Cement Worker of the Month
Thursday, December 6, 2012 by ED PANY, Curator Curator, Atlas Cement CompanyMemorial Museum in ColumnsStephen Hayden, Keystone Cement Co., Bath
Mr. Stephen J. Hayden was reared in Allentown and graduated from the Swain School in 1974. With a sense of humor he recalls, "Our graduating class consisted of six students so I had no difficulty making the top 10."
Influenced by his father who was a civil engineer, Steve continued his education at Keystone College and Clarkson College in New York.
Starting employment at the Keystone Cement Company in 1978, he was determined to learn about the various aspects of the plant's operation. His first position was as a crane operator.
Later Steve worked in the control room which is the heart of any cement plant, a center of gauges, dials and controls monitoring all areas of the plant from kilns to grinding mills.
He recalls old-timers who were his mentors: Frank Csencsitz, John Weiss and one of this writer's classmates, Bob Henninger, all good cement veterans willing to share their years of experience.
In 1985 the lure of the blast and crush of stone made the quarry his new home, supervising the afternoon quarry shift. Then it was back to the plant in a few years working as a utility and production supervisor.
After a successful tenure in production, Mr. Hayden was named plant manager in 1992. The manager's position comes with a myriad of responsibilities: plant breakdowns, alarms, negotiations, community forums and responsibility for adhering to numerous federal and state regulations.
In October, Mr. Hayden retired after 34 fruitful years at the plant. His father had also given 34 years of service to Keystone.
"I attempted to keep the plant competitive, when some predicted we would close as had many local plants," he said. "We confronted both lean and prosperous years but our great employees were determined to continue our operation. We are proud of never having a labor stoppage since our founding in 1928."
Mr. Hayden is a close friend of this writer and has cooperated with the Atlas Cement Memorial Museum and Cement Worker of the Month columns for 16 years. A gentlemen with a positive philosophy and friendly smile, he can leave with the satisfaction of a "job well done."
Mr. Hayden is married to the former Patricia Windish for 18 years. They reside in Upper Macungie Township.
We extend our sincere congratulations to Steve, wishing him a healthy and lengthy retirement. A dedicated cement worker and manager, he guided Keystone with counsel and wisdom, knowing the plant is an integral part of the proud heritage of our Lehigh Valley cement industry.