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Making A Stand—Cleveland Contractor Helps MeasureNet And Community

Making A Stand

August 20, 2005

Most MeasureNet customers prefer their student interface stations mounted vertically to avoid the knocks and spills typical of an entry-level teaching laboratory. Many newer lab bench designs, however, lack the vertical shelving and piping typically used to mount MeasureNet stations in older labs.

An Ohio-based company has come to the rescue of vertically-challenged MeasureNet users. Near West Woodworks of Cleveland supplies MeasureNet with customized wooden station stands that elevate stations away from the dangers of acids, bases, drops, and knocks. The stands come in both single and double-sided versions and can be built to match the spatial characteristics of a wide range of benchtops. 

But there is more than meets the eye to the story of Near West Woodworks. The shop is an enterprise of Spectrum Of Supportive Services—an organization helping individuals with mental illnesses achieve the necessary skills to lead healthy, productive lives. The organization offers a range of employment services, housing, help lines, and consumer-operated enterprises.

Near West Woodworks has resided in the Ohio City neighborhood of Cleveland for over 35 years and employs some 50-60 individuals in programs that range from woodworking and custom picture framing to construction site clean-up. The company manufactures products for the aerospace industry, national window firms, and local universities.

"These guys are consummate role models in the community," according to MeasureNet's Director of Marketing Michael Kurutz. "They manufacture quality stands that are a great value to our customers. But more importantly, they empower, educate, and encourage their clients toward independence. The day-to-day work they've done over the past three decades has made a quantifiable impact in the lives of many."

MeasureNet's relationship with Near West Woodworks is part of an overall effort by the Cincinnati-based educational technology company to source materials and assembly in Ohio to help generate employment and retain tax revenue in the state. "While we could probably save a few dollars by outsourcing production abroad," adds Kurutz, "the communities we live and work in would benefit little. In the case of Near West Woodworks, there's no question we're doing the right thing."

(pictured above: Peter Malquest, Near West Woodwork's Vocational Supervisor inspecting the finished product)

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