Boss Keeps His Promise To Keep Workers On The Job

A fire back in June leaves 70 employees wondering if they still had a job. Their boss promised he would keep paying them--how did he do it?

Sue Niles has been making contractor parts at Nebraska Machine Products for 36 years.

Sue was one of three employees in the building back in June when a fire went roaring through it.

Sue says, "Chaotic, hectic, terrible. We sat there and watched it burn, completely burn to the ground."

Dennis Schnitker was on his way home from vacation-when he got the call. The plant he's clocked in at for 44 years was gone.

Schnitker says, "I've seen every piece of the building put up, every piece of equipment put in it. All the people come in it and it was devastating."

Dennis and Sue-along with about 70 other employees-didn't know if they still had a job.

Immediately after the fire-owner Ron Rosso made a promise. He vowed to keep all 70 employees working until they could rebuild.

But with no building, and charred machines, he managed to keep is word.

How did he do it?

Rosso says, "Initially, we did charity work around the city. We did sandbagging. We painted houses. We helped at the university."

That's right. Rosso paid his employees to volunteer.

Now, three months later, they are working out of a temporary plant.

It's running 24/7...and they are trying to keep everybody busy and get as much as they can out of the few machines they have running.

Rosso's dad started this company in 1966. For him, keeping the machines running is personal.

Rosso says, "My dad left us a legacy and I want to continue it."

Nebraska Machine Products is rebuilding at 91st & F Street. They hope to open the new plant in mid-December.

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