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Five Massachusetts Manufacturers Selected to Participate in Next Generation Manufacturing Initiative

Hoppe Tool, Inc. of Chicopee, Mason Box Company of North Attleboro, Matouk Textiles of Fall River, Munksjo Paper, Inc. of Fitchburg, and Spectro Coating Corporation of Leominster have been selected to participate in the Next Generation Manufacturing Initiative (NGMI), an innovative approach to foster best-in-class manufacturing processes.  The five were chosen from a field of 20 competitive applicants from across the state.

A partnership of the Associated Industries of Massachusetts Manufacturing Institute, MassDevelopment, and the Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership, NGMI is a proactive approach to help the "next generation manufacturer," businesses that want to change and are willing to reinvent themselves to remain globally competitive and accelerate growth.

The next generation manufacturer wants to grow its top line sales radically by investing in people, processes, and plant facilities.  Since 2001, manufacturing productivity has increased while the number of companies making products in Massachusetts has declined, an indication that companies willing to change can remain competitive.

Under the initiative, the five firms will undergo a free, enterprise-wide assessment of key business functions to identify operational strengths and weaknesses.  The assessments, valued at $15,000 each, will provide recommendations for change; quantify short and long-term return on investments; and provide a technology roadmap to guide the respective firms to refine and upgrade their operations.

The five winners represent a cross section of Massachusetts' traditional manufacturing base and a century of entrepreneurship, with the oldest company in operation since 1891.

Chicopee-based Hoppe Tool started in a garage in 1941 to make gauges used to manufacture firearms at the Springfield Armory.  Today, under the leadership of the third generation of the Hagopian family, the company is setting an aggressive course for continued tool-making, in addition to the manufacturing of parts and complete assemblies for commercial aircraft and military equipment.

The Mason Box Company, established in 1891, is the nation's largest rigid mailing box manufacturer, as well as a prime manufacturer of set-up paper boxes and metal presentation packaging.  The company maintains a state-of-the-art facility in North Attleboro.

Founded in 1929 in Fall River, Matouk Textiles, which is operated by the third generation of the founding family, has evolved into a manufacturer of high-end, luxury linens. As American lifestyles and tastes evolved, the firm has diversified into bed linens and accessories for the bath sold in fine stores and catalogs around the world.

Munksjo Paper, located in Fitchburg, manufactures coated and laminated paper used in a variety of applications. The company has extensive experience in utilizing recycled materials in its manufacturing process.

Established in 1988, Spectro Coatings Corporation operates out of 104,000 sq. ft. facility in Leominster, where it produces flock textiles and films used by the auto and home goods industries.

For additional information of the NGMI, contact Glenn Gertridge, New Business Development Manager, MassMEP at (781) 376-0028.

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