Wisconsin Plastics Inc. received an Exemplary Employer award from Wisconsin's governor for its work with inmates of Sanger Powers Correctional Center in Oneida, Wis.
The private company, faced with labor shortages in northeastern Wisconsin several years ago, explored alternative work forces. It has hired Sanger inmates for four years in a program ``that has worked very well,'' Daniel Kuiper, chief operating officer, said in a telephone interview from the company's office in Green Bay, Wis.
Kuiper said his firm employs 25-30 inmates. Most work as general laborers in plastics operations. The company pays inmates the same wages and benefits as other employees, sending inmates' checks to the state. Inmates hired from the minimum-security institution are close to parole and many stay on with Wisconsin Plastics after release.
Wisconsin Plastics is a custom injection molder with annual molding sales of about $19 million concentrated in consumer products. Another $6 million in sales is logged by metal operations. Plastics employ about 170 of the firm's more than 220 employees. Wisconsin Plastics was one of 10 companies selected for the employer award, presented May 16 by Lt. Gov. Margaret Farrow.