Peter Windle's business took a hit during the recession, yet he managed to keep everyone on the payroll at his small machining shop in the Tacony section. How did he do it?
Number one: He did it. He resolved to do it and he did it.
Number two: Sometimes he didn't take a paycheck from his company, Windle Mechanical Solutions Inc. Here's his story: A Wharton grad, Windle had an impressive corporate job, but walked away from it to pursue a dream of owning his own business. So he did have some financial chops along with enough of a stash set aside to partly bankroll the purchase of the business and to support his family. His wife works as an administrative assistant in a school district. Lots of families make it on that kind of pay check, but Windle had done better. Even so, his wife's job serves as a steady safety net for his family.
Number three: This is how tight it can get. Windle had one employee out on disability. He kept up the employee's health insurance and payments into a disability insurance fund, but the disability insurance paid the workers' salary. But even the relief from part of one employee's compensation helped him keep the other nine employed. Unfortunately, the employee passed away sometime in the second half of 2009 and Windle has not yet hired anyone to replace him. Windle can sleep at night, knowing he did the right thing.
To me, Windle's experience illustrates so much about the job market and so much about the nature of work that I want to write about it a little more tomorrow. Please come back.