Growing the Elm brand in Marlborough

By Paul Asselin

Ben Haynes is growing the Marlborough facility, so I proposed doing our Elm Futures Program out there at a local school in mid-May. Holly Lurgio made the contact at Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School right in Marlborough and Ben and I met with Bruce Long (Electrical Wiring Instructor) and Maria Bennes from the school, who were both very excited about giving the students some different exposure from the industry and also building a relationship with Elm as a Co-Op partner. Holly was a huge help pulling this together.

Elm hopes to find local talent out in the Marlborough area and potential future Elm employees out East.

This was also part of our community outreach to put Elm on the map out East and grow our brand, grow interest in Elm so that these young people might want to work for Elm like the program has done here in the Westfield area.

The electrical program started with a class of 30 juniors, 10 of which are already out on Co-Op. The electrical instructor picked their top 10 students, gave me a section of their shop and also let me use their related classroom for four days.

I spent two hours a day in the classroom with these students telling them about our company so they can get to know us and also getting to know them, understanding their problem-solving skills, math skills, communication skills, code skills, etc. Then we spent the rest of each day in their shop showing them splicing and hook making for terminations, wiring projects on their project boards, encouraging workmanship, packing wires in boxes correctly, proper dimensions, etc. I would spend one-on-one time with each of them critiquing their work and giving them corrections which helped me understand who can take these corrections and put them to use. 

I was able to watch the speed at which they worked, their efficiency and how they handled hand and power tools.

Ben and Dave Reed came in from the Marlborough office and Tom Tamalavitch from Piper came down from Leominster on the final day to answer questions for the students and assess their work.

 Elm provided all of the material and PPE for the week so we did not use any of the school’s materials. We also left the materials and PPE behind for the program to use in the future.

They gave me a great group of kids who were all hard working, polite, well spoken and would make great potential future employees.

Bruce Long and I have already discussed doing another Elm Futures program earlier in the school year so we can work with students before they start to leave on Co-Op.

I feel it was very successful and a great way to grow the Elm brand in the Marlborough area.