In October 2019, Rick Hedden retired from SRC after 36 years. He was 59 years old. At the time, his shares in the company’s ESOP plan were worth seven figures. But the lessons he learned from playing the Great Game of Business over his career at SRC might be even more valuable. It helped him live his version of the American Dream. Here is his story.
Inspired to diversify their employee-owned business, Malco Products has revived an abandoned factory and its iconic brand from the bottom up. The U.S. has been bleeding manufacturing jobs for decades. Back in 1980, for example, more than one-third of men with a high school degree worked in the manufacturing sector . But those numbers soon began a rapid decline fueled by a combination of factors ranging from the rise in automation and rising competition with nations like China to an increase in the so-called “skills gap” that left many manufacturing jobs unfilled due to a lack of workers qualified to fill those openings. That’s why, today, manufacturing jobs make up about 8% of total employment , according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.