Making It Here
Connor Manufacturing Services has been making things in America for a century, and now they are using MHCC's on-site training expertise to make things even better.
Since its founding in 1913, Connor Manufacturing Services has certainly gone through many markets, products and business models. The one thing that hasn't changed across 100 years, even in today's high-speed global environment, is a dual focus on people as the prime asset and on service as the prime deliverable.
Today, Connor provides customized contract manufacturing services worldwide, with facilities in the U.S., China, Singapore and Malaysia. They cut, form, stamp, assemble and finish parts for industries and markets ranging from telecommunications to renewable energy to heavy equipment. The company has operated a manufacturing division in the Portland area since the 1950s, and the plant, located in Fairview, is a big part of Connor's plans, now and in the future. And so is MHCC.
"We have a lot of experienced and skilled workers here in Portland," says Gabrielle Nunley, who is Connor's marketing coordinator, "And we have a commitment to investing in growth, learning and forward progress for our employees. That's where Mt. Hood Community College comes in."
For the past two years, Connor has partnered with MHCC’s Customized Training program to provide local employees with training ranging from reading blueprints to something called "geometric dimensioning and tolerancing." The most recent MHCC training involved the latest ideas and methods for statistical process control, designed to further increase production efficiency.
"MHCC has delivered everything we've asked for," says Staci Ross, Connor's corporate Human Resources director. "MHCC has provided outstanding on-site training, giving our employees added skills to grow their careers. The partnership we've created with MHCC is invaluable and greatly contributes to the success of our employees and our business."
"We're proud of the training we offer," adds MHCC's Robert Weinman, who coordinates the college's workforce training for manufacturers. "But there's even more to it—MHCC serves as a conduit of collaborative resources and partners. We serve employers as part of a larger regional workforce and economic development strategy. In each of our projects, we bring together the collective efforts of education providers, workforce investment
boards and economic development teams."
All of which nets a win-win for companies such as Connor and their employees, as well as the community, the college and MHCC students.
"We like to cross-train our employees and give them greater opportunities," Nunley says. "I think this relationship helps both Connor and MHCC—the college helps us keep it more interesting and up-to-date for our workforce, and helps our company be even more productive—and we help MHCC students by recruiting graduates of their manufacturing programs. This is a critical time to let the community know that manufacturing jobs are still here, and they offer stability and security."
At MHCC, we're proud that we can make it easier for the companies who still make things here.