May 11, 2012

by Connstep Team

Awarded “Mark of Excellence” for Outstanding Initiatives Supporting CT Manufacturing

(Rocky Hill, Connecticut) The Grand Ballroom of the Marriott World Center in Orlando, Florida was the stage for CONNSTEP to garner a national award at the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Manufacturing Innovation 2012 Conference, held May 5-9, 2012.  CONNSTEP received the first ever MEP Mark of Excellence Award out of a pool of thirteen MEP center nominees from across the United States.

The Mark of Excellence Award recognizes the efforts of an MEP center that goes above and beyond its peer’s expectations to develop and implement an outstanding initiative that supports its regional manufacturing community, the national manufacturing industry and the MEP system as a whole.  The award acknowledges a MEP center that undertakes a manufacturing focused initiative that furthers the public good.  For example, preserving or growing manufacturing jobs, increasing public awareness of the importance of manufacturing, strengthening the entire MEP system of centers, and/or enhancing the reputation of the MEP system by playing an outstanding role within the community it serves.

“CONNSTEP is a difference-maker, and this award is a testament to the great work Bonnie and her staff are doing to make our manufacturers more competitive – and successful – in the global marketplace, ” said Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy, who nominated CONNSTEP for the award.

CONNSTEP was recognized for its commitment to the state’s industrial base.  As a core team member of Startup Connecticut/Innovation Ecosystem and as a participating organization in the National Governor’s Association Center for Best Practices Policy Academy through the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, EDA and NIST/MEP, CONNSTEP is an integral part of the work being done to craft and implement strategies that will catalyze the connection between R&D, innovation and manufacturing as a driver of economic growth and prosperity.

“Over the past 16 years, CONNSTEP has played a significant role in Connecticut’s business community. The organization’s innovative approach to meeting the needs of manufacturing businesses have clearly demonstrated dedication not only to the manufacturing industry, but to the economic development of the business community at large,” Governor Malloy wrote in the nomination.

The Governor’s nomination was supported by Senator Richard Blumenthal, Congressman Chris Murphy, Commissioner Catherine Smith of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, Anne Evans of the U.S. Export Assistance Center, Judy Resnick of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, Merrie London of Connecticut Innovations, Jerry Clupper of NHMA and Mike Scala of Lex Products Corporation.

“Being recognized by the Governor and to have the endorsement of so many is such an honor for our organization,” said Bonnie Del Conte, President of CONNSTEP.  “Each and every CONNSTEP staff member is deserving of this recognition – it is testament to their passion and commitment, and I am proud to lead a team that strives everyday to strengthen the resiliency and competitiveness of our manufacturers, and in turn, support the economic health of the communities in which we live.”

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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