Voss Automotive, whose North American headquarters is on Hillegas Road, has won the Best Places to Work in Indiana Award for the third straight year. What makes it a great place to be employed, in addition to good pay, outstanding benefits and a pleasant working environment, is the fact that it has a laundry list of perks.
For instance, CEO Eduardo Vultorius, who is a fitness enthusiast and a firm believer in wellness, works out regularly in the company wellness center. He makes sure that employees who work out 12 times a month on the equipment get $20 added to their monthly paychecks. There are two locker rooms with showers and workers can use the facility at their convenience. There's a break/game room with a pingpong table and a foosball table. Employees take their break to relieve stress and practice pingpong in preparation for competition in one of the regular tournaments.
Employees like the fact that there is a comfortable lunch room with refrigerators, microwaves, vending machines and coffee machines. And just outside in a protected courtyard are tables and chairs to enjoy the great outdoors. A bistro is just off the entrance lobby for special occasions, and Voss has a first aid room and several specially constructed tornado shelters.
Fort Wayne native and Concordia Lutheran High School and Ball State University graduate Taylor Strasser says she knew Voss was going to be a good place to work when she joined the firm about a year ago. The marketing/communications specialist says, “I was immediately welcomed by fellow workers and felt as though I'd been part of the 'family' for years. It was a very positive experience. Voss is an energetic, supportive, collaborative place which is why I look forward to coming to work every day. I know flex-hours have been around for some time, but I really appreciate the fact that I can put in my eight hours pretty much on my own schedule.”
Voss takes the “family” atmosphere a step further by hosting an annual carnival for employees and their families. This October they'll enjoy miniature golf, go-karting and arcade games at Paige's Crossing. Next year it will be held at the plant, and the building will be open for tours.
One thing Voss encourages and the employees wholeheartedly endorse is community involvement. Community service has been part of Voss' focus since Hans Voss, son of the company founder, retired and left the organization to the employees in 1992. In addition to his stipulations that they should continue to develop new technology and give back to the employees, he specifically stated that they dedicate themselves to community service. Over the years employees here have pitched in to help construct Habitat for Humanity homes, worked at the Community Harvest Food Bank, been involved at Turnstone and helped families during the holidays through the Salvation Army Adopt a Family program. The employees, with support of management, are always looking for new community service projects.
The company was started by Herman Voss in the small town of Wipperfurth, Germany, in 1931 to make brass fittings for water pipes. In 1936 it switched to producing fuel line fittings for commercial vehicles, construction and agricultural equipment and passenger cars because the government began rationing brass. Today, Voss develops innovative line and connection technology for the North American Free Trade Agreement market including fuel and coolant lines, pneumatic lines, thermal management lines, fuel cell lines and various fittings and quick connect systems.
Wipperfurth remains the company's world headquarters with manufacturing facilities in Brazil, Poland, Turkey, China, Japan and India. A plant opening this summer in Arteaga, Mexico, will be administered by the Fort Wayne operation. That's why the American flag in front of the North American headquarters building here is flanked by German and Mexican flags. Fort Wayne has been a headquarters since 1997.
The company, which was originally located on DiSalle Boulevard, started with only a handful of products and two sales representatives. It remained small until 2009 when it expanded its employee and customer base. The present gleaming white building that can be seen on the west side of Interstate 69 just south of the Goshen Road interchange was completed and occupied in 2014. Its 75 employees include a variety of engineers, designers, tech specialists, sales representatives and project managers. Voss maintains sales offices in Oregon, Michigan, Illinois and Iowa.
Products designed and made into prototypes here are produced in the Mexican plant. Major Voss customers include Daimler, Navistar, Volvo and John Deere. In addition to the Best Places taward, Voss has received the Navistar Diamond Supplier Award the past three years and the Daimler Master Quality Supplier Award in 2014 and 2015.