SPEC Engineering hosted a visit for State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant from the 49th Senate District. The visit was coordinated through the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC), an organization that provides companies in Illinois with the tools and techniques to create a sustainable, competitive future. In the past, IMEC has worked with SPEC to assist with training programs for employees and improving efficiencies.
The visit was set-up as part of the Senator's interest in small manufacturing companies within her district. IMEC thought SPEC would be an ideal fit for this tour since SPEC is located within Senator Bertino-Tarrant's district and the company's extensive involvement with other local manufacturers.
The visit began with a presentation from SPEC's management team, introducing the company to the Senator. The focus of the presentation was the company's growth over the past five years, starting with just five employees in 2012 growing to twenty-two employees in 2017, along with a $3 million in revenue growth since 2012.
As a large integrator of manufacturing components, SPEC boasts that a vast majority of their vendors and customers are manufacturers within Senator Bertino-Tarrant's district. The group discussed some challenges facing small manufacturers in Illinois as a whole, including: finding good talent, training current employees, undesirable payment terms from large customers, and managing workloads.
Following the presentation, the group went on a tour of SPEC's facilities, consisting of the engineering department and the 8,000 square foot assembly center. On the shop floor, SPEC showcased their Dust Rescuer, a new dust collection product that adds to the SPEC product line, an original fondant cooling wheel, and a used boiler that was retrofitted for a customer's new facility. Senator Bertino-Tarrant spent time in the shop discussing with the group ideas about getting students interested and excited about careers in manufacturing. With the Senator's background in education, she found this topic to be intriguing and hopes to address this issue in the future.