Steven Grande as Appointed as New Chair of MIDAC with Focus on Targeted Plan for Workforce Development

Mayor Alex Morse is pleased to announce the appointment of Steven Grande, President of Meridian Industrial Group in Holyoke, as the new Chair of the Mayor’s Industrial Development Advisory Committee (MIDAC).  The announcement follows ongoing efforts to engage the manufacturing community and revisit the objectives and efforts of the committee to better serve both the manufacturers and the Holyoke community at large.

For several decades, MIDAC has existed as an advisory advocacy group of manufacturers who meet periodically with the Mayor to provide insight and feedback on the needs of the manufacturing community, essentially serving as the primary liaison between the City and local industry.

The appointment follows over a year’s worth of visits to Holyoke manufacturing companies made by the Mayor and his economic development team to hear directly from industrialists about their priorities and suggestions on how to better utilize existing partnerships with organizations outside their sector to effectuate change.

“Just as many manufacturing companies have had to adapt to the changing economy, I think we have to take a close look at how industrialists engage with the City, our schools and other community partners to be more proactive in meeting our workforce development needs,” said Steven Grande. “That will include increased involvement with Dean Tech in order to better serve youth and industry as a pipeline for manufacturing jobs. Most importantly, we have to change the overall perception that exists around a career in manufacturing by introducing our youth to all the positive attributes that can come with the job, like high paying salaries and management opportunities.  The City has a clear focus on facilitating process and technology innovation in our sector which I can assure you, in today’s economy you’ll lose relevance fast if you don’t. I appreciate the Mayor’s conscious effort to convene and work with manufacturers in order to better address our needs, and I appreciate the trust he’s deposited in me to serve as a liaison to our sector and work towards fulfilling our common goals.”

“As I mentioned in my State of the City earlier this year,” Mayor Alex Morse said, “manufacturing continues to grow throughout the Pioneer Valley, but with a whole generation of skilled workers beginning to retire, the challenge exists in finding skilled workers to take their place. Keeping this in mind, the workforce development organizations that exist locally and regionally have spent the last decade developing model training and education programs. The challenge now is ensuring that manufacturers remain engaged and present in order to work collaboratively to not only grow and maintain the success of their businesses, but also address the community’s need to provide well-paying employment opportunities. We are fortunate to have so many leaders in our business community that are invested in the overall success of our City and are willing to devote their time and resources to make Holyoke a better place.”

Grande follows long-time chair Jim Segalyn, owner of Holyoke Machine Company.  Morse said of Segalyn: “I thank Jim for his many years of service and commend him for his success in focusing attention on critical needs of the manufacturing community that have become a staple of the City’s goals, such as reducing the costs and barriers to do business and preparing pad ready sites for new development.”

Steve Grande became President of Meridian Industrial Group in 2009 and has increased his involvement in the business community over the last few years, serving as on the Board of Directors for the Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce, the Taxpayers Association and Square One, as well as serving as President of the Western Massachusetts chapter of the National Tooling and Machining Association and Board Member for the Associated Industries of Massachusetts.  As President of Meridian Industrial Group, Mr. Grande has brought over 25 years of experience in business ownership, sales and management to implement cost-control measures that have allowed the company to evolve and modernize in order to better serve the demands of the emerging industry of precision machining. Meridian Industrial Group provides machining services to customers in the commercial, aerospace and defense industries throughout New England, the Northeast and across the US, including the manufacturing of parts in components of NASA spacecraft.