Using a $42,690 state grant, Duall Plastics Inc. of Athol, Mass., is training its employees and positioning itself for more complicated work in the future. "You have to have a more high-tech environment to compete. The real high labor jobs are going offshore," said Ray Hackney, president of the custom profile extruder.
The company received the grant from the Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund. Four other plastics companies were among the list of 57 companies and organizations that received grants at the end of January. Applications are pending for another round of grants.
Other plastics-related companies receiving grants include: G&F Industries Inc. of Sturbridge, Tubed Products Inc. of Easthampton, Package Printing Co. Inc. of West Springfield and Chase-Walton Elastomers Inc. of Hudson.
In 31/2 years, Duall Plastics' employment has risen from 85 to 130. With the latest grant, the company is hooking up with Mt. Wachusett Community College in Gardner and will take part in an apprentice program.
Duall Plastics also is working with community development and school careers programs to find and keep employees.
The grant will be used to train at least 115 employees. Training will include statistical process control, computers, teamwork, blueprint reading, tool building and plastics technology.
Duall is one of eight custom profile extrusion companies owned by Bunzl Extrusion Inc., a Richmond, Va.-based profile, sheet and specialty tube producer. Bunzl, in turn, is owned by Bunzl plc of London.
Injection molder G&F Industries received $24,670 to train 76 employees one-on-one in injection molding principles/techniques and processing, using a facilitator and an interactive CD-ROM.
Tubed Products, a tube manufacturer, received $79,262 for its employees to work toward ISO 9001 certification.
The company is a division of McCormick & Co. Inc. of Sparks, Md. The process will take up to 18 months, according to Linda J. Santos, employee development manager.
Package Printing, a converter that prints, slits and laminates plastic films, received $37,940 to train 35 employees. It will be used in such areas as printing-press technology, preventive maintenance, computer skills and quality problem solving.
Chase-Walton Elastomers received $47,101 to train 35 workers. It makes silicone elastomer products such as hoses, sheets, moldings and fabrications. It will use the grant for English as a Second Language instruction, as well as computer training.
Overall, the latest round of work-force grants, according to the state, will aid 6,000 workers and is valued at $3.19 million. The state has awarded more than $14 million in grants through the program since March 1999.