Plastics maker forges international partnership


Custom Profile has specialized in plastic profile extrusion products for the appliance, marine, office furniture and other industries since 1992. Courtesy Lambert Edwards

A Grand Rapids-based manufacturer is applying its community collaboration on an international scale.

Custom Profile, a portfolio company of private equity firm Blackford Capital, is supporting a number of educational initiatives through its current partnerships with academic and community partners in Juarez, Mexico, as well as Grand Rapids.

International partnership

The maker of plastic profile extrusion products has launched a partnership with CECyTECH No. 22, a public high school located near Ciudad Juarez and Custom Profile’s existing facility in Mexico. The school has a science and technology-focused curriculum, and a plastic extrusion module built into its plastics program.

Custom Profile has partnered with the school to support specific curriculum development and to provide dedicated machine hours for students to learn more about the extrusion process.

Local partnership

Custom Profile also has worked with schools and community partners in the greater Grand Rapids area, such as participating in the Manufacturing Readiness course through Grand Rapids Community College’s Leslie E. Tassell M-TEC, engaging with Kentwood elementary school students during Manufacturing Week, and launching an apprentice program for set-up extruder operators.

John Boeschenstein, CEO of Custom Profile, said the company continues to build on its mission of providing customers with exceptional service and high-quality products, without sacrificing its commitment to people or the community.

“We hope the community partnerships we have built prove as beneficial to our partners as they have to us,” said Boeschenstein.

The company’s apprentice program combines 2,000 hours of on-the-job training with two GRCC classes and is considered Department of Labor certified. Individuals enrolled in the program can receive an Extruder Operator Certificate upon completion.

The company

Custom Profile was established in 1992 and specializes in plastic profile extrusion products for a number of industries, including appliance, marine, office furniture, automotive and recreational. The company expanded internationally in 2008 when it opened a manufacturing facility in Juarez with two extrusion lines and secondary operations.

Blackford Capital acquired the manufacturing company in August 2012 by investing in the company through the Michigan Equity Investment Fund.

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