As it turns 40 years old, Venture Plastics Inc. is a busy custom injection molder and it's expanding, despite the recession.
Kenneth Groff, who founded Venture Plastics in 1969, credits employees for the company's success.
You can sum it up in one word, and that is the people. They stay focused, Groff said.
About 75 suppliers, customers and friends of the company attended an open house July 17 at the Newton Falls headquarters plant.
The next day, a Saturday, the molder held an open house at the plant for its more than 200 employees and their families.
President Steve Trapp said both plants have been working three shifts for six or seven days a week. Since really the second quarter, April and May, new business has been really strong, he said.
The plant even operated during the Saturday open house, as employees traded off so everyone could enjoy the festivities, said Bryon Osborne, vice president of sales and marketing.
Trapp said Venture has purchased a new all-electric Arburg injection molding machine, an Allrounder 520-A, equipped with an Arburg Multilift robot, for its Newton Falls factory. The machine is the plant's 18th press.
A native of northeast Ohio, Groff, 72, started his plastics career at Geauga Industries in Crestline, Ohio. In 1967, he joined Sajar Plastics Inc. in Middlefield, Ohio, in a sales position. When Sajar management balked at a major turnkey job a portable clothes steamer Groff and two others left Sajar and founded Venture Plastics. The steamer was the core business. Unfortunately, users could get burned by the steamer and it was discontinued because of liability concerns.
Venture scrambled to diversify, a lesson the company follows today.
Groff remains the owner. He is also CEO, but lives in Montana, where he works on long-range planning for the company.
Venture also will hold an Oct. 21 open house at its 3-year-old factory in El Paso, Texas.
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