The doors to diversity programs at major corporations aren't open to most rubber product manufacturers simply because they don't have minority ownership.
Delta Rubber Co. is no longer a member of that group. The company has formed an alliance with Plastic Diversity Solutions LLC aimed at building a larger customer base and creating more jobs.
The key to the pact is that Dayville, Conn.-based Plastic Diversity, a thermoplastic elastomer and custom rubber compounder, is owned by a woman, Chairman and CEO Donna Scholz, and qualifies as a minority-owned business.
Under the alliance, Scholz said Plastic Diversity will produce compounds for Delta Rubber, a custom rubber molder, which then can make products that provide diversity content to a variety of companies and government entities.
That opens the door for both firms to gain business with companies that have diversity programs in place. Businesses such as Delphi Corp., Eaton Corp. and Parker Hannifin Corp. are among a growing number that fit that category.
The deal between Plastic Diversity and Delta Rubber was announced at the 2010 Summit and Salute to Women's Business Enterprises seminar, a Women's Business Enterprise National Council event, held recently in Washington. The forum's aim was to increase efforts to connect its members with corporations in and out of the organization.
There are very few rubber companies owned by women in the U.S., which should benefit Plastic Diversity, Delta Rubber and the customer when it comes to fulfilling a contract calling for diversity content in products, Scholz said.
The cornerstone of this strategic alliance is the fact that WBENC corporate members have made the commitment and have the choice and opportunity to leverage their supply-chain purchases, both here and abroad, to provide diversity content when quality products and services are provided at a competitive cost, she said.
Scholz, who has owned the business since 2007, said that for U.S. companies operating in emerging markets like India or China where she said demand is greater than supply and there's a scarcity of high-performance raw materials, compounds and components there is a real and present export opportunity to provide global diversity content intrinsic to the supply chain without adding cost.
At the same time, she said, that approach can create and save jobs in the U.S.
Kevin Violette, sales and marketing manager of Danielson, Conn.-based Delta Rubber, agreed, adding that for each $1 million in sales the two firms generate annually, seven jobs could be created.
From this perspective, he said, $25 million of potential incremental revenue could create 175 new jobs in the Danielson community, and would translate into eight truckloads of rubber compound per month for PDS, providing significant job creation opportunity for two local small businesses coming together to serve large enterprises and government agencies.
Violette said the two companies will be targeting the automotive, industrial, energy, telecommunications and defense markets to achieve their goal.
WBENC can open doors for the two companies, especially in the automotive and defense markets, because a number of minority clauses can be found in those contracts, he said.
Delta Rubber, a division of Johnson City, Tenn.-based NN Inc., specializes in compression, injection and transfer molding of all major types of elastomers at its 50,000-square-foot plant in Danielson, where it employs 105.
It also has expertise in rubber-to-metal bonding, Violette said, along with the development of unique compounds for specialized environments. It makes tight-tolerance bearing seals used in virtually all applications.
Plastic Diversity is a specialty thermoplastic, thermoplastic elastomer and custom rubber compounder, specializing in mission-critical, high-performance, flame-retardant applications for the wire and cable, defense, energy, utility, transportation, voice and data telecommunications, and electronics industries.
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