Stronger, eager to grow

ASSEMBLY LINE: Machine operator Yahalra Santiago, left, helps Hache Diaz pack soap at Bradford Soap Works Inc. in West Warwick. Bradford CEO and President Stuart Benton says the company has had difficulty filling available positions due to a lack of skilled labor in the state. / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO
ASSEMBLY LINE: Machine operator Yahalra Santiago, left, helps Hache Diaz pack soap at Bradford Soap Works Inc. in West Warwick. Bradford CEO and President Stuart Benton says the company has had difficulty filling available positions due to a lack of skilled labor in the state. / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO
The flexibility required of Rhode Island manufacturers to stay open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has made many of them stronger, says Kathie Mahoney, center director at Polaris MEP, the state’s manufacturing extension partnership. “No one was prepared for what happened [in March 2020],” she said. But manufacturers “proved their resiliency.” Whether it was pivoting to…

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