Ellington, Conn.-based Dymotek Corp. almost needed a moving van to bring all of its hardware home from the Plastics News Executive Forum.
The custom injection molder is the No. 8 company in PN's Best Places to Work for 2016. In addition, it won the 2015 Plastics News Excellence Award for employee relations, and it was a finalist for Processor of the Year.
With a resume like that, it's obvious that strong employee relations are helping the injection molder stand out among a crowded field of competitors.
The company itself is young by industry standards — it just started production in 1997, as a spin-off from a plumbing products company. So no one at Dymotek has been with the company for more than 20 years. The firm has a mix of industry veterans like President Norm Forest, but as it's grown it's augmented those managers with young people like Spencer Wargo, a quality technician who was hired two years ago.
“I really love coming to work. The people here are great,” Wargo said. “It has a small family atmosphere. It's not that big corporate feel where everyone is just a number. Your decisions and your thoughts are really valued, more so than they would be at larger places.”
Forest said that's a common feeling among Dymotek employees.
“We're a best place to work because of all of our associates,” he said. Dymotek has a reputation for being an employer where workers can start on the ground floor and, through numerous training opportunities, work their way up the ladder.
“We train to the max. It's on-the-job training, but every hour we put into training is an investment in their future and our future,” Forest said.
Frank Fasano, director of quality, said the culture of being an excellent place to work starts at the top, with Forest. Fasano worked with Forest at another company, and joined Dymotek about six years ago so he could have the opportunity to work together again.
“Norm is a gentleman. When you're working in an environment — not that it isn't work, but it's pleasurable,” Fasano said.
That makes his job easier — he describes the company's quality goal as “creating world-class customer experiences.” Workers agree — many say that they're Dymotek's biggest critics, because they hold the company to a higher standard even than its customers.
“I think it comes through to our customers because it's pleasant to work with us,” Fasano said.
Dymotek is owned by two brothers, Steve and Tom Trueb, who developed a covering for hot-water pipes used under sinks in public restrooms, to protect people in wheelchairs. Dymotek still makes that product, and the company has developed expertise in two-shot and liquid silicone molding, and in advanced automation, to manufacture the plumbing parts.
Now it uses that expertise to serve a wide variety of customers.
The Trueb brothers are familiar figures at Dymotek's two factories, and in the Ellington community. Tom Trueb said they set the tone for making Dymotek a great place to work.
“I think we always make sure to have good working conditions, safe working conditions. Clean and neat, well painted,” Tom Trueb said. “I think that lends a lot to the attitudes that people have. And I think the management team really treats people fairly. We don't play favorites.”
Also, adding to the company's family atmosphere and small-town feel, during the summer, workers can pick up free vegetables from the Truebs' garden, which is on the headquarters factory's premises.
The company's very first employee, Susan Littizio, is still on the job, as customer service representative. She credits the Truebs for the company's strong reputation in the local community.
“The Truebs were born and brought up in Ellington. They made sure the property looked good. They made sure the employees were treated well,” Littizzio said. “One of the biggest reasons that makes Dymotek one of the best places to work is the people. We care deeply about even the personal well-being of each other.”
Thanks to the emphasis on training, quality and advanced technology, Dymotek has a reputation that stretches beyond its small-town roots. More than half of the company's output is exported outside the United States.
The Hartford Courant also named Dymotek to the newspaper's list of the best places to work in Connecticut, two years in a row.