Back in August, during the Steele County Free Fair, Viracon was announced as 2022’s United Way community campaign leader. As a longtime supporter of United Way, and among Steele County’s largest companies, Viracon was enthusiastic about being a part of United Way’s efforts to raise $800,000 to fund a safety net of programs throughout Steele County.

In United Way of Steele County’s recent press release, it is shared that the workplace campaign run through Viracon has since ended, raising over $106,000 toward United Way’s goal, with nearly 600 employees giving to the campaign.

“We at Viracon as well as at Apogee (our parent company) are so proud to partner with the United Way of Steele County and provide better outcomes for our local community,” says Nick Longman, president of Viracon. “And I want to personally thank Carla Kern for her leadership of this initiative on our side.”

Nick Longman (president of Viracon) and Carla Kern (executive assistant to the president). Credit to United Way of S.C
Nick Longman (president of Viracon) and Carla Kern (executive assistant to the president). Credit to United Way of S.C

Viracon, a global leader in glass fabrication, has been a strong supporter of United Way for decades. With its start right here in Owatonna in 1970, Viracon has shown a continuous and strong level of support for the local community.

The press release notes that “the company worked hard to share the values and ideals of the United Way in 2022, promoting the organization to its employees and beyond. Hosting employee cookouts, parties, and providing generous incentives to its staff were among the ways that Viracon’s campaign managers helped to rally the team behind the cause.”

“The opportunity to work with Viracon this year, learning more about its history and its local impact, has been extraordinary,” says Kellen Hinrichsen of the United Way. “They are the largest local manufacturer, and not only provide over 1,000 jobs in Steele County but also have a community-based mindset.”

Viracon took on the community campaign leader mantle from the Steele County Free Fair, 2021’s leader, during the kickoff celebration on the final day of the 2022 county fair. Ever since, the company and its employees have acted as local ambassadors. Carla Kern, longtime United Way campaign manager at Viracon, and executive assistant to the president, was integral in ensuring the title of community campaign leader was upheld by the company.

“As we do every year, we shared the values of what United Way and the agencies they support, do for our community. Information was shared in different languages, so every person employed at Viracon could partake in this very worthwhile fundraiser, if they chose to” said Kern. “It is our one major fundraiser here, and we are very blessed to work for a company that is so committed to United Way….both time-based and financially. It truly warms my heart!”

This year’s United Way campaign goal to raise $800,000 will help fund 30 different programs that provide a safety net of services for Steele County residents in need. What is great about this is that every dollar raised remains in Steele County, ensuring that local needs are met and neighbors are supported. According to the recent press release, the campaign total currently sits at nearly $740,000, nearing their goal and with a number of campaigns and contributions yet to be received.

If you are interested in participating in this year’s fundraising campaign, contact the United Way of Steele County at their office by calling 507-455-1180 or visit their website.

all information is credited to the United Way of Steele County's recent press release.

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