PHOTO: The MedPlast plant in Monticello, located along W. 11th Street, has been fortunate enough to add multiple jobs and positions after the plant in Minneapolis closed its doors. (Photoby Kim Brooks)
By Kim Brooks, Express Editor
Too often you hear the bad news, how companies and businesses are folding, how unemployment numbers are rising and the economy is stagnate. For one Monticello company, MedPlast, their news is just the opposite!
Headquartered in Tempe, Ariz., with 10 manufacturing plants all over the United States and in China and Mexico, MedPlast is “a leading provider of highly engineered custom plastic processing solutions, serving the global healthcare market.”
According to their website, Medplast functions as an extension of its customers’ manufacturing operations. “Our customers are able to focus on what they do best as a manufacturer and marketer.”
Their Monticello plant focuses more on the non-medical realm of things such as the industrial, consumer and retail markets. Eighty percent of their business is done within the U.S. borders.
In 2013, MedPlast in Monticello has been able to add around 150 new jobs and positions locally, after their plant in Minneapolis closed down. Production in Minneapolis ceased as of a couple of weeks ago. Dave Molter, general manager of the Monticello plant, said they were glad to increase employment right here in Monticello.
“We’ve been able to double our sales here,” said Molter. “Our Minneapolis plant was break-even for us.”
About 20 machines were moved to Monticello to replace older ones and add to their fleet here for increased production.
“The Monticello plant is more efficient and has always been profitable,” Molter said.
In order to get the word out about the variety of new jobs MedPlast had to offer, they utilized a staffing agency to spread the word throughout Monticello and surrounding towns such as Cedar Rapids, Dubuque and Dyersville. Molter said they held many jobs fairs to attract applicants as well. He said some of the employees from Minneapolis did come to work in Monticello.
“They worked on-site to help staff the positions,” Molter said.
Those jobs that were added include assembly, press operators, customer service and a few supervisor positions. Molter offered that some are temporary, seasonal and full-time jobs.
After MedPlast hired additional employees, training was offered on-site. They also hired skilled engineers as well.
“We’ll continue to grow here,” Molter said of their Monticello plant. While they are tight on space with the additional machines, Molter did say they don’t have plans to expand right now.
“We’ve been able to quote more projects with the additional people and jobs.”
Right now, MedPlast runs on three shifts, with employees working six to seven days a week. Molter thought they would be back to five or six days a week once the workload slows down a bit.
“Our first shift is our heaviest workload with about 80 people,” he said. He estimates about 60 people on second shift and 40 or so on third shift.
After a tour through the plant, it’s safe to say MedPlast is keeping busy. They have engineers and electricians working hard to get the machines up and running.
“This benefits the community with an influx of jobs,” Molter observed. For himself in transition, he said it’s been challenging moving from an urban area like Minneapolis to Monticello. He’s been in the business for 32 years.
“I like the rural atmosphere and work ethic here,” Molter praised.