A change in family circumstances brought Erick Stewart to Clark County from Kodiak, Alaska, shortly after his high school graduation. In a new town for the first time in his life, he took a lot of temporary and short-term– but unsatisfying– gigs. “I’ve had so many different jobs and nothing really, really ever fit for me, but this seems to work,” he says of his work at Northwest Adhesives, Inc., a Washougal-based company that manufactures glue pellets for packaging and tape for plywood manufacturers. “It’s always a challenge daily and I look forward to it. The company is more of a family — more than I’ve felt in any other company setting.”
Residence neighborhood: Hazel Dell.
Employer name: Northwest Adhesives, Inc., 4325 S. Lincoln St., Washougal. 360-260-1227; www.northwestadhesives.com
Educational/professional background: I graduated from Kodiak High School in Kodiak, Alaska, and moved down to Washington shortly after that and immediately was hired for the night crew at Target, the first of many warehouse positions I would hold. I have held many different jobs from working in temporary to full-time positions with companies ranging from Regal Theaters, Pennzoil, Pacific Lifestyle Homes, Hickory Springs Manufacturing, and a relay manufacturing plant.
How you got started in your work: While working in construction there was a downturn in the housing industry which drastically affected my employment. Layoffs and a drop in productivity caused me to look elsewhere. Going back to an (employment) agency that had always been there for me in the past, an opening was given to me here at Northwest Adhesives, Inc. Starting as just a temp-to-hire position, I quickly picked up the way things ran around here so that by the time I was hired on permanently in 2008, I was moved into the Tapeline area of the company due to my performance on Hotmelt. Through the years, I have gained a better knowledge of just how important our products are, even more so than my immediate interest when I had my interview as a temp.
Personal/business philosophy: Make the best and cleanest product our customers could ever need.
Most rewarding part of job: When I am out shopping for various items and recognizing one of our customer’s products and knowing that we helped make that happen. Also, order and shipping is like my Zen state. I connect with it. I go in there and an hour or two later everything is wrapped up, labeled, signed off and out the door. No matter what I’m palletizing I know just what that pallet should look like and that’s what I shoot for. I have a lot of pride in the quality of products and the way we package our shipments.
Most challenging part of job: Keeping up with the demand when it comes to our customers.
Something surprising about your work: Sometimes it really doesn’t feel like work. We truly have another family dynamic that I have never experienced before in my other various jobs.
Best feature of your Clark County community: Out of all the places I have ever lived, Clark County is the most accepting of everyone’s way of life and how they want to live it. The various outdoor activities available all around the county and the quickness of how the road crews fix areas so as to not really disturb the natural flow of things. It just seems that we as a whole community are always doing what we can to keep our little slice of Earth just the way we like it, again more so than any other place I have lived.
What would make your community a better place: Coming up with a better solution with the homeless epidemic that has steadily been rising in the past three years. I am not saying I have a better idea, but something needs to be done.
Your favorite way to travel and where: Not that I actually do much traveling, but I do like a nice weekend on the beach every now and then, just enough to recharge the batteries and get away from life in general. Car rides are always nice–especially if I am not the one doing the driving–but for long distances I would prefer a train or a plane trip.
Favorite restaurant/pub/coffee shop/store: For family excursions out, I would say Olive Garden or Red Robin, but for just me going out for a bite, Grapes and Growlers is the best — good food and a low-key atmosphere. It’s just perfect.
Hobbies: I am a geek in the purest way: comics, models, cosplay. I have always been into Halloween and dressing up, so when cosplay came along, I decided to try my hand at it. I work out to at least make the cosplay somewhat fun and creative, going to the conventions. Most recently, I created for myself the character of old man Logan for the Heroes and Villains Fan Fest.
Most enjoyable book/play/movie/arts event in past 12 months: Any MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) movie. They are all in their own way the best movies being produced these days.
On your playlist: Really anything from the 1980s to 2000s. I’m not into much from the past five years. The old man in me, I guess.
Something you’d like to do this year/within five years: I would like to take a true vacation, leave the country and visit either Europe or Australia.
One word to describe yourself: Methodical.
Person you’d most like to meet: J. J. Abrams, just to pick his brain and find out how he is so good at what he does.