NTMA - National Tooling and Machining Association

Alan Ortner became an Executive Committee member of the National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA) for a 3-year term starting 1/1/18. The Executive Committee has now elected him to serve as Vice Chairman for 2019. Alan has accepted the position as a means to continue supporting the industry organization.

“I look forward to working with the new Chairman, Mark Lashinske of Modern Industries in Phoenix, AZ, and the rest of the Executive Committee Members, along with Dr. Dean Bartles, President and all of the NTMA Staff” states Alan

In addition to continuing his current role as the E/C Liaison to the NTMA Budget and Finance Team, Alan has been asked to be the EC Liaison to the NTMA Chapter Executives Team. He hopes to use this opportunity to strengthen the relationship between NTMA National and the Chartered Chapters of NTMA.

About NTMA

NTMA is the national representative of the precision custom manufacturing industry, backed by nearly 1,300 members, representing more than $30 billion in sales. In addition to serving as a powerful voice to the industry they also serve as a valuable national resource for their members, helping them grow profitably.


Employee Food Drive at Sirois ToolsIn the spirit of the Holidays, the Sirois Tool employees had a Food Drive  that generated several boxes of food for the Amazing Grace Food Pantry  in Middletown, CT. The food was delivered to Amazing Grace on Monday 12/10 so that it could be distributed to families before the Holidays.

The Amazing Grace Food Pantry, a program of St. Vincent De Paul,  provides free groceries to low and no-income families in Middletown, CT.  The Pantry serves approximately 3000 individuals or 1075 families each month.

Sirois Tool also held a Raffle at their annual Christmas Party and collected donations from employees. They raised $1428 to donate to the many programs provided by St. Vincent De Paul. In addition to the Food Pantry they also offer meals at their Soup Kitchen and provide Community Assistance and Supportive Housing.

Sirois Tool would like to thank their valued vendors: J & G Machining; RSW Machine & Tool; Top Priority Tool and Scarfo Precision for their donations of some of the Raffle prizes. Thank you also to Nancy LaPier who organized the Food Drive and the Raffle.

Vinal Tech students take plant tour at Sirois Tool

Vinal Tech students take plant tour at Sirois Tool

On November 14, 2018 it was a great pleasure to host a Phase 2 Freshman Exploratory Facility Tour for a small group of students. They were accompanied by Mr. Hood, the Precision Machining Department Head from Vinal Technical High School located in Middletown CT. The tour was provided to educate the students about manufacturing so they will be able to make a more informed decision when they go through career selection.

A group of Sirois Tool employees had the chance to speak with the students before they got to see behind the scenes of a job shop. The group included: Alan Ortner, President; Andre Nadeau, Operations Manager; Scott Horton, Production Manager; Cheryl DiPinto, Human Resource Manager; Dane Hoeffer, Quality Manager, 2 of our Vinal Tech graduates, Raymond and Timothy and one of our current Vinal Tech seniors, Ian.

We had a chance to talk to the students about different opportunities, the benefits of manufacturing careers, skills needed and how some of us ended up in our positions. Our Vinal Tech students each talked about what’s expected in Mr. Hood’s class, some of the great things that they had the ability to do and what they made while in class. We talked to them about the Work-based Learning Program and being able to work for a company during shop cycle time. The students then got a chance to tell us a little about themselves, what they wanted to do and why.

At the time of the tour the students were guided through each department and we explained what each area of the facility did and why. They also had the opportunity to touch and examine some of the parts that we make, which provided them with a door to ask questions about the machines and materials used to make the parts.

There were several students that seemed to like what they saw and at the end of the day, hopefully we encouraged the students to consider manufacturing for their future career path. It is critical to educate today’s young adults and parents about the benefits of working in the field of manufacturing to grow the future workforce.

Sirois Tool BuildingAt the Manufacturing Workforce Development & Education event last week, one “expert” said that employees will inevitably leave smaller manufacturing companies in order to work for larger companies…that it’s just a reality they’ll have to live with. We respectfully disagree.

The focus of the event was on finding the right workers. There was a panel discussion with several manufacturers and educators discussing the challenge. While the educators focused on training programs, the manufacturers talked about retention. They realize that in this competitive environment, it takes more than a paycheck to keep their employees satisfied.

At Sirois Tool, we’re well aware of the challenge of retaining employees. This is why we provide exceptional benefits in addition to competitive pay. This was highlighted is a recent article in the New Britain Herald. The article called, Great benefits help Berlin’s Sirois Tool retain employees, talks about the insurance programs offered to all of our employees and their families including medical, dental, life and disability.

But retention is about more than money and benefits. It’s about creating an environment where people look forward to coming to work each day. That is what we strive to provide our employees. We understand that this philosophy creates happier employees who stay with the company.

This also translates to customer satisfaction. Our employees are dedicated to quality and delivery, two of the most critical aspects of our business. Because they know that we care about their well-being and have provided the benefits needed, they always go the extra mile to ensure the customer is taken care of as well.


Time for SuccessWe’re seeing what may be, the most significant growth in manufacturing since 2007. Some markets, particularly Military/Defense and Aerospace, seem to be outpacing others, but overall 2018 is proving to be a good year for manufacturers.

According to the Institute for Supply Management, manufacturers expect to add nearly 2% more jobs nationally during calendar 2018 with the industry showing 20 months of continuous growth through April 2018.

Growth by Industry


Government Budget for Military and Defense spending is up and that is fueling growth in the aerospace and engine manufacturing sectors.  The Wall Street Journal reported on October 25, 2018 that defense outlays grew 6% in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. Government spending is expected to continue to fuel growth in this industry throughout 2019 and 2020.

Commercial Aerospace

Commercial Aerospace has seen a steady growth in air travel and freight transport for the past 8 years and is expected to see continued growth for the next 20 years. This is according to the Boeing Commercial Aerospace Outlook. Their report projects that deliveries of over 42,000 aircraft over the next 20 years will be needed to sustain the growing market and replace aging aircraft.

With increased spending in military/defense as well as air travel and air transport on the rise, new engine programs at all engine manufacturers are in a serious upswing and should continue to show sustained growth for years to come.


Although one would think medical device manufacturing would be up based on the growing economy and aging population, we’re not seeing it yet in our shops. Since we only provide tooling and gages we would see the most growth when they are ramping up production of new products, and there does not seem to be much of that right now.

According to IBISworld, revenues from the Medical device manufacturing are down 1.3% in the last 5 years. While they are expected to rise soon due to the aging population and greater demand for medical services, recent legislation changes regarding healthcare may have created uncertainty in the medical device market.

Machine Building

Earlier this year, we dedicated an entire post to this specific industry. It was a case study about an equipment manufacturer. See Sirois Tool Responds to the Growth of Machine Manufacturers. The post explains that growth in other Industries means more machines will be needed. And a positive economic outlook makes companies willing to spend on new machines.

Bearing Industry

With bearings used extensively in many of these growing industries most bearing manufacturers are also very busy. This was another industry we explored in an earlier post this year. See Bearings Industry Experiences Growth as Consumer Demand Increases. In that post, we explore the many uses of bearings and discuss our history in the industry.

Firearms Industry

With a couple exceptions, this industry is flat for now. This is after an uptick in business over the last few years. The uncertain political climate has a huge effect on this industry. We’ll all have to stay tuned to see what happens in the coming months.

Conclusion – Plan ahead to take full advantage of economic growth

With growth in so many industries at the same time it is important for customers to remember to plan ahead for their tooling and gage purchases and to lock in capacity at their Precision Parts suppliers.

Sirois Tool continues to add equipment capabilities and capacities, and even more importantly they continue to train all their employees, especially their apprentices and others new to the Industry. This enables them to keep up with their customer’s requirements for tooling, gages and precision machine parts and assemblies.

Reference articles

Forbes – Where U.S. Manufacturing Is Thriving In 2018
The Institute for Supply Management – October 1, 2018


Wall Street Journal – October 25, 2018
Title: A Big Reason U.S. Economy Is Accelerating: Government Spending
Subtitle: Faster government spending, particularly on military, accounted for nearly half of acceleration in economic growth since mid-2017

Boeing Commercial Aerospace Outlook