During the economic downturn, Engineered Profiles LLC diversified outside its core business of building products into new areas like agriculture, transportation and oil and gas exploration.
Now the Columbus, Ohio-based business is firing on all cylinders and embarking on a three-year hiring spree that will help 114 people experiencing their own economic hardships move from public assistance into the workforce.
President Mike Davis explained what's driving the need to increase the number of employees from 240 to more than 350.
“In addition to enjoying new sales from markets we've never been in before, many of these markets are experiencing sustained growth,” Davis said in an email.
With annual sales of $43 million, Engineered Profiles comes in at No. 68 in Plastics News' latest ranking of the top pipe, profile and tubing extruders in North America.
Founded in 1947 as Crane Plastics, Engineered Profiles received a $142,500 grant to cover a portion of the training costs for the 114 Franklin County residents, who will work mostly as extrusion operators.
“Running an extruder is the lifeblood of our company, and the way we see it, in order to provide our customers with the high quality parts they have come to expect, while delivering on time, we must build a best-in-class training program for potential associates coming to work with us,” Davis said.
Engineered Profiles expects to add more than $3 million in new payroll after all positions are filled. Tait said the company increased its starting minimum wage and created a “roadmap” of skills needed to help the new hires advance within the organization.
The job training grant is from the county's People Works Program. The Columbus Urban League, a non-profit advocacy agency, will provide financial literacy training and other support services as part of the agreement.
“We know that there are many good people out there today that simply need to find the right situation where a structure is in place to help them succeed,” Davis said.
Davis also said he is confident the grant will help grow the company, which will create even more jobs in the future. The business is making $250,000 of capital investments, such as material handling and process machines, to coincide with the incoming manpower.
“More parts out our door will require more machines for all the new people to run,” he said.
Engineered Profiles is exploring a variety of ways to recruit entry-level new employees to meet increasing demand. Davis said the company also is working with the Training Assessment and Placement Program, which pairs up small and medium manufacturers in Ohio with low-level offenders (no violent or sexual convictions) needing jobs for a successful return to society.