Michael Reader

Call it a conundrum of sorts…in a down economy, when jobs are scarce while unemployment soars, the manufacturing sector struggles to find qualified candidates to fill available jobs.

Some refer to this void as the “perfect storm:” manufacturing being outsourced abroad, Baby Boomers in manufacturing approaching retirement age, and Gen-Exers and Milleniums pursuing broader-ranged careers.

In October of 2011, and in response to the lack of available talent to fill manufacturing positions, The Manufacturing Institute launched a fast-track education and training program called “RIGHT SKILLS NOW.”  Based on the National Association of Manufacturers’ Endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System, the program is designed to provide accelerated, intense training and education to  potential workers, who upon completion of the 16 to 22-week program are able to meet the demands expected in precision machining jobs in manufacturing.

RIGHT SKILLS NOW is a grass root movement backed by some formidable partners:  The President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, The Manufacturing Institute, ACT, Inc.,  and The National Institute for Metalworking Skills.  The scope of the program involves aspects from professionalism in the workplace, integrity, communication, problem solving, and CNC milling and turning.

Several schools around the U.S., including Minnesota and Nevada, have already set up and implemented curricula for  “RIGHT SKILLS NOW” programs.  The first graduates are expected to receive their certificates in mid 2012.

Click now to see employment opportunities at Precision Plus

In Pursuit of Precision

Michael Reader

What was it that inspired Ralph “Buck” Cates to decide to go “solo” in 1982?  Buck had worked in machine shops all of his life, but he saw precision beyond precision. Buck understood  what “the system” meant .  Buck knew that no matter how good a machinist could be,  a system must be in place in order to make the machinist flourish, in order to make precision happen.  So it was in 1982, that Buck and a select group of hand-picked machinists turned on the power at a modest but powerful  5,000 sq. ft. machine shop in Walworth, Wisconsin.  Buck called it “Precision Plus” because of his belief: precision should always go beyond its expectations.

17,000 sq. ft. and 50 employees later, Buck saw it as the perfect time to pass on his legacy.  It was in 1988 that Buck sold his company, his vision to Phil Reader.  Soon after the transition, Phil was confronted with the reality of  “a global economy.”  It was no longer manufacturing as usual.  Emerging economies were making strides into the U.S. manufacturing arena.  Phil had to consider his current aging equipment situation and come up with a solution to stay ahead of the trends and competitiveness of this “new” economy.

As fate would have it, Phil’s son, Michael Reader, who had studied finance and worked in areas of international affairs, joined the company in 1995.  Michael understood  both the importance of running a competitive U.S. manufacturing business and the strategies of how it would fit within a global economy.

The transition took Precision Plus through a series of renovation and expansion: Retrofitted machines were replaced by state-of the-art equipment able to maximize efficiency, while a new, expandable 45,000 sq. ft. facility in Elkhorn, Wisconsin made it able to accommodate rigorous schedules and just-in-time deliveries.

Precision Plus Inc. has never stood still during these years.  It’s always been keen in  anticipating industry changes, always making sure to capture trends, always ready to respond to the most challenging requests that will make efficiency shine.

Michael, now at the head of the company, has never forgotten Buck’s mission:  “Precision beyond precision. “  Even in a non-tolerant industry as the Swiss-turning precision component one, innovation is always the answer.  Michael, Phil, and everyone at Precision Plus know that.

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