Mitchell Metal Products, in Merrill, Wisconsin, supplies Worcester Wreath Company with the metal wreath rings they use to produce wreaths for the annual Wreaths Across America campaign. Wreaths Across America began in 1992 when Morrill Worcester of Harrington, Maine, worked with Maine Senator Olympia Snowe to gain access to Arlington National Cemetery to lay wreaths veteran gravestones ahead of Christmas in a low-traffic area of the cemetery. He did so because he had a long-tenured respect for the veterans buried there based on a trip he won to the cemetery when he was a 12-year-old newspaper delivery boy. A number of local businesses volunteered time, resources and equipment to keep this program running quietly until 2005.
In 2005, a photo of wreaths placed at Arlington went viral on the Internet. Interest expanded exponentially. It was at this time Mitchell Metal Products began supplying wreath rings for the event. They began by donating 10,000 wreath rings and continue to do so each year. In addition, they supply the remaining rings for the annual event at cost. Today, more than 2,100 cemeteries across the United States participate in Wreaths Across America Day, which is a Congressionally designated day dedicated to honoring the memory of American veterans during the holiday season.
Tim Zimmerman, the president of Mitchell Metal Products, has been heavily involved with the program from the start. Many corporations sponsor the logistics and drivers and freight carriers required to distribute the wreaths across the nation each December, including Wal-Mart, GM, Schneider National, Dart Transport and Tyson Foods. Tyson provides staff and supplies which are used to provide meals to drivers in the truckers’ lounge as their wreath shipments are loaded. Once Tyson representatives learned that Zimmerman grew up in the foodservice industry, they recruited him to help in the kitchen. Tim annually donates a week of time to assist with meal preparations during December as trucks are being loaded. He says, “Mitchell Metal Products is honored to support Wreaths Across America and hopes to expand the level of assistance it is able to provide as the company continues to grow.”
Mitchell Metal Products is also a contract manufacturer of metal stampings, forming and sub-assemblies for a wide range of customers in the contract furniture, precision enclosure, medical, satellite communications, electrical and off-road equipment industries. When, in 2017, the company was awarded a major contract that expanded its robotic welding department by more than twice its size, Mitchell Metal Products found itself in need of a more effective air cleaning solution.
The robotic weld department is adjacent to Mitchell’s wreath ring production department. RoboVent was able to design and install a dust collection system that effectively removes weld smoke from both departments, creating a clean air environment for associates. The solution includes source-capture equipment for both robotic weld cells and manual welding tables.
Mitchell Metal Products is very pleased with the performance of its RoboVent installation. “As we continue to grow, I am certain we will call upon RoboVent to partner with us when we need additional air handling solutions,” says Zimmerman.
The theme for the 2021 Wreaths Across America campaign is “Live Up to Their Legacy.” Tim Zimmerman and the team at Mitchell Metal Works are certainly doing just that through their continued dedication to the cause. We are honored to support their mission by creating a healthier and safer environment for the men and women producing wreath rings for the campaign. As the company continues to grow, we will be here to support their evolving air ventilation and filtration needs.