Molding & Tooling Inc., of Constantine, as part of a grant to increase employee knowledge of chemistry
and plastics associated with the injection molding process.
Vaupell is one of two recipients, in St. Joseph County, of an Incumbent Worker Training Grant designed
to upgrade the skills of its employees. Michigan Works! awarded the $49,500 fully funded grant to help
the company increase its competitiveness through upgrading the skills of existing employees.
“Workforce development leads to profitability,” says GOCC President Gary Wheeler. “The grant
addresses training needs so that area businesses can keep local talent and avoid layoffs. It is an ideal
situation for all, and one that will be a boost for Vaupell and for St. Joseph County.”
“It is an ongoing challenge to remain competitive, particularly when the increased cost of doing business
hinders training efforts,” says Jamie Robinson, human resource manager, Vaupell. “This is a shot in the
arm for Vaupell. Partnerships such as these benefit our employees, the business and the region.”
In addition to Vaupell, the partnership involves Southwest Michigan First, the organization which was
instrumental in identifying the need at the Constantine plant; Michigan Works!, the agency which
receives the federal and state funds and awards the grants; and Glen Oaks Community College, the
institution administering the training.
Of the 136 Vaupell employees, 36 will be participating in the training which began on February 11 and
will be completed by the end of March. The training will cover Scientific Molding and two stages of
Advanced Scientific Molding.
“During our business consultations with the Vaupell team, it became evident that the company’s ability
to maintain its competitive edge would be positively impacted by extending the skills of its workforce,”
said Ron Kitchens, chief executive officer of Southwest Michigan First. “In today’s market, it is critical
that the skills of a company’s workforce remain on pace or ahead of market trends through technical
training. When that happens, it is a win-win situation for both the company and its employees.”
Vaupell is a plastics manufacturer which produces products for the medical, aerospace and defense
industries that has been in business for 36 years.