Education, manufacturing partnership benefits industry and community

Partnership harvests quality employees


Fisher-Barton Specialty Products supplies performance-enhanced components, including heat-treated stampings, weldments, and coated knives and blades, used in the agricultural, construction, mining and biofuels industries.


Fisher-Barton had a variety of training needs. Employees were in need of newer manufacturing concepts such as Lean practices. To prepare employees for advancement in the company, welders needed cross training.


Madison College Business and Industry Services provided Lean manufacturing training and introduced several of the company’s robotic welders to manual welding practices and welding theory. Courses included: Lean Principles for Supervisors, Microsoft Excel, CNC Setup-Operation (Levels 1 & 2), Robotics (Levels 1, 2 and 3), Gas Metal Arc Welding and Welding Theory (for Robotic Welders), Program Logic Controllers (PLC) and MSSC-Quality.

Fisher-Barton joined the Madison College Eastern Region Workforce Advancement Training (WAT) Grant as part of a 19-company consortium. They also participated in an Economic Development Administration (EDA) Grant. The training costs were partially funded by the WAT grant. The EDA grant was fully funded for participants and included several other companies and general public participants.


Fisher-Barton management saw improved productivity and quality. One employee will be able to program all robots, freeing up engineers for other projects. The company also developed and partnered in designing their own curriculum for Fabrication Welding. Being able to train welders specifically on their own products and processes, significantly increased productivity and quality.