- About NSC
- Skills Mismatch
AVON – Since Michael Tamasi’s business received a $4-million tax-exempt industrial development bond from the state’s development and finance agency in 2013, it has added 18,000 square feet to its complex, purchased new machines and hired six employees.
AccuRounds, which specializes in the industrial manufacturing of precision-turned components, has developed a new look as well.
The renovation, featuring the installation of glass floor-to-ceiling windows connecting offices to the factory floor, has increased work efficiency and provided a level of transparency for his staff, says Tamasi.
The concept and physical design may well represent a metaphor for the CEO’s vision for new-economy manufacturing.
“We wanted to break down physical barriers, which is why we installed the glass windows. It’s allowed us to increase collaboration,” he says.
Tamasi’s Avon-based business creates integral parts for industries, including medical, dental and defense. Yet the business, which hit $10 million in revenue last year and is budgeting for $11 million this year, is misunderstood by many, says Tamasi.
“Nobody really knows the type of things we do. We’re a manufacturer; we do precision machining. A lot of products that people use in their everyday lives start with the components we make.”
When asked what excites him, his passion for the business is obvious.
“We make stuff; it’s tangible. We made the top of the Freedom Trail signs in Boston, we make parts for very high-end flutes, and shock absorber parts for Nascar. The variety that we do and all the industries we touch make it extremely exciting. You’re always learning everyday, and there’s all sorts of opportunity.”
The company, founded by Tamasi’s father Len Tamasi in 1976, has always been focused on making high-quality parts as efficiently as possible. It purchased its first CNC (computer numerical control) Swiss screw machine in 1979, being the first company of its kind to use this type of tool, says Tamasi.
CNC Swiss screw machines are operated by a computer and can cut, mill, drill and rout almost any material. Specially trained machinists are required to oversee and make adjustments to the the machines as they control the speed, path of the cut and material feed. Using the machines has allowed Tamasi’s business to create more complex, high precision parts like shafts and valves.
Tamasi started working in the business when he was a young teen, learning from his father and fellow staff. He participated in all aspects of the company, from packaging parts, working with machinery, using computerized equipment and then taking over as its president in 1993 after he received his MBA, he says.
Today, Tamasi, who lives in Canton, oversees a staff of 70, including sales, engineering, production, quality assurance, and shipping and receiving teams.
The company received the Shingo Prize Northeast Region Silver Medallion in 2006, also known as the “Nobel Prize of Manufacturing” by Business Week – given for excellence in applying lean manufacturing principles (continuous efforts to eliminate or reduce waste or any activity that consumes resources without adding value.)
While managing his business and employees is his main priority, Tamasi is committed to his involvement in several industry and educational organizations, including the Mass STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Advisory Council and the New England Advisory Council for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, a group of leaders from small to mid-size companies that advise the Fed and its management on economic matters within the region.
As the co-chair of the Mass. STEM Advisory Council’s public awareness subcommittee, Tamasi project managed the WOW Campaign, which highlighted the job opportunities available in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The video and poster created out of the campaign were put in schools across the state.
“One of the main drivers for me to get involved in organizations is the lack of skilled labor and lack of public awareness in our industry,” says Tamasi.
His involvement in the National Skills Coalition and efforts to educate the public about the manufacturing industry and the need to fill the skills gap landed him a seat at a roundtable discussion held at the White House last February. Tamasi was one of 20 business owners invited to participate in the strategy meeting hosted by President Barack Obama.
“I told the President that we have this long-term unemployment issue; I’m a small machine shop and we have five job openings we can’t fill. We have people, we have jobs, but there’s no match,” he says.
To that end, Tamasi has established sector partnerships with community colleges and vocational technical high schools to help advise on curriculum and the education of soft skills, a program he hopes will result in finding more skilled CNC machinists for his company and others.
“I’ve been able to leverage my activities and create awareness across the groups I’m involved with. To me, it’s very exciting because my number one job is to create opportunity for the people that work for me,” he says.