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Leadership Training for Improving Culture and Growth


Associated Spring (AS) has been a global leader in the spring and metal component sector since 1857. As a Barnes Group, Inc., business, they are a vital part of exemplary engineering, design, and manufacturing facilities around the world. Applications for their engineered springs and metal components can be found in transportation, aerospace and defense products, construction, energy, telecommunications, industrial and consumer products.

The company is dedicated and committed to operational excellence. To foster this commitment, AS leverages state of the art product and process technologies and uses lean manufacturing principles. Their highly-experienced workforce strives to exceed all customer expectations and various objectives. With 165 full-time employees in Corry, Pennsylvania, AS is a desired workplace for both experienced workers and people just entering the workforce. Through continuous improvement and developing their next level leadership, the company will continue to be an employer of choice.

The Challenge

As with most manufacturers in western Pennsylvania, Associated Spring has been affected by the lack of skilled workforce and it’s critical to retain current top performers. In order to improve operating profit, a key metric for them, it’s important to develop mid-level leaders. AS turned to NWIRC, part of the Pennsylvania MEP and the MEP National Network, for help.
In my nearly 40 years of organizational leadership roles, and attending training and development seminars, NWIRC’s training is the best I’ve experienced.
— Elizabeth Jacobs, Division Manager

MEP's Role

In order to develop the new generation of leadership, the NWIRC training coordinator first conducted a training assessment to gage the level of training and development within the organization and identify gaps from current training levels. A formal training and development plan was created. The leadership team wanted to focus on a customized program that would develop a culture of the team working together, finding their own dynamic, and understanding how all the parts and pieces work together to lead and grow the company.

By investing in the growth and development of new leaders, the impact of training will filter through the organization and impact the culture. Companies who support mid-level leadership training and development see a dramatic increase in retention and overall success of their organization. By consistently training and developing the leadership at Associated Spring, leadership will be able to gain consistency in production, improve output and increase revenue. NWIRC’s Culture Development Manager proposed a comprehensive program of (6) 2-hour sessions of leadership topics designed to impact the attitudes and behaviors of the participants and put them in a position to lead the company down a path of transformation and growth. The program consisted of training, coaching, team building, and special project support.

Created July 3, 2024