State workforce training grants benefit Fall River, Taunton businesses
The state sweetened the celebration at Rex Cut Abrasives on Wednesday.
On a day employees were celebrating five years as the owners of the company they work for, the state Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced Rex Cut would receive a $71,963 grant for employee training.
The money will be used to harvest the knowledge and ingenuity that has propelled the company for the past 90 years, company President Claude Gelinas said.
Rex Cut, 960 Airport Road, makes grinding and finishing tools out of cotton fiber. It is the primary cotton fiber abrasive company in the world, Gelinas said.
The company has been good at adapting to the business environment and reshaping itself to meet the needs of its customers, Gelinas said.
Their technical people designed and built their own software to keep company records. Employees have adapted machines and processes to do the work required.
“We have people who have been with us for years,” Gelinas said. “A lot of what they do is just in their head. We are trying to capture all that knowledge now and get it all down on paper. We will be looking at all our processes.
“We are writing our own guidebook. We don’t want to lose the knowledge we have developed over the past 40 years.”
At the same time, the company will install an entirely new computer system that will run all of the company’s systems, from customer service to inventory control and shipping.
“We had an old accounting program that we modified and we used for years,” Gelinas said. “Our people were able to keep modifying it to meet our needs, but it is so old now it is difficult to support.
“There are a lot of enhancements the new system provide. But we have people who used our old system for 15 years. A lot of training is needed.”
The grant will help the company pay for some of that training and move forward with its in-house guidebook, Gelinas said.
Rex Cut was one of 37 companies around Massachusetts to share in $2.8 million in grants from the Office of Labor and Workforce Development.
In Taunton, Farrell Backlund Insurance Agency LLC received a $66,727 grant to train 74 employees, and McMahon Associates received a $2,990 grant to train seven employees.
Email Kevin P. O’Connor at firstname.lastname@example.org.