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GREENFIELD — The MassHire Franklin Hampshire Workforce Board awarded BETE Fog Nozzle its 2021 Workforce Leader Award, honoring the company’s contributions to workforce well-being, workplace, and public safety during the pandemic.

BETE Fog Nozzle is a fourth-generation, family-owned company founded and based in Greenfield that designs and manufactures tens of thousands of spray-process solutions for applications in “deep sea, deep space, and everywhere in between,” according to the company website. BETE now employs more than 180 people at its Greenfield facility, designing, casting, and machining spray nozzles.

This year, the Workforce Board sought to recognize companies that provided support throughout the pandemic with an eye toward the health and safety of employees and the public, companies that were able to continue operations through innovation, companies that are generally known as good places to work, companies with a reputation for investing in their workers, and private-sector companies that are public-spirited, visible, and active in the community. BETE Fog Nozzle demonstrated leadership in all of the award criteria.

The company garnered headlines earlier in the year for developing an innovative machine for quickly disinfecting school buses after each use with a touchless process employing BETE’s trademark fog nozzles. Working with local bus company F.M. Kuzmeskus Inc., BETE engineers designed a button-sized fogger installed in rows along each school-bus ceiling, out of reach of children. The series of spray foggers are linked and connected to a port on the outside of the bus where a mobile compressor machine mixes air and disinfectant that is pumped through a tube to the spray nozzles on the bus interior, sending an aerosol disinfectant mist throughout each bus before rolling to the next one.

When the pandemic lockdown shuttered businesses in March 2020, BETE provided paid furloughs to all its employees, and the company offers regular profit-sharing bonuses. BETE is also a founding supporter of the seven-year-old Manufacturing Skills Initiative (MSI) training partnership between Greenfield Community College, the Workforce Board, Career Center, Franklin County Technical School, and area manufacturers.

BETE has hired more than a dozen graduates from MSI’s 12-week CNC Operator training program, giving them a solid start toward building a rewarding, high-skill career in precision machining. Company President Tom Fitch is chairman of the GCC Future Work Advisory Council, which brings local chambers, business, employment agencies, and the college together to develop curriculum to provide training that brings additional employment and advancement opportunities to area residents. “With a strong workforce, we will bring in more business,” he said. “With more business, we will have a stronger workforce.”

Speaking at the award ceremony on the BETE front lawn last week, Fitch praised the team of engineers and technicians who designed the school-bus fog nozzle in just two weeks, “This is a team award for all BETE employees. If it were not for our COVID protocols, we would have everyone here celebrating. It has been an extraordinarily difficult year, and I am thankful for the BETE work family pulling together and getting it done.”

Workforce Board Executive Director Rebecca Bialiecki added that “we are pleased and proud to be able to shine a spotlight on BETE Fog Nozzle and let the community know what an exemplary company we have in our midst.”