New Bedford Business Honored as Mass. Manufacturer of the Year
BOSTON — A New Bedford based manufacturing company is being honored by state lawmakers with the Massachusetts Manufacturer of the Year award.
The State House News Service says legislators from the Manufacturing Caucus plans to honor the Joseph Abboud Manufacturing Corporation with the award at its annual ceremony Tuesday morning.
State Rep. Christopher Hendricks (D-11th Bristol) nominated the company. Organizers say for the past 30 years, Abboud has employed over 800 people at his New Bedford facility to produce his fashion line as his peers and competitors moved their facilities overseas.
“This company has been here for well over 50 years. It started as a small operation and has grown into what it is now,” Senior Operations Manager Gino Costa told WBSM News.
“We employ over 800 people and I think everybody here should be proud of the award that we’re receiving.”
Costa says not only does the facility produce the mass order of 900 suits per day, but also says it individually tailors a majority of its suits to a custom fit.
“So it’s not that we’re manufacturing in great quantities, we do that to a certain degree. But we also manufacture for the individual,” Costa explained.
“You would go into a Men’s Warehouse or Joseph A. Bank store, be measured and within seven to 14 days you would have a custom-made suit, which was unheard of 25 years ago. If you wanted a custom-made suit then it would take two to three months.”
Custom Manager Jenny Barroqueiro says the factory essentially works nonstop, utilizing a second shift in the cutting room Sundays through Thursdays from 3:30 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. She says the second shift allows the company to complete each shipping order within 14 calendar days.
“We have over 800 people working here and we are making 900 suits per day for 720 Men’s Warehouse stores and about 530 Joseph A. Bank stores,” said Barroqueiro.
“It was taking us 35 days, then it dropped to 14 days and now we’re testing a seven day rush.”
Abboud plans to bring the facility director and his lead tailor and designer, who's been with him since the company launched his own line, the ceremony.
Speakers at the event include House Speaker Robert DeLeo, co-chairs of the caucus Sen. Eric Lesser and Rep. Jeffrey Roy, Housing and Development Secretary Michael Kennealy and Associated Industries of Massachusetts Vice President of Governmental Affairs Brooke Thomson.