CONNSTEP Named Connecticut’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership Center

March 03, 2015

by Connstep Team

Rocky Hill, CT, March 3, 2015 – CONNSTEP, Inc., a consulting firm that helps Connecticut businesses drive competitive advantage in the manufacturing marketplace, today announced the award of a new cooperative agreement from The U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to manage the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) as Connecticut’s MEP center. The program assists small- and mid-size manufacturers to foster job growth, increase profits, and gain new clients, by streamlining their production processes. As part of the MEP system, CONNSTEP has access to over 1,600 subject matter experts in all manufacturing sectors. The 5 year agreement brings $7.4 million of federal support into the State to promote the growth of Connecticut manufacturing companies.

Since 1994, CONNSTEP has obtained strong impacts in the manufacturing marketplace. In the past two years, they have helped companies increase $527 million in retained and $108 million in new sales, while saving costs of $127 million to help increase company investments of $80 million. These impacts, along with program activities that align with state and federal priorities and solid business and industry partnerships, enabled CONNSTEP to be selected as one of the 10 state centers nationwide in the first step of a multi-year effort to update MEP’s funding structure.

“We are honored that CONNSTEP was awarded this agreement. The term increase from 1 to 5 years allows us to strategically plan for long-term projects. We will be able to reach more of the marketplace and offer new services for growth and innovation, technology acceleration, and workforce development. We acknowledge our U.S. Senators and Congressional Delegates who continue to support CONNSTEP and the NIST MEP mission. Investment in manufacturing initiatives supported by Governor Malloy and Commissioner Smith of DECD, continue to leverage federal assistance for sector programs. This is a true sense of collaboration to keep manufacturing as a major economic driver in our state”, says Bonnie Del Conte, President, CONNSTEP.


CONNSTEP is a consulting firm that helps Connecticut businesses to grow strategically; improve operations, profitability, and efficiencies; and drive competitive advantage in the manufacturing marketplace. Their comprehensive portfolio is focused in the areas of: continuous improvement, business growth services, quality management, lean healthcare, and environmental/energy sustainability. CONNSTEP has an equal balance of state and industry experience with experts from the manufacturing world. Projects are always independently-verified for accurate results. For more information about CONNSTEP, visit


For more than 27 years, the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership has been committed to strengthening U.S. manufacturing through services and partnerships. For more information about NIST MEP, visit

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.”

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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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