1940s – Came to stay


Blomberg’s mayor Christoph Dolle in an interview on his city’s relationship with Phoenix Contact, plus the opportunities and challenges in the interaction with the largest company in the City of Carnations.

Christoph Dolle, Mayor of Blomberg

UPDATE: Mr. Dolle, how would you describe Blomberg’s relationship with Phoenix Contact?

As a true success story. Not only does it shape the cityscape, it also changed the external perception of our city. As far back as 1957, it was clear that the company settlement at the Flachsmarkt was special, which my early predecessors, City Director Eggert and Mayor Fritzemeier strongly supported at the time.

The woodworking industry was almost wound down in rural Blomberg, and the chair manufacturing companies that Blomberg had once been famous for were also in decline. In this respect, our town considers it a stroke of luck not only that Phoenix Contact settled here, but also that it became so successful.

UPDATE: How do the city and the company interact with one another?

Phoenix Contact is a company that does not just focus on profits and earnings. It has acted in partnership with our city from the very start, and it has been and still is aware of its role here, its social responsibility, and its role in society as well. This is a critical point, and it especially applies to the enormous development over the last few years. This has been the case since the start of our cooperation.

One example is the current situation relating to the expansion of the company’s premises. I have never seen a company owner like Klaus Eisert or a general manager like Frank Stührenberg take the time to sit down and talk with residents, be open to critical questions, and take up suggestions in an open dialog. It is truly a very special relationship that we have built up over decades.

UPDATE: What are the problems that such a large company brings to a small rural town?

With the mayor in the city archive

If you look at the cityscape from a bird’s eye view, there are two parts of the city – the core city of downtown Blomberg on the one hand and the Phoenix Contact city on the other. In terms of infrastructure that can be challenging. The core city of Blomberg has 8,000 inhabitants and Phoenix Contact 5,500 employees – that amounts to the inflow and outflow of an entire city population every day.

The topic of housing is a complex one. Phoenix Contact does not put extra strain on the housing situation, because many of its employees are commuters who do not live here at all. On the contrary: I would even prefer it if many of the staff members would find Blomberg so appealing that they decide to relocate here. Rural exodus as a result of demographic change is a persistent issue. Blomberg is significantly less affected by this as the communities in the surrounding area are.

The salaries Phoenix Contact pays its staff ensure that skilled workers like to start at Phoenix Contact and not at other local companies. This represents a competition for the best minds. Yet, it’s the same everywhere where industry meets skilled trade and smaller medium-sized businesses.

UPDATE: What advantages does the town of Blomberg gain from working closely with Phoenix Contact?

Of course, a company of this size contributes to a good share of the municipal budget in the form of trade tax. It is not for nothing that the treasurers of the Lippe municipalities like to use the term “the Blomberg effect.” If things don’t go well at Phoenix Contact, significantly less money flows into the coffers of the other Lippe municipalities via the district taxes.

Its traditional values and attachment to Blomberg and the region have meant that production has not been outsourced to low-wage countries. Phoenix Contact not only creates jobs for highly qualified people but also jobs for those with little or even less education. This helps our town a great deal, of course.

In other communities and cities, relationships with large employers are often much more difficult than ours. Contacts with the Executive Board and the owner family here are both professional and characterized by a trustworthy dialog at eye level.

Mayor Dolle in front of “his” historic town hall


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