2021 Workforce Innovation Award Recipient – Carey Manufacturing

On October 29, 2021, Carey Manufacturing was awarded the Workforce Innovation Award at the CBIA (Connecticut Business & Industry Association) Made in Connecticut Manufacturing Summit. We began the morning with breakfast and networking with a sea of Connecticut manufacturers, manufacturing partners and even Connecticut's Chief Manufacturing Officer Colin Cooper in attendance. Sikorsky President, Paul Lemmo was the keynote speaker who gave an update on the companies dynamic future plans. We had two panel discussions that covered all of the hot topics of the industry with National Graphics' Michele Etzel, Burke Aerospace's Brittany Isherwood, TD Bank's Michael LaBella, The Lee Company's Marietta Lee, Bead Industries' Jill Mayer, RSM's Ryan McGurk, Stanley Black & Decker's Graham Robinson, and CompassMSP's Ari Santiago.

Steve Litchfield, the SVP of TD Bank announced the award. "The workforce innovation award recognizes manufacturing companies that demonstrate initiative and leadership in working with local schools and their communities to expand awareness of manufacturing as a career and provide manufacturing training opportunities to traditional high school students."

Since 1981 Carey Manufacturing has been a manufacturer of catches, latches and handles for a variety of sectors, including aerospace electronics and consumer applications. Carey Manufacturing is located in Cromwell, CT and their effort to expand workforce development within the state began with re-shoring manufacturing from China back to Connecticut, starting in 2017. Carey Manufacturing is very involved in initiatives to create awareness of manufacturing as a career. Beyond offering tours for middle and high school students interested in careers in trade, they participated in the Educator Externship program, where they hosted teachers and technical department chairs from Rockville High School to discuss the curriculum needed to prepare high school students for careers in manufacturing.

Carey Manufacturing is represented at the following groups:

  • Central CT Chamber of Commerce Board
  • Professional Young Visionaries of Tomorrow (PYVOT) – Central CT Chamber of Commerce
  • Lincoln Tech Advisory Board
  • Tunxis Community College Manufacturing Advisory Board
  • Advanced Employer Manufacturing Partnership (AMEP) – Central
  • Senator Chris Murphy's Advanced Manufacturing Council
  • Governors Workforce Council
  • Bristol Technical Advisory Council
  • Industry 4.0 Working Group

After the kind words and introduction from Steve Litchfield; Carey Manufacturing General Manager, Paul Lavoie accepted the award with some powerful statements regarding what it takes to be a true industry leader in workforce development.

"We are the company that will always say yes"

- Paul Lavoie, Carey Manufacturing

Paul began by saying, "small business innovation is driven by opportunity." Many years ago they had a workforce issue, like many other businesses today, but rather than continuing with traditional methods of finding employees – they decided to get innovative. Under the leadership of Carey's Director of Human Resources, Peter Egan they built a network and an ecosystem with schools and the community and became the company that will always say yes. Meaning if anyone needs a tour or wants to send educators their way to learn – they always say yes! Most importantly when it comes to workforce innovation Paul says, "we're a 50 person company, we're fully staffed and our employees are happy. One of the reasons we're happy is that we put education ahead of motivation." Providing employees with education opportunities increases retention.

"Thank you to CBIA for recognizing Carey Manufacturing. We want to be a part of the solution. We want to support the vision of AMEP Central, that every manufacturing job in Connecticut is filled. We want to be a part of that vision because we want to be a part of the success of the State of Connecticut."

- Paul Lavoie, in closing.
CBIA – Carey Manufacturing, Goodwin's Matt Dadona Win Connecticut Manufacturing Awards
By, Cierra Green – Business Development Specialist, Carey Manufacturing
Published: November 9, 2021