Driving Exports and Bringing Home More U.S. Jobs

Currier Plastics is a custom plastics molder in the heart of central New York that has been providing design, blow molding, injection molding and injection stretch blow molding to a variety of industries since 1982. MMT has covered the company's strategies for cultivating a strong group of both domestic and international partners--including moldmakers--which is why news of its completion of an Advanced Manufacturing Project caught my attention.

Currier has completed its expansion as part of the New York Regional Economic Development Council 5 year initiative for Advanced Manufacturing in the central New York region. The expansion was made possible by grants from New York State plus investments by the Currier Plastics ownership group and is key to help drive exports and bring home more U.S. jobs that have gone off shore.

Currier Plastics broke ground on their expansion in late 2012. The expansion included a new 40,000 square foot state-of-the-art blow molding facility, and a 10,000 square foot addition to the warehouse. The expansion also enabled the injection molding department to double its size as well as expanding the size of the newly equipped Quality Lab.

They were also awarded a Lean Manufacturing Training Grant by New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL). The custom molder selected the key areas of improvement they would like to focus on in their workforce. Scott Reilly, Continuous Improvement Coordinator at Currier Plastics said the money they received from NYSDOL has gone to good use.

"We've been able to ramp up training for our employees in both a classroom and hands-on style environment. The employees are receiving their training to build upon their technical processing and statistical process control skills. We've brought in manufacturers of specific equipment to provide training and we've also covered general practices using lean manufacturing techniques. It's changing the culture of the workforce," says Reilly.

Currier plans to retain their current manufacturing employees and add 50 new manufacturing jobs in the next five years. The proposed training programs will enable Currier to close the skilled workers gap from the inside, training their incumbent workers as primary and back up technicians and skilled operators.