Charlton, Mass. — When you're making tiny medical parts that go inside the body, and you only have 32 employees, every single one counts.
Case in point: MTD Micro Molding, winner of the Plastics News Excellence Award for Employee Relations. Finding skilled employees is the biggest challenge facing manufacturing right now. But what about finding people who can handle micromolding, where some parts are so small that you can make 520 parts from a single pellet of resin?
Painstaking attention to detail is needed for the clean room molding and making the tooling.
Leaders of MTD, located in small-town Charlton, know they can't easily find people experienced in micromolding. So, they hire for attitude. People who like it tend to stay, and they relish trying to make parts that other companies can't make and that help improve health.
About 90 percent of the products MTD makes are implanted into the body, and of those, about 80 percent are bioresorbable products like implantable staples, microscrews, tacks and microplugs.
Mold technician P.J. Blando has been at MTD for five years. He enjoys "the work environment along with the level of work precision and attention to detail it takes to create the molds we build. They take great care of us at MTD — like close family."
Credit goes to owner and President Dennis Tully, whose father Richard Tully founded the company in 1972, and Executive Vice President Gary Hulecki, who handles day-to-day operations.
They have a good sense of humor. Employees wear MTD shirts emblazoned with the company name and: "We do very little work."
MTD Micro Molding was a finalist for the Processor of the Year Award.
The company has good benefits, including profit sharing and a 401(k) with a company match. And a small company can take a personal approach: Every employee gets a birthday card and a gift.
And when MTD builds its 12,000-square-foot expansion, it will include a fitness center.
Hulecki got the ideas when he saw an article on attracting and retaining good workers that called a workout facility an important perk. Employees will be encouraged to use schedule times to use the center during the workday. So in effect, they're getting paid to exercise.