If you think all manufacturing is dirty, greasy, noisy, and boring, think again.
“The jobs that we have in manufacturing are no longer those greasy, unsafe positions, but are the high-tech, clean, very safe jobs that have great growth potential,” said Steve Sawin, President and CEO of Operon Resources Management, a manufacturing staffing company that places Mount Wachusett students and graduates in medical manufacturing positions.
What’s more, manufacturing companies are offering employees good salaries, room for advancement, health insurance, tuition reimbursement and other benefits. “Manufacturing in general is seeing a renaissance. The message we want to send out to young people and job seekers of all ages is that manufacturing is a good, noble profession. This is a good way to make a living,” Sawin said.
Manufacturing accounts for nearly 25 percent of the workforce in North Central Massachusetts, employing more than 14,000 people in the region. As older workers retire and businesses expand under new state and national economic initiatives, the demand for skilled workers in Massachusetts and in the U.S. continues to grow. In his 2012 report “Staying Power,” economist Barry Bluestone notes there will be up to 100,000 manufacturing job openings in Massachusetts over the next decade.
There is tremendous diversity in the types of products made in Massachusetts, including those made by companies that serve on MWCC’s advanced manufacturing advisory board. Sterling Manufacturing, for instance, a precision injection molding company in Lancaster, makes components used in the medical, industrial/consumer and aerospace and military fields, such as parts used in hospitals and dentists’ offices and carried in the backpacks of U.S. soldiers. Biopharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb is expanding its product line and doubling its workforce at its Devens facility, and Nypro of Clinton, a division of Florida-based Jabil, is also expanding to state-of-the-art facilities in Devens.
Bionostics, a leading global developer, manufacturer, and distributor of quality control solutions used to ensure the accuracy of blood tests for patients with diabetes and other diseases, is one of many Massachusetts manufacturing companies employing MWCC students and alumni in the wide-ranging field of advanced manufacturing.
A growing number of MWCC alumni and current students make up the company’s expanding workforce. Founded in 1981 in Acton, Bionostics grew quickly and now employs more than 100 area residents. In 2001, it moved its headquarters and operations to Devens, and in 2013 was acquired by the multi-billion global company Bio-Techne.