CLARKSBURG — Stockmeier Urethanes USA Inc., a chemical production and distribution company, continues to grow its profile in the Clarksburg area.
The most recent addition to the company was the acquisition of French specialty foam manufacturer Uranie Production S.A., which was purchased last August, said Chief of Staff Melissa Martinkat.
“Founded in 1998, Uranie has been active mostly in captive markets for specialty rigid and flexible foam systems, as well as compact compounds, distributing its products mainly in Western Europe and North Africa,” she said.
CEO and President Christian Martinkat said the addition of Uranie is exciting news for Stockmeier.
“We are pleased with this new addition to our existing business and have great expectations for growth with these products across the board in Europe, as well as in Asia and North America,” he said. “While our focus on CASE (coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers) products will continue to be the cornerstone of our business development in the coming years, the product portfolio of Uranie allows for greater diversification across all entities of the Stockmeier Urethanes Group.”
At its facility on Clarksburg’s Columbia Boulevard, the company employs a team of 60, including researchers, laboratory technicians, production operators, a sales force and others.
Stockmeier Urethanes, a German-based company with sites in France and Great Britain, first discovered the Clarksburg area in 2003 after considering locations in several other states, 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 are 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, Christian Martinkat said.
“That was literally from scratch. We started with (nothing) 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, Christian 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’ Clarksburg facility gives visitors a visual representation of some of the everyday products that use 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,” Christian 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, he 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 physical footprint as operations have increased, and more growth is on the horizon, Christian 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, Christian 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.”
The company’s administrators try to foster a welcoming, close-knit culture for their employees, Melissa Martinkat said.
“One thing that helps is a wellness program that we have,” she said. “We have 30 minutes every day 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 Martinkat 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 every day when they come to work is more than just a paycheck. They come here because they want to be here.”
Senior Staff Writer Charles Young can be reached at 304-626-1447 or firstname.lastname@example.org