Ryan started at KelTech in February 2012, just a few months after moving to Pierce County from Guam, where he grew up. The 26-year-old immediately found opportunity at the Tacoma plastic fabrication company, which has been in operation for 35 years. KelTech, with 34 employees, prides itself on its on-the-job training and by giving promising employees a path to success. And Ryan was able to take advantage.
Within two months of starting at KelTech, Ryan was promoted to shipping manager, often overseeing hundreds of shipments each day from the company’s facility in South Tacoma. He now works as operations manager, which means he works with all departments of the company, starting with the sales staff each morning to go over what projects need to be done. From there, he works closely with the production manager and print and fabrication departments, walking the shop floor to ensure the work is done safely and efficiently.
“From the moment a job is quoted by the sales team to when the project gets out the door from our shipping department, I’m touching every piece of that,” Manibusan said.
Variety of duties
Along with his various promotions, Ryan has also been trained to work the various KelTech machines, from the plastic cutter to the printing press.
“This may be a small business but KelTech gives you chances for growth. It felt like the right place at the right time – they gave me the opportunity and I jumped at it.”
KelTech produces plastic products that are part of everyday life, from motorcycle windshields and plastic linings for Seattle police vehicles to displays at Nordstrom stores and the display casings at the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle. “If you open up the phone book and look at any page, we could sell products to any of those companies,” said company owner Deanna Keller.
“There are so many things KelTech can do, I’ve never appreciated plastic more,” Ryan said.
KelTech also prioritizes environmental stewardship by recycling its materials and avoiding plastics that can be harmful to the environment.
Making roots in the South Sound
Ryan Manibusan lives in South Hill, Pierce County, near several members of his family who also moved to the area from Guam. “The South Sound is a wonderful place to work and a wonderful place to live,” he said. “I love the strong sense of community.”
At KelTech, he also found his own sense of family. “I’m a guy from a small island, and family is everything to me. And that’s how I’ve felt here, like part of a family.”