Advanced Manufacturing / Business Resources / Maryland Workforce / Success Stories
Hub Labels pushes through pandemic, promotes workplace safety
By Amanda Winters /
August 24, 2020
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With approximately 90 employees in Hagerstown, Hub Labels is a name you may not have heard of, but one whose products you’ve more than likely held in your hand.

The pressure sensitive label manufacturer is a leader in the industry, producing custom labels for food and produce, beverages, bath and beauty products, direct mailers, and more. Rather than using a paper label, the main advantage to using Hub’s pressure sensitive labels is the durability.

The company’s innovative product line produces labels to survive getting wet, withstanding cold temperatures in a freezer, or being ruined in transport. If a product’s label falls off, unsticks, or dissolves, the item will not make it to store shelves. Hub Labels provides a solution for many of the products and industries we purchase from on a daily basis.

A second-generation family-owned and operated business, Hub Labels was founded by Bud and Mary Dahbura in 1978. While their son Thomas now runs the day-to-day operations, Mary still comes by occasionally to check on the employees and the workplace.

But Mary Dahbura is not the only long-standing member at Hub Labels. As of August 1, two employees have celebrated 40 years with the company—to put that into perspective, the company has only been open for 42 years.

Hub Labels president Thomas Dahbura and founder Mary Dahbura with Governor Larry Hogan. Photo courtesy of the Executive Office of the Governor.

With a focus on workforce development, the company began a multifaceted program for internships and apprenticeships to help prepare the future workforce. The company partners with the Washington County Public School System and their guidance counselors to offer student training, where students from various high schools finish class in the morning and visit Hub Labels in the afternoon, with some even working on the manufacturing floor.

So far, the company has trained two apprentices. The first became a full-time employee upon graduating high school, and the second apprentice is working part-time as he continues his education.

“He’s a great employee and is pursuing higher education as he’s working here, so that’s a win-win for the community, the company, and him,” said Carrie Aaron, human resources manager at Hub Labels.

The company also works with local colleges, such as Hagerstown Community College, where they participate in a manufacturers roundtable with other local businesses to brainstorm and discuss what’s working and what’s not. 

“The more we can educate folks on how manufacturing has transformed – such as its good paying jobs and good careers – the better it is for everyone,” said Carrie. 

Thomas Dahbura has continued the investment in the company’s workforce, by encouraging use of the gym on site; having medical staff visit the facility to take the team’s blood pressure; and providing healthy snack options in the break rooms. Dahbura understands if his employees aren’t happy or healthy, it is detrimental to the business, and he makes sure to put in the extra effort to allow workers to achieve goals inside and outside the workplace.

Additionally, by committing to sustainability, the company recently became 100 percent landfill free and practices environmentally friendly printing practices. Hub also promotes employee recycling throughout the building and encourages the maintenance staff to find new ways to re-use equipment and supplies.

Hub Labels president Thomas Dahbura and Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz.

A strong partner in the local manufacturing community, Hub Labels is a member of the Regional Manufacturing Institute (RMI) of Maryland, the Maryland World Class Consortia, the Maryland Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), and the Brewers Association of Maryland. The company works with many familiar names in Maryland’s brewing industry, including nearby Antietam Brewery and Flying Dog, as well as Union Craft Brewing.

With other big-name clients such as Perdue and Dairy Maid, as well as several nonprofit organizations across the region, it’s no surprise the company has expanded its facility four times and currently has more than 20 working presses and converting machines.

And even with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, these presses haven’t slowed down. Hub Labels has continued operating throughout 2020 and even teamed up with the Maryland Department of Commerce to begin producing “Proud to be Safely Open” window clings for businesses throughout the state. Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz recently visited the Hagerstown business and had the honor of sticking the first cling with Hub Labels’ president Thomas Dahbura. 

“We were part of the fortunate few who were able to stay open as we supply/support the food supply chain,” said Carrie.  “We have shifted and continue to shift with every change that is happening.”

To learn more about the company, visit hublabels.com

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