BOSTON (WWLP) – The manufacturing industry is making a comeback in Massachusetts. The state legislature’s Manufacturing Caucus recognized nearly thirty local companies for their work in strengthening the state’s economy and workforce. Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash told 22News it’s all about creating policies that help businesses flourish.
“What we see here today is 20-30 companies that are doing it and doing it well in Massachusetts, so we want to celebrate their success,” said Ash.
Massachusetts has more than 7,000 manufacturing companies with 250,000 well-paying jobs.
One of those companies is “Menck Windows,” based in Chicopee. They were honored at the State House Wednesday for their innovative work combining both American and German engineering to create energy-efficient windows and doors.
Menck Windows CEO Todd Bachelder said, “We’re at this point manufacturing curtains, walls, windows, doors right in Chicopee, Massachusetts that we’re selling throughout much of the country right now.”
Manufacturing requires a skilled workforce. Companies like Menck are having a tough time finding qualified and trained employees.
“We find them, however, it’s not always easy. I think vocational training, education on jobs – that’s something that still needs to be developed,” said Bodo Liesenfeld, chairman of Menck.
The Manufacturing Caucus hopes to bridge that “skills gap” with expanded training in vocational high schools and community colleges.