and his wife, who are both retired, recently moved from Argyle to a larger home in Amsterdam, but they still have the family together for Thanksgiving.
“They can’t wait,” he said of his family’s excitement about the annual holiday bird.
The turkeys that are not claimed by employees or retirees are donated to local organizations, including the Community Sharing Project/Poultney Food Pantry, The Lighthouse in Granville and the Durkeetown Baptist Church in Fort Edward.
“A lot of our employees choose to donate their turkeys,” McGlynn said.
Lindsay Schieffelin, of The Lighthouse, a local ministry for children, picked up six donated birds last Thursday.
“We have a bunch of kids who come in, so they (the turkey donations) mean a lot,” said Schieffelin, of the 30-40 kids who are served at the church on Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.
“This is such a wonderful program,” he said. “We are grateful.”
The Lighthouse is part of the Assembly of God Church on Bulkley Avenue in Granville.
“It important, and it’s part of the Saint-Gobain mission, to support the local communities,” McGlynn said.
This was McGlynn’s first turkey hand-out at the Granville Saint-Gobain, but he’s participated in the event at the company’s Hoosick Falls plant. McGlynn worked in Hoosick Falls for nearly nine years before transferring to Granville.
Though he was unsure of when the turkey giveaway originated, McGlynn said, “It’s something that’s been a tradition not just for Saint-Gobain, but back when this was Norton Company.”
Saint-Gobain is a manufacturer of architectural fabrics, foam and other adhesives. Headquartered in Paris, France, it purchased the Granville Norton Company in 1990. It employs about 140 people locally, and more than 170,000 in 66 countries worldwide.
Saint-Gobain’s sales for the first nine months of 2016 were nearly $31.2 billion. It’s sales last year totaled more than $42 billion.
Thanksgiving isn’t the only holiday where Saint-Gobain employees are treated; the company also hosts a holiday party for its employees to bring their kids and grandchildren to see Santa. Each child, age 10 and younger, receives a gift from the company. The employees are also served a holiday meal before winter maintenance shut-down.
“It’s a great thing to see the smile on the kids’ and the families’ faces,” McGlynn said.
“If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your customers and then your customers will take care of you,” he said.

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