Darn It! provides example of retraining workers, adapting businesses

NEW BEDFORD — Last year, Darn It!, a niche-market clothing repair company in New Bedford’s North End, received a $90,000 Workforce Training Fund grant to educate its staff in ways to increase productivity.
On Monday, company and local officials gathered to celebrate the way the grant has helped Darn It! improve its business.
“A company like Darn It! is a good example of how a small business can benefit from the Workforce Training Fund grant,” said Nancy Snyder, President and CEO of Commonwealth Corp., a quasi-public state agency that is a division of the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.
Snyder also said that showcasing the successful use of Darn It!’s grant money might encourage other small businesses to take part in the Workforce Training Fund program.
The Darn It! training included an analysis of every level of operation, from the skilled laborers to the members of upper management.
As a result, the company was able to reduce costs, improve productivity and increase efficiency.
Under the Patrick-Murray administration, the Workforce Training Fund has awarded $68.66 million in grants to more than 2,700 companies since 2007. The grant provides training resources for current and newly hired employees of Massachusetts businesses.
“I think it’s great that the state is investing in the community and its people,” said Jeff Glassman, whose employees received training assistance from Bristol Community College.
Glassman’s company took root in New Bedford during the 1990s when his father’s manufacturing business began to transform. The family-owned company specializes in repairing the flaws in already-manufactured clothing.
And while most small businesses feel the shock wave of the economy’s recent downturn, Darn It!’s owners and 50-plus employees are enjoying stable jobs.
According to a statement on the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development’s website, “The Fund is an economical way for organizations to build workers’ skills; employers may apply for grants of up to $25,000 for technical assistance programs, or they may apply for grants of up to $250,000 for full training programs. Training programs may last up to two years.”
New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell told the gathering that the changing economy dictates that businesses must be flexible enough to adapt.
That’s where the Workforce Training Fund program and the Patrick-Murray administration help by providing knowledge and an advanced skill set, he said.
“Whatever your line of work is, if you want to remain competitive, you need to grow out in your skills,” Mitchell said.
By JENALINA SANTIAGO
CONTRIBUTING WRITER
June 19, 2012 12:00 AM
Source URL: http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120619/NEWS/206190337/-1/NEWS05

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