Award recognizes Massachusetts companies that have demonstrated excellence in international business

HOLYOKE, Mass.— Universal Plastics recently received the Diplomats Award from the Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM), which announced the winners of its 23rd annual AIM Global Trade Awards. The awards recognize Massachusetts companies and public agencies for excellence in international business.

The 2018 honorees also include Bennett & Co, and John Hancock. The three Global Trade Award winners were honored during the AIM Global Trade Symposium & Awards Breakfast on November 8, 2018, at Waltham Woods Conference Center, Waltham, Massachusetts.

“From innovation in product development to supporting the profile of our commonwealth across the world, Massachusetts companies are deeply entrenched in the global marketplace,” said Richard Lord, president and CEO of AIM, in a prepared statement. “We are delighted to honor the achievements of these winners, who exhibit best practices in advancing global business. During a time when trade and international commerce are key topics of conversation, we want to foster an appreciation for the role of global business in our local economy.”

With 300 employees in Massachusetts, five manufacturing facilities in the U.S., and headquarters in Holyoke, Massachusetts, Universal Plastics said that it has created over 100 new jobs in the last 6 years, fueled by export growth.

Owned and operated by husband and wife team of Jay and Pia Kumar, Universal Plastics has grown rapidly in the six years since the couple bought the company. Founded in 1965, Universal Plastics manufactures custom thermoformed plastic parts. These include covers and housings for large machinery such as aircraft engines, MRI machines and dental equipment; plastic components for airplane seats; tamper-resistant signs for bus stops, and kayaks.

“Over the last few years, our customers have developed global supply chains while choosing to retain us as their custom thermoformer,” said Pia Kumar, co-owner and chief strategy officer, Universal Plastics. “So, we have adapted our business to support our customers globally while continuing to manufacture the highly cosmetic, precision thermoformed parts they need at our three thermoforming facilities in the U.S. – located in western and central Massachusetts, and in upstate New York.”

The AIM Global Trade Symposium & Awards is sponsored by Massport, Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MassMEP), and The Provident Bank.

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