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HABCO in The News

05/15/2020 - An updated letter from HABCO President & CEO regarding Covid-19

May 15, 2020

Since our last update in the letter dated April 16, 2020, I am pleased to state that HABCO continues to maintain 100% employee capacity, with all of our on-site workforce split between 2 shifts operating between 4am – 2am. We continue to do temperature checks before each shift for every employee and visitor, and we continue to ensure everyone coming in the building is wearing masks and gloves and is socially distant. We maintain our strict protocols of ensuring a minimum of one hour gap in between each shift, to ensure no overlapping of employees across shifts and also to provide essential time for daily cleaning and disinfecting protocols to be carried out.

The majority of our indirect labor workforce continues to work remotely, although we are working on our process to start bringing more employees back to the office over the upcoming months. Given the strong protocols we have continued to enforce throughout the pandemic, and in an effort to ensure that we continue to do everything possible to protect the health and safety of our workforce, we have once again expanded our COVID-19 protocols to focus on employee flexibility for the ever changing ‘home life’, as well as ensuring we do everything we can to meet customer demand.

As mentioned in our last update, we have successfully launched our COVID-19 voluntary on-site saliva testing. Habco has paved the way for the non-healthcare industry – being the first company in the country to self-administer saliva tests to employees. This is extremely exciting for us, as it provides an even greater opportunity for us to ensure the safety of our team members. It has also provided a significant peace of mind for our staff to receive “negative” test results, as it greatly reduces the anxiety over the unknown asymptomatic carriers. As importantly, it is providing us additional flexibility that is critical for our employees and our customers.

We started the two shifts and off-site work schedule on March 16th, and as we look to start our 10th week on this schedule, we have many employees on second shift that have a need to move back to first shift - we have some employees that we’d like to switch shifts to improve flow of product through the production cycle - and we have multiple people that we have not allowed to come into the office that we would really like to have back on site. The testing has allowed us to test (or-retest) those employees to have them switch shifts or come back on site with a high level of comfort and confidence in protecting our workforce. To date, we have tested over 50 individuals (both direct and indirect team members), and I am pleased to report that we have not had any positive test results.

To further ensure the safety of our workforce, while striving towards allowing more employees to return from working from home, we are incorporating our new 42,500 square foot facility in East Hartford that we finished renovating last week into our COVID-19 protocols. By bringing remote employees to this newly renovated facility, we can better ensure the continued health and safety of our direct labor employees who have continued to work onsite at our Glastonbury headquarters throughout the duration of the pandemic. Ultimately, this new facility provides us with a unique opportunity to bring teams back onsite, but in accordance with all of the COVID-19 protocols that have been in place, and limiting exposure to the employees that have previously been on site.

At this time, we have not had any confirmed cases of COVID-19 across our employee base. However, should we find ourselves in a position where a positive test is confirmed in the future, we remain confident that the expanded protocols we continue to put in place will significantly help to minimize any risk or exposure to our other team members, or our operational capabilities.

Our focus on employee safety and protection has been recognized as one of the leaders in the state and has been benchmarked by many companies over the past two months. The focus has been highlighted in various publications, podcasts, webinars, and even on the nightly news. If you are interested in seeing any of these, please feel free to click on any of the below:

The Habco team remains committed to the mission we set at the start of our COVID-19 planning:

  1. Ensuring the health and safety of our employees, suppliers and customers, while
  2. Providing flexibility for Habco employees to manage their home life appropriately, and
  3. Meet customer demands

Feel free to reach out to me with any questions. I am happy to share any of our protocols as I truly believe the faster all companies can adopt best practices, the quicker we can begin our new normal. Also, please feel free to share your best practices as we are continually looking for improvements to our processes.
Be safe,

Brian Montanari, President & CEO
HABCO Industries, LLC

April 16, 2020 

Since our last update, provided in the letter dated April 2, 2020, I am pleased to confirm that HABCO continues to be operating at 100% employee capacity. 100% of our direct labor workforce, which represents roughly 50% of our total employee population, continues to work onsite, split between 1st and 2nd shifts. The remaining 50% of our employee base continues to work remotely and at full capacity. Also during this time, we have been able to keep up with our renovation schedule and are putting the finishing touches on our third facility in CT, and plan to be operational in that facility by May 1st.

As the length of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to expand, we continue to explore other available protocols that will help to ensure the safety of our employees, customers and suppliers. By way of example, on April 8th, Governor Lamont issued new and expanded COVID-19 guidelines for “essential” employers. The list consisted of 12 categories and roughly 50 recommended guidelines. Having completed a side-by-side comparison, I am pleased to confirm that there were only 2 guidelines on that list that were not part of our current internal protocol. Both have been added and include the following:

  • Providing Hand Sanitizer at all entrances to our facility (we had sanitizer at the main entrance, work stations, rest
    rooms, and other common areas, just not at all of our employee entrances).
  • Removal of trash receptacle lids in order to further reduce the need for employees to touch common surfaces.

We have also completed the following actions referenced in our last update:

  • Back-Up Coverage – We have successfully connected with former employees (in good standing) who have confirmed availability to provide temporary assistance as needed. This provides us with additional resources and/or back-up coverage as needed.
  • 3rd Shift – As part of our back-up coverage planning effort, we now have the ability to run a 4 hour 3rd shift operation if needed, which will still provide us with the ability to continue our expanded cleaning protocols between shifts.

The most exciting news I can report related to our expanded protocol involves the implementation of voluntary onsite COVID-19 testing for our employees. We have been able to successfully secure COVID-19 test kits from a manufacturer who received FDA approval under the COVID-19 Emergency Authorization Act. It is the only approved test that can be  and doesn’t require finger pricks or swabs in the throat or nose – it is done through saliva / sputum and has a 99.4% accuracy rate. After working closely with the manufacturer of the test kits to develop a process for non-healthcare professionals to procure the kits, we worked with our attorney to develop the formal process and voluntary release forms. We then communicated the process to our employees and officially began testing employees on 4/13/20. I believe Habco is the first company in industry to start testing employees…I know that we are the first non-hospital/medical office to be able to procure saliva test kits in the country.

At this time, we have not had any confirmed cases of COVID-19 across our employee base. However, should we find ourselves in a position where a positive test is confirmed in the future, we are very confident that the expanded protocols we continue to put in place will significantly help to minimize any risk or exposure to our other team members, or our operational capabilities.

Be safe,
Brian Montanari, President & CEO
HABCO Industries, LLC

April 2, 2020 

As an update to our previous letter dated March 23, 2020, I am pleased to confirm that HABCO is still operating at 100% capacity. In addition to the pro-active approach we took to start putting Covid-19 protocols in late February, we have continued to modify our internal guidelines in order to ensure the highest level of protection and safety for our employees, customers and suppliers. A highlight of our protocols introduced over the last four weeks include the following: 

  • Work from Home – all employees that do not touch product (or supervise those that do) are not allowed to come into the office. IT hardware was purchased to ensure all can work from home (started 3/16/20) 
  • Temperature Readings – all employees and external visitors to the facility are required to have a temperature reading taken on a daily basis by the onsite Shift Manager (started 3/9/20) 
  • Masks & Gloves – all employees and external visitors are required to wear an N-95 mask and gloves at all times within the facility (we purchased our supply on 3/3/20, encouraged use 3/9/20, mandated 3/23/20) 
  • Internal Cleaning - all employees are required to wipe down their work areas, equipment and tools at the beginning and end of each shift (started 3/9/20)
    • Managers have been assigned to wipe down all common areas at the beginning and end of each shift.
    • We have increased the frequency of visits from our cleaning vendor and have added new protocols to align with current recommended Covid-19 cleaning guidelines.
  • 2 Shift Operation – we split our production team into two shifts to ensure even greater opportunity for social distancing (started 3/16/20) 

We are relentless in our pursuit to stay ahead of the curve and remain willing to help others. We have consolidated all components of our current Covid-19 protocol into a 9 page document that has been shared with members of the CT manufacturing community and it is being referenced as a best practice for companies in need of developing or improving their own protocol. Our Executive Team continues to meet on a daily basis to discuss new opportunities to better ensure our ability to remain fully operational. Two specific items that are in process include the following: 

  • 3rd Shift – In order to provide even greater social distancing and assist us with maintaining required productivity levels, we are putting plans in place to add a 3rd shift to our operation. 
  • Back-Up Coverage – In order to maintain required staffing levels throughout the entire course of the pandemic, we are actively reaching out to former employees to confirm interest in working extra hours, or full-time hours if their current employer is not currently open for business. 

At this time, we have not had any confirmed cases of Covid-19 across our employee base and we remain dedicated to implementing policies to do our best to continue this trend. However, should we find ourselves in a position where a positive test is confirmed in the future, we are very confident that as a result of the pro-active approach we have taken, and the expanded protocols that we have put in place, that we have significantly minimized any risk or exposure to our other team members, or our operational capabilities. 

Be safe,
Brian Montanari
President & CEO, HABCO Industries, LLC 

March 23, 2020

As the current situation regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has driven us into unprecedented times locally, nationally and globally, we want to assure you that we have been keeping the health and well-being of our associates, suppliers and customers at the forefront of our planning.

We began putting measures in place three weeks ago and have aggressively increased those measures as the spread of the pandemic continued.  Habco’s planning has been focused around the following 3 principals:

  1. Ensuring the health and safety of the employees, suppliers and customers, while
  2. Providing flexibility for Habco employees to manage their home life appropriately, and
  3. Meet customer demands

The measures that have been put in place have allowed us to navigate through the past few weeks and have allowed us to do so in a manner with continued throughput.  As the landscape continued to change, concern of state and federal shutdowns moved from a possibility to reality.  On Friday, March 20, Governor Lamont announced that all non-essential businesses in Connecticut were to close, effective Monday the 23rd as part of his “Stay Safe, Stay Home” program.

Habco is part of the Defense Industrial Base that directly supports contracts with the Department of Defense, which is confirmed through the letter received from the Undersecretary of Defense (Ellen M. Lord) on March 20, 2020.  As such, Habco is essential under both the Federal and State guidelines and will continue to be open to support our customers and the country’s national security.

We have rolled out even more aggressive measures to do our best to ensure the safety of our employees as they focus on meeting customer demand and we will continue to adjust our hours, schedule, and policies during this uncertain time.

Our supply chain team is working with our key suppliers on a daily basis to ensure continuity of materials and the entire Habco team is focused on doing everything we can to meet delivery requirements.

Be safe,

Brian Montanari, President & CEO
HABCO Industries, LLC

Glastonbury, CT – HABCO Industries, a leader in supporting the commercial and defense aerospace industries with engine and airframe tooling solutions, support and test equipment, as well as logistics and warehousing, announced the appointment of Richard Levesque to the role of Chief Operating Officer. With extensive management experience spanning nearly three decades, Levesque brings valuable leadership to HABCO’s executive team during a period of rapid growth. As COO, Levesque will lead operations, focusing on planning, executing, measuring and driving accountability.

“It is such an exciting time at HABCO and I couldn’t be happier to have Rich join the team,” said Brian Montanari, HABCO’s President and CEO.  “His decades of experience will help bring our operations to the next level as we continue on this path of rapid growth.  With Lean as one of his key foundations, Rich will focus on continuously improving our operations in pursuit of providing the ultimate customer experience.”

Prior to joining HABCO, Levesque has utilized Lean principles to drive operational excellence and transform organizations across multiple industries including Healthcare, Commercial & Military. Most recently, as Operations Director at Radio Frequency Systems, Levesque was able to reduce lead times by 75% and costs by 35% resulting in increased market share. Prior to that, Levesque had a significant impact in achieving double-digit improvements in productivity, quality, lead time reduction and cash flow improvements as Vice President of Operations at both MAAX Bath and The Wiremold Company.

“I’m very excited about joining the HABCO organization. The production of quality products, dedicated workforce, and strong executive leadership are all examples of a commitment to growing the business. I’m looking forward to working with the team to take the organization to the next level.”

When Rich isn’t working, you can find him either on his boat on the Connecticut River, or spending quality time with his wife, children and grandson.

About HABCO Industries:

Founded in 1970, HABCO has steadily grown to be one of the premier support & test equipment and engine & airframe tooling solutions for the commercial and military aerospace industry. HABCO has partnered with several large OEM aerospace companies, and has been recognized with numerous industry achievements and awards.

In 2020, HABCO will celebrate 50 years of serving the commercial and defense aerospace industries with engine and airframe tooling solutions, support and test equipment, as well as logistics and warehousing. HABCO pledges to continue to innovate, grow and support their partners throughout the lifespan of their equipment. HABCO takes great pride in keeping the customer operationally ready. “It Matters” is a way of thinking and acting across every customer engagement. If it matters to you, it matters to HABCO.

Press Contact
Wendy Burnham
Director, Marketing & Communications
HABCO Industries
wendy.burnham@habco.biz
860-430-5192

Glastonbury, CT – HABCO Industries, a privately held engine tooling and ground support equipment manufacturer for the commercial and military aerospace industry, has secured 25,000 square feet of additional logistics and warehousing space in East Hartford, CT.

Brian Montanari, President and CEO, said: “In true HABCO fashion, we reacted quickly in order to provide the ultimate customer experience.  A key customer had a warehousing need and we wanted to meet their need.  Within six weeks of being notified of the opportunity, we identified a location, negotiated a lease, and closed on the deal. The entire facility was cleaned out, repaired and updated with a security system and cameras.   We accomplished a lot in 45 days, bringing HABCO to another level of trusted and dedicated support to our valued aerospace customers.”

The warehouse facility will free up critical manufacturing space to allow for planned growth in the headquarter location in Glastonbury, CT.  Warehousing and logistics of engine tooling and ground support equipment continues to reinforce the commitment we have to our customers in providing all-encompassing solutions of their maintenance needs.

Brian, a strong believer in Lean principles, also said, “Within the next couple of weeks, the entire Glastonbury manufacturing facility will be set up with a new operational layout. This is all being done to reduce waste and improve flow, to be more effective in our execution and to set-up production lines for our new contracts.”

Las Vegas, NV – Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company (NYSE:LMT) has entered into an exclusive distribution agreement with HABCO Industries to supply ground support equipment products for the maintenance, servicing and manufacturing production of Sikorsky helicopter products. The announcement was made at the 2018 HAI HELI-EXPO.

The agreement covers all commercial, international military, and U.S. Government ground support equipment, as well as locally fabricated and Commercial off the Shelf (COTS) items where Sikorsky is the main source for those products. The agreement commits HABCO to support commercial and military helicopters currently in operational use.

HABCO Industries is a leading supplier of ground support and test equipment as well as engine tooling product solutions that aerospace and defense companies have relied on for operational readiness for more than 47 years.

“HABCO is a long-time Sikorsky supplier. Their experience allows them to understand and embrace our product expectations and deliver GSE for our commercial and military customers. We fully expect the level of service and quality will transfer to the end users,” said Sikorsky’s Director for Fleet Management, Supportability and Training, Simon Gharibian.

“HABCO fully understands the tremendous responsibility that comes with being a distributor for Sikorsky. We’re committed to delivering rapid response with exceptional delivery times and the quality and performance that operators flying Sikorsky aircraft have come to expect,” said Jeff Kretzmer, V.P. Sales and Marketing, HABCO Industries.

About Lockheed Martin
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 100,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.

# # #

Sales Inquiries:
HABCO: Daniel Franzese  +1 781-838-1038

Media Contacts:
Sikorsky: Callie Ferrari, APR  +1 203-360-4819
HABCO: Wendy Burnham  +1 860-430-5172

Glastonbury, CT – HABCO Industries, a leading manufacturer of aerospace support and test equipment and engine tooling, has received certification from the FAA to begin operations as a Certified 14 CFR part 145 FAA Repair Station, CRS#: 5HBR906C. The stand-alone business offers maintenance, repair and overhaul services under Limited Accessories for Airframe and Engine components. There will be additional product categories added in the future as the HABCO MRO business continues to grow and evolve.

“For over 40 years‚ countless aerospace customers have counted on HABCO to provide them with proven support and test equipment products. Many of these customers have asked us to develop an FAA Service business to support overhaul and repair of products. We’re building on this competency to have a deeper FAA service offering. HABCO MRO is borne out of the market need and request‚” stated Jeff Kretzmer‚ Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “We began this journey to gain certification well over a year ago and have worked tirelessly with the FAA to meet all their stringent requirements. We’re excited about what this means for HABCO Industries‚” added Kretzmer.

The HABCO MRO business will be located in a separate facility within the HABCO operational footprint. All employees, from inspectors to technicians are totally focused and dedicated on the service aspects of the business. “HABCO MRO represents a major investment for the company. We’re building an employee base to meet the demanding requirements that being an FAA Repair Station entails for the aerospace community. Our plans are to rapidly grow the business,” remarked Brian Montanari, President and CEO.

The initial focus for HABCO MRO is going to be aimed at concentrating on the core competencies of the parent company HABCO Industries that involve the repair of products requiring actuation, temperature, pressure and air-flow/oil-flow. This is the product category where HABCO MRO can add the most value based on years of experience manufacturing and servicing these products.

Glastonbury, CT – HABCO Industries, a leading supplier of test and support equipment and tooling products to the aerospace industry, has entered into a license agreement with Pratt & Whitney as the exclusive authorized tooling supplier for Pratt & Whitney engine tooling on the GP7200 engine. This license agreement builds on the position that HABCO has established as an engine tooling supplier. Over the past year, HABCO has functioned as the exclusive Designated Service Supplier (DSP) of tooling for Pratt & Whitney legacy engines − JT3D, JT8D, JT9D, PW2000, PW4000 and PW6000.

“Throughout our existence, countless airline operators have relied upon HABCO for high quality, support and test equipment used throughout their operations. The addition of the Engine Alliance license agreement with Pratt & Whitney is a further demonstration of our engine tooling business offering. We’ve totally aligned the company from both an internal and external position to ensure that all Engine Alliance customers receive the Pratt & Whitney tooling support that they’ve come to expect. Our support will be unwavering,” remarked Jeff Kretzmer, Vice President, Sales and Marketing for HABCO.

“The license agreement with Pratt & Whitney for Engine Alliance tooling is another validation of the business that we’re building at HABCO. We’re working to build a business that end users can continually count on to get their engine tooling whenever and wherever they need it. We’re working hard to pay off the trust that major aerospace OEM’s are placing in us with these license agreements,” added Kretzmer.

Glastonbury, CT – HABCO Industries, a leading supplier of test and support equipment to the aerospace industry, has entered into a license agreement with Pratt & Whitney Canada to be an approved licensed supplier for commercial tooling in support of all Pratt & Whitney Canada engine programs (JT15D, PW100, PW150, PW100TS, PW200, PW210, PW300, PW500, PW600, PW800 and PT6, PT6A, PT6B and PT6C). Over the past year, HABCO has been functioning as the exclusive designated service supplier of tooling for Pratt & Whitney engines − JT3D, JT8D, JT9D, PW2000, PW4000 and PW6000. Plans are in place to be fully operational in support of the new Pratt & Whitney Canada license agreement at the beginning of 2017.

“Throughout our existence, countless airline operators have relied on HABCO for quality support and test equipment used throughout their operations. The tooling license agreement with Pratt & Whitney Canada is a further demonstration of our InnoGration™ business offering. We’ve totally aligned the company from both an internal and external perspective to ensure that all Pratt & Whitney Canada engine customers receive the tool support that they’ve come to expect. Our support will be unwavering,” remarked Jeff Kretzmer, Vice President, Sales and Marketing for HABCO.”

Located in Glastonbury, Connecticut, HABCO has supplied extensive product solutions to the aviation industry for well over 40 years. The company has a deep product offering that includes a comprehensive portfolio of support and test equipment. Over the past two years, the company has expanded their unique InnoGration™ value stream to include significant license agreements with several aerospace OEMs.

Glastonbury, CT – HABCO Industries, a leading supplier of test and support equipment to the aerospace industry, has entered into a license agreement with Pratt & Whitney to be the exclusive designated service supplier for commercial tooling in support for Pratt & Whitney legacy engine programs. The agreement covers current Pratt & Whitney commercial engines in operation, including: JT3D, JT8D, JT9D, PW2000, PW4000 and PW6000 engines.

“HABCO has demonstrated the quality that we are looking for in a strategic sourcing resource of tools and tooling solutions,” said Rick Pianka, General Manager – Commercial Engines Global Procurement & Licensing, Pratt & Whitney. “They proved their capabilities and credentials through a vigorous vetting program. HABCO has achieved UTC Supplier Gold status, which is United Technologies’ highest supplier rating. The company also is an AS9100 certified facility with a commitment to great quality and rapid response. We’re confident that HABCO has the right programs and people in place to make this transition seamless for our customers.”

Located in Glastonbury, Connecticut, HABCO has supplied extensive product solutions to the aviation industry for well over 40 years. The company has a deep product offering that includes a comprehensive portfolio of support and test equipment.

“Countless airlines have always relied upon HABCO throughout the years to deliver support and test equipment to assure their assets remain in revenue service. The license agreement with Pratt & Whitney is a further commitment to delivering on this capability. We’ve aligned the company both internally and externally to ensure that Pratt & Whitney airline customers receive the engine tool support to which they are accustomed. It is a responsibility that we take seriously,” remarked Jeff Kretzmer, Vice President of Marketing and Sales for HABCO.

Beginning second quarter of 2015, all new orders for commercial tooling to support Pratt & Whitney legacy engines were transitioned to the responsibility of HABCO Industries. Customers were alerted to the change by Pratt & Whitney through a service letter. Contact information is habcotooling@habco.biz

Hartford, CT – Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced today that HABCO Industries, which builds test and ground-support equipment for the aerospace industry, is expanding its Glastonbury operation and plans to increase its workforce from 42 to 79 over the next four years.

"Today is another example of Connecticut's commitment to the aerospace industry, leveraging this strategic relationship to benefit our state. HABCO is one of hundreds of small aerospace manufacturers that will be hiring over the next several years, and Connecticut is pleased to be a partner in its growth," Governor Malloy said. "Last year we grew more jobs than any time since 1998 - and it's because we're making smart decisions today for a brighter Connecticut tomorrow. We're investing like never before, and our state is making progress as a result."

Aerospace industry original equipment manufacturers like Pratt & Whitney, General Electric, and Boeing forecast 29,000 new passenger and freight aircraft being built at a value of $4.4 trillion over the next 20 years. This unprecedented growth means increasing demand for HABCO's test and support equipment services, which currently serve many of Connecticut's leading aerospace industry suppliers.

"We are proud to have the confidence of, and partnership with, the state of Connecticut. We're now in position to make the investments in our manufacturing and IT infrastructure we need to pursue our ambitious business strategy and realize the tremendous growth potential that the aerospace industry presents going forward," stated Brian Montanari, President and CEO. "It demonstrates that Connecticut is creating a business-friendly environment that attracts investment, spurs job growth, and helps companies such as HABCO to become more competitive in the global marketplace."

"I recently toured HABCO, and Brian told me about his plan to double his workforce over the next few years and how the State of Connecticut can help with that," said State Senator Steve Cassano (D-Manchester), whose 4th State Senate District includes Glastonbury. "Habco's not moving down South. They're not moving overseas. They're staying and growing right here in Connecticut with the help of Governor Malloy and the state legislature.  This investment is great news for Glastonbury and great news for Connecticut's bedrock, booming aerospace and defense industries."

The state will support the project with a $2 million loan from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), at an interest rate of 2 percent for a term of 10 years. DECD funding will be used to purchase manufacturing equipment such as computer numeric controlled (CNC) lathes, five axis milling machines, a tube bender, a powder coat system, enterprise resource planning (ERP) software as well as training for current and new employees.

"This funding will provide HABCO with the employees, equipment, training, and infrastructure to remain a strong partner in Connecticut's future aerospace growth plans," said DECD Commissioner Catherine Smith. "And a strong manufacturing sector is crucial to a strong overall economy."

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