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Plastics Exec Recruitment Firm Grows with Industry

Image courtesy of KLA Industries Lincoln Schoolhouse converted to office space
KLA Industries is doubling office space at its Cincinnati headquarters.

In his regular PlasticsToday column Talent Talk, Paul Sturgeon is bullish on the business outlook of the plastics industry. He knows whereof he speaks: Sturgeon’s day job is CEO of KLA Industries, an executive research firm serving the polymer, plastics, and packaging industries since 1999. As goes the industry, so does his company: It recently moved its headquarters to a restored public school building in the historic Columbia Tusculum neighborhood of Cincinnati, doubling its square footage in the process.

The expansion, as well as new hires, are “100% driven by our clients, from the machinery makers to the resin compounders, processors serving every imaginable end market, and plastics recyclers,” said Sturgeon. “We are proud to partner with some of the most innovative companies and minds in the industry.”

Image courtesy of KLA IndustriesKLA Industries leadership team

Cincinnati leadership team of KLA Industries, left to right: Ryan Doyle, Director; Zach Ernest, Vice President; Chris Lincoln, Director.

The Lincoln Schoolhouse, where the new office is located, was built in the late 1800s and has been converted into upscale office space. It is located in Cincinnati’s oldest neighborhood, “within 10 minutes of downtown and trendy areas that appeal to the types of people we want to attract,” said Sturgeon. But I had to ask: Isn’t expanding office space, even if the business is growing, a gutsy move in these times when remote work is such a hot topic?

“We mostly employ recruiters, and they are extroverts,” replied Sturgeon. “They tend to prefer being in an office environment around other like-minded people.” Although there were obviously times during the pandemic when employees had to work from home, even then “many of them resisted it,” added Sturgeon.

There may also be an element of solidarity in Sturgeon’s stance. “The reality is that many people in the plastics industry, which we serve, never had the opportunity to work remotely or even in a hybrid model,” he noted.

At the end of the day, it’s all about keeping the customer satisfied. “The single greatest challenge that our clients face is the labor shortage and the fight to attract the best talent for key leadership, technical, and commercial positions. By doubling our square footage and adding to our team, we will be able to better support our clients during this time,” said Sturgeon.

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