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L.S. Starrett Company: MassMEP's M.O.S.T. Successful Star

Toolmaker Hires 44 Workers as a Result of MassMEP's M.O.S.T. Program

The L.S. Starrett Company, a manufacturer of more than 5,000 variations of precision tools, gages, measuring instruments, and saw blades, has been a leader in the precision tools industry for almost 130 years. Local small machine shops and large Fortune 500 companies alike turn to Starrett for their fine instruments and hand measuring tools.  The company employs about 2,000 people worldwide.

With the shortage of skilled manufacturing workers across the country, Starrett was looking for ways to train and keep good employees in their shop. In order to keep up with the demand for their products and hire workers quickly, the manufacturer turned to the Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MassMEP) and their M.O.S.T. program.

"M.O.S.T. stands for Mobile Outreach Skills Training," said Leslie Parady, Project Manager of MassMEP. "Using our mobile training unit, or MTU, we bring instruction straight to the company's doorstep. Would-be workers are schooled in shop math, blueprinting, metrology, and other hands-on work.  In this case, we worked with Starrett to provide five separate two-week training sessions."

There are two phases to the M.O.S.T. program.  In Phase One, trainees participate in an intensive, two week, 80-hour basic operator skills training process in the MTU.  In Phase Two, trainees participate in a 40 day on-the-job training process, which then results in full-time employment at the company. Using M.O.S.T., 44 new workers were able to fill vacant machine operator positions and a number of computer numerical-control (CNC) operator positions at Starrett.

"The first three times we did our training, we did use the MTU, but that ultimately morphed into a training unit on-site at the company, equipped with computers for the trainees to use," said Parady.  "They still get the same level of training, but have established the on-site training facility so this can be an ongoing event."

"We proudly boast that we are the last remaining full line precision tool company to be manufacturing our products within the US, and we want it to stay that way," said Joel Shaughnessy, Personnel Director at Starrett. "By using the MassMEP's M.O.S.T. program, we are able to equip our new workers with the skills needed to do the job.  We have been able to rotate them through different departments when needed as well.  We are extremely pleased with the workers we have hired as a result of M.O.S.T. and additionally plan to utilize MassMEP's help in the future."

About MassMEP
The MassMEP is an affiliate of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) under the US Department of Commerce. The national MEP system is a network of manufacturing extension centers that provide business and technical assistance to smaller manufacturers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Through MEP, manufacturers have access to more than 2,000 manufacturing and business "coaches" whose job is to help firms make changes that lead to greater productivity, increased profits, and enhanced global competitiveness. For more information, please visit www.massmep.org, or phone 1-800-MEP-4MFG.

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