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Updated: April 26, 2021 manufacturing excellence awards

Manufacturing Awards: Quabbin Wire sees training as a key to employee longevity

Photo | Courtesy of Quabbin Wire & Cable Co., Inc.

Co-founded in 1975 by Paul Engel, who shortly thereafter went on to assume full ownership, Quabbin Wire & Cable Co., Inc. in Ware specializes in producing wires and cables for a wide array of applications.

The company does work for commercial data projects, lighting control and industrial uses ranging from automotive manufacturing to the food and beverage sector. From hospital beds to seatbelts and appliances, Quabbin is the kind of manufacturer who touches the average consumers’ daily lives in ways they’re probably not even aware of.

But while the kind of wires the company makes have become essential for daily life in the modern world, it can still be a challenge to find the right people with the right skills to keep operations running, a struggle manufacturers face regardless of what they produce. So, about five years ago, Quabbin took matters into its own hands: The firm hired a training coordinator to develop and implement a standardized educational program for its new hires.

“So now we have every operator who comes in, no matter what position they are in as machine operators, they go through a 90-day training process,” said Melissa Delargy, chief operations officer at Quabbin.

At the end of those 90 days, which include regular check-ins, employees then complete a two-part test including both written and practical components. The program has been so successful the company now maintains two full-time employees entirely devoted to overseeing training programs. Plus, Quabbin has a workforce with a greater investment in both the work those employees do and the company they do it for.

“That’s one of our goals,” said Engel. “We’re always disappointed with somebody leaving … Not just because it’s hard to find qualified employment, but I like to think we care for everyone and want the best for them and treat them the way we want to be treated – sort of a general, simple rule that works.”

Indeed, machine operators make up approximately half of its 100 employees, including high-school educated workers who live in and around the Ware region. By investing in its workforce, Quabbin by extension is investing in the community in which it has been operating for mor than four decades.

“Basically every year, we’ve increased our efficiencies and been a better company,” Engel said. “Every year we’ve been more profitable and able to satisfy the customer for their wire and cable needs.”

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WBJ Web Partners


June 11, 2021

Not a bad place to work. Could treat employees better. Not sad I left.

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