Custom injection molder Viking Plastics has won DevelopErie's 2014 Employer of the Year Award for manufacturing in the Erie, Pa., region.
Viking of Corry, Pa., scored high in company culture, recent capital investments, growth and ability to upgrade skills of the workforce.
Viking CEO Kelly Goodsel stated in an email correspondence that Viking recently spent about $1.05 million to expand and upgrade. Projects included a complete insert-molded, two-shot molding cell, addition of two other injection presses, investment in assembly operations, installation of more robots and other upgrading programs.
Viking recorded its fourth consecutive year of sales growth in 2014. Profitability improved by 102 percent compared with 2013, the company told award judges. Goodsel declined to provide precise sales figures, but he indicated they were more than $20 million last year.
The molder partakes in several internal and external training strategies. It forms teams across disciplines to learn the different operations within the company. All employees meet daily for training and operations updates. Personnel partake in industry conferences, travel to learn advanced manufacturing tactics and attend training sessions put on by outside consultants.
Goodsel praised employee contributions for the award.
“We enable great people to do great things,” he explained in his award acceptance speech.
Viking beat out another custom molder, Plastek Industries Inc. of Erie, Pa., for the 2014 award. Viking had been named a finalist for the award in 2012.
In addition to its Corry plant, Viking has joint venture partners in operations in São Paolo, Brazil, and Suzhou, China. Viking was established in 1972. Goodsel owns the firm.