At a time when companies are shedding employees at an alarming rate due to stay-at-home orders and revenue losses resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, NewAge Industries, Inc., is a rarity – a company looking to hire new employees.
The Southampton-based firm, with plans to open a second site in Warrington this month, has been deemed an essential business and is therefore permitted to remain open.
That’s because NewAge manufactures plastic and rubber tubing for pharmaceutical companies, and now also is making tubing for ventilators needed to save lives threatened by the novel coronavirus.
“We’re working with 45 percent of the companies trying to find a cure,” said James Horan, chief financial officer/owner of NewAge Industries, and with companies including Ford and GM that are working to manufacture ventilators.
“We are excited to be a critical component in our customers’ supply chain knowing that we are playing an important part/role in the ventilator business as well as with the pharmaceutical companies working towards a vaccine and treatment during this challenging time we are experiencing.”
NewAge has always manufactured products for pharmaceutical companies, Horan said, adding its core competencies are the manufacture of plastic and rubber extrusion, plastic and rubber injection molding and custom assembly work. “The ventilator business has come from word of mouth from our existing customer base, as well as our sales team,” he said.
To meet the current need, the company’s warehouse and manufacturing teams are in-house, working 24 hours a day, five days a week.
“We’re working on going 24/7,” Horan said.
To do so, NewAge needs additional staff. The company, which currently has 204 employees, is looking to hire another 30 to 40 employees; jobs include manufacturing, warehouse, logistics, accounting, human resources, plastics extrusion operators, maintenance mechanics and more. Horan said approximately 85 percent of the jobs are in warehouse, logistics and manufacturing.
“We feel we really could create some opportunities for people,” said Horan, who sits on the Bucks County Workforce Development Board and is a member of the Bucks County Economic Development Transition Team.
NewAge is willing to train those new to manufacturing, but those with manufacturing experience will pick up the job more quickly, he said. “It’s hands-on training. You’re learning on the job.”
NewAge is 100 percent employee stock-owned, Horan said, and is the only company with an Employee Stock Ownership Plan in its space. It also offers health insurance, a 401K, paid time off, tuition assistance and more.
“It’s an organization here in Bucks County, that’s been here for years,” he said. The company was started in 1954 by CEO Ken Baker’s father, Raymond E. Baker.
Manufacturing is done in a purified area, and to keep employees healthy, the company is doing additional cleaning and sanitizing throughout the 250,000 square foot building located near the Pennsylvania Turnpike at 145 James Way in Southampton. Those with office jobs are working from home.
The new building at 364 Valley Road in Warrington will provide an additional 47,000 square feet of warehouse and manufacturing space.