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Spartech Pivots to Plexiglass Production as Demand for Clear Barriers Surges

glass shield separating people
The supplier of materials and packaging quickly adapted processes at its Paulding, OH, plant to produce plexiglass, and is now looking to hire more than 20 new full-time employees to keep up with demand.

With demand for clear barriers increasing during the coronavirus pandemic, Spartech’s Paulding, OH, plant has swiftly pivoted to producing plexiglass, and now has plans to hire new full-time employees. A leading manufacturer of engineered thermoplastics and custom packaging solutions, Spartech operates 15 manufacturing facilities in the United States, including three in Ohio.

“To meet the increased demand for clear barrier materials in combating the coronavirus, we were able to quickly adapt our processes to start producing plexiglass,” said Gary Buckland, Senior Plant Manager for Spartech’s Paulding plant. “As a result, we are looking at hiring over 20 new employees.”

Located in northwest Ohio, Spartech’s Paulding plant normally produces various thermoplastic polymers and high-impact polystyrene materials, not clear acrylic (plexiglass). But in the “new normal,” the Paulding team nimbly shifted to producing plexiglass, which is used for sneeze guards and other clear protective barriers at grocery stores, retail outlets, schools, and municipalities. The plant has already converted two production lines for the manufacture of plexiglass, and is in the process of converting at least one more line. In the meantime, business continues to accelerate. Since this program started two weeks ago, the plant has produced enough material to equip more than 4,000 grocery store cashier lines.

“If I told our team earlier this spring that we would be making clear plastics, they would have said it cannot happen,” Buckland said. “But it is happening, and everyone is doing a great job stepping up to meet this demand. To survive and thrive in a crisis, sometimes you have to think outside the box. We have adapted to this new business environment and our ability to adapt, stay flexible, and be creative has generated more job opportunities for our community.”

While the plant is looking to add 20 new employees, Buckland said that number could eventually climb to 40. Candidates with experience operating industrial equipment are encouraged to apply. Hourly starting pay ranges from $14 to $22 depending on the position and experience. Spartech’s Paulding plant operates on four shifts.

Headquartered in St. Louis, MO, Spartech was designated an essential business during the crisis. The company conducts daily healthcare screenings for employees upon entering all of its plants, including taking their temperatures. Spartech maintains an emphasis on social distancing, and employees must wear face masks. In addition, the plant has instituted a rigorous disinfection program throughout the building.

Image: Photocreo Bednarek/Adobe Stock

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