DuraTech started in Galesville, Wisconsin with a group of determined entrepreneurs in a garage printing stickers and t-shirts by hand. Custom screen printing took off in the 1960’s and was in demand by the time DuraTech opened its doors in 1977. By 1985, DuraTech was able to build its own world headquarters where it currently resides today in La Crosse, Wisconsin. At this point, the company had already purchased its first automatic printing press and over the next couple of decades would introduce more capabilities to the business. Those capabilities, including doming, digital printing services, MetalPhoto®, sublimation printing, Flexographic printing, printed electronics and forming allow the company to stand out from their competitors. DuraTech also devotes its time and resources to training team members, ensuring all are given the resources they need to thrive. The investment in technology and people pays off, because DuraTech continues to attract talented individuals that dedicate many years – and even decades – to the company.
Long-term team members are vital to any business, and, in recent interviews, DuraTech’s gave some insight on their views of the company and why they think it’s blossomed into the success it has today. Long-term team members state that the most growth DuraTech has experienced is in new technology and products such as Printed Electronics, In-Mold Structural Electronics, and In-Mold Decorating. They added that these products set DuraTech apart from others because much of the competition does not offer these services. Throughout its history DuraTech has grown fairly steadily, and the development in technology in the last decade has pushed the growth even further. This growth allowed DuraTech to open its eyes and realize that, as Margo M. stated, “Screen printing isn’t dead.” Some thought other types of printing would take over but it didn’t. DuraTech now has the ability to print high-tech items like CareWear’s therapy patches. Doug L. explained that DuraTech’s growth in technology attracts quality people, people with experience and ideas, which strengthens the workforce and helps DuraTech be the leader it is today.
Another key aspect long-term team members credit DuraTech’s growth to would be its company culture. The culture adapted with the company’s team, allowing them to be empowered to make suggestions on improvements. This led to team members choosing to stay with the company, some for well over 30 years. Those that have been with the company for decades feel that the culture DuraTech has built is hard to find in another company and they want to stay with an employer that makes it a priority. They also mentioned that DuraTech promotes from within which leads to trust and dedication from their team members. In one instance, a long-term team member started as a hand screen printer in the 1980’s, moved up to automated press, became a team leader, then advanced to a position with the Senior Leadership team. Another shared that they started as an artist, became the art team leader and then team leader of the digital department. They then saw a need for consistency of how DuraTech publicly presents itself so they proposed a solution to Senior Leadership, creating a new department where they are to this day. Several of DuraTech’s long-term team members agree on what they see for the future of their company: New technology and creating industry trends. They believe that DuraTech will continue to be a leader in their industry. They also all agree that their favorite part about working for DuraTech is the people, proving that culture rewards more than anything.
A few newly hired team members describe what they have observed at DuraTech, and what they like about the company. They mention that DuraTech is dedicated to technology and advancement, making work enjoyable, and taking care of employees. They appreciate the benefits DuraTech offers its team members, including time off and various company events. A consistent first impression is that everyone is always smiling and more than happy to lend a hand. As far as the future for the newly hired team members? They are looking forward to seeing what innovations DuraTech can come up with and learning new things with their team.