Made in Connecticut: Altek Electronics
Each month, we profile a Connecticut manufacturer, showcasing the ingenuity and innovation driving the state’s economy. For August, we spoke with David Altschuler, CEO of Altek Electronics, based in Torrington.
Altek is located at the foot of the Berkshire mountains in Torrington, Connecticut.
When was your company founded?
Stephen Altschuler, a U.S. veteran with a master’s in engineering from Yale, co-founded Altek in 1972 with Tom Helms.
He co-founded the company because the company he had been working for went out of business.
There were customers who needed orders filled, and he needed a job. So, Steve raised cash, bought the necessary material and equipment at auction, and Altek was born.
In 1981, Steve took sole ownership of Altek.
How many employees work for your company?
Currently, Altek employs 165 people which includes manufacturing, engineering, and administrative positions.
What products does your company manufacture? Who are your customers?
Altek manufactures circuit board assemblies and higher-level assemblies that are integral parts of equipment we use every day.
Our customers manufacture medical equipment, elevators, security screening systems, telecommunication controls, and industrial equipment.
Why did you choose manufacturing?
As an electrical engineer, our founder designed products for a Torrington manufacturer before founding Altek.
While Altek doesn’t design its own products, our team of electrical engineers enhance our manufacturing services by providing design for manufacturing, component engineering, and PCB- layout services for customers.
What makes your company unique?
Our close relationship with and commitment to our customers is a critical factor in what makes Altek unique.
As a privately held business, Altek takes the long view, making decisions that add value to customers instead of focusing primarily on short-term profit objectives.
Family business owners Stephen Altschuler, David Altschuler and Sabrina Altschuler Beck provide personalized service to customers, including regular in-person visits.
We keep on top of their issues and concerns so we can deal with those issues quickly and continually evolve to meet our customers’ changing needs.
Customers come to Altek because they’re frustrated by poor quality, under pressure from tight deadlines, and disappointed they aren’t getting the best overall value.
They stay with Altek because we deliver quality products, on-time, at market-competitive prices.
Why did you choose Connecticut?
Connecticut is our home. Steven, Sabrina, and David have roots here.
What is the greatest advantage to operating in Connecticut?
Connecticut has a rich history in manufacturing with a diverse range of original equipment manufacturers, from small manufacturers to Fortune 500 defense contractors.
Our governor supports manufacturers and has appointed the country’s first chief manufacturing officer.
Connecticut manufacturers also have access to innovation funds and workforce training resources.
We have a top-notch educational system, including trade schools, excellent community colleges and our state school, UConn, as well as an ivy league university.
While a small state, Connecticut has a diverse ecosystem of both urban and rural settings to attract and retain a wide range of talent.
Easily accessible by route 8 for ease of doing business, northwestern Connecticut, where Altek is located, offers plenty of open space, making it a great area to live and work.
Where do you see your company in five years? Ten years?
Our mission is to provide manufacturing services and innovative solutions that enable our customers to deliver life-changing products to the world while fostering employee growth and supporting the communities in which we live.
We will continue to invest in new capital equipment, technology, and training that will enable us to achieve this mission over the next five years and beyond.
What is the main thing policymakers could implement to make your company more competitive?
We continue to compete with low-wage countries, as our largest multi-national customers have many choices about where to source manufacturing services.
We need policymakers to continue working to lower operating costs in our state, from healthcare to energy.
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