On October 17th, 40 students from Ms. Grigas’s business classes and Mr LeBlanc’s engineering classes traveled to Affordable Interior Systems (AIS), a high-end furniture manufacturing company located in Leominster, MA. Here, students were warmly welcomed by both the CEO, Bruce Platzman, and Vice President of sales, Courtney Porosko. The day began with a welcome breakfast and an overview of the day, which would consist of a private tour and educational seminars.
The factory itself is an impressive 600,000 sq ft facility, built in 2016. The students were led on tours of the production floor and given an in depth look at how all of the furniture is made. One of the company’s main tenants is a lean manufacturer, meaning that they attempt to minimize waste, overproduction, and shipping costs for purchasers. According to one of their floor managers, “speed, quality, flexibility, and inspection” are all important aspects of AIS. Following a tour, students were led to the showroom to test out products, many of which have made their way to Nashoba classrooms, thanks to a partnership between AIS, Mrs. Marotta, Ms. Grigas, and Mrs. Foley.
Later in the day, the business classes and the engineering classes split up so that students could get a closer look at their field of interest. For the business students, professionals in accounting, marketing, IT, sales, and HR departments illuminated what it takes to make it in their field. According to business student Jane Bonazzoli, “talking to the people at AIS really helped me to understand the different parts of business that interested me the most.” The engineering groups explored the different steps of the industrial manufacturing process, such as product concept, research, and development.
Mrs. Marotta, who first fueled Nashoba’s connection with AIS, said that the field trip was “a great learning opportunity for business and technology/engineering students to experience a day in the life of and AIS employee.” She is excited about the company’s commitment to “developing community partnerships” and their continued support of students, teachers, and extra-curricular activities.