Company leaders at The Raymond Corp. gave new meaning to the term work-life balance when they resurrected an employee group that celebrates creativity and in-house talent this past spring. A group consisting of 21 current and nine former employees of the forklift manufacturing company re-created The Voices of Raymond, a choral group originally formed in the 1960s as a way for employees to share their love of—and talent for—music. The group performed at company and community events in upstate New York throughout the ’60s and ’70s, and even recorded an album.
Raymond brought back the group for the company’s 100th anniversary celebration this past spring, which culminated in a performance on June 14 at its Greene, New York, headquarters. The commemorative group was nearly twice the size of the original 16-member chorus, and in just a handful of rehearsals prepared a trio of songs to close the ceremony marking Raymond’s 100 years of material handling innovation and commitment to Greene and the surrounding community. Raymond has employed more than 20,000 people from Greene and New York’s Southern Tier communities over the past century.
“This is a day to celebrate our history and how far we’ve come … but also to dream of what’s possible,” Raymond’s president, Mike Field, said during the ceremony, which was attended by more than 150 guests, including employees, customers, suppliers, local government leaders, executives from its parent company, Toyota Industries Corp.—and of course, the 21-member chorus.
The Voices of Raymond will continue its commemorative season with performances this fall and during the winter holidays, according to the company.