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Nearly all our plastic scrap is recycled or reused, either directly by T.O. or by companies that purchase the scrap from us
CLEARWATER, MN, October 04, 2017 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Minnesota-based custom thermoformer T.O. Plastics Inc. is participating in the Elk River (MN) Star News' observance of Minnesota Manufacturing Week, Oct. 1 through Oct. 7.
Founded in 1948 in the garage and basement of a Minneapolis home, T.O. Plastics has grown to be a national leader in custom thermoformed plastic products and packaging, now employing more than 130 people between Otsego and Clearwater and staying true to its Minnesota roots.
"Our success is based on our dedication to quality, our great team and our commitment to the thermoforming process," T.O. Plastics President Mike Vallafskey said.
The company has made a name for itself by designing and manufacturing quality packaging and complex products for the life sciences, horticultural and industrial markets. These run the gamut from custom medical device packaging to consumer and electronic packaging. T.O. Plastics has also developed its own line of pots and trays designed specifically for the greenhouse, plant propagation, retail and nursery segments of the horticulture industry.
Vallafskey also credited the company's success to its adherence to its core values:
- SAFETY FIRST: We promote workplace safety and will not compromise any employee's well-being. Arrive safe. Be safe. Leave Safe.
- Great People: We seek out hardworking, collaborative and passionate people with entrepreneurial spirit. Every person is valued and contributes to our success.
- Results: Winning performance through ongoing continuous improvement activities and strong strategic execution, we will strive for excellence and perform with pride.
- Integrity: We operate in an honest, ethical manner and will always strive to do the right things.
- Tenacity: We perform our roles with drive, perseverance and have an unquenched thirst for achieving excellence.
An underlying commitment to safety has also helped the company's progress, Vallafskey said, citing the 2016 Liberty Mutual Safety Award T.O. received as evidence of the role safety plays in the company's operations.
To ensure its continued success, T.O. Plastics has cultivated important internal resources and capabilities including:
- Onsite product engineers who understand each customer's unique requirements
- In-house tooling, which allows the company to switch quickly and efficiently from one customer project to another
- Certified "cleanrooms," which create the contamination-free space necessary for manufacturing medical device packages
- Registration to several specialized ISO standards - the international system that ensures the very highest levels of attention to quality
All of these efforts benefit not only T.O. Plastics and its customers but also the regional economy. "In 2016, we paid $5.2 million - representing more than a third of our total expenditures - to Minnesota vendors, and more than half of our vendors are based in state," Vallafskey said.
The company also serves as an important regional source of employment, offering good benefits, competitive pay and opportunities for promotion, he said. "Between our Otsego and Clearwater facilities, we have a number of great job opportunities available for immediate placement."
Available positions at the Otsego plant include:
- Machine Operator (multiple openings)
- Product Design Engineer
- Product Packager
- Quality Control Inspector
- Shift Supervisor
Open positions at T.O. Plastics' Clearwater location include:
- Extrusion Operator
- IT Manager
- Manufacturing Engineer
- Master Packer
Throughout its years of growth and investment, T.O. Plastics has remained a good steward of resources and a good neighbor to the surrounding communities.
"Nearly all our plastic scrap is recycled or reused, either directly by T.O. or by companies that purchase the scrap from us," Vallafskey said. "We also donate time and resources to local organizations like Clearwater-Clear Lake Food Shelf, Clearwater Fire Department and Tri-County Humane Society as well as to national men's cancer awareness efforts like the Movember Foundation and Brovember Inc."
This past spring, T.O. Plastics also lent support to a nonprofit directly related to the horticulture industry it serves by donating 1,800 square pots and 90 matching carry trays to Peace by Peace, a Florida-based plant nursery and organization that supplies indoor air-purifying plants to school students.
"Our products are used on a local, national and global basis," Vallafskey said, "so we welcomed the opportunity to extend our charitable work throughout the U.S."
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