Plas­ti­coid Com­pany cel­e­brates em­ployee’s 50 years of ser­vice

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By JANE BELLMYER

ELKTON

jbellmyer@ce­cil­whig.com

— Alice Benge started work­ing at Plas­ti­coid on West High Street May 20, 1966.

Now 50 years later, Benge, of Pleas­ant Hills, is still on the job.

“She’s prob­a­bly trained al­most ev­ery per­son here,” said Ge­orge Al­gard, pres­i­dent of United Steel­work­ers Union Lo­cal 6967, which rep­re­sents some of the 65 em­ploy­ees at the 70-year-old com­pres­sion mold­ing plant.

“She’s one of the most de­pend­able work­ers we have,” said Jim Palinkas, owner of Plas­ti­coid. “Nothing has stopped her from com­ing to work.”

Benge said she wasn’t ex­pect­ing a party to ac­knowl­edge her golden an­niver­sary with the com­pany.

“I knew some­thing was up, but I didn’t know what,” said Benge, 74.

At a lunch held in her honor on Fri­day at Plas­ti­coid, Benge re­ceived sev­eral gifts, in­clud­ing a plaque hon­or­ing her for 50 years of con­tin­u­ous and ded­i­cated ser­vice for the Elkton com­pany. Call­ing her “the ma­tri­arch of our dys­func­tional fam­ily,” Al­gard also gifted Benge with a card signed by ev­ery­one at Plas­ti­coid and a gift card.

When Benge started with the com­pany, she came on work­ing the sec­ond shift and quickly moved to the first.

“I worked the sec­ond shift about three years,” she said.

Benge typ­i­cally works a hunch press, Palinkas ex­plained. The plas­tic com­po­nents with med­i­cal or in­dus­trial ap­pli­ca­tions come out of the press in a sheet. Us­ing the hunch press, Benge punches out the in­di­vid­ual pieces.

“I like the work. I’m go­ing to work as long as I can,” Benge said.

Her co-work­ers ad­mire her work ethic.

“I can’t do half of what she does,” said Bar­bara Reiss. “She’s my in­spi­ra­tion. She can out­work any­one here.”

While Reiss de­scribed her as hum­ble, Bernie Puszcz said he con­sid­ers Benge a calm­ing in­flu­ence. He re­called he has never seen her an­gry or flus­tered while on the job.

“She’s just a nice per­son,” Puszcz said. “No mat­ter what the weather she’s here.”

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JANE BELLMYER

Jim Palinkas, owner of Plas­ti­coid, presents Alice Benge with a plaque rec­og­niz­ing her 50 years of con­tin­u­ous and ded­i­cated ser­vice.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JANE BELLMYER

Ge­orge Al­gard, pres­i­dent of United Steel­work­ers Union Lo­cal 6967, presents Alice Benge with a gift card from her fel­low em­ploy­ees in honor of her 50th an­niver­sary with the com­pany.

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