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Staples thanks its employees with celebration

October 10, 2005|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

erinc@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - Kendra Spade often hears her parents talk about their jobs, but in the more than five years her parents have worked at Staples Distribution Center in Hagerstown, she had never seen the warehouse.

On Sunday afternoon, she and about 600 other employees, family members and friends, eager for a peak at the more than 1 million-square-foot facility, took a tour. The warehouse expanded by about 200,000 square feet two months ago, making it the largest Staples distribution center in the United States, according to director of distribution George Butler.

Spade's parents, Rusty and Brenda Beegle of Clearville, Pa., said the building expansion is a source of pride for the 650 employees.

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Sunday's tour, as well as food, music, kids' games and dancing, was a "thank you" for the "work ethic" of the employees who made the expansion happen, Butler said.

Spade's fianc, Dustan Miller, works at the Staples warehouse as a shipper but was unable to attend the event. Spade brought her 3-month-old son, Dominick, but after hours of excitement, he fell asleep on a table in the Staples break room.

"He's played out right now," Spade said.

As employees took a tour of the expanded building, Butler said they were busy pointing to conveyor belts and boxes, explaining what they do and what each piece of equipment does.

Jason Carter of Hagerstown has worked at Staples for about two years and is a merge operator.

"They hadn't seen (the warehouse) before," Carter said of his guests. "It was a new experience. They're having a ball."

He took his girlfriend, her children and some of her family on a tour.

"You could see the pride," Butler said. "It's a significant investment for (the company) to pick this center, and it's a good feeling. It made the (employees) feel more secure."

Beegle said she has been recruiting family and friends after several manufacturing and distribution companies went out of business in her area. She might be able to recruit even more.

Butler said the warehouse expansion created 180 new jobs.

After the tours, many of the families ate cotton candy, listened to music and danced.

Joyce Marion, a six-year company employee, calls herself the "Queen of Staples" and spent much of her time dancing and teaching others a few steps.

"We have such a good time," she said. "And they will know how to shake their booty."

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