NEWBURYPORT — U.S. Rep. John Tierney yesterday toured Parker Street manufacturer Arwood Machine Corp., calling the company a role model for a national employment resource that has been helping people find work since 1998 and that is now up for renewal in Congress.
The goal of the Workforce Investment Act is to help employers find skilled people to fill much-needed positions and at the same time train those seeking manufacturing jobs.
The act helps bring both employers and employees together and has greatly benefitted Arwood Machine Corp. since the act's creation, according to Tierney.
Tierney said the reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act of 2012 is a long overdue modernization of that bill that will strengthen the existing system by streamlining and increasing access to training, promoting innovation and ensuring accountability and transparency.
"This bill is going to provide for those opportunities," Tierney said.
Arwood is a certified contract manufacturer of ultra-precision, machined metal components for the aerospace, communications, medical, military and other commercial markets. About 42 percent of its business is in the aerospace field with another 18 percent centered on military and defense. The company's customers include Raytheon, Rolls Royce, General Dynamics; it employs about 100 people.
As part of the Workforce Investment Act's creation, Arwood has been partnering with area vocational schools and community colleges to train students who eventually become part of the company's manufacturing team.
That kind of synergy has been made possible by the act's Workforce Innovation Fund, a competitive grant program to support the development of new strategies, by expanding the role of community colleges, involving more businesses and partnerships, and by increasing the use of on-the-job training, incumbent worker training, transitional jobs, paid work experience so that individuals can learn and work and enter/re-enter the labor market more quickly.