After nearly half a century of making pacifiers and sippy cups, Dick Gates is stepping away this year.
At NUK headquarters in Reedsburg, Wisconsin, Dick Gates has been an integral part of designing and manufacturing baby products since 1970, when he started as a stock handler, and in just a few years, became the youngest supervisor in the company’s history.
He loved being part of a process that guaranteed quality and safety for the mothers and children all over the country, and especially in his own back yard.
“I go to church every Sunday and see my product being used,” he said, proudly.
Understanding the value of what his company was making, Dick dedicated himself to learning the nuts and bolts of the process, going to engineering school and taking night classes until his qualifications allowed him to join the engineering and product development team. He went on to develop the mechanisms that are still being used at NUK right now. Producing thousands of baby products every day, many of which are shipped immediately to Walmart.
With NUK’s dedication to keeping local jobs, and Walmart’s commitment to U.S. manufacturing, Dick gained the peace of mind he had always craved. The assurance that he would always have a job. Knowing he could put down roots in this community, confident that he wouldn’t be pulling his kids out of school and moving to another town.
“Walmart’s not going any place,” he said, “and that gave me an incredible sense of security.”