Leominster, MA – Oct. 31, 2019 – Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito and nearly 30 international delegates recently visited AIS, the largest manufacturer of commercial office furniture and seating in New England, as part of National Manufacturing Month celebrations. AIS was the first stop on a tour of Central Massachusetts, sponsored by the Mass Office of Business Development and the Mass Office of International Trade and Investment.
The visiting dignitaries were from the Republic of Cabo Verde, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Mexico, Netherlands, Peru, Sierra Leone, Turkey and the UK.
During the visit, Polito and the other dignitaries met with AIS President and CEO Bruce Platzman, and toured the company’s showroom and factory. Polito and Platzman shared their love of the region with the group and talked about the importance of manufacturing.
“Manufacturing is an industry that matters to us in the Commonwealth,” Polito said. “Five years ago, we restructured our thinking around manufacturing. A lot of the things that needed to be made were being shipped out, and we wanted to retain the ability to [make things] here. We invested in the industry – over $100 million. And the most important piece of what is driving this economy in Massachusetts is our investment in people.”
Platzman spoke of AIS’s strategic move to Leominster several years ago from six different locations around Boston. The move to the 600,000-square-foot facility enabled the company to put manufacturing and corporate operations under one roof. AIS had been courted by other states and even Mexico to move operations, but Platzman – a native New Englander – wanted to remain in Massachusetts. The decision proved more than sentimental; it was a smart business move too.
“People typically think the kind of manufacturing that we do is not done in Massachusetts – but that’s far from the truth. Manufacturing is making a great resurgence. We are honored to talk about the benefits of doing business in Central Massachusetts,” Platzman said to the group of dignitaries.
During the factory tour, Platzman noted the many flags of various countries hanging on a huge wall, each denoting the home countries of AIS employees. Platzman said to the group, “ If your country’s flag is not represented here, let’s work on it!”
Earlier in October, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker had visited AIS, touring the manufacturing floor, meeting employees and presenting a proclamation declaring October to be Manufacturing Month in Massachusetts. (See news about this visit at https://www.ais-inc.com/about/news-events/governor-baker-celebrates-manufacturing-month-with-visit-to-ais.)
Founded in 1989 and celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, AIS has 800 employees nationwide and annual sales of more than $220 million. With over 600 employees who work in manufacturing jobs at its headquarters location, AIS is one of the largest employers in traditional manufacturing in the state of Massachusetts. More than 250 women work at AIS’s Leominster location, and more than 30 countries are represented in the employee population.
Each year during October, AIS celebrates the importance of manufacturing by honoring government leaders’ commitment to manufacturing, educating students about manufacturing careers, and building community awareness of manufacturing’s positive impacts.
AIS, headquartered in Leominster, Massachusetts, is a leading manufacturer of commercial office furniture and boasts one of the most impressive stories of growth and success in the furniture industry. Founded in 1989, the company is known for offering market-relevant, feature-rich product lines that entice designers and support the diverse needs of end-users while offering exceptional value. AIS is an innovator that leads the industry in sustainable, lean manufacturing, lead-time performance and manufacturing flexibility. AIS has permanent showrooms at its Leominster headquarters and also in Chicago, New York City and Washington, D.C. With locations across the U.S., AIS has more than 800 employees and over 1 million square feet of office, showroom and factory space. For more information, visit www.ais-inc.com.