Related to the headline of the 11/18/21 edition of the Record-Journal, “Meriden manufacturer in ‘survival mode’”:
I was very surprised by the placement and title of the article. I was contacted Wednesday afternoon for a comment on the incentive the City passed to encourage manufacturing in Meriden. I responded to a question regarding our plans for 200 Research Parkway with the unfortunate use of the term “survival mode.” I meant to say, “sustainment mode.” In any regard, I want to provide some context to the plans Jonal has for its future. Jonal is committed to Meriden and the aerospace and defense industries, exploring a number of very interesting opportunities. We are also in the process of transitioning to the 3rd generation. I have two of my daughters working at Jonal, one of which, Haley Nemeth, will be assuming leadership in the not-too-distant future.
While Covid-19 has negatively impacted our industry, Jonal has found a silver lining. We have implemented an improvement initiative called the “Year of the Process,” in which we have identified ~120 processes across all departments for review and enhancement. As the article stated, we have three facilities in Meriden:
1. 456 Center Street, our headquarters, where we perform a full range of manufacturing operations and have run out of space. We just approved a capital budget of over $300,000 to purchase some new presses.
2. 290 Pratt Street, 11,000 feet of leased space, where we make our larger seals (some up to 12 feet long) for our airframe customers. Just Wednesday morning, I approved the purchase of some process equipment to support our manufacturing there.
3. 200 Research Parkway, recently purchased to support our growth. Incidentally, this property will be moving from a tax exempt status to a tax paying status.
As the article mentioned, I expected Covid to impact our industry for approximately a year. Since that has proved to be an incorrect prediction, Jonal has gone from an aggressive growth mode to more of a “sustainment” mode for our 200 Research Parkway expansion initiative. We have shared our plans with the City and were informed that this would incur a “change of use,” requiring the use of an architect. We expect to receive the report soon and commence demolition of the internal walls of the west side of the building while continuing to rent the east side. We are currently internally discussing the plans and timing for next steps for this facility.
I regret my poor word choice which may have led to some confusion. Jonal is in no way in “survival mode,” rather sustaining and maintaining while looking toward a very bright future.
Marc Nemeth is president of Jonal Labs Inc.