Mr. Douglas Newhard was reared in Catasauqua, graduating from Catasauqua High School in 1973. He recalls, “I played on the basketball team and my favorite subject was math.” After taking an aptitude test, he was hired by the Bethlehem Steel Corp. in 1973 at a rate of $3.51 an hour. In his 25-year tenure at the plant, there was dramatic change.

Mr. Newhard, with a feeling of nostalgia and pride said, “March 27, 1998 was a sad day. I was in the coke plant and the word came that the great plant was closing. When I left on the last day I not only left a job but a family of friends.”

Douglas brought his work ethic to LaFarge in 1999, starting on the tire dock progressing to the labor gang, bulk loader, pack house and quarry crusher. He said, “For 14 years I operated the crusher, processing thousands of tons of cement rock daily.”

Presently, he works at the unloading station operating a large loader moving limestone, coal sand, coke and gypsum, he works with coworker Rob Tansier. Their supervisor is Larry Heckman.

Safety is a priority at the plant. There is a safety team that conducts monthly meetings on safety issues. They are proud of completing three years with no lost time accidents. The employees take safety very seriously. Mr. Newhard’s safety motto is: “If you are not sure, don’t do it.”

Mr. Newhard has a friendly personality. He enjoys his job, saying, “I work with many fine co-workers and we all attempt to work in a safe manner to produce a quality product for our customers.”

Douglas and wife Diane have been married for 30 years and are proud of daughters Karen, Christine, Janice and sons Stephen and Jason. His best friend was the late Darryl Dawkins “Chocolate Thunder,” the former Philadelphia 76er basketball great, who was married to his daughter Janice.

He said with a smile on his face, “My family is my hobby.”

Active in the community, he is a member of the local Lions club and active with the Special Olympics. The friendly family resides in North Catasauqua.

We wish Mr. Newhard and all our friends at the century-old plant continued success in producing a product that helped build America.


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