As we reflect over the last year, we remain inspired by the substantial, forward-directed strides taken by our industry, our partners, and our own growing team at Forum, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, global supply chain disruptions, and labor shortages. We are proud of our associates and team who cemented our path, allowing 2021 to be a significantly impactful and growth-focused year for us.
We have worked hard to overcome current global challenges, keeping foremost our dedication to serving customers with best-in-class injection molding products and assemblies to meet a wide range of applications. As a result, over this past year we have expanded our operations, added equipment, achieved additional facility certifications, hired new team members, and further enhanced our employee safety programs, among other accomplishments; examples of which are listed below.
Most importantly, the Forum Plastics family is truly grateful for our loyal customers, partners and associates…together, we will make 2022 even better!
1. New Certification and Compliance
Forum Plastics continually seeks to improve its manufacturing practices. In 2021, we qualified for both ISO 14001 certification, an international environmental standard for resource efficiency, and for ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) Compliance, which allows us to serve customers in the military, aerospace, and defense sector.
2. Investing in Equipment
We are committed to aligning with and investing in the latest technological advances, to meet the evolving needs of our customers and to enhance efficiencies within our production process.
As a result, in March 2021, we expanded our state-of-the-art automation capabilities with the addition of two flexible semi-automated, multi-head pad printing centers and several fully automated 100%-part inspection systems. In October, we also added a number of new electronic injection molding machines that have enhanced capabilities and assisted us in bringing clients’ products to market faster.
3. Strengthening Our Management Team
Forum’s management team members welcomed Khristine Carroll as their Vice President of Business Development in October. With an extensive medical device, material science, and contract manufacturing background, she is taking an active role in advancing our technological and commercial innovation capabilities in the marketplace, while conducting forward-looking trend assessments and identifying unmet market needs for further partnership and/or acquisition.
4. New Administrative Intern
In continued support of our community and academic outreach programs, during the 2021-22 academic year, 17-year-old student Jewelianna Walker joined us as an administrative intern with a focus on accounting, through Southwick Regional High School’s Diversified Learning Environment (DLE) program.
5. Giving Back to Our Community
As a value driven organization, Forum cherishes the opportunity to support philanthropic efforts and local needs throughout our community. As a result, we are proud to have donated to two local Waterbury non-profit institutions, St. Vincent DePaul Mission and the Greater Waterbury Interfaith-Ministries food bank, both of whom were given donations valued at $10,000, which was further generously enhanced by our parent company, Squadron Capital, via charitable fund matching.
Additionally, in light of the tragic tornado-based devastation in the central United States, Forum banded with other medical device stakeholders and partners to donate desperately needed electrolyte-based and hydration enhancing beverages.
6. MASC Plastics Training Program
During the summer, ten Forum employees proudly graduated from the first-ever Introduction to Plastics training program at Manufacturing Alliance Services Corporation (MASC). Forum President, Mark Polinsky, collaborated with other plastics industry leaders to develop this innovative 7-week curriculum for the local trade school in support of trade-based educational programs and local labor skills-based support and growth. Many graduates will continue developing their skills in our internal Set-Up Technician Training program. To learn more about MASC Plastics Training Program visit www.mascttc.com.
7. MasterCam Training
Employee training and development is a core value for Forum to support emerging talent in advancing their careers. Given our commitment to providing the tools and training to support these efforts, we are proud to have had two team members participate in MASC’s competitive 10-week MasterCam training program, in order to gain proficiency in CAD/CAM software applications for milling, machining, and components production.
8. Employee Safety
At our facility, the safety of our employees remains a primary and critical focus for our management team and associates. As a testament to this focus, in September, our Printing and Assembly Departments both celebrated three years reportable incident-free anniversaries! More recently, as part of our continuous training and internal safety program, thirty (30) Forum employees across all three (3) shifts completed a fire extinguisher and first aid, CPR, and AED training.
9. Return to Trade Shows
After more than a year without any live conferences or exhibitions, our sales and marketing team was thrilled to attend trade shows once again, including MD&M West 2021 in Anaheim (August) BIOMEDevice Boston (September), and BIOMEDevice Silicon Valley (December).
What’s Next in 2022?
Although life has not quite returned to normal yet, this past year demonstrated that business is beginning to resume to a normal state. Our team and industry have shown incredible dedication and resiliency through such challenging times. In some ways, these obstacles have pushed us to build higher-level efficiencies and challenge our systems to create even better processes than before.
The Forum team intends to continue this optimistic trend into 2022 and beyond by continuing investments in equipment, facilities, and our workforce, while simultaneously evaluating, aligning with, and investing in innovative technologies to enhance and expand our breadth of product/process offerings. We will gladly continue to support our local community and regional academic institutions, and are very excited to welcome in 2022 as we continue expanding, innovating, and supporting our clients and industry.