Each month, we profile a Connecticut manufacturer, showcasing the ingenuity and innovation driving the state's economy. For May, we talked with Doug Johnson, president of Marion Manufacturing Company, based in Cheshire.
When was your company founded?
How many employees work for your company?
What products does your company manufacture? Who are your customers?
Marion Manufacturing is a contract manufacturer. We manufacture metal stamped and formed components for the following industries: medical, automotive, aerospace, electronics, telecommunications, commercial and new technology.
For example, we manufacture complex continuity members for high speed cabling and items such as thermostats for lighters in your car, which now serve as cell phone chargers.
Our medical components include heart monitoring ECG electrode components and blood warming devices used in ambulatory emergencies.
Why did you choose manufacturing?
The manufacturing industry offers a wide-variety of career opportunities. Employees can start as an apprentice and as they learn and grow, honing their expertise, can move into management positions, if desired.
That's one unique attribute to working in manufacturing. A skilled tradesperson understands the intrinsic workings of every aspect of the product.
This building of efficacy helps our employees create and develop new solutions and products responding to the ever changing 21st century needs and challenges.
What makes your company unique?
Marion Manufacturing is a unique company because we have the ability to work with all aspects of metalforming such as stamping complex geometries in metal parts to CNC machining and wire-forming.
This versatility allows us the opportunity to respond to the wide range of our customers' needs.
We are also unique in that we have a lot of young employees who are eager to continue producing the high-quality products made in our factory since 1946.
These employees possess an intrinsic knowledge of technological skills and are poised to lead our company into the future.
We pride ourselves in our young, high-performing, and eager-to-learn management team.
These employees, balanced with the irreplaceable sage knowledge of our more experienced team members, provide us with the perfect blend to meet our customers' needs.
Why did you choose Connecticut?
After World War II, there was a need for metal components for all types of businesses as rebuilding efforts reached a fever pitch.
In response to this need, the Cramer family founded Marion Manufacturing in 1946.
The state of Connecticut was chosen because it has one of the most productive workforces in America, is a leader in advanced manufacturing, and is devoted to continued growth in the manufacturing industry.
What is the greatest advantage to operating in Connecticut?
The greatest advantage to operating in Connecticut is the highly skilled workforce.
Coupled with the abundance of available education for manufacturing throughout the state, networking, and manufacturing associations, Connecticut remains a very attractive location to operate highly complex manufacturing facilities.
Where do you see your company in five years? Ten years?
We have a goal to double our company in five to six years. With the increase in onshoring we are seeing, we expect to reach this goal relatively quickly, utilizing our resources here in Connecticut and surrounding states.
We plan to use as much technology as possible to bridge the worker shortage and train our next generation of workers.
We realize the great career opportunities in manufacturing for a young, highly adaptable workforce, and are constantly building and improving the processes for our employees to make a life-long career in manufacturing.
With this teamwork and workforce development, we recognize the importance of training—from the shop to the front office. Our team today will help lead our company into the future.
What's the main thing policymakers could do to make your company more competitive?
We need a stable and business friendly relationship with our policymakers.
The ability to plan and develop business plans that can look out several years can be difficult when we see year after year of tax increases and anti-business legislation.
For Connecticut to truly recover from the losses of the last few years, we must have some stability from Hartford. No tax increases and pro-business policy will go a long way in attracting new businesses and fostering growth.
Continued investment in apprenticeship and workforce development would help our company and many others that are struggling to fill positions from years of no training and development of our next generation workforce in highly skilled areas.
We must have this to remain competitive. We need to continue to partner with educational institutions and industries to increase the interest in manufacturing.
Introducing students to manufacturing careers at an earlier age will allow us to attract, train, and retain motivated and exceptional workers.
Connecticut is a leader in this area and it’s time to double down and bring us back to the top 10 states to do business.