Maine Machine Products increases scholarship fund


PARIS — A scholarship program offered by a precision manufacturing company received a $10,000 boost Thursday after the company’s founder made a donation to Central Maine Community College.

Ronald Sutton, founder and chairman of the board of Maine Machine Products Co., presented the check to Dr. Scott Knapp, president of the college, at the company’s building. The Ronald Sutton Endowed Scholarship Fund, named for Sutton’s contributions to the industry and support of the college, was established in November with a $15,000 gift. Sutton is also a director emeritus of the CMCC Education Foundation Board of Directors.

The scholarship benefits selected students who are enrolled in CMCC’s Precision Manufacturing Technology Program and in their third semester of coursework. Sutton said the program pays for students’ expenses and provides them with mentors to work at Maine Machine Products during the summer and other off times.

The number of scholarships depends on the number of applicants, but averages two to four per year. Recent graduates Rob Blethen and Caryn Fredsall were formerly selected for the scholarship and are now full-time associates at the company.

Knapp said the program allows students to enter an industry with a higher-than-average starting salary.

“It has to do with industries like this one that pay really good wages,” he said.

Maine Machine Products was founded in 1956. In addition to the Sutton scholarships, the company has given 50 full scholarships to students in the Precision Manufacturing Technology Program. Since 1974, it has also operated an apprenticeship program that includes two years of work at the company.

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