Core Tech Molding

Greensboro, NC

First in Innovation

When he was an employee at AMP, Inc. (now Tyco Electronics), Geoff Foster didn’t feel appreciated. His invention had been sold to Ford Motors for $31 million dollars. Rather than a bonus, Foster received a commemorative plaque. He knew at that moment that he wanted to work for himself. “It motivated me,” Foster told Neill McNeill on WGHP-TV. “I said, next time I come up with an innovative idea, I want it to be for my company.”

The Key to Success

Foster’s company, Core Technology Molding Corp., is a plastic injection molding solutions provider. Their customer base is 60% major pharmaceutical firms including Merck, Pfizer and Eli Lilly, and 30% automotive companies including BMW and Volvo. As he built his business, Foster wanted to do it the right way. He balanced his engineering background with an MBA from Wake Forest University and surrounded himself with capable people. “The key to Core Technology’s success is finding talented people and treating them fairly, treating them with respect.” 

Making up the Difference

Foster was doing everything right: establishing connections in the community with banks and as an adjunct professor at NC A&T State University. He regularly recruited his own students as interns and later as permanent employees. But he couldn’t compete with the going rates for skilled interns. He needed to find a way to make up the difference. That’s when he met Bob Weston at the SBTDC. 

Weston helped Foster apply for funding to match what he was paying his interns, making his program more desirable for students and improving the stream of skilled workers funneling into Foster’s business. “We were able to get great interns and pay competitive wages with [the SBTDC’s] support. Without their support, the interns would have gone somewhere else for the summer. The SBTDC was great to work with and made it easy to get the students hired and paid.”

“I highly recommend working with the university and community colleges to create a talent pipeline. Every summer, be intentional about recruiting and bringing cutting edge thinking to your organization.”

Creating Opportunities

SBTDC counselors have also assisted Core Tech with government contracting, international business development, and numerous connections to resources and potential industry partners. Foster encourages new manufacturing companies to build their businesses with lower-tier contracts before venturing into Tier I. “Look for opportunities as a Tier II or Tier III supplier and learn the requirements to become a Tier I,” he said. Do your homework, learn who your competitors are, and get to know your banker.

Filling an Urgent Need

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Core Tech pivoted to produce plastic plunger rods for syringes used to inject vaccines. To do so meant expanding the size and capacity of their state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, including adding medical-grade clean rooms. But being flexible has paid off for the Fosters. “Core Technology has seen triple digit growth on the top line and four-digit growth on the bottom line. Hiring interns and turning them into full-time positions has made us competitive in our recruiting.”

Tomorrow’s Youth

Foster has won many awards over the years, including Ernst & Young Southeast Entrepreneur of the Year and Greensboro Small Business of the Year. He gives back to his community through his nonprofit, “Molding Kids for Success.” The program offers underprivileged children the opportunity to experience STEM through interactive summer camps. “Core Technology’s goal is to teach the youth of today to create the future of tomorrow.”

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