AIS celebrated Manufacturing Month with events, educational sessions

The Leominster manufacturing company is also celebrating its 30th anniversary!

LEOMINSTER — AIS, the largest manufacturer of commercial office furniture and seating in New England, celebrated Manufacturing Month with a number of events and educational sessions throughout October.

Events included visits by Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, tours and discussions for local students, and an employee appreciation day.

The official national Manufacturing Day was Oct. 4 (held annually the first Friday of October) and AIS held events that day as well as throughout the month.

Manufacturing Month activities focused on the importance of manufacturing to the local economy. The events also helped AIS to mark its 30th anniversary. The company was founded in October 1989 by Bruce Platzman and Arthur Maxwell.

“When a local economy rests on a solid manufacturing foundation, local businesses of all sizes and industries benefit. We’re proud to be the largest employer and manufacturer in Leominster and proud to be celebrating 30 years,” AIS President and CEO Bruce Platzman said.

Manufacturing is 10.1% of Massachusetts’ total economic output and comprises 7.8% of the Commonwealth’s workforce (about 250,000 people in the state work in manufacturing), according to MassDevelopment.

With over 600 employees who work in manufacturing jobs at its headquarters location, AIS is one of the largest employers in traditional manufacturing in the state of Massachusetts. More than 250 women work at AIS’s Leominster location, and more than 30 countries are represented in the employee population. With 800 employees nationwide and annual sales of more than $220 million, AIS’s dealer-centric focus and network extends across North America. AIS has been awarded “Manufacturer of the Year” from the Office Furniture Dealers Alliance eight times since 2008.

Some of the Manufacturing Month Activities

Baker visited AIS on Oct. 9, touring the manufacturing floor, meeting employees and presenting a proclamation declaring October to be Manufacturing Month in Massachusetts.

AIS honored its employees with an appreciation day on Oct. 11 that included a picnic under a huge tent at headquarters catered by local food-truck companies. At the event, Platzman awarded the Barney Platzman Award to Francesca Jimenez Vega.

AIS hosted members of the Girls & Boys Club of Fitchburg and Leominster for a tour of the factory and the showroom. Submitted Photo

The award, given annually, is named for the CEO’s father and given to an AIS factory team member selected for his or her hard work and dedication. This is the first year that a woman has won the Barney Platzman Award.

“AIS thanks Francesca for her dedication, and we are so thankful for all the hardworking employees we have. We would not be where we are without them,” Platzman said.

AIS also hosted the Boys and Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster for factory and showroom tours. The North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation partnered with AIS to provide the experience for the club members.

On Oct. 25, State Sen. Dean Tran visited AIS and presented the company with a special citation honoring AIS’s 30 years in the state of Massachusetts. In 2018, Tran had nominated AIS “Manufacturer of the Year” for Central Massachusetts.

“AIS is a true partner in the region,” said Tran (Fitchburg).  “Not only are the company’s quality products unmatched in the industry, their involvement and volunteer work in the region are second to none. AIS’s commitment to the community is greatly appreciated.”

“AIS is committed to being a MassMade company that prides itself on its role in the local community, in the state and in our country,” Platzman said. “It’s been an incredible 30 years and there is so much more ahead of us!”

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