Easthampton, Granby manufacturers among 121 companies to land training grants

Staff Writer
Friday, October 06, 2017

Manufacturers in Easthampton and Granby have earned more than $91,000 combined in grants to train employees and add new positions.

C&G Machine Inc. in Granby and Rock Valley Tool, LLC, in Easthampton are among 121 Massachusetts companies selected by the Baker-Polito Administration to receive $11.9 million in Workforce Training Fund Program grants. The training will benefiting 7,000 workers and is meant to create more than 1,000 new jobs in the state within two years.

At Rock Valley Tool, a company that specializes in creating quality manufactured parts for customers in the aerospace, commercial/industrial, and plastic blow molding industries from its O’Neil Street headquarters, $56,525 was awarded to train 23 workers and add one new job by 2019.

Rock Valley Tool president Elizabeth Paquette said the training includes recertifying workers in both the International Organization of Standards, or ISO, and aerospace certifications, and full-shop trainings.

“For a company our size, out of pocket would have been difficult,” Paquette said.

The grant, she said, can help the company thrive. “It allows us to continue to grow and offer jobs for people,” Paquette said.

Similarly C&G Machine Inc., located on West State Street, was awarded $35,230 to train nine workers, with one new job expected to be added by 2019.

President Omer M. Gingras said training has begun and, when it is complete in January, quality control machinists will be recertified.

The company will be positioned to land work opportunities, Gingras said.

“This will not only keep our doors open, but open new doors for defense and aerospace contractors and they will be more easily able to utilize our service,” Gingras said.

Gov. Charlie Baker said in a statement that the investments in manufacturing will spur personal and economic growth.

“The evolving manufacturing sector and new, innovative technology continues to provide successful careers for Massachusetts’ workforce to support their families,” Baker said.

Those receiving grants have already proven to excel at job creation, with new slots opening at more than double the statewide average, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said.

The Workforce Training Fund provides grants of up to $250,000 to companies to pay for employee training over a two-year period. Grants are awarded to projects that will upgrade workers’ skills, increase productivity, and enhance the competitiveness of Massachusetts businesses. Grants are matched dollar-for-dollar by the award recipients.

The Workforce Training Fund is a program of the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development and is administered by Commonwealth Corporation, a quasi-public state agency that fosters partnerships between industry, education, and workforce organizations.

Since the beginning of the Baker-Polito Administration, the Workforce Training Fund has awarded more than 400 grants totaling over $43 million to train more than 31,000 workers from over 600 different Massachusetts businesses. This is expected to result in over 3,700 new jobs.

Other in the region receiving similar grants include Valley Medical Group in Greenfield, $242,850 to train 427 workers and add 12 workers; Poplar Hill Machine, Inc. in Conway, $53,180 to train 16 workers and add one job; Mechanical Drive Components Inc. in Chicopee, $33,630 to train nine workers and add one job; and Northstar Pulp and Paper in Springfield, $100,748 to train 65 workers and add eight additional jobs.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.