Awarded in September 2009
Wooster Motor Ways, located on Old Lincoln Way West in Wooster, was presented the Wayne County Schools Career Center Outstanding Business Partner award. Receiving the award was President Paul Williams and John Smucker, director of fleet maintenance. Nominating WMW for the awards was and Auto Technologies instructor Kevin Wilson “because of their generosity to the Career Center,” and Truck Mechanics instructor Terry Vickers.
Wooster Motor Ways was incorporated in 1964 in Wooster. Ken Beaverson purchased it in 1975, and grew the company through the 1980s. After Beaverson’s death in 1987, the business was purchased by Paul E. Williams. Paul Williams passed away in 1988, and Wayne Hochstetler was President of the company until 2000, when Paul M. Williams assumed the lead. At that point, the company had grown to 200 power units and 600 trailers with annual revenue of over 20 million dollars.
“We serve all of Ohio, states bordering Ohio, as well as Chicago and Buffalo,” Paul Williams said. According to the website, Wooster Motor Ways has over 250 drivers with annual revenues over $35 million, and also has a $10 million brokerage company. “Unfortunately, faced with our current economy, WMW is only running about 150 power units,” said Williams. As a full truckload carrier, Wooster Motor Ways was recently highlighted with a three page color spread in US Business Review Magazine, June/July 2009 issue.
Wayne County Schools Career Center alumni at Wooster Motor Ways are Dave Funk, director of maintenance, John Bogavich, Scott Spitler, Cory Short, Cody Winchell, Doug Bowersock, Linda Chaffin, Jeanine Ickes, Gina Drake, and Keith McConahay. The company has hired students or graduates from Truck Mechanics, Auto Technologies, Ag Mechanics, and business programs, and has made significant donations to Truck Mechanics and Auto Technologies, according to Kevin Wilson. They host field trips and participate in job shadowing, mentorships, serve on advisory committees, provide guest speakers and have invited both staff and students to their location for training seminars. They have brought trucks to our program for repair, provided man hours and equipment for our SkillsUSA contests, donated cabs, trailers and even t-shirts and meeting refreshments.
Truck Mechanics instructor Terry Vickers adds, “In 1982, when I started in the Truck Mechanics program, I needed several truck parts such as tires and rims. Jim Smucker who was in charge of their shop helped with a smile and we were off to a great long-term partnership. Jim Smucker was a member of our advisory committee and later his son John and they have been great contacts for student employment and help of any kind for our program. In the past 27 years every time that I have called Wooster Motor Ways with a question, problem, or need they have always returned the call for help.
Wooster Motor Ways President Paul Williams is also a strong supporter of many community groups and activities. He lives life at the maximum speed limit. He energizes several boards that he sits on and is generous with his time and resources. For example in Wooster Rotary he as led two of their major events—the Auction and the new Wooster Parade of Flags.
The Wayne County Schools Career Center thanks Wooster Motor Ways and Paul Williams for their involvement in the education of Wayne County students, and honors them for being an outstanding business partner.