Stockmeier Urethanes: Clarksburg, WV chemical manufacturer continues growth
CLARKSBURG — Stockmeier Urethanes, a chemical production and distribution company, has called the hills of Clarksburg home for the last 13 years.
The company employs a team of 60 at its sprawling facility on Columbia Boulevard, including researchers, laboratory technicians, production operators, a sales force and many others.
Stockmeier Urethanes, a German-based company with sites in France and Great Britain as well, first discovered the Clarksburg area in 2003 after considering locations in several other states, CEO and President Christian Martinkat said.
“Every state entertains an economic development authority of some sort. There are folks that you talk to about the ups and downs and the benefits and detriments of locating your business in a different state,” he said. “We just felt that we best located here because we just simply felt best taken care of by what they were able to do for us here. That wasn’t so much about money, but was more about the support with the permits and the location and everything else.”
The company began its presence in America with just a small management team, but that has grown to include a diverse group of highly-skilled employees, Martinkat said.
“That was literally from scratch. We started with nada in ’05,” he said. “It was a brand new company; we didn’t bring anything with us other then we had a couple of customers we had sold to before in Germany, but that was about it.”
The bulk of the company’s work is the production of polyurethane, a durable polymer with a wide range of commercial and industrial applications, Martinkat said.
“Everything that leaves here is liquid — it leaves here either in tanker trunks, totes or in drums,” he said. “A lot of people get confused when they hear polyurethanes; they think about finished products. Our customers make all kinds of finished products with these things, but we don’t. We’re a materials supplier.”
A row of lighted display cases in the lobby of Stockmeier Urethanes gives visitors a visual representation of some of the everyday products that utilize polyurethanes.
The shelves are filled with objects large and small, including samples of rubberized mulch used on playgrounds, engine filters, super glue, shoe insoles, sponges and doormats.
“It shows finished products because we want to demonstrate the applications,” Martinkat said. “It would be a pretty boring cabinet if we showed you liquids.”
The versatile nature of polyurethanes allows Stockmeier Urethanes to service a diverse group of customers, Martinkat said.
“One thing that’s exciting about our business is that we’re delivering to many, many different industries,” he said. “There are a lot of things that you can find in a store right here in Clarksburg that have products in them or on them that came from here.”
Over the years, the company’s facility has expanded its footprint as operations have increased, and more growth is on the horizon, Martinkat said.
“This facility still has room for growth, absolutely,” he said. “In the near future, we want to expand to be able to use the railroad tracks behind our property. We want to get some materials inbound by rail instead of how we get them today, which is by truck.”
The expansion will require some construction at the facility, Martinkat said.
“We’re going to have to erect a couple of very large storage tanks,” he said. “We’ll probably undergo some investment in the next two years with respect to getting access to the rail. Also, at some point within the next two years, we’re going to have to add on warehousing capacity.”
Melissa Martinkat, the company’s chief of staff, said the company’s administrators try to foster a welcoming, close-knit culture for their employees.
“One thing that helps is a wellness program that we have,” she said. “We have 30 minutes everyday where we can walk or do something like that. We provide flu shots. We do company cookouts and just try to create camaraderie. We try to make it a family-type of environment.”
The company prides itself on hiring the best workers possible and giving them the tools needed for success, Christian said.
“We really want to be a magnet for people who want to be here, who want to be part of the area and be part of the Stockmeier family,” he said. “I think it’s really important these days for any company to have staff who are motivated, really like their job and have a sense that what they’re doing everyday when they come to work is more than just a paycheck. They come here because they want to be here.”
Staff Writer Charles Young can be reached at 304-626-1447 or firstname.lastname@example.org