RollEase Hires and Trains Local People to Staff New Product Innovation Center
Brunswick Landing, Maine — Greg Farr, Senior Vice President of RollEase, a Connecticut-based custom window-covering supplier, is very proud of the fact that he and his company have brought high-paying jobs with great benefits to the state. He has just completed the hiring of the first employees to be working at the company’s new facility at Brunswick Landing.
“We’re very fortunate to have found such talented, high-quality individuals for our team right here in Maine,” said Farr. “Our preference was to hire local talent and, fortunately for us, we didn’t have to settle.”
He added, “Many of the people we hired commented about having to commute out of state or possibly relocate to find good jobs to support their families. The positions we’ve offered them are much more in keeping with their professional aspirations and values, and allow them to stay right here in Maine.”
To date, ten staff members with a variety of strong technical skills have been tapped to lend their expertise to research and development when the doors to the Product Innovation Center open at the end of April. These product development specialists are a mix of seasoned mechanical engineers, new graduates, engineering technicians, and project managers. Together, they will begin an intensive and varied 12 weeks of training in order to learn the unique skill set required to design new products in an industry not yet known to them.
Because of the need to provide these new employees with extensive and specific product, industry, equipment and materials training for the job, Farr is utilizing a TOPS (Midcoast Technology Occupations Through Pathways Strategies) Grant. This federal grant for on-the-job training was awarded to Coastal Counties Workforce, Inc. in partnership with Goodwill Workforce Solutions and Southern Maine Community College. Focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) occupations, this grant will help provide training that is key to insuring everyone on staff is brought up to speed as quickly as possible. In addition, RollEase will get additional training support through Maine Quality Centers with training delivered through Southern Maine Community College.
RollEase will deliver many training modules themselves at their Maine and Connecticut facilities. The balance will come from time in the field with customers and materials vendors, training on equipment and processes, and through classes arranged through the state programs. The team will become effective in contributing to the new product development process where they will work directly with a very discerning customer base. For example, Farr said the new hires will be trained on state-of-the-art equipment like 3D printers, as well as learning how to fabricate window shades and how to work with customers to gain insight into their needs.
“RollEase will add to the economy of the Brunswick area and Maine. The TOPS Grant has been a great incentive for coastal Maine companies to hire and train exceptionally qualified individuals who might have gone out of state to find good-paying jobs,” said Paul Argereow, regional Workforce Solutions Business Service Representative.
Farr, who has been in the window covering industry for almost twenty-five years and recently moved back to Brunswick to open the RollEase Product Innovation Center, said, “It’s great to be back in Brunswick, create jobs, and introduce innovative products. I can’t wait to officially welcome the new team on board later this month.”
Future plans include more investments in technology and equipment at the Center and, as demand for design services expands, it’s predicted that even more personnel will be hired.
Founded in 1980, RollEase, offers over 5,000 discrete products and The Company has the industry’s broadest line of proprietary window covering operating systems and components, as well as technical fabrics and other complementary products, and operates multiple distribution locations for cost-effective fulfillment. RollEase is also the fastest- growing distributor of window covering technical fabrics in North America. For more information, visit www.rollease.com.
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Senior Vice President