Plasticoid Company celebrates employee’s 50 years of service
— 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.”
Jim Palinkas, owner of Plasticoid, presents Alice Benge with a plaque recognizing her 50 years of continuous and dedicated service.
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.