MONDAY: Secretary Goldstein Celebrates Workforce Development at Darn It! Inc.
New Bedford Company Trains Employees and Creates New Jobs with Workforce Training Fund Grant
BOSTON – JUNE 15, 2012 – The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) today announced that Secretary Joanne F. Goldstein will visit Darn It! Inc. (686 Belleville Avenue, New Bedford) on Monday, June 18, 2012 at 10:30 a.m.
Darn It! received a $90K Workforce Training Fund grant to increase employees’ knowledge, efficiency, and productivity. The company boasts a skilled and diversified labor force, crossed-trained in all aspects of quality control, professional garment care, and warehouse management. Located in New Bedford for more than 15 years, Darn It! is a family business with more than 40 years of combined garment industry experience.
“I have talked many times about the importance of making New Bedford a ‘city of choice’ where people proactively choose to live or relocate to,” said Jonathan F. Mitchell, Mayor of New Bedford. “Our success depends on – more than any other factor – the education and skill level of our workforce. Well-trained, educated, efficient workers are the foundation on which everything else rests – so when a smart-thinking company like Darn It! partners with Bristol Community College and takes advantage of the tremendous state resource that is the Workforce Training Fund, we all win.”
"I am delighted to see a New Bedford company take advantage of this program to remain profitable and provide employment for local residents with particular experience in this industry," said Representative Robert M. Koczera (D-New Bedford).
“Darn It! Inc. is a growing and diverse business in the City of New Bedford that offers a unique service to its customers,” said Senator Mark Montigny (D-New Bedford). “It is a company that requires a well-trained workforce to supply this specialized labor. This is exactly the type of partnership New Bedford seeks to foster with the Commonwealth.”
The Workforce Training Fund grant provided Darn It! with the opportunity to train its 50-employee workforce in the continuous improvement of plant operations and lean manufacturing skills. This high-quality training resulted in numerous promotions and wage increases. The company created a number of new full-time jobs as well.
“The employer-financed Workforce Training Fund is one of our state’s key tools for supporting business growth and competitiveness, which is essential for companies to remain competitive in a global marketplace,” said Joanne F. Goldstein, Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development. “Darn It! is a perfect example of the resilience and ingenuity of Massachusetts’ businesses, and I applaud its continued training of a skilled local workforce to address gaps in product quality.”
In partnership with Bristol Community College, the training program emphasized the elimination of waste, increased efficiency, and operational flow. The training resulted in improved quality, greater customer satisfaction, and increased marketplace competitiveness through the improved decision-making and productivity of Darn It! employees.
“Over the past year we have made a number of changes to the Workforce Training Fund to make it easier for businesses to apply, including a rolling application and opportunities for smaller businesses to apply as a consortium,” said Nancy Snyder, President and CEO of Commonwealth Corporation. “We are happy to work with businesses to provide more information and support in the application process.”
Darn It! reported a major reduction in employee turnover and a marked improvement in labor efficiency.
“The partnership between Darn It!, Bristol Community College, and the state worked very well in helping our business grow and become more efficient," said Darn It! President Jeff Glassman.
About the Workforce Training Fund
Under the Patrick-Murray Administration, $68.66 million has been used to train approximately 90,000 Massachusetts workers at more than 2,750 companies since 2007. Financed entirely by Massachusetts employers, the Workforce Training Fund provides resources to Massachusetts businesses to train current and newly hired employees. The Fund is an economical way for organizations to build workers’ skills; employers may apply for grants of up to $25,000 for technical assistance programs, or they may apply for grants of up to $250,000 for full training programs. Training programs may last up to two years.
Potential applicants are encouraged to visit www.mass.gov/wtfpfor additional information and requirements.