Expanding our Advanced Manufacturing Capabilities
GW Plastics is proud to announce that we have won the 2018 Vermont Business Growth Award and two workforce development training grants. The Vermont Business Growth Award is presented annually by Vermont Business Magazine and KeyBank to the top Vermont businesses that have experienced the greatest growth during the past five year period. Over the past five years, GW Plastics has grown in almost every area of our business. With major expansions of our Vermont, Arizona, Texas, and China facilities and last year’s purchase of Irish moldmaking company Avenue Mould Solutions, we have grown to a combined 500,000 square feet of environmentally-controlled, advanced manufacturing space and offer complete contract manufacturing services on three continents.
Molding our Workforce
In addition to the Vermont Business Growth Award, we also were recently awarded two grants of more than $80,000 by the Vermont Agency of Commerce & Community Development’s Department of Economic Development. The Vermont Training Program (VTP) grants will be allocated towards two distinct educational initiatives at GW Plastics.
The first grant of $63,750 will support our process engineering training for new employees, apprenticeship training for molders, and the GW Plastics Manufacturing Technology Leadership Program (MTLP). The MTLP was founded in 2012 to address the skilled labor shortage, and together in partnership with Vermont Technical College, we offer this four-year program to talented associates to support their career aspirations and our company’s technical needs. While working full-time at GW, participants enroll in two manufacturing, engineering, or technology classes per year, culminating in a final project that is selected based on improvements needed in their areas of responsibility at GW. Graduates of the MTLP earn credits that can be applied toward an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science in Engineering Technology. In addition to receiving college courses funded by GW, every graduate is awarded a bonus after each class and an increase in their compensation upon program graduation.
The second grant of $16,594 will support our School of Tech, a program for high school students that exposes them to advanced manufacturing through a semester-long, for-credit course. Students are bused to our state-of-the-art facilities and instructed by tooling, automation, and molding professionals to explore how advanced manufacturing fits into local and global economies and how careers in advanced manufacturing can be rewarding. Students learn about the entire manufacturing process, including product design, material selection, mold design, moldmaking, injection molding, and quality. Together with the Bethel, Royalton, and Randolph school districts, we have graduated over 50 students from the program.