Albion, Mich.-based Team 1 Plastics Inc. celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2018. As part of the celebration, the injection molder, which is No. 13 on the 2019 Best Places to Work list, held a fundraising campaign that raised $8,981.53 in nine months, including a $4,000 match of gifts by the company.
Each gift received was divided to support two funds: 30 percent toward Starr Commonwealth's Albion-Marshall Resilient Communities Project and 70 percent to help grow the Team 1 Plastics Charitable Fund through the Albion Community Foundation, which will support future projects in the Albion area.
Team 1 Plastics, which has 64 employees, originally wanted to match up to $3,000 and started the local community fund 15 years ago, President Craig Carrel said.
The company also buried a time capsule, using a material barrel, during the anniversary celebration to open 30 years from now. Items placed inside the time capsule included questionnaires from employees — "What do you think gasoline will cost in 30 years?" — as well as a scrapbook of pictures, newspaper clippings, magazines, videos and a signed banner.
Every month at the team meetings, finances and news are discussed. On top of that, there's a cash wheel for employees to spin.
Employees with birthdays that month get a guaranteed spin. A few other employees have to guess questions about the company, customers or safety, and those who guess correctly get to spin the wheel as well. Spots on the wheel range from $5-$25 cash, with one spot that's $100 or eight hours paid time off. Everyone who spins the wheel walks away with something, Carrel said.
Team 1 recently had its winter party at a bowling alley with pizza and beverages. Employees were allowed to bring up to four guests. Past parties have included disc jockeys or a casino.
The summer party is a more family-oriented event open to children and grandchildren. Previous activities have included an outing to a minor league baseball game, and the zoo as well as an inflatable bounce house.
Each new employee that comes to Team 1 meets with Carrel in his or her first week or two.
"I try to make it about welcoming them, and then I try to ask them stuff like, 'Do you have a family? Are you from here? What do you like to do?'" Carrel said. "I always try to make it about them as the introduction. … It's a fun way to welcome people. You learn a lot."
In addition to the one-on-one meeting, there's a breakfast orientation where the new hire learns about the company's history, what the future looks like, keys to success, mission, vision and the Championship Dream.
Carrel said 2018 was one of the company's best overall years in its history.
"When you look at all the key metrics for a company like ours, our quality is at a level that we haven't been at in a long time," he said. "Our shipments and deliveries and capacity, again, is in some of the best shape we're ever had it."
Team 1 has made the Best Places to Work lists in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018.
The company has its sights set on growing in 2019 and beyond.
"We have some projects on the burner that are coming to fruition that will really challenge us to grow efficiently and not lose control of those other things we're proud of and really hopefully manage the growth and be able to do it in an efficient way is what we're challenging our team for this year," Carrel said.
Profiles of the Best Places to Work in the plastics industry will be posted online March 25-29. Click here for links.