Investment in Workforce Development Results in Huge Pay-off
Anel Corporation is a custom fabricator of steel products and components that fit into final products for companies such as Caterpillar and other steel utilizing companies. The company produces hydraulic tanks that are super clean inside to prevent breakdown problems commonly related to particles in fluid. Anel employs 170 people at its facility in Winona, Mississippi.
Caterpillar, one of Anel's largest clients, buys chassis from the company to use in giant vehicles used in above ground mining operations. This product line increased productivity and the resulting sales impact led to the need to expand in multiple directions, including the creation of new jobs. Training new employees and updating the skills of the current workforce was a priority, and the company addressed its workforce training needs by strengthening the already existing partnership with the Mississippi Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP.ms), a NIST MEP network affiliate, and the Holmes Community College Workforce Development department. Through this partnership, Anel was able to offer pre- and post-employment training to provide people with the skills they need to become welders, machinists and computer numeric control operators.
Mississippi workforce training through the SBCJC (State Board for Community and Junior Colleges) and MEP.ms Center at Holmes Community College added training trailers to provide pre- and post-employment training, assessment and job specific training for the company's expansion. A welding trailer specifically customized to meet Anel's individual training needs, including eight welding machines along with specific training modules, training materials and a certified trainer, were also added. MEP.ms and Holmes Community College workforce training offered Six Sigma and 5S quality training, leadership and customer service training and other entry level production training to provide Anel employees with the range of skills needed to effectively save its customer base.
• Increased sales by $4 million.
• Retained sales of $12 million.
• Realized $10,000 in cost savings.
• Invested $800,000 in plant equipment.
• Invested $25,000 in information systems.
• Invested $75,000 in workforce practices.
• Created 75 new jobs.
“Thanks to the Mississippi Manufacturing Extension Partnership, we feel like our business is only limited by the number of skilled employees that we can hire, so there is a lot of room for growth.”
— Randy Watkins, Plant Manager