Universal Scrap Metals Newsletter Volume 1 | Issue 3 | December 2022

( Download the English Version | Download the Spanish Version )

USM Mission

USM strives to become incrementally better every day realizing that success is detailed and cumulative. We work on a daily basis toward serving our customers through consistent improvement of process, infrastructure, and employee safety, health, and satisfaction.

Since 1972, the USM commitment to excellence gives our customers peace of mind in knowing that their recyclables are processed in a safe and environmentally-friendly way that follows all EPA and accrediting environmental standards. We take pride in offering accurate, transparent reporting, and outstanding customer service.


Looking Back: A Year of Giving

At USM, our employees mean everything. Your contributions to the company are truly appreciated. That’s why the US Matters team meets every Friday to produce more ways we can improve the lives of our employees.

As 2022 draws to a close, we thought it would be nice to look back on all the initiatives USM is taking to make our employees’ lives better, and improve our community and world.

  • Weekly raffle – Two employee names drawn every week, winning$100 Visa gift cards. (And even
    $500 drawings a few times a year!)
  • USM ordered new jackets and head coverings for all employees
  • English classes every Tuesday after work offered to our employees for no charge
  • Vending machine program —All hourly employees receive a card with $25 a month for food and beverages from the vending machines (upgraded in 2022).
  • Yearly flu and tetanus shot clinics & Covid vaccine and booster shot clinics at the main campus for employees
  • Gas subsidy for qualifying hourly employees, depending how far and what kind of car they drive, with allowances for carpooling
  • Grocery subsidy — Most of our Chicagoland warehouse employees received a monthly$75 gift certificate to a local grocery store for the last quarter of 2022.
  • United Credit Union partnership— An alternative banking option for USM employees’ financial needs. USM gave $25 per quarter for the first year to anyone who opened an account.
Company party at Dave & Buster’s for employees and their families

Building a house in Colombia for a family in need — USM has donated to the Obreros de la Misericordia Foundation for several years, but made a significant contribution that allowed the Foundation to build and give a home to a deserving family in Colombia.


FEATURED EMPLOYEE

Oliberto Diaz

Oliberto currently works in the copper department as a machine operator and is training to be a receiving scale operator. His manager, Joshua Santiago, has so many great things to say about him. Oliberto is very committed to learning English and has been attending the USM-sponsored English classes. He always asks questions and takes every opportunity to learn something new. Since he started at USM in May 2019, he has obtained a wide skill set through on-the-job training. He can now operate a forklift, Bobcat, the Bricker, shaker table and both the small and large shear! Oliberto has a bright future here at USM and we are all excited to see him grow!



Winter has arrived

The winter solstice is upon us — Wednesday, December 21st. The winter solstice is the day with the fewest hours of sunlight in the whole year, making it the “shortest day” of the year. Good news: After December 21st, we will gain about 2 minutes of sunlight a day!


Reminders:

  • As we count down the days till 2023 we still have time to check our boots.
  • If you have not yet used your boot reimbursement for 2022, you still have time! USM will reimburse up to $150 per year for a new pair of boots. All you have to do is bring your receipt to your manager to get reimbursed!

Other reminders…

USM now offers English classes at the Fulton campus. If you’re interested, please let your manager know.


Wellness tips for the Winter

Our winters here in Chicago can be long, so here are some health and wellness tips to make it through:

  • Stay hydrated with watee
  • Eat your vegetables
  • Keep moving: Exercise is an important part of both physical and mental health.
  • Get your sleep
  • Wash your hands
  • Dress appropriately for the weather
  • Wear a mask in large crowds. Covid is on the rise again!


Have an idea? Is there something you would like to see added to our newsletter?

Feel free to send us an email at: [email protected]
We can’t guarantee it will be added but we will certainly try!


  Universal Scrap Metals Newsletter Volume 1 | Issue 2 | October 2022

( Download the English Version | Download the Spanish Version )

USM Mission

USM strives to become incrementally better every day realizing that success is detailed and cumulative. We work on a daily basis toward serving our customers through consistent improvement of process, infrastructure, and employee safety, health, and satisfaction.

Since 1972, the USM commitment to excellence gives our customers peace of mind in knowing that their recyclables are processed in a safe and environmentally-friendly way that follows all EPA and accrediting environmental standards. We take pride in offering accurate, transparent reporting, and outstanding customer service.


Credit Union partnership pays off for Adrienne Clark

A few months ago, the US Matters team wanted to find a way to help USM employees with their banking needs. In the past year, USM has established a partnership with United Credit Union to fill that need.

Adrienne Clark, an administrative assistant with USM Charter Alloys and Masters & Alloy, took advantage of the new partnership and wants everyone at USM to know about the wonderful experience she had with United Credit Union.

“I was getting ready to buy a car anyway, so it was perfect timing,” said Adrienne. “It was smooth, they got right back to me. Everyone in there was nice.”

After Adrienne had been approved for a car loan with United Credit Union, she went down to her dealership to buy her new vehicle. But the dealership was trying to tack on thousands of dollars to the car she wanted, and Adrienne refused to go above her loan amount. So she got her United Credit Union loan officer, Miss Suggs, on the phone with the dealership.

“I’m capable of negotiating myself, but she took the wheel,” Adrienne said. I cannot believe this woman — she’s amazing. She fought so hard for me, to the point that the manager came and intervened.”

In the end, Adrienne was able to purchase her car — a 2022 Mazda CX-5 — at the price she wanted.

“I literally paid for what the car was worth,” Adrienne said.

General Manager Holly Mraz hopes Adrienne’s experience with USM’s new financial partner is just the first of many.

“I’m so glad Adrienne was able to use this partnership to buy her new car,” said Holly. “United Credit Union is such a great resource to have for our employees. I hope that more of our employees take advantage of the relationship that the US Matters team has made available to them.”


Featured employee

Noe Hernandez

Originally hired in September 2020, Noe now is in charge of inventorying all material at the Fulton building. He works under Mark McQuen, who has been with USM for over 20 years. Mark says Noe is driven and a fast learner with a great personality. Noe is very focused and self-motivated. He has been taking the weekly English classes USM offers at the Fulton campus, putting him on track to become a manager. He is looking forward to continuing his English classes, and also would like to learn more about Excel and ROM. 

We are very excited for Noe’s future with USM!


Day at Dave & Buster’s

USM is hosting a fun-filled afternoon at Dave & Buster’s! You don’t want to miss this!

From 11am-2pm on Sunday, October 16th, USM employees and their immediate family are invited to join their co-workers at Dave & Buster’s in Addison (1155 N. Swift Road). The event is FREE!

There is still time to sign up! Let you manager know ASAP, or reach out to Holly Mraz at: [email protected].

$75 in groceries every month!

Every month for the rest of 2022, eligible USM employees will receive a $75 gift certificate to a local grocery store.

The first gift certificates were issued in September. The October, November & December gift cards will be issued mid-month.

The gift certificates can be used at two locally owned grocery store chains: Carnicerias Jimenez or Supermercados el güero. Employees will receive certificates for the store closest to their home address.
If a certificate from the other store is preferred, or if you have questions, contact Dennis Klein at: [email protected].


Winter is coming

As the days get shorter and the temperatures start dropping, we all will be spending more time inside. Please stay aware that we may see a rise in Covid cases. Continue to be cautious and safe and wear your mask — not only at work, but anytime you are indoors and in close contact with others.


Reminders:

USM is offering free English classes to employees from 4-6pm on Tuesdays at the Fulton campus. Iliana teaches English from Remedial to Advanced. If you would like to join the class, just ask your manager.

USM is considering offering computer classes. If you are interested, please let your manager know. We need to hear you to make it happen!

Are your boots worn out? USM will give you up to $150 per year for a new pair of boots. All you have to do is bring your receipt to your manager to get reimbursed!

USM offers many resources for our employees like 401K and FSA (An arrangement through USM that lets you pay for many out-of-pocket medical expenses with tax-free dollars)

USM Texts: Are you receiving them? If not, please give your phone number to your manager to be added to the list. You don’t want to miss important news and information — or if you are picked as one of the lucky weekly raffle winners!


Have an idea? Is there something you would like to see added to our newsletter?

Feel free to send us an email at: [email protected]

We can’t guarantee it will be added but we will certainly try!


 Universal Scrap Metals Newsletter

Vol. 1 • Issue 1 • July 2022

(Download English PDF | Download Spanish PDF)

USM Mission

USM strives to become incrementally better every day realizing that success is detailed and cumulative. We work on a daily basis toward serving our customers through consistent improvement of process, infrastructure, and employee safety, health, and satisfaction.

Since 1972, the USM commitment to excellence gives our customers peace of mind in knowing that their recyclables are processed in a safe and environmentally-friendly way that follows all EPA and accrediting environmental standards. We take pride in offering accurate, transparent reporting, and outstanding customer service.


SUMMER HAS ARRIVED!

Happy Birthday to all our June-July-August Babies!!!!

A few reminders as the days have gotten longer and warmer:

Remember to get your vacation request into your manager as soon as possible.

Also, we still need to be cautious when it comes to Covid. Don’t let the nice weather trick you into thinking it’s not a concern. Please stay safe and wear your mask — not only at work, but anytime you will be indoors and in close contact with other people.

Check your boots.

Are they worn out? Don’t forget, USM will reimburse up to $150 per year for a new pair of boots. All you have to do is bring your receipt to your manager to get reimbursed!

USM now offers English classes at the Fulton campus.

If you’re interested, please let your manager know. USM is also considering offering computer classes. If you are interested, please let your manager know.

We also offer many other resources for our employees like 401K and FSA

An arrangement through USM that lets you pay for many out-of-pocket medical expenses with tax-free dollars.

Thinking of buying a house or a car?

USM has partnered up with United Credit Union to help our employees get the best service and rates available.


USM Texts

Are you receiving them? If not, please get your phone number to your manager so it can be added or updated. You don’t want to miss important news and information, or if you are picked as one of the lucky weekly raffle winners.


Featured Employee

Natalio Ramirez

Natalio started with USM in October of 2016. He was hired to work at USMe as a sorter. He later transferred to Masters & Alloy where he trained to become a furnace operator. Natalio now is Masters’ lead person on the furnace. He enjoys sharing all the knowledge he has acquired while working at Masters while training our latest hires. He is an excellent worker who recently won USM’s $200 raffle.


Quote of the Month

“Your Talent determines what you can do. Your motivation determines how much you’re willing to do. Your attitude determines how well you do it.”

— Lou Holtz


Joke of the Month

I’ve found a new genre of music. It’s a combination of heavy rock n’ roll, hip hop, and folk music.

I call it Scrap Metal.


Did You Know?

During World War II, scrap was very important. Recycled scrap metal was used to make bombs, ammunition, tanks, guns and battleships!


Have an idea?

Is there something you would like to see added to our newsletter?

Feel free to send us an email at: [email protected]

We can’t guarantee it will be added but we will certainly try!


 COVID-19 Vaccination Program

Dear USM Team Members,

The US Matters Team continues to meet on a weekly basis to discuss the status of the Covid 19 virus and would like to inform of the current Covid 19 situation within the USM community. We are pleased to announce that everyone remains safe and healthy and it is because that all employees continue to follow the prevention of disease guidelines. This is a tremendous accomplishment that we should all be proud of. 

The next task for the US Matters Team is to work with our current Clinics to set up a vaccination program for Covid 19 with the goal of being able to offer them on a yearly basis along with our Flu and Tetanus vaccinations. Although we remain eligible now for the vaccine, it has not been determined when we will be able to set up vaccinations internally due to low distribution in our area. However, there are many vaccination sites open to the public now that can be found by using the link below. We encourage everyone to take advantage and try to schedule an appointment for their vaccinations. 

https://coronavirus.illinois.gov/s/vaccination-location

Lastly, we would like to remind you that St. Patrick’s Day is approaching, and it will be very tempting to get together in large groups such as in restaurants or other common areas. We would like to remind that we encourage you not to gather in large groups as there is still a chance of spread outside the USM community.  

Please take care of yourself and let us know if there is anything that you need in the meantime. 

Thank you for all that you do.

Warm Regards,

The USM Covid Action Team

Estimados miembros del equipo  de USM,  

El Equipo de Asuntos de los Estados Unidos continúa reunándose semanalmente para discutir el estado del virus Covid 19 y desea informar de la situación actual de Covid 19 dentro de la comunidad del USM. Por favor, debemos anunciar que todos siguen siendo seguros y saludables y es porque todos los empleados siguen las directrices de prevención de enfermedades. Este es un logro tremendo del que todos deberíamos estar orgullosos.

La siguiente tarea para el Equipo de Asuntos de los Estados Unidos es trabajar con nuestras clínicas actuales para establecer un programa de vacunación para Covid 19 con el objetivo de poder ofrecerlas anualmente junto con nuestras vacunas contra la gripe y el tétanos. Aunque ahora seguimos siendo elegibles para la vacuna, no se ha determinado cuándo podremos establecer vacunas internamente debido a la baja distribución en nuestra área. Sin embargo, hay muchos sitios de vacunación abiertos al público ahora que se pueden encontrar mediante el uso del siguiente enlace. Animamos a todos a aprovecharse y tratar de programar una cita para sus vacunas.

https://coronavirus.illinois.gov/sfc/servlet.shepherd/document/download/069t000000InUWDAA3?operationContext=S1

Por último, nos gustaría recordarles que se acerca el Día de San Patricio, y será muy tentador reunirse en grandes grupos como en restaurantes u otras zonas comunes. Nos gustaría recordarles que  le animamos a no reunirse en grandes grupos, ya que todavía existe la posibilidad de extenderse fuera de la comunidad del USM.

Por favor, cuídate y háganos saber si hay algo que necesite mientras tanto.

Gracias por todo lo que haces.  

Saludos cálidos,

El Equipo de Acción Covid de USM


 Re: Negocios Esenciales (Reciclaje, Fabricación Esencial, Servicios Esenciales)

30 de marzo de 2020

Estimado Empleado,

Como empleado de USM (Universal Scrap Metals) se nos permite continuar las operaciones bajo la orden de refugio en el lugar o de emergencia actualmente en vigor. USM es una empresa de reciclaje que recoge y procesa chatarra industrial de empresas de fabricación esenciales. USM también es un proveedor de materias primas esenciales para la fabricación. Estas actividades se enumeran como esenciales por orden del Estado de Illinois y por el Departamento de Seguridad Nacional.

Ya hemos tomado las medidas para reducir nuestra dotación de personal a la propiedad empresarial, para llevar a cabo una operación segura, compatible y confiable. Su presencia física en el trabajo es necesaria para apoyar el funcionamiento de USM, que no se puede realizar de forma remota.

En sus viajes hacia y desde el trabajo pcontratode arrendamiento, mantenga esta carta con usted. En el caso de que se le detenga en su camino hacia / desde el trabajo, por las fuerzas del orden, Guardia Nacional, etc. mostrarles esta carta y explicar que usted es un empleado de una fuerza de trabajo esencial y se le debe permitir proceder. Si no se le permite continuar, regrese a casa y llame a su gerente.

Gracias por todo su arduo trabajo todos los días. Este es un acontecimiento sin precedentes en la historia de nuestro mundo. Debido a empleados como usted, USM está ayudando a marcar la diferencia al garantizar que las operaciones esenciales permanezcan abiertas.

Es reconocido y muy apreciado. ¡Gracias por todo lo que haces!

Karl Schweitzer

Gerente de Operaciones (312) 735‐6667

[email protected]


 Re: Essential Businesses (Recycling, Essential Manufacturing, Essential Services)

March 30, 2020

Dear Employee,

As an employee of USM (Universal Scrap Metals) we are permitted to continue operations under the shelter‐in‐place or emergency order currently in effect. USM is a recycling company that collects and processes industrial scrap metal from essential manufacturing companies. USM is also a provider of raw materials essential to manufacturing. These activities are listed as essential by State of Illinois order and by Department of Homeland Security.

We have already taken the steps to reduce our staffing to business critical only, to run a safe, compliant and reliable operation. Your physical presence at work is required to support USM’s operation, which cannot be accomplished remotely.

In your travels to and from work please keep this letter with you. In the event you are stopped on your way to/from work, by law enforcement, National Guard, etc. show them this letter and explain that you are an employee of an essential workforce and should be permitted to proceed. If you are not permitted to proceed please return home and call your Manager.

Thank you for all your hard work every day. This is an unprecedented event in our world’s history. Because of employees like you USM is helping to make a difference by ensuring that essential operations remain open.

It’s recognized and greatly appreciated. Thank you for all you do!

Karl Schweitzer Operations Manager (312) 735‐6667

[email protected]