A compounder and toll processor of engineering resins, Niche Polymer LLC (Ravenswood, WV) has announced that it is expanding operations and creating 30 new jobs. The company currently has approximately 70 employees on the payroll. The news was greeted warmly by Ravenswood Mayor Josh Miller, who toured the facility last week.
“We recently purchased two new twin-screw Coperion extrusion lines,” Sunny Naik, Business and Development, told PlasticsToday, adding that they are scheduled to be installed by the first quarter of 2018. It’s the plant’s fourth new line in the past 24 months, which “brings us to a total of six twin-screw and five single-screw lines. With this increase in production capacity, we are creating demand for talented operators, warehouse material handlers and raw material prep, as well as quality control technicians,” said Naik.
Niche Polymer is focused on “both critical and non-critical markets,” said Naik. “It’s really hinged around being able to find the right solution for our customers’ applications,” he explained. “With a 30-mm test extruder in our ISO-certified lab, we are able to match customer specs and translate them into a production-size machine and provide a competitive price point for our finished products.”
The company’s product line includes nylon, polypropylene, polycarbonate, PC/ABS and ABS, and it routinely produces custom formulations to meet specific customer needs. In addition to meeting business goals, the company is committed to acting in an environmentally responsible way. “Our mission is to constantly engage and find greener solutions with the manufacturers, injection molders and toll processors to prevent post-consumer waste from reaching landfills,” writes Niche Polymer in its mission statement. It also acts with integrity toward its employees and surrounding community.
“As with any company undergoing expansion, the most critical challenge is knowing your people,” said Naik. “We spend a great deal of time training our staff to create a workforce that knows and understands the processes in our facility. With growth and new machinery, it’s important to be able to bring members of our team up the ladder and create a culture and structure that caters to training.” That dynamic creates opportunities for other residents of Ravenswood and environs.
Thirty new jobs may be a drop in the bucket for a city, acknowledged Mayor Miller in an interview with local TV station WSAZ. But in a town with a population of less than 4000, it is a “big deal,” said Miller.