Dr. Robert Spitzer Donates Life’s Work

Precision Plus

The Wisconsin Historical Society (WHS) recently celebrated the transfer of Dr. Robert R. Spitzer’s personal and professional papers to the Society. It is noteworthy to share that the WHS is the second largest repository of historical artifacts like it in the country, second only to the Library of Congress. Their archivists catalogue the materials over the next few years before the final presentation is ready. Dr. Spitzer’s sharing of 96 years of leadership, inspiration, and world travels is truly a treasure for the state of Wisconsin. Dr. Spitzer says this is his way of giving back to an organization he truly admires. Read more at

How To Attract, Develop and Retain Our Future Workforce?

Michael Reader

On November 19, 2015, twenty-two Walworth County manufacturing business leaders held a roundtable meeting to discuss the possible creation of a manufacturing council dedicated to encourage, sustain and grow the manufacturing industry in Wisconsin’s Walworth County. According to a recent survey, the manufacturing sector provided 13.3% of all jobs in the county for the year 2013.

The breakfast meeting took place at Precision Plus (PPI) of Elkhorn, Wisconsin. Coffee, juice, water and light breakfast snacks were provided by First Business Bank.

Gateway Technical College Elkhorn Campus CNC Lab and Manufacturing Center Set to Open January 22, 2016

Michael Reader

With just a bit over a month to welcome in students and instructors for the next semester, Gateway Technical College’s (GTC) new CNC Lab and Manufacturing Center in Elkhorn, Wisconsin is buzzing with energy and excitement. Construction is coming to an end, equipment continues to arrive, and instructors are reinforcing their own knowledge by familiarizing themselves with the new equipment and software.

Rich Shouse, CNC Technology Instructor, spent a week in October at a PartMaker Training Workshop focusing on programming Swiss CNC machines. Shouse explains, “Learning this computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) system was a very easy transition for me, considering what I have used in the past. I have already programmed, set-up and ran ten jobs through our shop using PartMaker. Personally, I feel it is the strongest CAM system that I have ever used.”

Gateway Technical College’s President Bryan Albrecht is Recognized as the 2015 Entrepreneurial President by the NACCE

Michael Reader

The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) has recently recognized Dr. Bryan Albrecht, President and CEO of Wisconsin’s Gateway Technical College as its “2015 Entrepreneurial President.”

“NACCE is the premier organization for identifying best practices in high-impact entrepreneurship education within community colleges and the entrepreneurial ecosystems they serve.”

“Gateway Technical College collaborates with communities in Kenosha, Racine and Walworth counties to ensure economic growth and viability by providing education, training, leadership and technological resources to meet the changing needs of students, employers and communities.”

As an industry partner of Gateway Technical College, Precision Plus congratulates Dr. Albrecht on this great achievement.

Click HERE for a PDF of the press release.

Mike Reader Joins Chuck Jester, Dominic Cariello and Bryan Albrecht on The Morning Show Radio Program with Gregory Berg to Discuss Manufacturing Month

Michael Reader

On October 2, 2015, Gregory Berg, Host of 91.1 WGTD HD’s Morning Show, welcomed monthly guest Bryan Albrecht, President of Gateway Technical College, and special guests Mike Reader, President of Precision Plus, Chuck Jester, Production Manager for Ocean Spray, and Dominic Cariello, Director of Manufacturing and Flow Instrumentation for Badger Meter to talk about National Manufacturing Month.

The month of October has been designated to celebrate and bring awareness to manufacturing, with events taking place throughout the United States and Canada. All guests agreed that for them, every day is Manufacturing Day, but concurred that the month-long publicity gives the industry a boost, and helps dispel outdated ideas about manufacturing while showing how the industry has “moved and changed in some spectacular ways.”

Reader, Jester and Cariello emphasized the importance of collaboration between schools and industry, as well as community involvement, and praised the curriculums and initiatives, which have been developed over the years by Gateway Technical College addressing the needs of local manufacturers, even taking into consideration the rapid pace in which the industry moves. Responsiveness has been of the essence.

The host and the guests also discussed that the development of programs of study do not just end with technical-type curriculums, but that extend to supporting disciplines, such as front office, back office, accounting, management, etc. Albrecht pointed out that the latest trend is “collaborative training,” giving students pursuing different areas of study the opportunity to work as a team, which is what is expected today in the real business world.

To amplify the communication between academia and industry, Jester, Cariello and Reader were recently invited to present before the Wisconsin State Board for Technical Colleges. Typically, the State Board hears from college faculty or college administrators, but Albrecht suggested to reverse the scenario in order to hear the viewpoints of the customers—the employers themselves—stating that, ”technical colleges need to be reflective of the needs of the community.”

The 50-minute WGTD Morning Show program, also touched on several other points relating to manufacturing and Manufacturing Month, and can be heard HERE in its entirety.

For a transcript PDF of the program, please click HERE.



Press Release: Precision Plus to Host a Manufacturing Day Open House on Thursday, October 8, 2015

Michael Reader


Precision Plus of Elkhorn, Wisconsin, Joins the Manufacturing Community to Celebrate the Industry, Improve Public Perception, Promote Career Opportunities, and Inspire the Next Generation of Manufacturing Professionals

ELKHORN, WISCONSIN, September 28, 2015 – In celebration of Manufacturing Day (MFG DAY) 2015, Precision Plus invites the community to attend an open house on Thursday, October 8, 2015 from 5:00 pm until 7:30 pm, with the goal to continue to dispel outdated perceptions of the manufacturing industry, while sharing the outstanding opportunities available through careers in high-tech manufacturing.

A brief presentation by several Precision Plus Team members is scheduled to begin 5:30 pm. Guided tours of the plant and operation will follow the presentation. Light refreshments will be served at the completion of the tours and the Precision Plus Team will be at hand to answer questions.

“There is an increased demand for highly-skilled individuals to design, program and operate technology,” said Mike Reader, President of Precision Plus “Unless we proactively act together to reverse the trend, the shortage of skilled workers will be unprecedented.”

This is the fourth consecutive year for Precision Plus to host an open house to celebrate Manufacturing Day, a national event first organized in 2012 to promote the manufacturing industry. MFG DAY is supported by manufacturers throughout the U.S. and Canada who host events for students, teachers, parents, job seekers, community leaders, legislators and the community at large to spread the word about 21st century manufacturing.

Precision Plus is an ISO 9001:2008 registered contract manufacturer of precision turned components, specializing in Swiss-type turning , and serving customers across industries who demand exceptional quality.

To register for the Precision Plus Manufacturing Day Open House, click HERE. For more information, please contact Mark Beilman, Director of Education and Training via email or by calling 262-743-1700 ###

For a PDF of the invitation above, please click HERE.

Precision Plus’ 2015-2016 Year Education Update

Michael Reader

By Mark Beilman
Director of Education and Training

The 2015-2016 academic year is well underway, and so are Precision Plus’ efforts to continue spreading the word among students, parents and teachers about career possibilities in manufacturing.

In addition to visiting schools, talking to technical education teachers, and participating in career and technical education (CTE) committees, Precision Plus (PPI) makes itself present at high school and college career fairs.

On September 9, 2015, PPI was present at the Panther Fest Career Fair at Wilmot Union High School, and plans to be at Beloit High School’s career fair on the 24th. On October 9th, the destination will be Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE), which will hold its career fair then.

On September 15, 2015, PPI attended Gateway Technical College Elkhorn Campus’s Open House, which showcased the new Community Center conference room, the Student Life Center, Walworth County Job Center, Walworth County Economic Development Alliance (WCEDA), the Veterinary Sciences building, and the Walworth County Educational Consortium’s Alternative High School.

Drawings of the anticipated new CNC Center were also on display. Precision Plus is fully vested in the success of this program. The first Youth CNC Boot Camp at the Elkhorn Campus began in July. One of the highlights of the program is the mentorship which each individual student receives from a designated industry professional.

A “Meet-and-Greet” luncheon for students and mentors was held at the college on September 18th, where mentors were announced and appointed. The luncheon was sponsored by WCEDA and the Walworth County Job Center. Precision Plus is excited to mentor two students during the 2015-2016 year: Elliot Salentine from East Troy High School and Cameron Bunne from Elkhorn High School. The students will not only receive ongoing mentoring, but will have an opportunity to work at PPI beginning in February of 2016, in accordance to their curriculum.

Precision Plus also encourages schools to bring classes to tour its facilities. On September 16, 2015, Career Advocate Lindsay Healless from Beloit Middle School brought her students to interview Mike Reader and Chris Clausen about careers in manufacturing. The students asked very good questions during the interview, but two of the students, Emily and MacKenzie, stumped Reader and Clausen when asked how they balanced work and their personal lives, and what were the most difficult portions of their jobs.

Two other schools are scheduled to tour the facility in October: the Walworth County Educational Consortium’s Alternative High School on the 8th, and Whitewater High School on the 15th.

The most anticipated event, however, is the celebration of Manufacturing Day (MFG DAY). Precision Plus is opening its doors for an open house on Thursday, October 8, 2015 from 5:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. Students, educators, parents, legislators and the public at large are invited to partake in an informal presentation by several PPI employees on what their roles are at the company, and take guided tours of the plant. To attend this event, please register HERE.

Precision Plus is committed to education and to bringing awareness of career opportunities in high-tech manufacturing. To schedule a tour of our facility and/or allow us to make a presentation to your group or organization, please contact Mark Beilman by email or by calling 262-743-1700.

Gateway Technical College Elkhorn Campus To Hold a Community Open House on September 15, 2015

Michael Reader

Gateway Technical College (GTC) Elkhorn Campus has invited the community to attend an open house on Tuesday, September 15, 2015 from 4pm until 7pm and to enjoy a campus tour and refreshments.

Guests are invited to see the improvements made to the campus in order to better serve the students and the community. These include a new Community Conference Room, a remodeled Student Life Center, the new offices of the Walworth County Job Center and Walworth County Economic Development Alliance, the Walworth County Educational Consortium’s Alternative High School, and the Veterinary Science Building.  The public will also be able to see the drawings of the soon-to-be built CNC lab and Manufacturing Center.

Gateway Technical College Elkhorn Campus is located at 400 County Road H. Guests are asked to park in the lot on the south end of the campus off Centralia Street, and enter through the south building into the Student Life Center.

Boys’ Club No More – Ladies of Harley Make Their Mark on the Biker World

Michael Reader

An excerpt from Life in Rock County – Great People, Great Stories, Volume 4, Issue 3, Fall 2015

While motorcycle riding primarily was a man’s world decades ago, more and more female riders have grown to love the purr of an engine beneath them. These bikers have firmly embraced the femininity of the hobby and have inspired ever-growing lines of clothing and gear made especially for them.

In the South Central Wisconsin Janesville Chapter of the Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.), about 30 percent of the members are female. The Ladies of Harley have become a major player, meeting monthly as a group for rides and planning their annual Poker Run, raffle and silent auction at Boardtracker Harley-Davidson’s (formerly Kutter Harley-Davidson/Buell) Spring Open House. The event, held every May, raises money for CAMDEN Playground, a play area for children with special needs.

One of these ladies, is Precision Plus’ Laura Farnsworth, the company’s Shipping Manager. She is an active member of the community who combines her love for riding motorcycles with the riding club’s mission of raising money for the CAMDEN Accessibility Playground in Janesville, Wisconsin.

Laura Farnsworth, 56, loves to brag about her dedication to riding. She has become well-known in her H.O.G. chapter for her long rides: In 2013, she won the female prize for logging the most miles in one year (20,000).

A resident of Darien, Wis., Laura points out that up until a year ago, her bike was the only one in the parking lot at Precision Plus in Elkhorn, Wis., where she works as a shipping manager. “I thought it was funny that the only motorcycle there belonged to a girl,” she says. “Years ago, when I used to ride, I turned heads. People would look at me and say, ‘There’s a woman on a motorcycle!’”

While Laura has been riding since she was 17, it took her daughter Sarah Conroy, 34, of Elkhorn, Wis., a little longer to obtain her motorcycle license — she got it just three years ago. “When you think about it, riding a motorcycle is a really expensive hobby,” she says. “I spent years in college and earning my master’s degree in counseling, and I was so far in debt that buying a motorcycle was the last thing I was thinking about.”

Sarah had ridden as a passenger on her mom’s bike for years. Eventually, she found the allure of the open road to be irresistible and started taking classes. Shortly after obtaining her license, she tagged along with her mother to an event at what is now Boardtracker Harley-Davidson in Janesville and met John Harris. “He said, “You wanna go for a ride tomorrow?” Sarah remembers. She did, and now the two are engaged and planning a wedding for February 2016.

Sarah was able to solve her financing issue, too: She bought a Honda last summer, and this spring, she bought Laura’s first Harley from her. “Her bike is classic, and it’s a keepsake,” says Sarah. “It’s kind of neat to say it was her first Harley, and now it’s my first Harley.”

The article also features two other women, Kellie Sinks, who teaches other women to ride motorcycles and is a motorcycle safety instructor at Boardtracker Harley-Davidson, and Jody Sterr, who has logged thousands of miles together with her husband. Precision Plus celebrates the Ladies of Harley and applauds their cause.

For a PDF of the article, click HERE.

Precision Plus of Elkhorn, WI To Hold a MFG DAY 2015 Event on October 8th

Michael Reader

Manufacturing Day℠ (MFG DAY) commemorates modern manufacturing with an annual celebration. The principal goal of this day, typically held in early October, is to inspire the next generation of manufacturers.

Precision Plus of Elkhorn, WI will hold a MFG DAY event on Thursday, October 8, 2015, from 5:00 pm until 7:30 pm. Presentations and tours for students and the public are scheduled to start every half an hour. Following each tour, there will be a Q&A session and refreshments will be served. Precision Plus asks that no open-toed shoes be worn.

For highlights and a slide show of Precision Plus’ 2014 MFG DAY celebration, click HERE.

You may register for Precision Plus’ MFG DAY event online NOW, or by calling 262-743-1700.  For more information on this event or to schedule a tour on a different day, please contact Mark Beilman, Director of Education and Training.

We look forward to a full house!

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