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Waltrich Plastic Corporation: Family-based business has success in Walthourville


Waltrich Plastic success storyWaltrich Plastic Corporation prides itself on being a family-owned and operated company that continues to foster the concept of family in the workplace, as well as give back to the community.

 
Waltrich, named for its founders, Walter Polnau and Richard Pokrandt, opened its first manufacturing facility in New Jersey in 1961. The company was started in order to process a recently developed thermoplastic named polypropylene. Initially, the plant extruded monofilament yarns. After being joined by Gerhard Pokrandt, who eventually became the sole owner of Waltrich, the company also began to weave narrow fabrics. Webbing for lawn chairs was the main product at that time. In the mid 1970s, a second plant was established in Walthourville, Georgia. Since the Georgia plant was much larger in size than the New Jersey facility, Waltrich consolidated equipment and manufacturing operations into the Georgia location.
 
In 1986, Gary Pokrandt decided to keep the company in the family and bought out his father’s ownership of Waltrich. Four years later, Gary’s brother, Mark, joined him as co-owner of Waltrich.
 
Since taking over the company, Gary and Mark Pokrandt have seen manufacturing change in the United States, and Waltrich has had to adapt to stay successful. “For years, a large portion of our business was lawn chair webbing,” states Gary Pokrandt. “After the majority of the lawn chair webbing business went overseas, we realized we had to adjust and diversify.”
 
Operating out of a 120,000 SF facility in the Walthourville Industrial Park that was purchased from the Liberty County Industrial Authority in 1988, Waltrich currently manufactures monofilament yarns made from various resins. The majority of these yarns are sold to other manufacturers that weave, knit, braid, etc. They process the yarns to make trampolines, shade cloth, wind screens, filters, silt fencing, ropes and a variety of other end products. Waltrich also continues to weave some of its yarns into narrow fabrics like lawn chair webbing, barricade tapes, binding tapes and other specialty products.
 
Normally operating five days a week with one shift for weaving and three shifts for extruding, Waltrich currently employs approximately 40 people. Waltrich offers their employees an attractive benefits package to include profit sharing, health and life insurance and holiday and vacation leave.
 
“Approximately 80% of our employees have worked for the company for over five years, and several of them have worked for Waltrich over 30 years,” says Pokrandt. “We try to maintain a family atmosphere here, which I believe makes our employees want to stay.”
 
In addition to striving to breed a family environment at Waltrich, Gary and Mark Pokrandt have also been good stewards to the community. Since 2001, Waltrich has donated approximately one-half million yards of yellow and red, white and blue plastic webbing to the local community to make bows to honor the soldiers.
 
“Waltrich is proud to be a part of the Liberty County/Fort Stewart community,” Pokrandt remarks. “It is rewarding for me to know that Waltrich is providing jobs and making our employees feel like they are a part of the company in addition to supporting our local community and soldiers.”