Ten per cent of the workforce at a Penticton business has just been recognized for long-time service to the company.
Moduline Industries recently acknowledged 20 of its employees who in 2014 will reach 25- or 35-year milestones with the manufactured home builder.
Among them is Renate Donath, who joined the company Aug. 15, 1989, and works in the drapery department.
“I’m a tailor by trade, so the work came close when they were looking for a seamstress and that’s how I landed this job,” she recalled.
“At first when I started, I said, ‘I’m not making a career out of this,’ but it’s a good livelihood.”
Donath also enjoys the feeling of community among the approximately 200 workers at the plant, located near the intersection of Duncan Avenue and Channel Parkway.
“It’s like a little town. You get to know everybody, you know the ins and outs, and you feel comfortable coming to work. It’s steady,” she said.
Bhupendra Singh started at Moduline on May 28, 1979. Originally from Fiji, he settled in Penticton and has since raised three kids while working his way up the ladder to become the lead siding installer for the company, which has been in operation locally for 44 years.
“It’s very comfortable. We have some ups and downs over here, but a lot of good times,” he said.
General supervisor David Edwards acknowledged the company is at the mercy of cyclical housing market forces that affect the size of its staff, but said Moduline does what it can to smooth out the ride, like securing contracts to build camps for the energy sector.
He noted it’s important to provide steady work in order to the retain long-time employees that make the company successful.
“The knowledge and skills they have, you can’t find that anywhere,” said Edwards, who himself started on the production line 29 years ago and eventually worked his way into a management position.
“We give them competitive wages, we give them a good benefits package, and we give them a clean, safe environment to work in,” he continued. “And we also consider ourselves a very friendly company to work for.”
Edwards said the firm, which ships its products as far away as Ontario and Japan, is continually hiring, with spring and summer being the busiest months.
Moduline is a subsidiary of Champion Homes, which has operations across Canada, the U.S. and U.K.