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Manufacturing Month: Women in Manufacturing

Precision Plus

Earlier this year, Girl Scouts of the USA introduced several new badges related to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education. Girl Scouts now have the opportunity to earn badges by creating algorithms, designing robots and racecars, trying their hand at engineering, and more. It’s one of the Girl Scout organization’s biggest badge rollouts in years, and it should prove to be an instrumental program that encourages girls to learn new skills and encourage their interest in STEM and careers in manufacturing.

Precision Plus’ Annual MFG Day Open House 2017

Precision Plus

In celebration of Manufacturing Day (MFG Day) 2017, Precision Plus invites the community to attend an open house on Saturday, October 7th, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. This is a day to celebrate our industry, showcase modern manufacturing in action, promote career opportunities, and inspire the next generation of manufacturing professionals.

Checking in with EAHS SkillsUSA Team

Precision Plus

From left to right: Anthony Alagna, Nick Flock, Mike Reader, Cade Fink, Jack Flitcroft, Fred Ganter and Mark Beilman

This past spring, Mr. Fred Ganter of Elkhorn Area High School (EAHS), along with some of his SkillsUSA team members, made a presentation to Precision Plus requesting support to help them attend and compete at the National SkillsUSA competition June 19-23, in Louisville, Kentucky. Mike Reader committed to helping the team, and this week the group of high school seniors returned to accept the check, report back on the competition, and discuss their post-graduation goals. Also, to show their gratitude, the students presented Precision Plus with a branded cornhole game set they made in the recently upgraded EAHS Technical Education Department. 

Celebrating Our Workers on Labor Day 2017

Precision Plus

Summer – where has it gone, and how did I miss it?

It seems to me like we just celebrated Memorial Day, honoring our service men and woman. Now we are staring down at Labor Day, which confirms summer is officially over where I come from. Our interns have either left already, depending upon where they go to school, or will depart by the end of this week. We are sad to see them go after a great few months, but we wish them the best. Summer seems to go by in a blink of the eye. I hope you took the time during the warmer months to rest and relax and enjoy some fun with your loved ones. As we know all too well in the Midwest, WINTER IS COMING. While winter was fun as a kid, I do not enjoy it nearly as much in my adult years. Let’s hope fall sticks around long enough in between.

Labor Day is our holiday to celebrate all the working folks that contribute to the strength and well-being of our country. It’s even more important these days to not take these workers for granted, as the challenge grows for our industry to find enough skilled machinists, machine tool operators, or quality personnel. Perhaps this is partly due to our industry needing much more exciting and inspiring job titles. Applications Engineer and Production Technician sound so much better. We will continue in our journey to inspire the next generation and change the perception of what it really means to be part of advanced manufacturing.

The news of the possible locating of the much sought after Foxconn Technology Group $10 billion investment here in Southeastern Wisconsin and the approximately 13,000 jobs to be filled only sends shivers down my spine. Where will all these skilled and semi-skilled workers come from? Surely, Gateway Technical College and the team there will be working aggressively to train the prospective candidates, but where again will they come from? And what will this do for all the manufacturing businesses competing for the limited supply of employable candidates? The answer, my friends, is this: it will be a very competitive market for talent. This is simple Economics 101. Refer to the Supply and Demand curves below. The additional workforce/labor demands will shift D1 to D2 and drive wage inflation, giving the typical worker something to celebrate.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supply_and_demand

 

Parents, now is the time to talk with your children about career choices, as well as the costs to acquire the necessary education/skills and the benefits/rewards each career choice offers. I would be fairly certain that most trades offer some of the best ROI scenarios out there, and it will be that way for years to come. Look at all the unfilled positions in manufacturing, and then add in the unfilled positions in the construction trades such as electricians, carpenters, plumbers, HVAC, concrete finishers and so on. The skills gap can be felt in all those trades, and you can guess what happens when Foxconn ramps up. The same is true for auto mechanics. This vocational field also suffers from a lack of interested candidates, and this will only drive up wages there, as well. What will it take to inspire this next generation to explore and pursue the trades?

Here is what I do know.  There are many educational opportunities through area high schools, technical colleges, and even some universities, but even the best programs are suffering from lack of interest and enrollment. I have seen this firsthand, and I hear more of the same across other parts of the state. It is unfortunate that so many have labored to develop programs as the investments may fall victim to a lack of interest. The demand for talent is so high, and we really need for these programs to work. How do we ensure that success?

Mark your calendars for Saturday, October 7th as the Precision Plus team will again be hosting our Manufacturing Day Open House from 9:00am to 1:00pm. All are welcome, especially students, parents, and our educators. We would also like to encourage our elected officials to attend, so they can see what today’s advanced manufacturing looks like in Southeast Wisconsin. We had a great turn out last year, but we want to make it so much better. This year we have added the Job Fair and an opportunity to talk one on one with our team about what a manufacturing career could look like for you. Also back by popular demand will be the fun car collection, as we celebrate all things mechanical and the rewards that come from a manufacturing career. There will be food and refreshments, so this is a program the entire family can enjoy.

As we celebrate over the three-day weekend, make a point of thanking a machinist, a welder, and the other trades men and women for all the great things they make for us every day. Without them, we have no cars, airplanes, or oh my gosh, cell phones. (Note: I think they all come from overseas, but here too is an industry we need to reestablish in America once again). Let me start by thanking our entire team here at Precision Plus that help our customer/partners make some of the coolest stuff on the planet. Without you and your efforts and dedication, we could not make it happen. Spend Monday with family and friends, enjoy the good weather before it fades away, and I look forward to seeing you all next Tuesday.

 

Regards,

Mike Reader, President

Precision Plus

readerm@preplus.com

P.S. Be sure to stop in at the Walworth County Fair. It is a great way to celebrate our agricultural heritage and all the good that comes from it.  http://www.walworthcountyfair.com/

 

17th Annual Goombay Bash

Precision Plus

When Horton’s Home Lighting of Chicago lost their friend and co-worker, 31-year old Pamela Herts in 2001 to cancer, a determined group of friends started The H Foundation to raise money and find a cure for this terrible disease. Since its start, the organization has raised $7 million. All proceeds benefit Basic Science Cancer Research, which supports the early, novel ideas that in turn lead to additional grants. The money this group has raised together with the Robert H Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center at Northwestern University, so far, has resulted in over $35 million in additional research funding. However, until there is a cure to stop this disease that does horrible things to a person and their family, there is still much work to be done.

This is the 17th year that The H Foundation will host its annual Goombay Bash – a Caribbean-themed celebration of life to raise funding for cancer research. This year’s event takes place Saturday, July 29, at the Navy Pier Grand Ballroom in Chicago. The event has become one of the largest and liveliest cancer research fundraisers in Chicago. It’s a night of wonderful food and drink, raffles and auctions with amazing prizes, celebrity guests, and a fireworks finale. And, of course, it’s a night that we can all share the memories and celebrate the lives of those we have lost.

In memory of the late Kathleen Ann (Frederick) Reader, a nurturing woman of strong German and Irish heritage who was a wife, mother, grandmother, and friend, Precision Plus and the Reader family are proud supporters of the H Foundation. Mike & Patricia Reader have attended Goombay Bash every year since they were first invited in 2003, honored to join others like us who refuse to give up and fight as Kathleen taught us, until a cure is found. If you wish to purchase tickets, get involved, or learn more about The H Foundation and Goombay Bash, visit http://www.goombaybash.com.

The H Foundation and its supporters are united by the common goal of finding a cure. Together, we can make a difference in the fight against cancer.

Precision Plus Receives Sustainable Business Award

Precision Plus

Precision Plus Facilities Manager Neil Fleischhacker recently received the Sustainable Leadership – Small Business award from the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council (WSBC). As a company that strives to be part of the solution when it comes to stronger sustainability efforts, we are extremely proud of Neil and our entire team.

Rocket into Manufacturing

Precision Plus

Gateway Technical College (GTC) held its “Rocket into Manufacturing” summer day camp last week. The course was open to 6th, 7th, and 8th graders and was taught by GTC CNC Instructor, Rich Shouse. This class was a good way for middle school students to learn more about the manufacturing industry and obtain real hands-on experience.

Fluid Power Industrial Consortium

Precision Plus

On Friday, June 2nd, Precision Plus hosted the second ever meeting of the Fluid Power Industrial Consortium (FPIC), part of the National Fluid Power Association (NFPA) and in association with the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) University.  The consortium was formed to advance the networking opportunities amongst members and drive innovation through collaboration.

Welcoming Our 2017 Summer Interns

Precision Plus

Please join Precision Plus in welcoming our 2017 summer interns. We continue to have great success with our internship program, and we are excited to introduce to you this year’s outstanding group of individuals.

Justin Ferrari is a senior at Elkhorn Area High School (EAHS), and he has been with us this past year as a Youth Apprentice in machining. In July, he will be entering Gateway Technical College’s CNC High School Boot Camp program. Justin will return to Precision Plus in January for his mentorship in this program.

Tyler Daehn is a senior at EAHS and has been with us this past year as a Youth Apprentice in IT. He will continue in this capacity for the summer and has elected to pursue a second year apprenticeship with Precision Plus for the next school year.

Carson Filko is a senior at Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering. Carson is entering his fourth summer with us, and he will be working exclusively on projects led by our manufacturing engineer. Scheduled projects include incorporating our new Sawyer Robot onto our manufacturing floor and other process improvement projects.

Matt Dowell is a junior at UW-Platteville, pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering. Matt is entering his fourth summer at Precision Plus, and along with Carson, will be exclusively working on projects led by our manufacturing engineer.

William Sanchez graduated from EAHS and spent the last year with Precision Plus as a Youth Apprentice. He will be joining us full time for the summer before he leaves for Blackhawk Technical College.

Alden Filko is a junior at MSOE, pursuing a degree in biomedical engineering. Alden is starting his fourth summer with us and will be working in the Miyano department. Although Alden is pursuing a degree in biomedical engineering, he says the hands-on experience at Precision Plus is very beneficial.

Rachel Hunter is a sophomore at MSOE, and she is pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering. Rachel is a Precision Plus scholarship recipient, and this is her first summer with us.

Max Rutowski is a sophomore at UW-Platteville, where he is pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering. This is Max’s first summer at Precision Plus. He is from the Greenfield, Wisconsin area, and he is excited to gain some quality machining experience.

Kathryn Lieffrig is a junior at Iowa State University, pursuing a degree in industrial engineering. Kathryn is spending her first summer at Precision Plus this year, and she is looking to gain valuable experience to bring back to the classroom.

Isaac Taylor is a senior at EAHS, and this is his first summer with us. He had such a positive experience taking the new machining and manufacturing classes at EAHS, and he is looking forward to expanding on what he has learned.

Jake Starr is a senior at East Troy High School. He spent the last year here as a Youth Apprentice in machining. He will be working full time in the CAM department, and plans to continue his second year as a Youth Apprentice next year.

We always look forward to the summer interns arriving, along with the fresh ideas and burst of energy they bring with them. From their experience, they will gain knowledge, develop skills, make connections, strengthen their resumes, and assess their interests and abilities.

Employers have much to gain from internship programs, as well. These programs are an excellent way for companies in our industry to accomplish tasks and projects that have been pushed aside for lack of time. Having interns at your place of business is also an ideal way to facilitate success in our industry, as we provide valuable training and mentorship for these students. We have learned over the years that good interns can turn out to be some of the best full time employees.

If your business is interested in learning more about youth apprenticeship and internship programs in Wisconsin, read more at https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/youthapprenticeship/ and   http://wisconsinfastforward.com/pdf/icp_waw_wrapup_1702.pdf.

Visit From Phoenix Middle School

Precision Plus

We always enjoy inviting students to Precision Plus to show them what an advanced manufacturing facility really looks like, as well as the career opportunities that can be available to them in the future. Earlier this week, we welcomed 32 seventh grade math students from Phoenix Middle School in Delavan.

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