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Success Story: Workforce Training Boosts Sales for Growing Aerospace Business

Success Story: Workforce Training Boosts Sales for Growing Aerospace Business

Kennebec Technologies is a full-service, high-precision manufacturing company. With a focus on complex, high-value-added parts and assemblies, the company serves a variety of sectors, including aerospace and defense, medical devices, and semi-conductors. In business since 1972, Kennebec Technologies is based in Augusta, Maine, and has about 45 employees.

Kennebec Technologies has enjoyed a long relationship with Maine MEP, part of the MEP National Network. When the company required assistance with workforce development, Harvey Smith, Vice President of Operations sat down with Bill Whittier, Maine MEP Senior Project Manager, to discuss their options. Whittier advised Kennebec Technologies to take advantage of the workforce development and technical assistance services available under the Make it in America [MiiA] grant program.

We’ve had a relationship for well over a decade with Maine MEP and see them as a strong partner. When improving our business processes, we continue to see MEP as our 'go to' partner for planning and training.  —Mr. Harvey Smith, V.P. Operations Kennebec Technologies

The MiiA grant supported several trainings and projects at Kennebec Technologies. For instance, four employees attended a two-day training in Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) provided by the American Society for Quality. A key component of the Production Part Approval Process (PPAP), the FMEA training helped Kennebec Technologies obtain PPAP compliance. This led to new opportunities with two aerospace suppliers, Parker Aerospace and Woodward, together representing over one million dollars in new sales. In addition, two employees participated in a Geometric Design and Tolerancing (GD&T) training, allowing the company to retain existing work with another key supplier, Aerojet Rocketdyne.

Finally, the team at Kennebec Technologies underwent a Rapid Changeover Kaizen event that included implementing Single-Minute Exchange of Die (SMED) changeover boards at each machine station. Designed to reduce waste and improve product flow, the change is on track to generate significant annual cost savings for the company.


  • $1,000,000 in new aerospace sales
  • 324 hours of training
  • $400,000 in retained aerospace sales
  • $50,000 cost savings

Could your company benefit from assistance with workforce development? Contact your local MEP Center for more information.


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The Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership is the official representative of the MEP National Network™ in Maine. The MEP National Network™ is a unique public-private partnership that delivers comprehensive, proven solutions to U.S. manufacturers, fueling growth and advancing U.S. manufacturing.

About the author

Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership

The Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Maine MEP) is able to leverage a vast array of public and private resources and services that are available to every manufacturing enterprise in Maine. The mission of the Maine MEP is to facilitate economic development in Maine by providing needed services to Maine's SMEs.

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