Industry Clusters


There are 1200 manufacturers in Central Massachusetts, representing 24% of the area’s private industry payroll. Central Massachusetts is part of the Boston-Brockton-Worcester Metropolitan Service Area, which is this nation’s 3rd largest manufacturing labor pool – larger than even Detroit. When economic multiplier factors are taken into account, fully 50% of the region’s payroll is dependent on the success of its manufacturing sector. Currently, many of these companies are still experiencing layoffs despite a positive economic climate in other sectors of the economy and other regions of the state. Unemployment in this area’s manufacturers runs a full third higher than the state average.

Manufacturers in Central Massachusetts are small, they do business in an environment that is naturally high-cost and they are experiencing continual erosion of their market base from outside competition. The goal of the Manufacturing Assistance Center’s cluster and network development services is to help these manufacturers become more competitive by providing access to the certain economic advantages associated with the benefits of collaboration which heretofore have been only available to much larger companies. The role of the MAC is to help local companies by facilitating relationships and linking groups of firms to avail themselves of services.

A network or industry cluster, as it is also called, is a system of market and non-market links between geographically concentrated companies and institutions. The links enable cooperation among suppliers and competitors on business processes, purchases, investments, strategies and technical research. Large companies can act as mentors; offering smaller companies their global marketing expertise and brand recognition. Network companies are also finding that supply chain innovations that occur in clusters would probably not develop among companies cooperating over greater distances. For example, networking occurs during meetings of the cluster. The networking has led to a spirit of cooperation among competitors where one competitor often gives work to another that more closely can meet the specific needs of the customer. Networking has also led to the sharing of business practices such as lean manufacturing techniques. Industrial clustering in Central Massachusetts is a growing trend, which has benefited many small manufacturers. The region’s great concentration of complimentary and competitor firms has led to an unprecedented level of cooperation where all have come out winners.

The Networks…….

The purpose of the MAC networks program is three-fold:

    1. To bring people together to solve mutual problems
    2. To provide knowledge of resources within the community and in other companies and to allow the formation of mentoring relationships
    3. To organize a collective voice for the manufacturing community

The MAC is currently working with three networks and developing more. The three networks are the Massachusetts Environmental Compliance Network, the Massachusetts Digital Printing Initiative and the Manufacturing Technologies Collaborative. These networks consist of 77 companies and 15,333 employees. Each network is unique in its purpose and function as a group, which is determined by the companies and organizations, involved in the network. The underlying theme for each network is to provide a forum for collective for collaboration and improving the companies’ competitive edge in their industry.

Massachusetts Environmental Compliance Network. The Massachusetts Environmental Compliance Network’s mission is to share information between companies and expand knowledge about environmental health and safety issues; provide a confidential and safe forum that is non-partisan and neutral for its members; regulators (DEP and EPA for example) can attend by invitation only; and the group provide links to local resources. There are 25 companies actively involved in this network.

Massachusetts Digital Printing Initiative. The Massachusetts Digital Printing Initiative network is an organization of printers and educators, whose purpose is to assist the printing industry in Massachusetts with transition to digital technology. The initiative is dedicated to making the printing industry strong and economically viable through improving the curriculum in the area schools. By working with the Worcester Public School system, the printing initiative has placed students directly into printing companies for job experience and teachers for job shadowing. There are eight schools who have partnered with 11 printers.

Manufacturing Technologies Collaborative. The Manufacturing Technology Collaborative is a network of companies who are interested in maintaining a competitive edge in their respective industries by adopting the latest technologies aimed at new product and new process development. The network is industry led and is unique in that it draws or pulls upon readily available university and national laboratory technology that is required by its members. This is referred to as Technology Pull. The program is targeted at small and medium-sized manufacturers located in Central Massachusetts. The network focuses on bringing relevant and current technology to small manufacturers who typically are unaware of these developments.

Features of the network include:

In order to keep interest high among member companies and to insure the relevancy of technical programs, the overall technology collaborative network will be subdivided into interest- and industry-based clusters. This grouping of technology requirements by industry sector or SIC code is also a novel approach not often found in traditional technology transfer programs.

In addition to these 3 formal networks, the MAC is also involved with the operation of several additional company networks: The Machining Alliance of America, Inc., and the Coalition for Venture Support.

Machining Alliance of America, Inc. The Machining Alliance of America (MAA) is a one-of-a-kind collaborative of small machine shops in the Greater Springfield area brought together by the MAC and Supplier-Based Manufacturing, Inc. (SBM). The MAA has become a viable option to large inflexible machine shops, by helping to minimize internal costs, while providing the highest quality parts, on-time and at competitive prices. Through the use of the impressive combined resources of the member complimentary companies, and a commitment to total customer satisfaction, the MAA can afford its customers large-company service at a small company cost. At the same time, the annual sales volumes of all member companies continue to grow.

Improvements for the companies to date are:

Coalition for Venture Support. The mission of the Coalition for Venture Support is to take full advantage of all the assets and support services Worcester has to offer to bring about new business formation and ensure the success of existing businesses and to make sure these services are well known and work in collaboration with one another.

The coalition provides a forum through which its members can work to:

The Companies…….

Massachusetts Environmental Compliance Network

  • Allegro Microsystems
  • Alpha-Beta Technology
  • Archer Rubber
  • Central Coatings Inc.
  • Classic Envelope
  • Creative Paper, Inc.
  • Flexcon
  • Hi-Tech Gold Plating
  • Independent Plating
  • J. Kittredge and Sons
  • Kennedy Die Castings
  • KomTeK
  • L&J of New England
  • Madison Cable Corp.
  • Massachusetts Electric
  • Morgan Construction Company
  • New Method Plating
  • Norton Company
  • O.S. Walker Company
  • Presmet Corp.
  • Quaboag Corp.
  • Reed-Rico
  • Reliable Plating
  • Saeilo Manufacturing
  • Wyman Gordon

Massachusetts Digital Printing Initiative

  • Curry Printing and Copy Center
  • PIP Printing
  • Damar Printing and Copy Center
  • Marie’s Direct Mail
  • Van/Go Graphics
  • LaVigne Press
  • Mercantile Printing Co.
  • Woodbury & Company
  • American Printing & Envelope
  • MacDonnel Printers of Mass.
  • Saltus Press

Manufacturing Technologies Collaborative

  • Adriance Furniture
  • Advanced Electronics Controls
  • Apex Engineering, Inc.
  • Architectural Timber
  • Brookfield Tool & Die
  • Cawley Machine & Tool
  • Charles H. Baldwin & Sons
  • Crown Vantage-Adams Mills
  • Esleeck Manufacturing Co.
  • Excalibur Glassworks
  • Franklin Tool Co. Inc.
  • G&F Industries
  • Hallowell EMC
  • International Laser Systems
  • International Beam Welding Corp.
  • Incom
  • Kennedy Die Castings, Inc.
  • LTM, Lutco Bearing


Machining Alliance of America, Inc.

  • A&D Tool Company
  • B&R Machine Inc
  • Boulevard Machine & Gear Inc.
  • Center Machine Inc.
  • CMG Precision
  • Commercial Machine
  • Knight Machine & Tool Company
  • Lapoint Hudson
    Master Industries, Inc.
  • Native Impressions Sign
  • Norton & Williams Development Co.
  • Powell Flute
  • OmegaFlex, Inc.
  • Ralphco
  • Rector Press, Ltd.
  • Roxam DSI
  • Saeilo
  • Simonds, Inc.
  • Sonoco Products
  • Springfield Stamp & Die
  • Starbase Technology
  • Titeflex
  • Tell Tool, Inc.
  • Temp-Pro, Inc.
  • Texon, USA The Hanson Group, Ltd.
  • Lombardo Tool & Machine, Inc.
  • Ludlow Cutter Grinding
  • Paragon Manufacturing, Inc.
  • Shields Machine & Tool Company
  • SBM, Inc.


The Future…….

In a cluster, large corporations can offer smaller companies their global marketing and distribution expertise and brand recognition. In return, large corporations can learn and emulate some of the biggest advances that are coming from small entrepreneurs. In order for the community". By community, it is meant as companies, which are part of an extended business family that pools the resources and benefits of their shared location.

Companies are also finding that supply chain innovations that occur in clusters would probably not develop among companies cooperating over greater distances. For example, networking occurs during meetings of the cluster. The networking has led to a spirit of cooperation among competitors where one competitor often gives work to another that more closely can meet the specific needs of the customer. Networking has also led to sharing of business practices.

Industrial clusters are a growing trend, which has benefited many SMEs. The close proximity to a large OEM and the concentration of complimentary and competitor firms has led to an unprecedented of cooperation where all have come out winners. Clusters have not gone unnoticed among foreign firms and many are looking at clusters when concerning their relocation strategies.

The MAC has developed three unique clusters in Central Massachusetts and is working towards the development of additional clusters in Central and Western Massachusetts over the next year. The networks will work with industry clusters to make them more competitive and economically viable in this technologic age.

To discuss the information outlined in this report, please contact:

Katherine Mahoney
Networks Manager
60 Prescott Street
Worcester, MA 01605
Phone: 508-831-7020
Fax: 508-831-7215
E-mail: [email protected]

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