Roto CEO Co-Chairs South Central Manufacturing Industry Partnership in Connecticut
April 6, 2021
The South-Central Manufacturing Industry Partnership, an industry-led regional sector partnership focused on growing and supporting the manufacturing industry in the South-Central region of Connecticut, officially launched on March 24. The partnership was created in response to the Connecticut Governor’s Workforce Council’s prioritization of regional sector partnerships as a way to harness the economic power of critical jobs sectors and better coordinate public support for those sectors.
Four industry co-chairs lead the partnership: Chris Dimou, president & CEO of Roto Frank of America Inc.; Marcia LaFemina, president of PennGlobe/PennSMART; Chris Ulbrich, CEO of Ulbrich Stainless Steels & Special Metals Inc.; and Asi Carmeli, director of human resources of Hobson & Motzer Inc.
Twenty-six senior manufacturing executives from Middlesex and New Haven Counties met virtually to kick off this industry-led group. At the launch meeting, business leaders identified the following top opportunities and drivers of manufacturing growth in the region:
- Harnessing the diversity of manufacturing in South Central Connecticut
- Advancing industry 4.0 technologies to improve competitiveness, address workforce shortages and upskill manufacturing workers
- Promoting Connecticut manufacturing as an industry to state political leaders, as a career path to students and parents, and as a desirable location for skilled labor from other states
- Making Connecticut a more attractive place to do business
- Improving coordination between industry and public partners including increasing awareness of public programs among manufacturers and incentivizing better use of existing programs, speeding up the degree process, and identifying skills gaps across manufacturing occupations.
Dimou says, “The momentum for manufacturing in the state is growing, but we need to address fundamental challenges such as an aging workforce, attracting the younger generation into manufacturing and applying new technologies. In order to reach our potential, we need to apply a collaborative approach between industry, colleges, chambers and the state; therefore, I applaud this effort to bring these diverse stakeholders together."
The meeting was coordinated with the support of the partnership’s co-conveners, The Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce and Workforce Alliance, and core support partners, Middlesex Community College and the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce. A broader network of public and nonprofit stakeholders is engaged in this effort and are prepared to respond to the priorities and action areas that the partnership identifies. They include representatives from education, workforce development, economic development, industry associations, and other support organizations.