Employer hands out $61K in bonuses — all in $2 bills

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    This is what a $61,000 pile of $2 bills looks like.

Posted: Monday, June 16, 2014 12:14 pm

Workers at Hornady Manufacturing in Grand Island got something interesting in their pay envelope Friday.

According to Jason Hornady, vice president at Hornady Manufacturing, the company handed out $61,000 worth of $2 bills to its employees as part of the company’s annual bonus pay.

Hornady Manufacturing is one of Grand Island’s leading employers with more than 300 people on its payroll.

Hornady said this is the third year the company has given its employees a portion of their annual bonuses in an unusual manner.

“Two years ago, we caught a lot of flack from the city council and some people in the city of Grand Island for how we don’t support the community and we don’t do things around here, which we disagreed with,” Hornady said.

He said those comments about the company not being supportive of the community “kind of hurt our feelings.”

“We give out a pretty substantial bonus to all of our employees every year on or around June 15,” Hornady said.

He said a couple of years ago, his father, Steve Hornady, president of the company, decided to give part of their employees’ bonuses in the form of $1 coins and ask them to spend it in Grand Island.

Using the dollar coins proved to be too cumbersome, Hornady said, so $2 bills replaced the coins, with the same instruction of spending the bills within the community as a sign of the support Hornady Manufacturing has economically within the community.

“We gave out $48,000 worth of $2 bills and asked our employees to spend that money in town, and if people look at you funny, tell them where you work, and we think that they will notice,” Hornady said. “This year it is going to be $61,000 worth of $2 bills.”

Hornady said the pay envelope with the $2 bills is just part of their bonus pay.

“They also receive a nice check and a deposit into their 401(k)s,” he said. “But we ask them with the $2 bills to go spend it around town and make sure people know that we as a family, meaning the whole employer/employee base, support Grand Island and we spend money here.”

He said the bonuses amount to about 40 percent of the employees’ regular pay.

Hornady said getting 30,500 $2 bills to give to their employees takes some doing.

“We order them from Five Points Bank about one month in advance,” he said.

The 27 percent increase in the amount of the $2 bill bonus from last year, Hornady said, is a reflection of the hard work of Hornady Manufacturing employees in meeting the growing demand for their products.

For more than six decades, Hornady Manufacturing has produced the most accurate bullets and ammunition available, along with revolutionizing the reloading tools industry with leading innovations.

According to the company’s website, Hornady Manufacturing, along with the rest of the shooting sports industry, has experienced an “unbelievable spike in demand.”

Keeping up with this “unprecedented demand” has allowed the company to add more people, equipment and manufacturing space as their “increase in shipments this year is overshadowed by a 200 percent increase in demand.,” the site says.

Hornady said the company’s employees are an integral part of that.

“Nothing would happen without a great crew of people,” he said. “Bonus day is a lot of fun around here and there are a lot of people smiling.”

The company’s roots are in Grand Island as after World War II, Joyce Hornady, using a surplus bullet assembly press in a rented garage on Fourth Street, began to produce his own 30 caliber bullets. From the initial production in 1949, the company has continued to grow, remaining in Grand Island.

Hornady said Hornady Manufacturing is “proud to be here in Grand Island.”

“We are proud of our Nebraska heritage, and we are proud of everybody who works here and proud of our community,” he said.

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