Buy American

October 15, 2012

by Connstep Team

I think this is a cool story – or a hot one – depending on how you look at it!

CONNSTEP’s federal partner, NIST/MEP, developed the Buy American Supplier Scouting program, and work through the MEP centers like CONNSTEP, to find domestic suppliers when grantees subject to the Buy American requirements have not been able to do so.  We’ve been involved for about two years – led by Frank Rio, CONNSTEP has searched for over 70 different products including heat pumps, lighting products, solar generators and water heaters – having success in finding several exact matches.

The Zero Energy Model House, housed on the NIST campus in Maryland, is being built with all domestically produced components to demonstrate that is is possible for a house to produce more energy than it consumes.  The contractor was planning to use a hybrid water heater made by GE in China, when NIST/MEP stepped in asking CONNSTEP to help source it stateside.  Frank was able to find a Connecticut company that produces the water heaters to the exact specs needed, and after being purchased through a local supplier, was installed in the Zero Energy House late last year!

The Buy American Supplier Scouting program has helped CONNSTEP improve opportunities for new business for our clients – and in conjunction with the local PTAP office, the program has allowed CONNSTEP to assist clients to become more competitive in seeking new business with the federal government.

New business, new customers, help with doing business with the federal government?  How can you not like that?

If you’d like more information on the program, please contact Frank at 860.513.3214.


CONNSTEP solved a huge problem for us and helped us bring our delivery rate to 100%. As a direct result of that, we have been awarded with an increase in business which, ultimately, will also benefit (our supplier) Har-Conn.”

CT manufacturer Pegaasus

Chris DePentima

CEO, Pegasus Manufacturing Inc.

“I see great value in the new experiences and perspectives CONNSTEP brings to our business, at reasonable prices. They’re not like consultants, they’re like partners in the business – willing to roll up their sleeves and help.”

AGRussell logo

Mark Burzynski

President, Arthur G Russell Co

“CONNSTEP has proved to be a tremendous resource for ESI. CONNSTEP has helped us to adapt to today’s marketplace and remain a quality minded, competitive global player. Our ISO/TS16949 implementation process was efficient and rewarding. I look forward to our future projects with CONNSTEP.”

esi CT manufacturer

Ron Delfini

President, Engineering Specialties Inc.

“CONNSTEP worked with FuelCell Energy to educate and facilitate Lean initiatives and to help meet our needs to establish an overall production improvement plan. This plan has been utilized over a period of time as a ‘guiding light’ to spur numerous improvements that dramatically reduced our product cost.”

Tom Lucas

Manager, Fuel Cell Energy

“CONNSTEP is a valuable partner to Hologic, providing the expertise and ‘outside eyes’ everyone needs to keep their continuous improvement on track. We are now well-positioned on a dynamic growth path and look forward to a long-term relationship with CONNSTEP.”

Greg Safarik

VP Manufacturing Operations, Hologic

“Our experience working with CONNSTEP has brought us benefits we never expected. It’s a great team to work with!”

Bruce Wheeler

VP of Operations, Metal Finishing Technologies Inc.

“The goals of the team were to reduce manufacturing lead-time, reduce floor space utilized, and increase worker productivity. All the goals were met. CONNSTEP helped us to better compete.”

Tornik CT manufacturer

Dan Rubbo

General Manager, Tornik LLC

“The Business Growth Program is working well for us. We enhanced our website following the meetings to improve our SEO and become more visible to search engines. The segment on negotiating …  promoted changes in our thinking and improved how we interact with customers. The mentoring between sessions was helpful in boosting our progress.”

CT manufacturer Colonial Spring

Bill Lathrop

President, Colonial Spring Co.

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