On June 3, Kautex Textron was proud to both sponsor and attend the Ferndale Pride celebration, held in downtown Ferndale, Michigan, in the United States. This was an ideal community event to attend, with Ferndale being 20 minutes from our Detroit plant and 15 minutes from our Troy office.
Leadership of the Fusion Employee Resource Group at Kautex, Chair Paul Turnbull and Co-Chair Stephanie McClung, were heavily involved in planning our involvement. At Kautex, Fusion plays an important role in promoting inclusivity for LGBTQ+ individuals in the workplace. Fusion’s coordination is a major reason why we feel very upbeat about how Saturday went. One of our main goals was to recruit for salaried and hourly positions at our Detroit and Troy locations, and Fusion members were a big help in developing our recruitment tools and strategies for the day.
This year’s Ferndale Pride marked 13 years of the family-friendly event and was also the largest yet. From 12:30 to 10 p.m., thousands of attendees strolled around downtown on a beautiful Saturday to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. Activities included a variety of musical and drag performances, over 200 different vendors, a rock wall, free sexual health screenings, a sensory zone, food trucks, and a play area for kids.
Pride celebrations are meant to be an occasion for members of the LGBTQ+ community and allies to express themselves, have fun, and feel joy, and the mood on Saturday was extra positive. Elected officials who spoke at the opening ceremony were met with loud cheers and applause while praising successful legislative efforts this year to ban discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals in Michigan and promising to do even more.
Throughout the day at our booth near the main stage, over a dozen of our employees volunteered by interacting with attendees. We handed out stickers and recruitment fliers and showed off our KAUTEXplores vehicle parked next to the booth. Our volunteers enjoyed the many good conversations they had, and we feel positive about the levels at which we raised awareness of our brand.
Sponsoring and attending Ferndale Pride was an important way for us to continue our efforts at supporting diversity, inclusion and belonging efforts both in the workplace and in the community. Pride is an important time to celebrate the ability of members of the community and many of our employees to be their authentic selves. This was at the top of our minds when making our theme for Pride Month this year ‘Kautex Celebrates Authenticity’. At Kautex, we want our employees to feel comfortable in who they are.
We would also like to thank our amazing volunteers who willingly spent hours of their own free time on a gorgeous weekend afternoon for helping out. We had many volunteers, from interns who just started last week to executives with decades of experience. We are both grateful and proud of our efforts this weekend to support Pride.