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Adding New Jobs!

Waterford-based Seconn Fabrication Precision Sheet Metal added 17 new jobs this year
including four recent hires for an automation unit, owner and president Robert J. Marelli Jr. said. The company has gone from 55 workers in January to 72 today. Operations manager Mike Long, of Waterford, is one of the four recent additions.

Overcoming shock: Seconn managed to increase profits in 2009 despite a 30 percent decline in sales brought on by the recent recession, said Marelli, a 1984 East Lyme High School graduate. In cutting costs, he credits the engagement and cross-training of his employees as well as new programs such as “lean” manufacturing. “It was gut-check time,” Marelli said. “But it gave us time to catch our breath and look within. We responded well to the challenge. Our motto is ‘Whatever it takes.’”

Chasing new business: Seconn was founded in July 2003 with four employees. It started in a 5,000-square-foot plant. Its facility at 180 Cross Road today is 60,000 square feet. The company is aggressively going after new business with a goal of reaching $30 million in total sales within the next 30 months, Marelli said.

Finding his niche: Long, a 1993 Waterford High School graduate, worked for a major local manufacturer for 16 years before joining Seconn about three weeks ago. Long met Marelli years ago, but the operations manager assumed he would be working for his former employer until his retirement. Long said Marelli and his colleagues create a friendly work atmosphere and he is given ample resources to accomplish his tasks.

Skilled workforce thinning: Connecticut manufacturing companies are having increasing difficulty finding workers with adequate skills, and Seconn is no exception, Marelli said. The Connecticut Business and Industry Association and state Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Catherine Smith recently addressed the topic. Marelli sat in on a session at the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut in which Smith spoke. “The skill set is being lost,” the Seconn president said.

Source: The Bulletin, July 12, 2011