Four events in Central Massachusetts showcase manufacturing by focusing on career opportunities, workforce retention, current business conditions and networking
Leominster, MA – October 2021 – Massachusetts-based AIS, the largest manufacturer of commercial office furniture and seating in New England – a historic area where factories and mills ushered in the American Industrial Revolution some 200 years ago – celebrated national Manufacturing Month this October by honoring the region’s manufacturing legacy and championing modern practices and opportunities.
Manufacturing today is 9 percent of Massachusetts’ total economic output and comprises 7.8 percent of the Commonwealth’s workforce (about 250,000 people in the state work in manufacturing), according to Manufacturing in Massachusetts.
Manufacturing Month – officially known as MFG Day – focuses on events to promote careers in modern manufacturing to students, parents, educators and community leaders. As manufacturers nationwide seek to fill 4 million high-skill, high-tech and high-paying jobs over the next decade, MFG Day empowers manufacturers to come together to address their collective challenges so they can help their communities and future generations thrive. Events are typically held the first Friday in October but can occur throughout the entire month.
For AIS, Manufacturing Month started several days early with company leaders participating in two community events in September.
On Sept. 28, AIS Vice President of Human Resources Deanna Zarrella served as a panelist at the Manufacturing Mash-Up, an event organized by the Massachusetts Center for Advanced Manufacturing. Zarrella shared insights on recruiting talent for manufacturing jobs and fostering a culture for employee retention.
“We’ve got a lot of passion at AIS – an excitement for our business that we’re all creating something together. The enthusiasm is evident to those we’re recruiting, and it’s contagious when people join our team,” Zarrella said. “Our passion is built on a foundation of stability and adaptability, which lets us flex with confidence to meet the current needs of our employees and customers, and to anticipate for the future.”
Also on Sept. 28, AIS Human Resources Manager Erika Kundhart participated in a hiring event hosted by the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce where she shared information about the manufacturing industry and the permanent, full-time jobs available on a variety of production lines in AIS’s 600,000-square-foot facility.
AIS has created more jobs in Central Massachusetts over the past five years than any other company. More than 300 women work at AIS’s Leominster location. In total, the company employs over 800 people whose backgrounds represent 32 countries, making AIS one of the most diverse employers in Massachusetts.
On Oct. 6, AIS CEO Bruce Platzman was interviewed by veteran radio host Hank Stolz on station WCRN-AM in a segment presented by the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce. Platzman, who co-founded AIS in 1989 and has grown the company to more than $220 million in annual sales, shared insights on the current challenges facing manufacturers – including the labor shortage as well as supply chain and transportation issues – and how AIS is addressing these challenges. Platzman also talked about the importance of supporting regional businesses and giving back to the community through a variety of programs.
“Our AIS story is the result of hard work, an outstanding team, an understanding of the marketplace and a love of community,” Platzman said. “While we’re not immune to market pressures, we continue to be a success story thanks to our people and our customers. AIS today is the largest manufacturer and employer in Leominster and one of the largest in our region. We’re growing, hiring and proud to be a Massachusetts-based manufacturer.”
The radio interview with Platzman can be heard HERE.
Additionally, as part of Manufacturing Month, AIS welcomed more than 50 business professionals to company headquarters for a Business After Hours event presented by the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce on October 13. AIS’s recently renovated and expanded office furniture showroom within the vast headquarters facility provided ample space for networking, group discussions and one-on-one conversations. A factory tour, also within the same facility, offered guests a chance to see manufacturing in action as team members from various lines assembled AIS tables, chairs, desks and other products.
“Events like these give us the opportunity to showcase the products we make, and the factory tours allow visitors to see our manufacturing process firsthand,” AIS President Nick Haritos said. “We were so pleased to partner with the chamber and to welcome the business community to AIS, and we were especially honored to celebrate Manufacturing Month.”
To learn more about AIS, visit ais-inc.com. Learn about career opportunities with AIS.