Compiled by Jennifer Hetrick, Reading Eagle correspondent
When Sealstrip Corp.’s employees say again and again that they’re treated like family while at their jobs, it rings true.
The corporation is based in Douglass Township, Montgomery County, and manufactures resealable bags and similar plastic-related packaging products as well as the machines for them.
One of the six core company values employees have memorized is focusing on family, not only in the work sense, but tied to who they are as people at home, too.
“I know not everyone is going to love their job, but if you don’t at least like your job, you really shouldn’t be here,” said Sealstrip President Heather Chandler.
“Our culture doesn’t have the capacity to handle people who aren’t fully engaged, because being a small company, everybody wears numerous hats and does a variety of things,” Chandler said. “So I think in treating people like family and truly caring about them, you then get that reciprocated.”
Sealstrip Corp. exports to Pepsico Inc.’s Frito Lay Co. in several countries. Fresh Express, which sells packaged salad greens as a subsidiary of Chiquita Brands LLC, is a major client, too. And Banquet, owned by ConAgra Foods Inc., uses frozen chicken packaging from Sealstrip Corp.
Its biggest client is Mission, which is the largest tortilla company in the world, based in Mexico as a subsidiary of Gruma Corp.
Ducks on parade: Scott MacDonald, an electrical designer in the engineering department, has rubber ducks of all different colors and comically themed persuasions at the edge of his cubicle. This keeps everything fun and laughter-ready when co-workers and guests walk past.
Grow smart and gone fishin': Every year, a theme is chosen to help the business to succeed as a community but also to expand and gather more clients. A tree with blowup fruit has each piece representing a major client. Notes about achievements and great work are added around the props for the theme, with some examples as creating an awesome marketing email, excellent progress and keeping up with paperwork well. Another year, larger fish represented larger clients, and smaller fish stood for smaller clients. With a major goal to land a “whale,” a million-dollar client, the theme stretched past 12 months until the company realized this achievement through its hard work a few months later.
Best Places To Work in Pennsylvania: In 2014, Sealstrip Corp. earned 23rd place in the Best Places To Work in Pennsylvania competition organized by the Central Penn Business Journal in partnership with Team Pennsylvania Foundation, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, the Society for Human Resource Management, the Pennsylvania State Council and Best Companies Group. In 2013, the company earned 5th place.
Reading on lunch breaks: Marketing Communications Coordinator Sarah Moore reads while sitting comfortably on a suede lounge chair on the mezzanine above the production area. Employees who use this area often read novels on their lunch breaks, but sometimes they read marketing and business-geared books to help the company with innovative ideas for everyday operations and keeping teams effectively growing.
Wall of stars: The 2015 theme at Sealstrip Corp. is “shooting for the stars.” Each of these stars made of pinatas represents one of the six core values of the company. Every time an employee does something that falls in line with one of them, a small piece of yellow paper in the shape of a shooting star goes up on the wall with words explaining the good deed. A handful of employees are taking online computer classes, which earned stars for the wall.
Shooting for the stars: This past January, five departments at Sealstrip worked together creatively in fashioning planets for a corner of their break room to fit the shooting for the stars theme.
Going golfing: Research and Development Manager Harry Cappa plays golf on the mezzanine putting station. A quick round of golf at work can help with testing out some light exercise and practicing skills to focus well.
Foam numbers shout success in five-year increments: Employees are given big red foam numbers to display in their work area for every five years they’ve been with Sealstrip Corp. Jennifer Ortlip has worked in sales for 10 years.
The quiet room: Receptionist Dinelle Smith enjoys the peace of the quiet room. Its plush recliner incorporates heat and massage. Mothers who recently have given birth also use it as a lactation room, which is appreciated since public spaces and other workplaces often don’t have comfortable and safe-feeling areas for such an essential task.
Vegetables and vision: The wellness committee, made up of employees in different departments, decorates doors and walls with a new theme each month, promoting facts to help get everyone thinking about improving their health, Chandler said. Vegetables and vision were the theme for the month of March.