From parts for Patriot missiles to 30,000-pound pieces used for hydroelectric dams, Meridian Industrial Group sets itself apart from the competition by specializing in large part CNC precision machining. “Not a lot of companies across the country are doing the size of the work we are,” Meridian president Steven E. Grande says. “We have a nice niche. That’s part of the reason we are experiencing the prosperity we are experiencing.” Adds Grande, “We get work all across the country. Companies are searching for someone willing and able to handle large parts.” Grande purchased the business, then known as Central Mass. Machine, in 2009. But the company’s history in Holyoke dates back to 1881 when it started as a foundry, blacksmith and machining business under the name J&W Jolly Inc. The original foundry turned out 7 tons of cast iron a day and employed 200. For Grande, who spent 20 years as a Springfield police officer, the company intrigued him. He wanted to run a business again, having previously operated a small firm that sold building materials to contractors, a venture he started when he was laid off by the Police Department. And, although he lacked a manufacturing backgroun...