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Workforce Training for a Newly Merged Company Creates a Team that Increases its Competitive Edge

With the help of: FloridaMakes


RND Automation & Engineering, LLC is Florida's premier custom machine builder. RND, with its 40 employees, engineers, designs, manufactures and retrofits horizontal form, fill, and seal machines, and provides custom automation and material handing machinery for industries and products as diverse as hydraulic valves, automotive sensors, and contact lenses. Their projects range from fully-automatic, high-speed robotic work cells to operator-assisted, semi-automatic workstations. With over 20 years of experience in industrial machinery design, they provide their clients with production-ready automated equipment that cuts labor costs and improves quality and production rates of their customers.

The Challenge

RND had purchased another machine builder and moved both companies into a new facility. The management team determined that training would be necessary to help develop the two workforces into one cohesive team that would be able to meet the strategic objectives of the company.

RND Automation is extremely grateful for FloridaMakes. Although we all know the value of training, it’s always difficult to justify the significant cost in both dollars and time that additional training requires. FloridaMakes has been instrumental in assisting RND in justifying those costs, by introducing us to available state grants and highly skilled trainers.

We’ve increased our training budget overall, but more importantly, the value of the training we’re receiving relative to our spend is well over our spend. For every dollar we spend, this year, we’re receiving four dollars of training (due in part to the grants and negotiated discounts). I can’t recommend FloridaMakes enough. We were already competitive in our market but elevating our entire staff in this way is building us into a powerhouse.

— Aaron Laine, Director of Operations

MEP's Role

RND turned to the Sarasota Manatee Manufacturing Association (SAMA), part of the FloridaMakes Network and the MEP National Network™, for assistance.  FloridaMakes Business Advisors conducted both a lean diagnostics assessment and a business continuity assessment with the management team. These assessments helped helped the team to identify needs and focus the training.

A FloridaMakes business advisor worked with RND Automation senior management to help develop a 12-month training program, source training providers, and manage many of the training programs. FloridaMakes business advisors also helped RND obtain a training grant that reimbursed the company for 75% of the training costs.

Created October 9, 2020, Updated June 15, 2023