Local resident celebrates 35 years at Pella Corp


By Jordan Green

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TROY — Mark Braden of Troy will be celebrating his 35th year at the Pella Corporation this week. The Pella Corporation is a window and door design and manufacturing company headquartered in Pella, Iowa. Braden, originally from Oskaloosa, Iowa, moved here with his wife a little over a year ago to help Pella open their new plant in Troy.

“We couldn’t have done this without him,” said Jenni Hanna, plant manager.

Thirty-five years ago, after serving in the Marine Corps, Braden was recruited by his brother to apply at Pella. After putting in his application, he received a job offer at another company, which he accepted. That same day, as soon as he got home, he got a call from Pella with a better offer. He opted to work for Pella Corp.

“That was a no-brainer,” said Braden.

Pella, in a way, has since been a family business for him. Braden’s older brother put in 48 years with the company while his younger brother is going on 20. His sister, along with aunts and uncles, have also worked there. He currently works alongside his wife, who, having previously worked 12 years for the company, came back two years ago.

Braden now works as production leader here in Troy and attributes his longevity to the overall stability of the job, growth opportunities within the company, and the relationships he has made. The relationships, he says, have been the most enjoyable aspect of the job.

“The way my life has changed meeting some of these people and what they have done to enhance my life has been great. And that’s still holding true here in Troy,” said Braden.

Thirty-five years at one company is no small feat, especially in today’s labor market. Braden offered an insightful tip for those looking to find the right fit for them.

“Look at what your interests are and go with that. If things don’t seem to be working out from the get-go, give it time,” said Braden. He notes that situations change a lot. While some jobs may start out poorly, they may change for the better or vice versa. Even if you choose to leave, giving it time allows you to assess the pros and cons and better informs you on your next choice of work.

Braden’s loyalty and dedication is far from common, and the plant he helped open has been a boost to Troy’s economy, with plans to create 428 new jobs by 2025, according to the city of Troy’s website.

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