Contract manufacturer sets up bonus program for workers as it nears milestone

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

©Getty Images - Peopleimages
©Getty Images - Peopleimages

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Contract manufacturer Health Wright Products is seeking to get ahead of the developing labor shortage by promising employees hefty bonuses as the company meets an important revenue target.

Privately held HWP, based in Clackamas, OR, claims to be the largest manufacturer of encapsulated dietary supplements in the United States.  This week the company announced a program it is calling Project 150, in which $1 million has been set aside for employee bonuses when the company crosses the $150 million annual revenue threshold in a trailing 12 month period.

Bonuses top out at $5,000

The bonuses will be linked to years of service and will top out at $5,000 and will apply to all employees who have been with the company for at least one year.

“With 26 years of dedicated quality, service and value, we have become the largest capsule manufacturer in the supplement industry, and we are pleased to be able to support the team who will help us achieve our next goal,” ​said company cofounder Mark Wright.

NutraIngredients-USA focused on the labor shortage recently in a two part series.  Company after company responded that the situation this year has been unlike any they’ve faced.  Turnover has increased, and open manufacturing positions have proven hard to fill.

“In my 20+ years serving in HR roles, I’ve never experienced a labor market as fluid and as unpredictable as the current labor market,”​ said Maggie Yontz, vice president of human resources for Van Drunen Farms/FutureCeuticals.

HWP CEO: Milestone is within reach

 HWP CEO Scott Steinford said that while his company’s financials were private, he could share that the firm is on track to cross the $150 million revenue threshold fairly soon.

“We have an ongoing expansion and we expect to be able to hit that within two to three years.  We have laid out a clear path to all of our employees about how and why we expect to be able to do that within that time frame,”​ Steinford told NutraIngredients-USA.

Steinford said in his fairly short time with the company he has been impressed with the dedicated workforce the firm has managed to attract.

“In our all company meeting we had an impressive number of long tenured employees.  I think we have done a better job of retention than have many companies, and we have expanded some programs like more paid time off,”​ he said.

“We want to be one of the best places to work and we want to share that success.  I want to have place where employees are proud to be there,”​ he said.

Housing prices, inflation issues

Steinford said being located in an area that is seen as having a high quality of life has helped in employee retention.  And he said that Oregon’s housing market has not yet hit the sky values as have some others, which makes recruitment a little easier. But the recent relocation  of a new employee from Delaware did come with some rental sticker shock, he said, requiring some creative thinking on the part of the company.

Steinford said the specter of rising inflation, with the national average reported to have recently topped 5%, has yet to affect HWP’s results.

“The margins have certainly become challenging.  In our industry the Chinese are such a large part of the supply of raw materials.  I haven’t yet seen inflation there be an issue, though availability certainly has been,”​ he said.

To read more about the labor shortage, see Part 1​ and Part 2​ of the NutraIngredients-USA series.

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