MoldMakers Giving Back

Since I began covering moldmaking 15 years ago, I've discovered two very important characteristics of the men and women who make up this industry--besides their craftsmanship and technology know-how--passion and generosity. And here is just one current example of those qualities. Westminster Tool has contributed $30,000 to fund and support the new Manufacturing Technology Center at Quinebaug Valley Community College.

  �


Since I began covering moldmaking 15 years ago, I've discovered two very important characteristics of the men and women who make up this industry--besides their craftsmanship and technology know-how--passion and generosity. And here is just one current example, shared with me by Progressive Components, of those qualities. Westminster Tool Inc. of Plainfield, CT has contributed $30,000 to fund and support the new Manufacturing Technology Center at Quinebaug Valley Community College (QVCC).

The center is scheduled to open this month along with two additional Centers at Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport and Naugatuck Valley Community College in Waterbury. The idea for the three new Centers was prompted by the highly successful Manufacturing Technology Center at Asnuntuck Community College (ACC) in Enfield. The Centers, established as part of the bipartisan Jobs Bill (House Bill 6801) signed by Governor Dannel P. Malloy in 2011, will receive $17.8 million in funding. Westminster Tool Inc., encourages the manufacturing community of Connecticut to work together to ensure the sustainability of the Manufacturing Technology Centers beyond the initial openings this year. A vital member of the Quinebaug Manufacturing Institute (QMI), a formal collaboration 501(c)3 not for profit organization between QVCC and local industry members, Westminster Tool Inc., believes that funding such initiatives is crucial to the overall success of local manufacturing companies.

Raymond Coombs Jr., President of Westminster Tool and QMI, has always had a passion for both the community and education. He places great importance on joining the manufacturing industry together to help schools reach their collective goals. QMI, whose primary goal is to provide programs that prepare people to work in manufacturing industries and upgrade the skills of the existing workforce, has largely contributed to the success of the local high school, Ellis Technical High School, and the college’s manufacturing department for the past decade. The collaboration of Westminster Tool, QVCC and QMI has provided numerous scholarships for QVCC manufacturing students, supported local high schools manufacturing programs, and enabled numerous opportunities for hands-on manufacturing training for students.

�

Additional Connecticut community colleges continue to provide manufacturing-related educational opportunities. Three Rivers Community College (TRCC) in Norwich, and QVCC are participating in the U.S. Department of Labor, CT-MET (Connecticut Manufacturing, Energy and Transportation) initiative. CT-MET training programs offer short-term, hands-on contextualized training opportunities to participants. In addition, these programs offer additional assistance with math and English readiness. Both TRCC and QVCC offered manufacturing-focused CT-MET programs this summer. Both programs provide a seamless pathway into the Manufacturing Machine Technology certificate program offered at the new Manufacturing Technology Center at QVCC. 

Relationships between manufacturers and community colleges are crucial to the success and advancement of manufacturing in this country. According to Dr. Ross Tomlin, President of QVCC, “These kinds of relationships are what colleges drive and survive on. Enthusiasm like that of Ray is infectious and encourages the whole community to be as passionate about manufacturing as he is.” By joining industry with education, programs will be capable of training individuals with the desired skill sets of the industry. Companies will now be able to refer current and future employees to training programs offered at Connecticut community colleges, and as such, will be able to reduce in-house training time and costs. Westminster Tool has enrolled one of their newest employees in the Manufacturing Machine Technology certificate program at QVCC. “I not only get to support the program, but I get to save money by not having another employee train him. The training he will get from the program is unmatched to that he would get here. I don’t just want to train him; I want to educate him, which the program will do,” stated Coombs.

The relationship between Westminster Tool and QVCC highlights the importance of networking—it’s the single most powerful marketing tactic to accelerate and sustain success and growth for any organization or individual. “If you want educated individuals to consider your company, you have to have a relationship with the colleges. They are the ones who send employees your way,” Coombs stated. Westminster Tool currently has an internship program established with the college, and has hired a handful of students from QVCC’s Engineering Technology programs. Coombs believes hiring will increase once the new Manufacturing Technology Center at QVCC is up and running. 

Westminster Tool challenges other manufacturing companies to establish similar relationships with nearby colleges in hopes of supporting the new Manufacturing Centers for years to come. “Northeast Connecticut manufacturers have been complaining about a lack of well trained personnel for years. Now is the time to do something about it,” states Coombs. The contribution made by Westminster Tool will establish the QVCC Manufacturing Technology Center Endowment Fund. The fund will help to offset the costs of maintaining the facility and will allow the program to expand in the future.  


About
Westminster Tool, Inc. : Westminster Tool Inc., located in Plainfield, Connecticut, is a manufacturer of precision injection molds that specializes in providing innovative manufacturing solutions for plastics and composites industry. Westminster Tool Inc. is dedicated to continually innovating and providing customers with the latest in machining and software technology. In addition, Westminster Tool offers solutions from concept through development and into production to satisfy aerospace, medical device or consumer packaging requirements. Persistently striving for strategic excellence, Westminster Tool creates a business model that stands out from its competitors.

 

Comments are reviewed by moderators before they appear to ensure they meet Moldmaking Technology’s submission guidelines.
blog comments powered by Disqus