The DNC released remarks by Tom Wolf, former CEO of Wolf Cabinets, and current Governor of Pennsylvania. He addressed the Democratice National Convention in Philadelphia on July 28.
As Governor of Pennsylvania, it has been an honor to host you here in Philadelphia this week. Two years ago, I ran for Governor on the fundamental belief that society can only succeed when we build prosperity, and share it broadly. But this wasn't a lesson I learned in politics. It was a lesson I learned in business.
After serving in the Peace Corps and earning a Ph.D. from M.I.T., I surprised my family and friends by coming home to Central Pennsylvania to work in the family business, a building materials company where I started out driving a forklift. Eventually, we became one of the largest suppliers of kitchen cabinets in North America.
One of the keys to our success was that we recognized that in business, you are only as good as the people you have in your company, and thus, you had to treat everyone like they mattered. Because, the truth is, they do. Now, I understand that not all businesspeople see it this way. When we contracted with a vendor, we paid them.
Donald Trump? He stiffed hundreds of small businesses, from plumbers to painters, ruining their companies as he sought to enrich himself. At our company, like at many others across the country, we treated our female employees with respect. When they had kids, we celebrated them, and gave them paid leave. Donald Trump said that pregnant workers are an "inconvenience," so it's no surprise that he has put forward no plan for paid family leave.
Finally, as our company grew, another important part of our business model was that we had a profit-sharing plan. We knew our employees contributed to our growth. So, in addition to good wages and benefits, we shared between 20 and 30 percent of the company's profits directly with them.
For 2013, a turnaround year, our company had hundreds of workers who received an average of $5,000 each that could be put toward college tuition, a well-earned vacation, or anything else they wanted to spend it on. Donald Trump? He runs businesses so that they only help – you guessed it – Donald Trump.
In his six bankruptcy filings, he used the process to protect himself and even enrich himself while his employees were left out of luck. We didn't do what we did because we were looking for awards. We did it because it was the right thing to do for our workers. We did because it was great for my company's bottom line.
It was smart business, plain and simple. We were a stronger, more successful business because we were all in it together. Hillary Clinton believes that too.
That's why, as president, Hillary Clinton will reward companies that share profits with employees, not just executives. Under her proposal, companies will get tax credits worth 15 percent of the profits they share with their employees. The credits would last for two years and would be larger for small businesses. Because Hillary believes that if you work hard, you should share in your company's success!
She also will fight to raise the minimum wage, ensure equal pay for women, and guarantee up to 12 weeks of paid family leave, plus affordable childcare. That's fair, it's smart, and it's great for our economy because it's good for workers and it's good for business.
At this moment, when we need to restore the fundamental American idea that if you work hard, you can get ahead and stay there, we need a president who recognizes that an economy that doesn't work for everyone, doesn't work at all. We need a president who believes that our society can only succeed when economic prosperity is shared broadly.
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