When Ruth Spencer began her career at Tru Vue, formerly Chicago Dial, she had no idea she would remain at the company for 50 years, watching it transition from a glass manufacturer, serving a variety of applications, to the custom picture framing industry leader in protection and clarity it is today.
“My cousin worked at Tru Vue in 1966, and I wanted to leave my hospital job,” said Miss. Ruth, as she is known among her peers at Tru Vue. “I showed up on a Wednesday and was hired on the spot.” Now a UV line inspector, Ms. Ruth is the company’s longest-term employee and a great example of the kind of resourceful people who have helped the company survive seven decades worth of change and development in the glazing industry.
50 Years a Rare Achievement
At a time when the average tenure length for employees in the U.S. is 4.6 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Ms. Ruth’s experience is rare. Yet, Tru Vue has several employees who have made it past the 20-year mark. Currently, there are 25 employees with over 25 years of service, and the average tenure at Tru Vue is 13 years.
One of the employees featured in the Tru Vue 70th Anniversary ads, Ms. Ruth began her career with the company hand-cleaning glass, moving on through a variety of positions, as an inspector and as a supervisor. She was even the company’s first certified female forklift driver. Ms. Ruth certainly knows her glass, having worked with cut glass, etched glass, tempered glass, glass checkerboards and beer signs, among other items.
Over the course of her 50 years, the biggest change she has seen is in the use of technology. Ms. Ruth now works alongside state-of-the-art robotics. “When they first introduced the idea, I didn’t want the robots,” she said. “But then I realized how much easier and safer it is for people to do their jobs, including audits and inspections. Overall, the quality is better with the help of the robots.”
Ms.Ruth’s Proudest Accomplishment
Of all the things she has done at Tru Vue, her proudest accomplishment is having stayed at the company for 50 years. She says that the company’s responsiveness to employees and addressing new ideas has helped her stick with us so long. “I think the company does really well with using the knowledge they have,” said Ms. Ruth. “If Tru Vue knows about a change they can make or a new process, they do something about it.”
Outside of her role at Tru Vue, she speaks with great pride about her 21 children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren,whose lives she plays a very active role in. In fact, several members of her family were on-hand to celebrate her milestone at Tru Vue earlier this year. With 50 years behind her, Ms. Ruth not only has a lot of company knowledge but also some great advice for new employees.“Pay attention to the people who are training you,” she said. “We teach people how to do things in a safe and productive way. You will learn a lot.” For customers, she has this piece of advice. “Keep buying the glass!”
With employees like Ms. Ruth, we hope to continue our tradition of providing the best glazing in the industry, and giving our customers a reason to do so.
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This article is intended for educational purposes only and does not replace independent professional judgment. Statements of fact and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) individually and, unless expressly stated to the contrary, are not the opinion or position of Tru Vue or its employees. Tru Vue does not endorse or approve, and assumes no responsibility for, the content, accuracy or completeness of the information presented.