The "Real Jobs Rhode Island" grant is in partnership with Astro-Med, of West Warwick, the University of Rhode Island, and the Rhode Island Association of Manufacturers, to identify workforce needs for high-demand occupations.
Governor's Workforce Board
The grant program is funded with federal and state funds, including $1.3m from the Governor's Workforce Board.
Speaking about the milestone anniversary, Mike Brandmeier, president/CEO, Toray Plastics (America) told FoodProductionDaily, it felt amazing to have survived in the manufacturing industry for 30 years.
“Our success is a testament to the dedication of our employees and the close collaboration we have with our customers. We are also grateful for the partnerships we have cultivated with business, government, educational, and non-profit organizations in our communities,” he said.
The company has five employees who have been with the company for three decades; Paul Salisbury, packaging/shipping supervisor; Emilo Coletta, director, OBR Production; George Duggan, quality control; Gail Brown, Sr. customer service representative, and Wayne D’Amico, maintenance manager.
They were all employees of TREA Industries, which Toray Industries purchased in 1985, and remained with the firm when it launched Toray Plastics (America).
Brandmeier said the biggest change he had seen over the years was the switch from VHS magnetic tape to CD's.
'We had to re-engineer ourselves'
“One of our divisions was built to service the VHS market for Sony and Fuji, and when that transition occurred, we had to re-engineer ourselves,” he added.
“The challenge spurred the development of innovations in packaging and industrial applications, which ultimately allowed us to grow.”
The company makes polyester, polypropylene, bio-based, and metallized films for flexible and rigid packaging, lidding, graphic, industrial, optical, and electronic applications.
“Machinery is much safer today than it was 30 years ago,” said Brandmeier.
“The industry as a whole has responded to ensure the equipment we use produces quality, value-added products, without jeopardizing the safety of our employees.”
Toray Industries now consists of three divisions: Torayfan Polypropylene Film and Lumirror Polyester Film Divisions, in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, and the Toraypef Foams Division, in Virginia with up to 700 employees.
It also committed $2m last year towards URI's College of Engineering campus, which is scheduled for completion in 2018.