Seeking to fill a need for a manufacturer with expertise in formulating plastic colorants and additives in the Western United States, John Manuck founded Techmer PM in 1981 through an agreement with Rehrig Pacific Co.'s plant to utilize its production line.
A half-dozen Techmer employees were designing, producing and selling products to the plastics industry by 1982. It expanded into a new facility in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., in 1985 and established a relationship with Tokyo Printing Ink and Mitsui & Co. of Japan later that year, which resulted in its largest plant, in Clinton, Tenn., in 1988. Techmer said the Tennessee facility launched it as a global supplier to the plastics and fiber industries.
On Plastics News' Best Places to Work list for 2021, Techmer PM ranks No. 9 among suppliers. It previously made the list in 2014, 2016-17 and 2019-20.
A leading maker of custom color and additive masterbatch and engineered plastic compounds, Techmer has six production facilities in the U.S. with 540 employees. It also has offices in São Paulo and Cologne, Germany.
There are 10 paid company holidays, and employees receive 10 vacation days, five sick days and five personal days after one year of employment.
Health and fitness are priorities at Techmer. All Tennessee employees receive free gym membership, with annual gym reimbursement and fitness tracker reimbursement for employees and dependents. Telemedicine benefits are free for team members and their dependents as well. Team members can take advantage of the Techmer Walking Trail.
Techmer offers $500 per year toward health savings accounts. Other benefits include enhanced vision insurance with frames every 12 months, on-site flu shots and a disease management program, where staff can sign up to be matched with a nurse health coach that can assist with chronic conditions.
Techmer Bucks are given as acknowledgment of safety observations around work. The currency has a 1:1 cash value that can be redeemed for gift cards or cash.
For retirement benefits, the company offers 100 percent vested match from the first day of contributions, which can begin after 90 days, the first day of the following quarter. Employees are eligible for a free membership to financial advisory firm Graystone Consulting and free 401(k) retirement planning seminars.
Years of service with the company is awarded through gift cards ranging from $150-$500 per milestone work anniversary.
Employee appreciation is shown in the form of dinners, lunch cookouts quarterly or after a busy month, and gift cards for turkeys at Thanksgiving. There's an on-site supermarket-style snack and beverage area for staff.
During the COVID-19, it has not closed nor laid off employees.
"Techmer PM is the best place to work because the workplace is a family-oriented environment with leadership having an open-door policy," the company said in its Best Places to Work survey. "Our leadership team is accessible to all employees with leadership members attending monthly employee meetings. With all promotional opportunities being posted internally before being posted externally, our employees are encouraged and supported in growing with the company."
Thirty percent of Techmer's employees have been with the company for more than 20 years. Forty-nine percent have been with the company for more than 10 years.
During the Best Places to Work virtual ceremony, held during the PN Executive Forum March 17, one Techmer employee said he has been at the company for 29 years and said the team has been a family. Two other employees echoed that sentiment, saying there's a "family atmosphere" at Techmer, especially with the onset of the pandemic.