A custom boat building and repair company in Dennis was among 13 Baystate manufacturers receiving grants from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ new Massachusetts Manufacturing Accelerate Program (MMAP).
Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karen Polito announced the winners for the first round of grants on Jan. 27, awarding $2,157,416 to 13 manufacturers from across the Commonwealth.
Olsen Marine of East Dennis, which received a $65,000 grant, also operates The Duck Boat Co. The company’s capital equipment purchase includes converting workspace and additional equipment for increased production, including an automated fiberglass fabric cutter. This more streamlined production allows Olsen to not only meet the current demand for its boats, but also pursue expansion into other markets for future products and capabilities. Through these improvements, Olsen can improve its workspace and production capabilities, plus attract new employees and double its workforce.
“As long time small business owners with a 30-year history of custom boat building and refurbish work, my husband Tom and I decided we needed to expand our business to a steadier production model,” said co-owner Elizabeth Olsen. “Our oldest son, an avid duck hunter, directed us to an long time company with a large following that was for sale, The Duck Boat Company. We purchased the company in 2017 and the interest and demand has been steadily growing under our stewardship.”
Olsen said that last year, the demand for the The Duck Boat water fowling models went far beyond the company’s production capabilities within their current workspace.
“We had a waitlist for our boats for 2022 and now we have started one for 2023,” she added. “The MMAP Grant managed by CAM has given us the opportunity to improve our shop environment by acquiring new capital equipment for cleaner, more streamlined production and converting our workspace to increase production. As a result of these improvements, we hope to pursue new avenues for our products and increase our workforce.”
Launched in June 2021, MMAP aims to co-invest in small- to medium-sized manufacturers to better prepare their businesses to meet the demands of “Industry 4.0,” the innovation-driven production methods powered by smart technologies such as data analytics, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, automation and connected technologies to stay competitive.
“Massachusetts manufacturers continue to play an important role for our economy, both here in Massachusetts but also nationally, where they’re contributing to critical sectors such as energy, defense and healthcare,” said Gov. Charlie Baker. “Through these MMAP grants, we are bolstering 13 companies through infrastructure investments that will drive innovation, increase efficiency and boost job growth across the state.”
The MMAP grants will be used by the Mass. manufacturers to invest in infrastructure, funding projects that create partnerships between the companies and manufacturing-focused organizations in the state, including nonprofits, R&D centers, and/or quasi-public agencies, to help them succeed. The program builds on the Commonwealth’s existing assets, including strong academic presence, a national leadership in R&D, the depth of the Massachusetts innovation ecosystem, and the Commonwealth’s long history of manufacturing strength.
Other grant winners were: Advance Welding/Kielb Welding Enterprises of Springfield;Associated Environmental Systems of Acton; AccuRounds of Avon; Atech Turbine of Auburn; Boulevard Machine of Westfield; Guardair Corp of Chicopee; Hi-Tech Mold & Toolof Pittsfield; International Fabric Machine of Boston; JetCool of Littleton; Klear Vu Corp of Fall River; Marzilli Machine Co., Inc. of Fall River; North Easton Machine of North Easton.
“Small and medium-sized manufacturers are essential to the vitality of Massachusetts’ economy,” said Julian Cyr (D – Truro). “I am thrilled that Olsen Marine in East Dennis has been awarded $65,000 from the Massachusetts Manufacturing Accelerate Program. These funds will be utilized by this local Cape businesses to maintain a competitive edge in the yacht and boat-making industry with the aid of new technologies and processes.”
Full details on the program can be found on the Center for Advanced Manufacturing’s website at: https://cam.masstech.org/mmap.