I'm a competitive person, so I like to see Plastics News get every story that's important to our readers, and to be first and best with the coverage. That said, I also like to see plastics companies featured by their local newspapers and TV stations. It's important to let the community know what your company does and how many people it employs. You can generate some goodwill and understanding with local politicians and community leaders, and generate some pride from your work force. I found three nice examples of these types of stories this weekend: Hoffer Plastics Corp. in South Elgin, Ill., was the subject of this nice profile on the Elgin Courier News' Web site. Among other things, the story does a good job explaining, in just a few words, what a custom injection molder does:
[CEO] Bill Hoffer says the company often acts as a "manufacturing arm" for many companies, who use Hoffer to mold and assemble components for specific applications.The Tinley Park, Ill., Daily Southtown also had an interesting feature, this one on Florida Plastics International Inc. in Evergreen Park, Ill. I like how this story explains the company name (it originally was a Midwest distributor for a Florida company that molded small plastic letters. The current CEO's father bought the plant in 1965, but kept the name). Florida Plastics' claim to fame is that it is the sole U.S. manufacturer of interior and exterior menu boards for McDonald's restaurants. CEO William W. Keyser tells the story:
We were in the process of selling white plastic letters to a cabinet shop in Streamwood that was making the first McDonald's menu board. The company didn't want to make the boards anymore, only the cases. My father learned of that and approached McDonald's directly. After many months of back and forth and looking at designs and prototyping, he got the account. That's when we really turned the corner. I was 15 years old at the time. ... Here we were going to make a sign for this little hamburger chain called McDonald's. At the time -- in 1968 -- they had 500 restaurants. In the early '70s, they started building 500 to 600 new restaurants a year. We went from a company with three full-time employees to one with 75.Must have been nice to get in on the ground floor with McDonald's! My final example is a feature from the St. Paul, Minn., Pioneer Press about profile extruder Intek Plastics Inc. in Hastings, Minn. Their angle: the company has introduced a flexible plastic cover for hockey rinks that can help minimize injuries when players are checked into the boards. The NHL plans to install Intek's product in all of their rinks by the start of next season. I like it when I learn something about a company that I wouldn't know otherwise. This story has a great example: "Intek is owned by the descendants of John S. Campbell, best-known as the founder of the Malt-O-Meal Co., which is still owned by the Campbell family." So this family is in both the window profile and breakfast cereal businesses. What an unusual combination!