West Michigan Compounding LLC ranks No. 10 on Plastics News' Best Places to Work 2021 list for suppliers. This is the second time the Greenville, Mich.-based plastics recycler has made the list, the first being 2019.
Founded in 2005, WMC has two facilities in Greenville, with capabilities from compounding to plastic reclamation. Compounding operations allow WMC to formulate, extrude and test products in its 25,000-square-foot facility. The plastic reclamation facility is used to sort, grind, wash, pre-blend feedstocks and post-blend finished goods. WMC has the capacity to compound and recycle more than 100 million pounds of plastic every year.
"Our goal is to provide customers with alternatives to their costly virgin resins by delivering materials that have similar physical properties and consistency," according to the company on its website.
WMC believes its culture is defined by its people, sharing common values, interests and goals. The keys to its success are the talent and character of its 72 employees.
"We are innovative — always embracing new ideas. We are inspiring — driven by integrity and mutual respect. We are fun — understanding the critical balance between work and play," WMC says on its website.
To promote a fun atmosphere and camaraderie, WMC hosts an annual summer picnic, Christmas luncheon, cook-offs, spirit days, niche holidays such as National Ice Cream Day, and community involvement initiatives and competitions between employer locations. Service awards are presented to employees.
The companywide annual gathering includes families and invites everyone to an activity such as a minor-league baseball game, catered cookout or amusement/water park with themed T-shirts for attendees.
The Community Involvement Committee votes on various nonprofits to support for the year, and employees are encouraged to volunteer on paid time at the organizations. There are fundraising competitions between the two area locations to see which one can raise the most in donations.
"WMC provides a family-friendly, collaborative environment, making several opportunities for employee and community engagement connections," the company said in its Best Places to Work survey. "Employees are encouraged to interact and engage with one another and participate in interactive activities. WMC creates opportunities for outreach, whether it is for in-house training, third-party training or one-on-one employee relations."
Such practices focused on employee leadership training and development include mentors, job-shadowing/cross-training and workshops/formal education. Tuition reimbursement or assistance includes advanced or post-graduate degrees, certifications and business education workshops or conferences. Employee performance reviews are conducted annually. Leadership schedules employee meetings biannually.
Gabby, a friendly, fun-loving dog, even shows up to work a few times per week.
Jack Ward, post-blending supervisor, said during the PN Executive Forum's Best Places to Work virtual ceremony that he "can't imagine feeling better about a place to work."
"West Michigan Compounding is not only a hallmark of our quality products but also a characteristic of our people. Our employees are passionate, committed and inspiring to each other and the company, with a strong work ethic driven by integrity and mutual respect," WMC said. "From our community outreach events to our annual outings, you will see our commitment to establishing a collaborative workplace for all."
According to the latest PN ranking, WMC ranks No. 50 among North American recyclers, with 60 million pounds reprocessed, 100 percent post-industrial.