We value people above all else. We value who you are, what you’ve experienced, and how you see the world. We believe our differences make us stronger.
The Harbor Freight Culture Council is made up of associates in our stores, distribution centers, and corporate offices, and it was founded on the belief that we value people above all else. The best way we demonstrate this belief is through our people initiatives to make Harbor Freight the best place to work in retail. Creating a strong workplace culture is not a destination; it’s an evolving initiative that always focuses on putting our people first.
WHAT IT MEANS TO BE #HARBORFREIGHTHAPPY
We pride ourselves on delivering value to our hardworking customers, and we wouldn’t be able to do this without all of our amazing associates across our stores, distribution centers, corporate offices, and international offices. We’re committed to creating a great place to work and a fun, exciting work environment, which is why we believe in spreading the #HarborFreightHappy.
Being #HarborFreightHappy means different things to our associates. For some, it’s helping our customers who shop in our stores find the best deals or doing a random act of kindness for a coworker. For others, it’s participating in community events or developing their career path at HFT. Check out some great #HarborFreightHappy stories!
I’ve always believed inclusiveness was important, but the Culture Council has shown me it’s so much more than ethnic diversity! I’m extremely proud to be part of the Council because the work we are doing will have a long lasting impact on the lives of our HFT family and we’re investing in our company’s future. I truly believe this will have a significant impact on our organization as we focus on being a great place to work by valuing our differences and experiences and creating a people first culture.
District Manager, High Desert District
My experience on the Culture Council so far has been both enlightening and rewarding. Working with such a thoughtful group of leaders from throughout our organization has given me a much greater appreciation and understanding of the diverse needs and concerns of the HFT community. I’m extremely proud of everyone’s ingenuity and commitment and have no doubt that this group is on track to positively influence HFT’s company culture.
Sr. Real Estate Council
While I have been part of the Culture Council, we have always made making HFT a better place to work as our main objective. I have had a great opportunity to work with other individuals within the company that I would have never crossed paths with. We have bonded as a team discussing and sharing many of our own life/work experiences to provide guidance and suggestion to our senior leadership.
Sr. Operations Manager, Moreno Valley
Being part of the Culture Council shows HFT’s commitment and willingness to adapt and evolve to the needs of its associates. This is about creating a culture where every associate feels fully empowered and valued – a place where they can contribute to their maximum potential. I am proud to be part of such a diverse team from different parts of the business, all with the common goal of making HFT the best place to work.
Sr. Store Manager in Chicago, IL
The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Department at HFT ensures that the individuals making our products are provided with safe, fair and equitable workplaces. We work closely with the Global Sourcing and Shanghai Shipping teams to monitor, audit and implement continuous improvement plans that keep our factories free from: discrimination, harassment & abuse; child & forced labor; excessive unpaid overtime; unpaid wages; bribery; fire & environmental hazards; and health & safety violations.
CSR became my passion in 2005 and since then, I have devoted my career to it. I joined HFT in October 2016, and have been a member of the Culture Council since January 2020. This Council feels like an extension of the CSR department because it looks at our own internal culture, systems and processes, and makes sure we are ‘walking the talk’ (i.e., practicing what we preach to our factories). Knowing that HFT’s Leadership created this Culture Council makes me proud to work here; it reveals that they genuinely care about including, valuing and respecting each and every one of us. The Council’s monthly meetings have become the highlight of my work days because I know what the Council does (and will do) has a direct, positive impact on our daily work lives. I sincerely believe that, over time, the existence of this Council will help foster an environment of acceptance, growth and belonging at HFT.
– Tina Cheung
Corporate Social Responsibility Manager
I started my journey with Harbor Freight 14 years ago when I joined the HR Team as an Employee Relations Specialist. The past 14 years I have had the opportunity to learn, grow, and share! I am often asked “Why Harbor Freight?” I love answering this question because like anything I love, I get excited to share all the great things about HFT and my journey throughout the years. HFT’s core values, mission, and People Statement are all sentiments that I value personally and professionally and can genuinely support. I am fortunate to get to see these values applied every day by our leadership team and fellow Harbor Freight-ers. I have had the opportunity to work with some really great and inspiring people in all areas of the company and have had leaders who are truly invested in me, my growth, the success of our team, and HFT overall.
My role at HFT has changed throughout the years. Currently, I am part of our Culture and Engagement team. The opportunity to work on initiatives and programs that focus on our people and help drive diversity, culture, community, associate engagement, and sharing our story internally and externally is what drives me every day!
I was invited to join our very first Culture Council. The Council is made up of a diverse group of folks from all parts of our organization. Diverse in thought, different experiences, different roles, different views, but also, much in common. A few things we all have in common is we believe in doing the right thing, passion for people and all align with our values and efforts in making HFT the best place to work. Being a part of the council and getting to learn from peers, and being advocates of our company culture has been such a tremendous experience and opportunity for me personally and professionally. I take great pride in taking part of the responsibility of learning what we as a company are doing well and understand and learn what areas we can improve on to help cultivate our company’s culture and create an organization where our people feel included and valued. I look forward to our continued learning and refreshing of ideas to nourish and improve our culture and believe it will have such a positive impact on our people.
– Felicia Ruiz
Sr. Manager, Culture and Engagement
As a Product Support Supervisor within the Contact Center, my role is to develop our Call Center associates to provide every customer with “Best in Class” service every time. The Product Support role is the face of Harbor Freight Tools – as this is the department that supports our tools and answers basis troubleshooting for our customers. I enjoy developing our Call Center talent continuously through training and coaching to help enhance our team’s project knowledge and providing world class service to our customers.
My voyage with Harbor Freight Tools began in December 2015 and I have been a member of the Culture Council since inception. Having a diverse group within the Council lends to fresh ideas by a diverse group of directors and managers who have come to understand that cultural diversity in the workplace is a valuable commodity. Being that many companies are evolving into multinational melting pots, it feels good to know that the company I’m employed with sees this as important and is looking to be the change.
The workplace should not be something that people dread every day. Employees should look forward to going to their jobs. In fact, they should have a hard time leaving because they enjoy the challenges, their co-workers, and the atmosphere. The culture should be designed to alleviate the work related stress, and I’m proud to be a part of a council that is shaping the culture of Harbor Freight Tools.
– Marc Neeley
Product Support Supervisor, Contact Center
My name is Natasha and I’ve been with HFT for almost 2 wonderful years! I’m the Executive Admin Supervisor working under the Culture & Engagement team. What I love best about my position is that I get to be part of two amazing teams. One is a team that I work side by side with, support and oversee. The Executive Assistants are a special group of associates that I’ve learned so much from. The second is the very creative and exciting Culture & Engagement team. We work together to make every associate experience a special one and come together for our community.
I’ve enjoyed being in the Culture Council experience for about a year. I’ve learned so much of what is outside of our corporate office. I’ve gotten a first look at what the Distribution Centers and stores represent, how they function, what associate experiences they have, and what we can do to connect us all as a company. The Council is so diverse and I’ve been lucky to learn so much about every aspect of our company that most don’t get to learn (or even see in person) their first year with HFT. I believe this council will link us all together and make us stronger as a team and give each associate an understanding of how the DC’s, stores and Corporate office linked together will continue to make HFT a successful growing company that is a great place to work.
– Natasha Pujol
Executive Admin Supervisor
In the 17 years that I have been with Harbor Freight, I’ve seen a lot of very good change. For the last few years, my current position as Sr. Manager, Forecasting Systems has been very rewarding.
Harbor Freight’s core values are the same as my core values, but my passion is for helping people. I have been so lucky and blessed that I have been able to help many of my colleagues over the years based on that desire to be helpful.
The Culture Council lets me help the whole company in its long term goal of being a “Great Place to Work”. I believe The Culture Council has opened my eyes in ways I hadn’t understood before. In the future this will be the place everyone wants to work.
– Bridgit Staszewski
Sr. Manager, Forecasting Systems
I have been a District Manager at Harbor Freight for 8 years. I am blessed to be in a position to have an impact on people’s lives. Working for a company such as HFT has taught me how important it is for a company to have a great culture in order to support me as a leader and create positive change for our associates.
The Culture Council has not only helped with my own success with HFT, but also with the success of my team and fellow associates. The Culture Council allows HFT to grow and become a more inclusive company to work for, because it allows a range of different voices to be heard. With these voices, we have made positive changes to our store procedures, while maintaining our core values as a company. I am happy with the progress we have made this past year in the Council’s early stages. I cannot wait to see what our future endeavors hold and hope that our impacts make our company one worth working for.
– Albert Camacho
District Manager, San Fernando District
PEOPLE ABOVE ALL ELSE
At Harbor Freight Tools, we are passionate about making great tools affordable for our hardworking customers. We’ve been successful at doing that for over 40 years because of our commitment to creating a culture of inclusion that values, recognizes and respects the diversity of our team members. Our core principles and our people statement require and encourage everyone at Harbor Freight to be stewards of this unique culture.
As part of ensuring an inclusive work environment, Harbor Freight has a Culture Council of associates from across the organization and from various levels, all whom have a passion for people and are committed to making Harbor Freight the best place to work in retail. Their areas of focus are:
- Associate Engagement
- Diversity & Inclusion
- Community Outreach
A NOTE FROM OUR FOUNDER ABOUT
THE IMPORTANCE OF OUR PEOPLE
Since Harbor Freight was founded in 1977, I’ve always believed that the most critical ingredient to our success was having a team of talented, passionate and hardworking associates committed to a shared set of core values. These shared values and the passion of our people became the culture of Harbor Freight.
And now, 42 years later, that belief has never been stronger. It’s true across every part of our business – in our stores, our distribution centers, our asset recovery centers, our quality labs and in our offices. Our people, now over 20,000 strong, and our core values are the keys to our success and the reason I’m convinced that we can meet every challenge and continue our amazing growth.
Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about people. And while I continue to learn more every day, I know without any doubt that we’re stronger when we work together with teams made up of people with diverse perspectives, life experiences and viewpoints. It seems that we see headlines nearly every day related to discrimination, bias and prejudice and stories about what makes us different or divides us. That’s why I think it’s more important than ever to clearly state our belief regarding our people and diversity. Here it is:
We value people above all else. We value who you are, what you’ve experienced, and how you see the world.
We believe our differences make us stronger.
At Harbor Freight, we do our best work when we can be ourselves and know that our diverse views, experiences and voices are valued. We’re committed to ensuring that each and every associate feels safe, welcome, included and part of our special community.
Over the past year, we’ve asked hundreds of you for your views on these topics, we’ve added people to our Human Resources team to focus on diversity and inclusion, we’ve established a Culture Council made up of passionate associates from all areas of our business and we’ve continued to improve our approach to recruiting.
In the future, we’ll be sharing more about our efforts to further strengthen our teams and ensure that Harbor Freight is and continues to be a great place to work – for everyone.
Thank you all for bringing your unique perspectives to Harbor Freight and for being part of our family.
A LETTER TO HARBOR FREIGHT ASSOCIATES
Some have called the horrific killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and others a wake-up call for America. But for Black communities across our country, they are just the latest terrible reminders of what they’ve always known—that justice is not and has never been equal in America.
Today, so many of us are living in fear. Fear of the pandemic that’s taken over 100,000 lives in our country. Fear of hunger and homelessness with over 40 million Americans out of work. And the persistent fear of inequality and deadly injustice for Black Americans. There is fear and pain, and there is also justifiable anger.
How do we honor the memory of George Floyd and so many others? How do we move forward? And how do we ensure that no one is left behind? I definitely don’t have all of the answers. But I know that we must work together now to find them. And we must continue to embrace our shared humanity, recognize the value of our diversity and take a stand against racism, inequality of opportunity and intolerance.
At Harbor Freight, we’re committed to doing this work. We value every individual for who they are, what they’ve experienced and how they see the world. We recognize that our diversity is our strength and we’ll work harder to become more diverse and inclusive in every corner of our company. We will listen and learn. And we will lead by example by treating each other, all of our customers and everyone in our communities fairly, respectfully and empathetically—without exception. We cannot accept anything less.
And we’re committing to more. Over the years, Harbor Freight Communities and The Smidt Foundation have supported several nonprofit organizations dedicated to fighting racial inequality and opening wide the doors of opportunity for everyone. This year we will increase our donations by more than $4 million to these causes.
And we’ll continue to support these incredible organizations and their critical work.
We must come together and take this tragic moment to finally make good on the promise of equality for all Americans. This is our most important work.
Take good care and God bless,
Eric – Chief Tool Salesmen, Owner