Industry Week gives an annual award that means a lot in manufacturing: the Best Plants award. The winners have shown exemplary commitments to exceptional manufacturing processes, a high level  of teamwork toward optimizing their process, and great results.

Among the 2017 finalists is a Puerto Rico company: Thermo King Manufactura in Arecibo.

Thermo King is a multinational corporation, but the award is not for the corporate office. It’s for the specific plant in Arecibo. At this plant they make refrigerated vehicles for transporting food, including solar powered models.

The award is for innovation, teamwork, and excellence in manufacturing.

But ThermoKing Manufactura also distinguished itself after Hurricane Maria, reaching out to their team through phones when they could and through Facebook when they couldn’t. They used their vehicles to distribute 15 containers of emergency supplies to their workers and to others in the community.

They partnered with Feeding America to distribute more food and drinking water, and offered their plant to the Red Cross as a distribution station.

The Arecibo plant is back at work. It’s a small example of the truth that Puerto Rico has the capacity for excellence in the present and the future. The hurricane’s destruction will take time to repair, just as was the case for Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy. FEMA is still working on those cases.

The United States cannot turn away from Puerto Rico at this time. Members of Congress are standing up for financial support for the Island. The government has the opportunity to do the right thing and make Puerto Rico the success story it should be.



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