Numerous studies have revealed a peculiarity about our next-generation workforce. While they might have a positive perception of manufacturing, most would not consider careers in the industry. That’s too bad. The truth is, you can have a long and rewarding career in manufacturing—you might even find the love of your life.

Congratulations are in order for Chuck and Shelly Ehret, who retired in June from Whirlpool Corp.’s assembly plant in Marion, OH, with nearly 90 years of service between them. Chuck began his career the day after his high school graduation in 1973. His wife Shelly began in August of 1977. As you might expect, Chuck’s best memory is meeting Shelly 41 years ago. The couple just celebrated their 40-year wedding anniversary.

The two grew up in the Whirlpool family; both of their fathers worked at the Marion plant, which makes dryers. “My father, David Ehret retired from here,” says Chuck. “All of my siblings have worked here; my sister Mary Ehret, recently retired; and my brother Paul still works here. Whirlpool is a family organization for us.”

Fred Jones, Shelly’s father, was also a retiree. Because of these deep family connections, the couple have many Whirlpool memories that started when they were children. Their formative years include Whirlpool activities, such as family picnics at the Columbus (OH) Zoo, Girl Scouts touring the plant, company Christmas parties, company outings to local amusement parks, and awards from the Whirlpool Scholarship Program.

Chuck worked throughout the plant, beginning in an area that washed small parts. He’s also worked in the weld area, air conditioner line, paint department, built-in range line, and the microwave line. He’s done just about every job on the floor. Shelly’s jobs over the years have also been all over the plant, having worked in every department except maintenance. She spent 25 of her years working in quality.

Chuck and Shelly look forward to spending more time with their grandkids. Chuck will stay busy with family and serving as township trustee. Shelly will continue to serve on both the North Union and Tri-Rivers school boards.