KnightLife: What Makes a Community Great?

Have you ever wondered what, if anything, some of our local businesses do to support our community beyond the products and/or services they provide?  Well, I recently received a sascounique glimpse of one such company along with several of my colleagues when we visited SASCO Chemical on Pine Avenue.

Besides the incredibly useful, but rarely considered, products created there (a powder coating to keep rubber products from adhering to each other during transport; a compound that prevents the glues used in composite woods from sticking to the presses in which they’re made; cleaning products that aren’t caustic; and an additive that can take the awful smell out of formaldehyde!) SASCO Chemical gives a great deal back to both their local and global communities.  Locally, SASCO Chemical has carefully crafted a work space that is safe and user-friendly for their employees.  A well-appointed break room, safety equipment (including suits that allow workers to pump in cooled or heated air to stay comfortable no matter the season), and an on-site gym with a regular cross-fit instructor are just a few of the amenities available.  All employees have also been cross-trained in all departments, providing them with a broad set of skills that enable them to grow, make wise choices, and direct their efforts to support the mission of the company.  Notable, too, is the fact that SASCO Chemical sources most of the materials needed to create their products and operate their business from other Albany businesses, all the while keeping our little economy humming!

Globally, SASCO Chemical has worked diligently to make sure their footprint on the earth is minimal.  Their shipping containers are made to be washed and reused, and all of their products are non-hazardous.  In fact, some of their products can be added to something harmful in order to render it safe!  Most notable for me, however, is their sense of conscience.  All throughout our amazing tour the message from our hosts, Rusty Skalla ’01 and Pam McDonald, was one of principles.  They believe very strongly in educating, supporting, protecting and empowering their employees, in fostering and maintaining honest and strong business relationships locally, and in protecting our environment now and for future generations.  They are taking great steps to care for their little corner of the world and the people who live and work in it.

Shannon Lacovara, Middle School Humanities

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