Gentex increases starting wages, offers stock, adds Spanish-speaking assembly lines

Gentex earlier this year launched Spanish-speaking assembly lines to assist with expanding its headcount. Courtesy Gentex Corp.

Gentex Corporation is beefing up its offerings to attract and retain employees during the present talent crunch.

The Zeeland-based manufacturer said earlier this week that it recently restructured its compensation program for hourly workers, increasing its starting wage to $16 per hour for second and third shifts and, for the first time, began offering company stock. In addition, the company recently established dedicated assembly lines for Spanish-speaking workers to increase its employment base.

“Our new compensation program expands upon our philosophy of rewarding long-time service,” said Craig Piersma, Gentex’s director of marketing and corporate communications. “In addition to offering a competitive hourly rate, employees receive a quarterly bonus plus a new $5,000-$10,000 restricted stock award, based on years of service.”

A restricted stock award is shares of a company stock granted to an employee that can be sold on the stock market once the restriction period is over. In Gentex’s case, employees will have access to their stock after a three-year vesting period.

New employees hired during this calendar year also will be eligible for a $5,000 stock award after completing one year of service.

“This new program helps ensure that all Gentex employees benefit from the growth of the company,” Piersma said. “It rewards everyone for their contributions toward enhancing shareholder value.”

Gentex earlier this year launched Spanish-speaking assembly lines to assist with expanding its headcount. What started as a single manufacturing line on third shift has grown to nearly 50 Spanish-speaking team members on multiple lines and shifts.

To support the program, Gentex developed Spanish recruiting, orientation, onboarding and training materials, as well as specialized work instructions. Each line is managed by bilingual supervisors. The company currently is establishing English as a Second Language classes for employees who might be interested.

Gentex conducts open interviews for hourly workers every workday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at its 58 E. Riley St. facility in Zeeland.


Founded in 1974, Gentex Corporation (Nasdaq: GNTX) is a supplier of automatic-dimming rearview mirrors and electronics to the automotive industry, dimmable aircraft windows for aviation markets and fire protection products to the fire protection market.

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