A 32-year-old precision machine company in Wilmington has received the first grant from a pilot program aimed at helping Delaware businesses evolve and remain competitive within their industries.
High-Tech Machine Company Inc. was approved for up to $219,525 in funding from the Modernization Investment Support Initiative (MISI), which was created earlier this year. The MISI grant will help High-Tech Machine make almost $1.1 million in equipment upgrades that are necessary for the CNC machining and Wire EDM company to retain current contracts, compete for new contracts and maintain its 17 full-time employees.
“This is a homegrown Delaware startup that will use this grant to upgrade equipment,” said Governor John Carney. “This is what the Modernization Investment Support Initiative is designed to do – help companies like High-Tech Machine stay competitive and grow in the First State.”
Demand for CNC and EDM products has grown steadily in recent years, much of it from the aerospace and defense; medical imaging; instrumentation; and oil and gas sectors. Small shops like High-Tech Machine play a key role in the U.S. and global supply chain for these increasingly complex components – for which even miniscule variations in size or shape carry significant consequences – while also providing well-paying industry jobs.
High-Tech Machine offers customers a single source for complete turnkey products and processes for all aspects of projects, including machining, furnace brazing, plating, painting, heat treating, anodizing, silk screening and assembly. The bulk of the company’s revenue is from outside Delaware, with current clients in Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, West Virginia, Massachusetts, Maine, Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Texas, Arizona and California.
“This is exciting news for New Castle County and the State of Delaware,” said New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer. “High-Tech Machine is a proud Delaware company from a Delcastle High graduate, and we’re proud of their continued success.”
High-Tech Machine owner and President Neal Crosley completed studies at Delcastle High School and Delaware Technical Community College before working as a machinist for 10 years and then founding his company in 1991. Since then, High-Tech Machine has grown into a 10,000-square-foot facility with 20 machining centers, most of which are now 15 to 20 years old. High-Tech Machine’s MISI funding will help support the purchase of 5-axis machining centers, 4-axis horizontal machining centers and quality-control equipment that make them more efficient and are already used by the company’s competitors.
“We knew we had to increase capabilities and modernize our facility to remain competitive,” Crosley said.
Delaware Prosperity Partnership (DPP) connected with High-Tech Machine earlier this year as part of DPP’s existing business engagement program. DPP supported High-Tech Machine’s MISI funding request to the state Council on Development Finance, which voted to recommend support for High-Tech Machine during its December 11 meeting.
DPP had partnered with the state Division of Small Business earlier this year to propose MISI to help existing Delaware companies preemptively avert or reduce future potential risks to jobs and operations. In August, CDF members approved use of up to $5 million from the Delaware Strategic Fund for the MISI pilot program.
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