The Association for Corporate Growth has honored EJ Ajax as a 2015 BOLD Award Finalist.  The winner will be announced on February 24. Here’s the write-up:

EJ Ajax provides advanced metalforming solutions to manufacturers, architectural and engineering firms, and heavy equipment companies.

Our BOLD MOVE was to bridge the skills gap and grow our business through innovative workforce development. We collaborated with non-profits, foundations, government agencies, community colleges, and (gasp!) direct competitors to provide high-tech training, career planning, tuition reimbursement, apprenticeships, internships, and scholarships to single moms, first generation Americans, youthful offenders, and returning veterans who had interest and aptitude but lacked opportunity.

It worked. More than half of the frontline workforce at EJ Ajax entered into, or graduated from, our development programs. Many have nearly doubled their starting wages. The company invests 5.5 percent of payroll annually in workforce development, and it shows — sales are up 50 percent since 2009 and profit growth is several points above industry benchmarks. Our customers repeat. Turnover is low. Job safety is celebrated. Our bowling team is awesome. This success points directly to our diverse and highly-productive workforce, and we’re GLAD TO BE BOLD!

EJ Ajax is represented by Erick Ajax, Co-Owner; Curt Jasper, Human Resources; E.J. Daigle, Dunwoody College; Mike McGee, Hennepin Technical College; Jamie Barthel, Anoka Technical College; Darcy Hokkanen, Anoka County Workforce Center; and Jane Samargia, Non Profit Workforce Partner.  EJ Ajax was nominated by Andreas Scott, Financial Advisor, Total Wealth Advisors.

About ACG

Founded in 1954, the Asociation for Corporate Growth is the premier global association for professionals involved in corporate growth, corporate development, and mergers and acquisitions for mid to large companies. Leaders in corporations, private equity, finance, and professional service firms focused on building value in their organizations belong to ACG. They recognize the multiple benefits of networking within an influential community of executives growing public and private companies worldwide. For more than 50 years, ACG members have focused on strategic activities that increase revenues, profits and, ultimately, stakeholder value. Today ACG stands at more than 14,000 members representing Fortune 500, Fortune 1000, FTSE 100, and mid-market companies in 54 chapters in North America, Europe and Asia.