News

Profile of Team Member - Harry Martin

Posted on Tue. June 12, 2018

MartinHTeam 1 Plastics, a plastic injection molding company for the transportation industry, believes that “Building an exceptional company is the result of building exceptional teams with exceptional people.” Team 1 has been and continues to be a successful company because of exceptional people – its Team Members. Today continues a series of articles profiling Team 1 Plastics’ Team Members. Each month, you’ll be introduced to one of these exceptional Team Members, including Harry Martin

Name: Harry Martin

Position: Engineering Tech II

Date of Hire: 2/4/2013

Favorite Story / Memory during Time Working at Team 1: Harry’s favorite memory occurred last year when he had an opportunity to spin Team 1’s Prize Wheel. After answering a question correctly, he spun the wheel and won the most coveted prize on the wheel: eight hours of PTO (paid time off)! What did he do with the PTO? Harry said that he spent a day in Maui with his wife. They extended their February 2018 Hawaiian vacation by one day – those eight hours of PTO!

How has Team 1 helped your Personal and/or Professional Development? Harry’s previous employment prepared him for much of the Quality control work that he does for Team 1 Plastics. He worked in the Quality lab at Mac Steel in Jackson, Michigan, using many of the same types of machine that Team 1 has in its Quality lab. “I had used both an optical comparer and a CMM machine before,” Harry said. When Team 1 purchased its new CMM (coordinate measuring machine), the company sent Harry to Hexagon Metrology for a week of PC-DMIS software training. “I had programmed a CMM machine before, but it wasn’t using PC-DMIS software. That’s quite a bit different.”

Favorite Aspect of Working at Team 1: Harry said that his favorite aspect of working at Team 1 is that the company is located in his home town of Albion, Michigan. He and his wife built a house on L Drive early in their marriage, and that’s where they still live. Not only has Harry had a job in Jackson, Michigan, he also worked for a short while in Charlotte, Michigan. He appreciates that his current job is located close to home.

Harry also said that the working environment at Team 1 is quite different from what he experienced in his previous employment. “I like the people, and I have enjoyed seeing how the company is run with a spirit of cooperation from the top down.”

What do you want to share about your life outside of Team 1? Harry and his wife, Dawn, have been married over 42 years. They have two children: a daughter, Sarah and a son, Eric. They also have a son-in-law, Micah, and two grandchildren, Eva and Andrew. Harry and Dawn are active members of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Albion. Harry’s hobby is woodworking. It was this hobby that motivated him to spend two years at The Great Lakes Boat Building School in Cedarville, Michigan. “The first year was traditional boat building -- wooden ships and boats. The second year included some cold-molded stuff and things like engine installation.” Harry is proud that he is a part of the school’s history -- he and his instructor built the first commissioned sailboat that the school had received.

Piece of Advice and/or Encouragement for Future Team 1 Team Members: Harry’s advice is three-fold: (1) work hard, (2) learn as many jobs as you can, and (3) take advantage of the company’s tuition reimbursement program. “All of these experiences will continue to pay you dividends throughout your working career.” Then, he added, “Also enroll in the 401-K program as soon as you are eligible. You will be saving for your retirement, and you won’t even miss the money. This, too, will pay you huge dividends in the future.”

Random Question: What are your Favorite Movies? The Star Wars movies. Asked if he was pumped about the movie, Solo, coming to theaters, Harry replied, “Oh, absolutely!”

Topics: Team 1 Plastics, Team Member Profile, Harry Martin

Dave Sanford Shares Story Behind Winning Photo

Posted on Tue. June 5, 2018

Photo Contest & SanfordDave Sanford, Quality Manager for Team 1 Plastics, a plastic injection molding company for the transportation industry, recently shared the story behind his prize-winning photo, Kalalau Beach. The photo was the grand prize winner in the company’s 2018 Team Members Photo Contest.

“The picture was taken at sunset on October 15, 2016, at Kalalau Beach in Kauai (Hawaii),” said Sanford. “It’s a beach that you’re only able to get to after you hike the Kalalau Trail, which is an 11-mile trail along the Napali Coast in Kauai.”

Part of the Napali Coast State Wilderness Park, the Kalalau Trail was rated in 2008 by backpacker.com as one of the 10 most dangerous hikes in the United States. According to the online magazine, “The trail bed is narrow and crumbly … many people have either fallen off the trail or seen it happen. The footing is twice as treacherous after the island's abundant rainfall turns the track into a greasy slip 'n slide–not amusing when you're edging along a 300-foot cliff that spills straight into a rocky surf.”

This was a hike that Sanford said he had never planned on taking. “I had never planned on doing this hike. It was a place that I hadn’t planned on visiting.” But, he had a friend who had visited the island before. “He convinced me that I really needed to see this beach and do this hike.” So, Sanford and his friend headed for Kauai.

It is a full day’s hike to the beach, and Sanford, who is an avid outdoorsman, said that he was tested on the hike. “I’ve been on other hikes but none this epic and demanding.”

The two friends camped at the beach for two nights, during which Sanford captured the prize winning photo, using just his iPhone.

Sanford said he tries to capture pictures of all the places he visits. He uses the pictures to capture the memories of the trips and, in cases like Kalalau Beach, “to try to convince some of my other friends to go with me on another trip to Kauai.”

It was his fellow Team Members at Team 1 Plastics who convinced Sanford to submit his pictures into the photo contest. “A few people at work had seen these pictures. They wanted me to put them in the contest, so I picked a few and submitted them. It was just by chance that they happened to get selected as first and second place.”

Sanford is a two-time winner. Not only did he win first and second place in the 2018 contest – the second-place picture was also from his Kauai trip – his photo, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, was the first place winner in the 2016 contest.

Reflecting on the win, he said, “Winning first and second place was surprising because there were a lot great pictures submitted. I didn’t plan to submit any pictures in either one of the contests. I guess I’m just fortunate enough to be able to visit some really unique places [like Kalalau Beach] and capture them for others to see.”

Thinking about his hike to Kalalau Beach, “It was well worth it. I’d go back anytime. It was by far one of the coolest trips that I’ve ever done.”

Topics: Team 1 Plastics, Dave Sanford, Photo Contest

Sawyer™, a Cobot, Part of Team at Team 1 Plastics

Posted on Tue. May 29, 2018

CobotTeam 1 Plastics, a plastic injection molding company for the transportation industry, is focused on continuous improvement in every aspect of its business, including efficiency, quality of produced parts, and quality of life for its Team Members. It was this focus that caused the company to purchase Sawyer™, the company’s first collaborative robot (commonly known as a “cobot”) in December 2017.

Developed in 2015 by Rethink Robotics, Sawyer™ is, according to the company’s website, “… the revolutionary collaborative robot designed to execute tasks that have been impractical to automate with traditional industrial robots.” 

Cobots are different from traditional robots. They are “…smaller and have more sensors, which help them react faster and with more intelligence when approaching another object or a human so as not to apply too much force and stop operating when appropriate,” according to April Glaser in an article for recode.net. In essence, they work alongside and with humans.

In injection molding plants, like Team 1 Plastics, cobots can be utilized for many different applications such as opening and closing machine doors, inserting and/or removing parts, or cleaning parts.

It’s been six months since Sawyer™ joined the team at Team 1 Plastics, and it’s time for an evaluation. Chris Seidel, Process Engineer II, and Dave Sanford, Quality Manager, shared their observations about Sawyer™ -- what the cobot has been doing, what difference it makes, and how it has been accepted by Team Members.

“Sawyer™ has been packaging finished production parts, removing them from a conveyor and placing them into finished packaging,” Seidel said. The cobot sorts left-hand and right-hand parts into separate containers -- a very repetitive task that previously had to be done manually by Production Assistants (PAs). “The accuracy with which the cobot places parts into the finishing packaging is surprising!”

“Previously, PAs would hand pack parts that had traveled down a conveyor and fallen into a retaining bin. Sometimes the PAs dropped parts and would have to retrieve them, reducing efficiency, sometimes the parts would fall on each other, leading to a defect, and sometimes right-hand parts would be put into the left-hand packaging. With Sawyer™, parts cannot be dropped and are packed directly into finished packaging. The PA is responsible for changing out the finished packaging on a routine basis, about every 12 to 20 minutes.”

If Sawyer™ does the work for the PAs, isn’t the cobot eliminating jobs? Seidel emphatically said, “No!” although he did admit that this was an initial concern by Team Members. “The Sawyer™ robot allows PAs to concentrate on other aspects of their daily job while ensuring quality of the parts packaged.” And, Sawyer™ makes the PAs’ job less stressful, safer, and improves the work environment. Seidel explained, “It removes the repetitive motion of packing the same part over and over, and the stress of rushing to package parts is eliminated. In the hot summer months, this will prevent overheating and keep the PAs more comfortable.”

Mariane Davids agrees with Seidel. In her blog, Why Humans Should Stop Worrying About Robots Taking Their Jobs, she wrote, “Collaborative robots don’t take jobs, they assist in performing them. For example, if your job typically has you doing something repeatedly with a high margin for an error and a potential for injury in the long-term, a robot could do it for you.”

Davids continued, “Today’s robots are incredible in their ability to repeat a task ad nauseam, but they can only do simple things. When combined with humans, they become more productive and valuable members of the team.”

And, Sawyer™ is considered to be a “valuable member of the team” by the PAs. They have affirmed to Seidel and Sanford that with “Sawyer™ packaging parts, it has allowed them time to concentrate on other jobs in their zone.”

Sawyer™ is also making a difference in production costs and efficiency, helping to keep Team 1 competitive in the global market. Sanford said, “Sawyer™ has reduced parts’ handling cost and time by 67%.” He added that before Sawyer™ joined Team 1, when PAs were short-handed on a shift, the plant often had to shut down jobs that required a high level of labor. Now Sawyer™ is doing these jobs, so that even if a shift is short-handed, the jobs can remain running.

The results of the evaluation are complete. Sawyer™ has improved efficiency, quality of parts, and quality of life for the Team Members. The future of Sawyer™ and other cobots at Team 1 Plastics is bright. Seidel said that the company is looking at additional packing jobs for Sawyer™ and exploring other tasks for the cobot. And, the company is expecting to purchase another cobot in 2019.

Topics: Team 1 Plastics, Dave Sanford, continuous improvement, Chris Seidel, cobot

Profile of Team Member - Karen Watkins

Posted on Tue. May 15, 2018

WatkinsKTeam 1 Plastics, a plastic injection molding company for the transportation industry, believes that “Building an exceptional company is the result of building exceptional teams with exceptional people.” Team 1 has been and continues to be a successful company because of exceptional people – its Team Members. Today continues a series of articles profiling Team 1 Plastics’ Team Members. Each month, you’ll be introduced to one of these exceptional Team Members, including Karen Watkins.

Name: Karen Watkins

Position: Production Assistant

Date of Hire: 1/27/2013

Other Positions Held / Length of Each: Assembly Assistant – 1 year

Favorite Story / Memory during Time Working at Team 1: Karen shared a memory from when she first began working at Team 1 Plastics. She said that she had never worked in a factory before and didn’t know what to expect. She was instructed to work at an injection molding press in which she would be required to manually take out the finished parts. “I looked at that machine and had tears in my eyes, thinking to myself, ‘What did I get myself into?’ I was scared to death.” Her supervisor didn’t understand her hesitation and reminded her that this was her job assignment and there would be consequences if she didn’t do her job. Karen said that she looked at him and said, “I’m scared.” He then realized why she was hesitating and he replied, “Oh, no. We have all the safety precautions that you need.” And then he thoroughly explained them. “It eased my mind,” Karen said. “Although,” she admitted, “I was still a little bit afraid, but that made a huge difference.”

How has Team 1 helped your Personal and/or Professional Development? Working at Team 1 has made Karen more confident in herself. She said that the work requires that you complete tasks within a certain timeframe, and she said that she is “… more confident in my ability to do the job and do it well.” She appreciates the encouragement that she receives from her supervisor and fellow Team Members. “The positive motivation that my boss gives makes a person feel more confident and self-assured.”

Favorite Aspect of Working at Team 1: Karen said that she really enjoys working with the Team Members on “C” Team Shift – the work schedule to which she is assigned. She said, “We have a good team, and we work well together.” But, it’s not just those Team Members that she likes. “Everybody here is nice. I come in the morning and say, ‘Good Morning’ to everybody, and they are always pleasant back.”

What do you want to share about your life outside of Team 1? Karen has three daughters, two granddaughters and one grandson. Her granddaughters and two of her daughters live with her. The rest of the family, including her grandson, live in Florida which Karen thinks is too far away. Karen enjoys it when the family is able to get together. She said that they will sit around and play games, go on family outings, and go shopping. Unfortunately, it will be awhile before the whole family can get together because Karen’s son-in-law, who serves in the Air Force, is leaving soon for six months in Qatar. Karen also said that she loves to read.

Piece of Advice and/or Encouragement for Future Team 1 Team Members: Karen recently had an opportunity to encourage a future Team 1 Team Member. She said that a gentleman came into the Break Room and asked her about working at Team 1. Karen told him, “It’s a nice place to work, and there’s plenty of room to advance. If you work hard and are pleasant to work with and do your job, you shouldn’t have any problems.” The man was also concerned about the 12-hour work shifts to which Karen replied, “Well, they’re hard at first because your body has to get used to it. But, once you get used to it, it’s a breeze to go through.”

Random Question: If you could time travel, where would you go? Karen said that she would choose to go back to the First Century when Jesus was on the earth. And, she would like to visit Russia. “I’ve always liked Russia and its history, so I wouldn’t mind going back in time. And, I especially love Russian architecture.” Karen’s only hesitation in going back in time would be whether or not she would still remember how convenient life is in 2018.

Topics: Team 1 Plastics, Team Member Profile, Karen Watkins

Team 1 Plastics Announces Photo Contest Winners

Posted on Tue. May 8, 2018

Photo Contest 2018 - 1Team 1 Plastics, a plastic injection molding company for the transportation industry, is pleased to announce the winners of its 2018 Team Members Photo Contest.

Winning both first and second place was Dave Sanford, Quality Manager for Team 1 Plastics. In third place was Kiera Carter, Human Resources Assistant. In fourth place was Vance Bodell, Quality Engineer, and in fifth place was Sandy Bunker, Customer Service Assistant.

According to the contest rules, all team members were eligible to participate. Carter said, “We had 10 submissions from eight different team members.” She explained that each team member could submit one photograph in any of the five Photo Contest 2018 - 2categories:

  • Outdoor Beauty
  • Travel and Places
  • Buildings and Bridges
  • Black and White
  • Home Town Pride

The contest winners were determined by a vote of their peers. Carter said that Photo Contest 2018 - 3voting was done via a survey that was sent to all team members, giving everyone a chance to vote for his/her favorite entries.

Entries were judged on the basis of creativity, photographic quality, and effectiveness in conveying the beauty and/or unique character in one of the contest categories.

Each of the five winning photographs will be printed and displayed in Team 1’s facility. 

Topics: Team 1 Plastics, Dave Sanford, Photo Contest, Kiera Carter, Sandy Bunker, Vance Bodell

Department Profile - Human Resources

Posted on Tue. April 24, 2018

Human ResourcesTeam 1 Plastics, a plastic injection molding company for the transportation industry, believes that “Building an exceptional company is the result of building exceptional teams with exceptional people.” Today continues a series of articles profiling Team 1 Plastics’ teams – its Departments. Meet the Human Resources Department.

Name of Department: Human Resources

Team 1 Plastics’ Human Resources (HR) Department consists of two Team Members: Robert (Rob) Clothier and Kiera Carter, whose key role is to support Team 1’s exceptional Team Members.

How does your Department support Team 1’s Customers? Rob said that one of the first messages that a new Team Member hears is the importance that Team 1 Plastics puts on Customer Service Excellence. During his/her orientation with HR, the new Team Member is told that everyone plays a role in Customer Service Excellence by getting quality parts to the customer. It is not just the job of the Customer Service Department – it is every Team Member’s job. This is one way that HR supports Team 1’s customers.

Another way is by maintaining training records. Kiera explained that when a customer is conducting an audit at Team 1, the auditor might ask about the training that a Team Member was provided. For instance, “the auditor might want to know if a Material Handler was fully trained.” HR will provide the training documentation to the auditor to answer the customer’s question.

How does your Department support Team 1 Plastics? Like most companies’ Human Resources departments, employee benefits are a function of Team 1’s HR department. Rob works with the insurance agents, reviewing the benefits package annually. Team 1 Plastics offers health insurance, dental insurance, short-term and long-term disability, life insurance, 401K retirement plan, tuition reimbursement, and a vision discount program.

The HR Department also oversees Team 1’s training program. “We may not be the trainer all of the time, but we help support the Teams,” Rob said. As part of her responsibilities, Kiera personally conducts training for all new Production Assistants.

Recruiting, hiring, and retention of Team Members are other ways of supporting the company. Rob said, “One of the good things that we’ve done over the last few years is to bring in some talented people in key areas, such as technical, maintenance, engineering, and our CMM programmer. I think the most important thing is that they’ve been a good fit culturally.”

Speaking of culture, HR plays a huge role in Team 1’s culture. HR plans the company parties and safety day celebrations, handles the clothing (uniform) ordering, organizes monthly dress-up days, and arranges for Team Member gifts.

Describe a typical work day in your Department. Rob says that he wears many hats – compensation, training, benefits, hiring, recruiting, retention, etc. During a typical work day, he is “probably doing a little piece of everything every day.” His typical work day also includes attending meetings, and his calendar tends to be pretty full. Even with all these things, one important thing that he tries to be consistent about is being visible. He understands the value of being out on the plant floor, talking with people, and intentionally creating and maintaining an open environment.

For Kiera, there really isn’t a typical work day. Her work tends to be more cyclical based on the annual calendar. But there are some tasks that occur during a normal work week such as training of new production assistants, calculating payroll for the temporary employees, and filing electronic reports.

Share an example of a problem/challenge that your Department encountered and how you solved it. In November 2017, Team 1 Plastics made the difficult decision to right size its staffing level on the production floor, reducing the staff by one die setter and one material handler position. A major goal of this process was to make it as painless as possible for those involved. The company wanted to make sure that every team member still had a job and that no one faced a potential lifestyle change due to a reduction in wages. “We were able to keep everybody on our team. We also allowed the two team members who had accepted a production assistant position to keep their current wage for three months before moving to the top end of the lower wage grade,” Rob said. “And, since the move was based on not needing the two positions, we were able to increase the production assistant wage grade -- which benefited a large portion of our team.”

What is One Noteworthy Accomplishment by your Department in the recent past? One noteworthy accomplishment by HR is the success of the internship program with Ferris State University. A few years ago, Team 1 started attending Ferris’ Career Fairs, offering internship opportunities to technical and engineering students. The goal was to help develop students while in college and, if they feel Team 1 is a good fit, to help develop their career after they graduate. Curtis Long was Team 1’s first intern from Ferris. He worked at Team 1 in the summer of 2016. He returned for a second internship with Team 1 in summer of 2017. After graduation in May 2018, Curtis will join Team 1 as a full-time Team Member, working in the Engineering Department as a Process Engineer. And, the internship program with Ferris continues this summer with two more students interning at Team 1.

What are the Current Goals for your Department? HR is working on making the process of insurance enrollment be paperless -- all benefit enrollments would be done completely online by Team Members. The changeover from paper to electronic enrollment is currently in the implementation period, but it is expected that by Open Enrollment in December 2018, the transition will be complete. One huge benefit to this process is that the Team Members will have easier access to information regarding the benefit plans. It will be available on their mobile devices and computers. To assist with the transition, HR will offer documentation and training to all Team Members.

What does your Department take pride in? Rob said that he takes pride “… in being available and open, helping create an open environment.” He views HR as a "bridge that serves between Management and our Team." Kiera added that she takes pride in the confidentiality that HR exhibits, which “allows people to trust us,” and in welcoming new Team Members.

Department’s Random Poll: To which Internet Activity are You Addicted?

_ Facebook
_ Twitter
_ Squidoo
_ All of them - boy am I in trouble
_ None of them!

Kiera admitted to be addicted to Facebook. Rob claimed that he was not addicted to any. And, neither of them knew what Squidoo was.

Topics: Team 1 Plastics, Kiera Carter, Robert Clothier, Department Profile, Human Resources

Team 1 Plastics Obtains Certification; Passes VDA Audit

Posted on Tue. April 17, 2018

IATF Certification 2018Team 1 Plastics, a plastic injection molding company for the transportation industry, is pleased to announce that it has obtained IATF 16949:2016 certification (click on this link for a copy of the certificate) and that it recently passed a customer’s VDA audit with a score of 96%. This is the highest score that the company has ever received on a VDA audit.

The VDA audit was conducted by Team 1’s customer, Novem, a company based in Vorbach, Germany. Novem is, according to its website, “a world leader in high quality trim elements and decorative function elements for car interiors.”

Developed by VDA (Verband der Automobilindustrie), an interest group of the German automobile manufacturers and component suppliers, a VDA 6.3 audit is a “standard for evaluating and improving controls in a manufacturing organization’s processes,” according to industryforum.co, “Compliance to VDA 6.3 is mandated by some vehicle makers and encouraged by others.”

Dave Sanford, Quality Manager for Team 1 Plastics, said that he believes the improvement in the company’s VDA score is a direct result of corrective actions that have been implemented by Team 1 after previous VDA and TS16949 audits.

Team 1 Plastics has been certified to the ISO/TS 16949:2009 standard since 2013. The IATF (International Automotive Task Force) 16949:2016 certification has replaced the ISO/TS 16949:2009 as the international automobile industry’s required standard. After October 1, 2017, audits could no longer be conducted to the ISO/TS 16949:2009 standard.

According to nqa.com, the IATF 16949 certification “emphasizes the development of a process-oriented Quality Management System (QMS) that provides for:

  • continual improvement,
  • defect prevention, and
  • reduction of variation and waste in the supply chain.”

For Sanford, the most significant change from ISO/TS to IATF certification was implementing risk-based thinking and risk management to the company’s QMS. He said, “The risk portion of IATF is mentioned throughout the standard – not within just one section – and is aimed at detecting problems before they exist. The intent behind this is to address the issues the automotive industry has been faced with, and continues to be faced with, in areas of product and process safety.”

Sanford also said that IATF has 21 mandatory procedures while the ISO/TS only had seven. “With the 14 additional procedures, the VDA and IATF audits are very similar now.”

Sanford concluded, “There was a great deal of time and work invested to upgrade to the new IATF certification, and, as a company, we are proud of our achievement.”

Topics: Team 1 Plastics, quality, Dave Sanford, VGA Audit, IATF Certification

Profile of Team Member - Greg Wood

Posted on Tue. April 10, 2018

WoodGTeam 1 Plastics, a plastic injection molding company for the transportation industry, believes that “Building an exceptional company is the result of building exceptional teams with exceptional people.” Team 1 has been and continues to be a successful company because of exceptional people – its Team Members. Today continues a series of articles profiling Team 1 Plastics’ Team Members. Each month, you’ll be introduced to one of these exceptional Team Members, including Greg Wood.

Name: Gregory Wood

Position: Truck Driver

Date of Hire: 1/30/12

Other Positions Held / Length of Each: Production Assistant – 2 years; Quality – 1 year; Material Handler/Warehouse – 2 years

Favorite Story / Memory during Time Working at Team 1: Each summer, Team 1 Plastics hosts a party for its Team Members and their families. The Summer Party in 2017 is Greg’s favorite memory of his time working at Team 1. His two grandkids, ages seven and nine at the time, attended the party with him. Greg said that they all had a wonderful time. “The kids got to have their faces painted, they played games and played on the bounce house. And, we got to eat.” Laughing, Greg added, “I always like to eat!”

How has Team 1 helped your Personal and/or Professional Development? Greg said Team 1 has helped him develop good computer skills through on-the-job training. He said that when he began working at Team 1, “I really didn’t know much about operating a computer.” He realized that developing computer skills would be a requirement for him to be able to advance through the company. Now, operating a computer is part of his every day work routine as the company’s truck driver. Greg said, “I have to pull up the shipping orders and find out what exactly I’m picking up and what I’m dropping off.”

Favorite Aspect of Working at Team 1: Greg likes that Team 1 Plastics is a small company, and that everybody knows each other. He said that it has a family atmosphere and joked that one of the former Team Members, Sanaa Al Shamari, used to call herself his “work wife. I have my wife at home, but she was my work wife.” He added, “There are a few places closer to home where I could make a few dollars more an hour, but it doesn’t have this atmosphere.”

Greg also appreciates that Team 1 was willing to take a chance on him. He said, “My past has not always been perfect. When I came to work at Team 1, they were willing to look past the bad marks that I had in my life history and still give me the opportunity to go to work.”

What do you want to share about your life outside of Team 1? “I’m interested in anything with a motor on it. I love motor sports. Snowmobiles, I guess, would have to be my favorite,” although Greg admitted that he currently he doesn’t have a snowmobile. But that doesn’t lessen his affection for them. “I love snowmobiles. I just want to get on and go. I love to go fast.” As mentioned earlier, Greg is married. He has a daughter and a son plus the two grandchildren who live with him.

Piece of Advice and/or Encouragement for Future Team 1 Team Members: A piece of advice that Greg says he gives out a lot is this: “If you have goals and dreams, aspirations or anything that you want to accomplish, do it. Otherwise, before you know it, 20 years have gone by, and you’ll say, ‘Wow, what happened to that time?’” Greg said that 30 years ago, he wanted to learn to play the piano. “I put it off and put off, and now I’m 55 years old, and I still don’t how to play it.”

Random Question: Do you avoid stepping on sidewalk cracks? “No,” Greg replied. “I’m not superstitious at all. I will cross the path of a black cat. I will walk under a ladder. And, I’ve broken many mirrors – although not on purpose.”

Topics: Team 1 Plastics, Team Member Profile, Greg Wood

Team 1 Plastics Awarded 2018 Best Places to Work

Posted on Tue. April 3, 2018

Best Places to Work Logo 2018Team 1 Plastics, a plastic injection molding company for the transportation industry, was recently named Best Places to Work in the Plastics Industry for 2018. This is the fourth time in five years in which Team 1 has been honored with this award.

According to Plastics News, the Best Places to Work program is designed to identify, recognize, and honor the best employers in the plastics industry. To be considered for participation, companies had to fulfill eligibility requirements, including being in business for at least one year, having a minimum of 15 employees, and deriving at least 50% of revenue from plastics-related operations.

Plastics News honored all the winners and revealed the final rankings in a ceremony in March 2018. Receiving the award for Team 1 Plastics was Craig Carrel, President and co-owner of the company.

Each winning company was also featured in the March 26, 2018, edition of Plastics News. From the article featuring Team 1 Plastics, entitled, Team 1 Plastics cultivates festive, generous environment, “It's a fun, celebratory atmosphere at Albion, Mich.-based Team 1 Plastics Inc. The injection molder, with nearly 70 employees, holds several company parties during the year.”

Carrel responded, “The thing we've learned in 30 years is it's all about the people … We want to maintain the culture and the focus on the people and the value that we place on everyone."

Topics: Team 1 Plastics, Best Places to Work, Craig Carrel, award

Team 1 Plastics Plays Role in Downtown Albion Revitalization

Posted on Tue. March 27, 2018

Courtyard by Marriott Hotel.jpgThe downtown of Albion, Michigan, is a success story of revitalization. If you haven’t visited downtown Albion in a while, you may be surprised at the changes that have occurred, including the recent opening of its hotel, Courtyard® by Marriott. Downtown Albion has both established and new businesses, restored historic landmarks, public spaces, and a vitality that is exciting and enthusiastic.

Team 1 Plastics, a plastic injection molding company for the transportation industry, is thrilled to have had a part of the efforts and investment of the revitalization of downtown Albion. In a recent interview, Craig Carrel, President and Co-owner of Team 1, talked about the role that the company has had in the revitalization efforts.

“We have always been active in Albion projects,” Carrel said, “but the first downtown Albion revitalization project that we participated in was the Bohm Theatre restoration.” According to its website, interest in restoring the historic Bohm Theater began in 2010 with the incorporation of Friends of the Bohm Theatre. Team 1 Plastics was one of the first companies to make a major donation early in the project.

Investing in revitalization of downtown fits with Team 1 Plastics’ goal to be a Positive Community Member, one of the tenets of the company’s Championship Dream. And the city of Albion, with its business incubator and revolving loan fund, has been a key partner of Team 1 since the company’s beginnings. Carrel said, “The City has continued to support us through good times and bad, and we want to make sure that we are giving back to the community that has given us so much.”

Team 1 also believes that the strength of its team is highly dependent on the health of its local community -- where the team members live. “If we want to have exceptional people available to join our team and to make Team 1 successful in the future, we need to have a strong Albion,” Carrel said. For Team 1 Plastics, the decision to invest in downtown Albion’s revitalization was an easy one.

The Bohm Theatre reopened in September 2013 upon completion of the restoration project. Support for the theatre has been so consistent that in January 2017, the theatre added a second screen.

But this was just the beginning, and more was to be done. Carrel said that Team 1 was invited to a meeting of key Albion stakeholders to discuss strategies to continue the revitalization of downtown. Looking at other communities’ experiences in revitalization, the decision was made to purchase several downtown properties and to package them for a key anchor project that the City could use to leverage other businesses to settle in the downtown area.

Carrel said, “Once again, we were one of the early donors with other key stakeholders: Albion College, Caster Concepts, Haas Trucking, and Decker Manufacturing. We were able to purchase many downtown properties, and through Albion College’s connections, secure the building of the Courtyard® by Marriott. This is a huge investment by a major hotel chain.”

Carrel also mentioned the major investment that Albion College made with the restoration of a downtown building, now called the Ludington Center. According to the College’s website, “the Ludington Center is a collaborative community space for Albion College and the business and civic endeavors of the City of Albion. More specifically, it is for college programming, professional events, business events, education and economic development-related programming.” In fact, Team 1 used the Ludington Center for its 30th anniversary celebration meal in April 2017.

And the strategy is working. “With these high profile anchor properties,” Carrel said, “a new brewery, a bakery, and other businesses are locating in downtown.”

Even with all these successes, more work remains. Carrel said that the revitalization focus has now expanded to include the downtown neighborhoods and is “looking for ways to continue this significant momentum so that in the next few years, we can look back and see that this was just the beginning of even more progress.”

One example of continuing this positive momentum was the kickoff of the State of Michigan’s Rising Tide initiative in Albion on March 9, 2018, which included a visit to Albion by Michigan’s Governor, Rick Snyder. Carrel said, “This kickoff meeting had the broadest representation of the Albion community that I can remember in a long time.” He added, “If we can continue to work together with such a diverse group of stakeholders, Albion will see significant growth for all its citizens.”

“Since the Bohm Theatre restoration, the downtown has been on an upswing, and more investment has been done in the past few years than in all of the previous 25 years combined.” Carrel concluded, “We are pleased that Team 1 has played a small role in the downtown Albion revitalization. It is a team effort and has involved many people and groups coming together for the betterment of Albion.”

Topics: Championship Dream, Team 1 Plastics, City of Albion