Returning Soldier-Employee Honored At Marlin Steel - USA Veteran of Iraqi and Afghan War Returns to Wire Forming Robot Set up Job After Third Tour In Service To Country

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Josh Wallace served three tours of duty protecting the USA. He returned to his job making wire forms and wire baskets at Marlin Steel Wire Products. Marlin Steel saluted Josh at a ceremony attended by a US Senator, two US Congressmen and Baltimore City's Mayor. US companies should have a red carpet for their returning veterans.

Custom Sheet Metal fabrications for the US Navy. The first job run on the laser was exported to Japan.

Marlin Steel Ribbon Cutting for New USA-Laser

We think Josh is great. He is protecting us, me and my family, my neighbors, my company, my country. I wanted to give our military our full support. What better way than to keep his job open for him?

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When a U.S. senator, two Congressmen and the mayor of Baltimore cut the ribbon on a new laser cutter for one of the city’s fastest growing small manufacturers, the employee who handed them the ceremonial scissors had just returned from serving his country in Iraq.

Josh Wallace of Baltimore had worked at Marlin Steel, a maker of specialized wire baskets, wire forms and sheet metal products, for nearly a year before leaving for Iraq in January 2011 on his third tour of combat with the Army National Guard. When he returned to the United States a year later, his job at Marlin – setting up robotic wire bending equipment -- was waiting for him. “We think Josh is great,” said Drew Greenblatt, Marlin president. “He is protecting us, me and my family, my neighbors, my company, my country. I wanted to give our military our full support. What better way than to keep his job open for him?”

Josh served three tours of combat, one in Afghanistan and two in Iraq, as a machinist. The commitment to hold open the position wasn’t easy for Marlin as a small employer since using temporary labor for a highly skilled position is challenging, Greenblatt said. The Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Act of 1994 grants certain rights to employees called temporarily to serve in the military. Unlike other several other federal employment laws, USERRA has no minimum size requirement.

Josh was chosen to pass an oversized set of shears to his boss, along with U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, Congressmen Dutch Ruppersberger and John Sarbanes, and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake at the Jan. 12 ceremony to unveil the new laser equipment.

“I saw what happened on 9-11 with my own eyes,” said Greenblatt, who was in Manhattan setting up for a trade show on Sept. 11, 2001. “It made me passionate about supporting our troops and protecting our land against terrorists.”

“Josh had just come back. It was his first week back at work,” Greenblatt said. “I was moved that he returned to us and we wanted everyone at the ceremony to share in our happiness with a tribute to him.”
Established in 1968, Marlin has grown revenue and profits six years in a row. Profits have been invested in a three million-dollar fleet of state-of-the-art robots. Drew Greenblatt served as president of the Wire Fabricators Association, the trade association for the industry, on the Executive Board of the National Association of Manufacturers and is the chairman of Baltimore’s Regional Manufacturing Institute. Mr. Greenblatt has been invited to the White House on five occasions, and has appeared more than 30 times on national television on the subject of manufacturing and small-business needs.

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Trish Bresciani
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