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Owner: Michael Adkins
The team members at Twin City Dental Lab in Lewiston, ME, are so tight, they worked together to build their own laboratory.
Prior to 2003, the lab was housed in the basement of a professional building and while the space offered some unique features—for instance, an old bank vault served as the lunch room—employees dealt with poor lighting and cramped conditions. So in 2003, Owner Michael Adkins purchased land and broke ground for a new laboratory.
Devoting nights and weekends to the project, the 16 employees—along with spouses and good friends—helped raise walls, swing hammers, sweep debris, run internet cables and telephone wires, paint and even brought warm food to keep workers going. “We started working the land in the summer of 2003, had the radiant heat and foundation poured before frost and walls up before Thanksgiving; the building was open for business by January of 2004,” says Jessica Hilton, the lab’s Business Manager and Adkins’ daughter. “We’ve been going strong ever since.”
It’s no surprise that Adkins has earned such loyalty from his staff. Despite the rising cost of healthcare, he pays 100% of employees’ health insurance and, to help offset high gas prices, adds a $10 stipend to everyone’s paycheck weekly, regardless of their commute. On birthdays, staff members get the option of a cake or a meal of their choice and, on the lab’s anniversary, Adkins treats the staff to a clam bake at his house.
Today the entire staff enjoys the 2,400-sq-ft facility with an open and airy layout. Every bench is set up facing a window and, on any given day, the radio is on with various employees singing aloud, inviting good natured teasing about who’s singing the correct lyrics.
“We laugh with each other, we yell at each other, we apologize and work hard together,” says Hilton. “This is a family that just happens to earn paychecks.”
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