Building Houses Builds Teams

When GHSP Global Purchasing Manager Pat Halloran drives home from work each day, he smiles as he passes a house on a particular corner. Seeing it reminds him of the day that he, and other GHSP employees, volunteered with Muskegon Habitat for Humanity to help build the house, a place a family now calls home.
Many GHSP employees perform community service as individuals. The idea of giving back through teamwork gained momentum after GHSP President Jeff Smith challenged the members of the GHSP Strategy Council to engage their own teams by performing community service activities together.  
Accepting the challenge, Halloran, who has previous volunteer experience with Habitat for Humanity, contacted the organization in Muskegon.  “The Muskegon Habitat for Humanity volunteer coordinator makes it very easy for us to participate as a workplace team,” says Halloran.  “Coordinating everyone’s schedule can be a challenge but even with our limited availability we are able to commit as a team to a full- or half- workday.”
Another plus is that there are plenty of jobs for everyone, regardless of experience. “There are well-trained site managers who direct us and ensure that everyone is able to contribute in a meaningful way. Construction experience is not required,” explains Halloran. 
When the Purchasing team began planning a second work day in 2014, GHSP Vice President of Supply Chain Scott Carpenter and his team, along with others from Engineering, joined in. “It was a great team building experience,” says Carpenter.  “Not only did we get to know each other better but we were able to meet the homeowner’s family as they worked alongside us, providing sweat equity in their future home. Meeting them made this personal and knowing that we were helping a family in need get back on their feet made it a very rewarding experience.”
The team from GHSP performed a variety of work on-site including shoveling foundations, building stud walls and floor joists, installing egress windows, moving materials and general clean up.
“It’s a great reminder that when we work as a team, we can accomplish things that we might never be able to do alone. The houses we worked on are lasting, tangible reminders that giving back, even for a day, can make a real difference in people’s lives,” says Halloran.
Founded in 1924, GHSP, a JSJ business, is a global provider of mechatronic control solutions and is a Tier 1 supplier to the global automotive industry. Its primary product line is automotive shift systems, along with smart actuators and electronic controls. An American company based in Grand Haven, Mich., GHSP also has locations in Hart, Mich., as well as China, Japan, Mexico and Germany, and 1400 employees. More information is available at