Investing in Team Member Success:
Team 1 Plastics’ Tuition Reimbursement Program
TEAM MEMBER SUCCESS
“Building an exceptional company is the result of building exceptional teams with exceptional people. We want people who are honest and demonstrate a high level of integrity, have an eagerness to learn, contribute to a safe work environment, and will value each person in a diverse work force. Team members must possess the moral courage to take the risks and seize opportunities required to make a difference. We recognize the importance of educating our team members on the financial performance of Team 1 and sharing in our success. Within Team 1, no one will ever hear: “It is not my job;” instead, they will hear: “How can I help get the job done?”
The quotation above can be read throughout the facility at Team 1 Plastics, a plastic injection molding company for the transportation industry. This quotation has been a cornerstone to how Team 1 has done business since the adoption of their Championship Dream in 1999. Within the Championship Dream, Team Member Success stands with three additional core values: Customer Service Excellence, Positive Community Member, and Freedom to Succeed.
TUITION REIMBURSEMENT PROGRAM
Team Member Success is not just a goal written on paper for Team 1 Plastics. One real-life example of the company’s dedication to Team Member Success can be seen through their Tuition Reimbursement Program. According to Team 1’s Owner and President Craig Carrel, “We want to support our team members’ efforts to continue their education. A key component for our Team Member Success is for them to continue to learn and adapt to the changes going on in our world.”
Since its inception in 1999, the Tuition Reimbursement Program has helped numerous team members to continue their education at no cost to them. The requirements for this program are minimal, helping to reduce the obstacles a team member might face to further their education. “It’s open to all team members,” describes Team 1’s Human Resources Manager Rob Clothier. “We’ll cover pretty much anything that would be helpful for a position at Team 1. For example, we would pay for accounting classes for someone in the office, but probably not German or philosophy. It’s really pretty open-ended.”
RMTC & MOLDTRAX
Although the Tuition Reimbursement Program is setup to reimburse tuition costs for any team members interested, the program is most frequently utilized by Team 1’s Maintenance and Engineering Departments. Those department members have used this program primarily for college credits or training modules at both the Regional Manufacturing Technology Center (RMTC) and MoldTRAX.
RMTC staff member at RMTC in Battle Creek, MI
As mentioned on their webpage, RMTC was started in 1990 by Kellogg Community College in Battle Creek, MI. RMTC “is home to KCC’s Industrial Trades Programs and Workforce Solutions. The RMTC is an innovative, community-driven training facility.” Over the years, team members have used the Tuition Reimbursement Program for modules and programs at RMTC such as Blueprint Reading, Machining Technologies, Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T), and Basic Shop Math.
MoldTRAX training session in progress
MoldTRAX is another training facility frequently utilized by Team 1 Plastics. Located in Ashland, OH, MoldTrax describes their training programs on their website. “Our ToolingDocs® certification programs give your technicians the knowledge and skills to streamline maintenance processes and increase efficiencies.” Team members have used the Tuition Reimbursement Program at MoldTRAX for classes such as Hot Runner Maintenance/Repair, Tooling Component Repair, and Mold Maintenance/Repair.
“NOTHING TO LOSE”
Some might say “this seems too good to be true” but that could not be further from the truth. Team 1 Plastics’ Tuition Reimbursement Program is exactly what it claims to be: 100% tuition-free schooling to further team members’ careers. With the core value of Team Member Success in mind, Team 1 would love to see this program utilized by all team members interested in furthering their education and/or career. Project Engineer Travis Castle has used the Tuition Reimbursement Program in the past and encourages all team members to “take advantage of this opportunity. There is nothing to lose!” Castle is just one of the many team members who have expressed the invaluable worth of Team 1’s Tuition Reimbursement Program. Below you can read the positive impacts this program has had on some of those team members.
Jadon Austin – Tooling Maintenance Specialist III
“The program has helped me in many ways that I can’t just boil down to a few words and sentences. It has provided training to me and anyone else that uses the program to help us become more efficient and better at our jobs. It has helped me advance and further my career. I plan on continuing my education until I have attained a degree. Once I have both of my certificates from RMTC I will transfer to KCC and complete the remaining credits I need toward a Bachelor’s in Applied Sciences.”
Ethan Austin – Tooling Maintenance Specialist
“The program is developing my career. I am unsure of which career I would like to do my whole life. The great thing about taking classes, for me, is I can bounce around different trades/fields of work and figure out which one suits me best. Different classes have helped me in many different ways, one being safety. I took a 5-day class down at MoldTRAX which helped me a lot with working on a mold, safely and correctly.”
Dave Seedorf – Engineering Manager
“There is not a ‘lose’ to it. It is beneficial for the employees, and I am a big fan of the program. Team 1 has practically funded my education entirely by paying for all the schooling side of it.”
Travis Castle – Project Engineer I
“This program has helped me be comfortable taking the next steps to improve my knowledge without the fear of having debts to pay back. It is motivation to better myself and has helped me understand parts of my job better. In return, it has helped me progress further in my career.”