Keeping Our Promise: Florida Manufacturer Raises Wages 7 Percent, Awards Bonuses to 152 Employees Due to Tax Reform Law

One hundred and fifty employees at an environmental products manufacturer in Riviera Beach, Florida, are having a year unlike any other in the more than 33-year history of the company. According to RGF Environmental Group, tax reform is accelerating business and allowing the company to share its benefits with everyone. And, just last week, Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) singled out RGF by speaking at its facility.

At RGF’s Florida plant, Gov. Scott told manufacturers how tax cuts are benefiting Florida businesses and how he intends to continue to push for further reform in Washington. If elected to the U.S. Senate in November, Gov. Scott will be another strong advocate for RGF and Florida manufacturing. Republican Rep. Brian Mast, who represents Riviera Beach, voted for the historic tax cuts last December.

Walter Ellis, executive vice president and general manager of RGF, explained to the NAM exactly what tax reform is empowering the company to do: give significant wage increases and multiple bonuses to its employees, expand its facilities and invest in new equipment and training.

  • “Last year, RGF had record wage increases, with employees receiving raises of 7 to 8 percent,” he said. “Basically, every hourly employee in our facility received a raise at the end of last year, which is something we’ve never done before.”
  • On top of the wage increases, Ellis explained that RGF also gave employees not just one but two sets of bonuses over the past few months: “Last year, we had record Christmas bonuses. It was a substantial increase over years prior, about five times more than we typically give. It was significant. It was a nice Christmas this year! Going into the beginning of the year, we also gave a straight $1,000 bonus to each employee as a direct result of tax cuts.”
  • RGF President and CEO Ron Fink has also pledged a third bonus of $1,000 to all 152 employees, calling it the “Share the Wealth bonus program”—if President Trump and Republicans continue to push for more tax reform in the months to come.

Beyond the direct benefits to employees, RGF is making sure to reinvest its tax savings in its business—by expanding its facilities to meet the large increase in demand for its products.

First on the list? Expanding its office space by 3,000 square feet, a pressing need for the fast-growing company. “We’ve gotten so busy and hired so many people that we ran out of office space in our main building,” admitted Ellis. “We’re building a new elevated office in our production area.”

RGF is also expanding its capital equipment investment, spending $1 million on new technology that will help streamline its business, expand its product lines and create new jobs. The new equipment will enable RGF to employ two separate shifts of workers—a first in company history—which means hiring more employees and dramatically increasing productivity.

To fill these skilled jobs, RGF is investing in specialized training for its employees, so they can continue to develop their skills and further their careers. “We’ve been doing a lot more training with our employees,” Ellis said. “We’ve been able to implement ISO, which was a costly investment, but something we thought was needed.”

But RGF isn’t finished with its expansion. “We’ll need more equipment very soon,” said Ellis. “This is just the beginning. A lot of internal investment into the company is definitely taking place.”

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