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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.

Youth and Workforce Readiness

Michael Reader

Ensuring that our country has a skilled workforce in manufacturing is key to a variety of industries and to our country as a whole. To that end, on January 28, Mike Reader presented at the “Speaker’s Task Force on Youth Workforce Readiness,” at Milwaukee Area Technical College – Oak Creek Campus. This event allowed the Speaker’s Task Force to explore new ways to encourage Wisconsin youth to pursue careers in the trades, manufacturing industry, and technical fields.

Christmas Reflections by Mike Reader

Michael Reader

Time through the Hands of the Young of Yesteryear

To me, and many others of my generation, the notion that time goes by more quickly the older we get, is actually becoming a reality.

When we were young, there seemed to be an eternity from one Christmas to the next. Remember when you were “five and a quarter” or “six and a half?” Looking back, I have fond memories of waiting for the Sears and the JC Penney Christmas catalogs to arrive—by U.S. Postal Service—sometime in early September. Plenty of time to dream about Christmas presents…   My sisters and I would flip through every page, front to back, looking for the latest in toys, so we could show our parents and put them on our Christmas lists.

Does Political Action Make a Difference?

Michael Reader

On December 1 and 2, 2015, seven representatives from member companies of the Precision Machined Products Association (PMPA) flew into Washington, DC to meet with congressional representatives, senators and committee staff to discuss the impact that inaction on the part of the U.S. Congress has had on the industry.

Precision Plus of Elkhorn, WI Celebrates MFG DAY with an Open House for the Community on October 8, 2015

Michael Reader

We want to extend a sincere “Thank You!” to everyone who helped make Precision Plus’ (PPI) 2015 Manufacturing Day (MFG DAY) Open House a success!

In all, there were forty-two guests who participated in the event on Thursday, October 8, 2015–members of our community that included educators, students, business partners, and the public at large.

The evening event, which began at 5:00 pm and concluded at 7:30 pm, centered on the manufacturing process as it is practiced at Precision Plus

Mike Reader, President and CEO of Precision Plus kicked off the evening by introducing the team, and sharing his thoughts about manufacturing. He pointed out the marked shift the industry has made over the years from a “dark, dirty and dangerous” environment, to clean, high tech industry surroundings that offer rewarding, high-paying careers to individuals who can combine their applied knowledge of STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), with the practical know-how of how things get done.

Following, several team members spoke about some of the different aspects of the operation:

  • Bill Wells, Sales and Engineering Manager, addressed the quoting and purchasing aspect of the business;
  • Rachel Cates, CAD Drafting, Engineering & Quality Assurance Support Specialist, talked about the design process, and featured a 3D design of a component;
  • Steve Dues, Application Engineer, explained how the CAM software works, and shared a video that takes a part from a 3D print design, through the CAM software to the CNC machine;
  • Terry Mumper, Manufacturing Engineer, talked about the Tornos machines, and the importance of math for designing CAMs;
  • Tom Lankford, Production Manager, explained how to optimally schedule production on different machines, and talked about the benefits to start “getting your hands dirty early in shop classes,” in order to become successful in a machining career;
  • Dale Wittlieff, Director of Quality and Continuous Improvement, talked about how quality fits into “everything” that PPI does, and explained the specifics.
  • Mark Beilman, Director of Education and Training, spoke about PPI’s education outreach, and showed the “Millennials Video” made by Wisconsin Manufacturing & Commerce.

Following the presentations, guests took tours of the facility, had refreshments and took home a key chain souvenir, a scaled replica of the component featured by Rachel Cates in the 3D design and by Steve Dues in the video.

We look forward to MFG DAY 2016!

Precision Plus’ Employees Get Fitter and Healthier While Earning Rewards and Reduced Insurance Premiums

Michael Reader

When Precision Plus (PPI) of Elkhorn, Wisconsin delivers a job, it delivers more than just the metal that has been machined into components. It delivers the know-how, dedication, morale, wellbeing, and work-life balance of the people behind the components.

Creating a positive, safe and healthy environment for all employees, has been a continuous goal for Mike Reader, President of Precision Plus, knowing that the benefits have a positive impact not only on the employees but also on the company.

In 2012, PPI contracted with Healics, Inc. of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a company that provides employee health risk assessments and biometric screenings, establishes biometric markers, offers onsite coaching and onsite wellness programs, and educates the participants on how to achieve a healthy lifestyle.

Over the past three years, employees have seen marked improvements in their health and related habits, including smoking cessation and increased physical activity, as shown by the results of yearly biometric testing.

In conjunction with the Healics program, Precision Plus has contracted with Humana as their insurance carrier. Humana offers a “Vitality Program,” which is an incentivized plan that challenges individuals to achieve different levels of wellbeing by improving on their habits and practicing healthier living. There are five vitality stages within the program—blue, bronze, silver, gold and platinum– and as employees achieve the next goal, the benefits aggregate.

When points and “Vitality Bucks” are earned, participants can receive rewards from the Vitality Mall, such as movie tickets, hotel stays, digital cameras and more. Points are also awarded for wearing a pedometer, or getting a flu shot. After participants achieve the Bronze Level, for example, they can also benefit from certain food discounts at stores such as Walmart.

It is a fact that insurance premiums continue to escalate forcing companies to have to share the cost with the employees. At Precision Plus, the company pays for a large portion of the premiums, with the employee paying the rest.   Companies participating in the Vitality Program, however, can benefit from a great incentive available to them when an employee reaches Silver Status: a 10% premium reduction for that particular employee.

We are happy to announce that to date, several employees have reached Silver Status. Precision Plus, however, has opted to not reap from that benefit, but instead pass it on to the employee as an added reward for his/her accomplishment.

So the phrase “Put the Pedal to the Metal” is taking on a different meaning here at Precision Plus The pedal may be that of the elliptical machine, or the bike in the spinning class…but the results achieved from pedaling, are bound to have a positive effect on the metal that will turn into fine components, thanks to a happy and healthy workforce.

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.

Precision Plus Applauds and Supports Events of Local Organizations

Michael Reader

One of the pluses of being part of a community is to be able to give back and support the organizations that lift the community in time of need. Precision Plus proudly supports the following events and the organizations behind them.

June 13, 2015 – “The Lombardi Walk to Tackle Cancer,” is a fundraising event organized by the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation, which has raised over $18 million to help fight cancer. “The organization’s sole purpose is to raise funds for leading-edge cancer research and compassionate care at the Vince Lombardi Cancer Clinics at Aurora Health Care. The Vince Lombardi Cancer Clinics are located through eastern Wisconsin.”

The walk took place simultaneously in several cities in Wisconsin, including Williams Bay in Walworth County, at Edgewater Park. All teams and walkers were eligible to receive matching funds from the foundation. Precision Plus supported the walk with a medical milestone sponsorship.

June 13, 2015 – “The Movers & Shakers Classic,” is a golf outing organized by the Wisconsin Parkinson Association (WPA). Since its inception in 1984, this charity organization “has provided information and resources about Parkinson disease to enhance public education and awareness of the disorder and to support people with Parkinson’s and their families.” There are nearly 100 WPA support and exercise groups throughout Wisconsin and neighboring states.   It is estimated that in Wisconsin, there are more than 20,000 people living with the Parkinson disease.

Proceeds from the Movers & Shakers Classic are used to promote awareness, education and research for the disease. Precision Plus sponsored a hole at the event.

July 18, 2015 – “Goombay Bash,” is a lively Caribbean-themed annual fundraising event organized by the H Foundation. Over the last 15 years, the event has raised over $6 million dollars in seed money benefiting basic science cancer research, which accelerates discoveries that can lead to cures. The money raised has resulted in over $35 million in additional research funding.

Precision Plus has long supported this event taking place at Chicago’s Navy Pier, and has extended a Big Kahuna sponsorship for the 2015 event.

July 31, 2015 –“ McGMO Charity Golf Event” at Delbrook Golf Course in Delavan, Wisconsin, was established in 1997 by Tim McGregor, Mike Grover, John Monroe, and Kim O’Keefe. Friends since high school in Delavan, each of them had been touched directly by cancer. But they did more than turn to each other for support and decided to raise money to help others fighting cancer by organizing a golf outing that would directly benefit a local hospital.

Proceeds of the event will help fund a new comprehensive Aurora Health Care Cancer Center serving western Racine and Walworth counties featuring a state-of-the-art Vince Lombardi Cancer Clinic. The first year, $9,000 was raised toward the purchase of blanket warmers. Donations have grown each year and now total more than $700,000 to date.

Precision Plus supports this event with a Double Eagle sponsorship.

August 1, 2015 – The 36th Annual Town of Delavan Fire Department & Rescue Squad’s Pork Roast and Dance is a greatly anticipated community event. Delavan’s Fire Department and Rescue Squad is a volunteer/on call team which provides services such as ALS emergency medical service, BLS emergency, medical service, firefighting, dive team, hazard material response, search and rescue, support, and vehicle rescue/extrication.

The event will take place at Township Community Park in Delavan, Wisconsin from 12pm until 11pm. Fun activities are planned throughout the day. Precision Plus is a proud supporter of the Delavan Fire Department and Rescue Squad.

Delavan’s Avant Cycling Team, Presented by Precision Plus, is Having a Fantastic Racing Season!

Michael Reader

This season has been busy and great for the Avant Cycling Race Team, who is participating in many competitions throughout the State of Wisconsin, such as the Wisconsin Cycling Association (WCA) Conference, the Wisconsin State Criterium, and their upcoming challenge, the Tour of America’s Dairyland, which runs from June 18th through June 28th. The tour features races in East Troy, Elkhart Lake, Neenah, and others, finishing in the Milwaukee area with the East Tosa Gran Prix.  A true “gran finale” to an exceptional cycling event.

Successful outcomes have become a staple of the team: As of June 12, 2015, the Avant Cycling Race Team, had 9 wins and 12 podiums.

Here are some recent highlights:


Precision Plus is a proud sponsor of the Avant Cycling Team and the Club Team. To follow all their accomplishments, like the team on Facebook: Avant Cycling p/b Precision Plus.

Precision Plus Sponsors the 15th Annual Goombay Bash, the Cure for Cancer Fundraising Event Hosted by the H Foundation

Michael Reader

On July 18, 2015, the 15th annual Goombay Bash, a famous “Caribbean Festival to Find a Cure for Cancer” fundraiser will take place at Navy Pier’s Grand Ballroom in Chicago. All proceeds benefit basic science cancer research at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, which accelerate discoveries that can lead to cures.

The H Foundation has raised over $6 million as seed money for cancer research—or money that funds basic research. Typically, larger scale grants are available for research, but only after basic research has been completed showing promising results. Many cures would not be available today, if basic research would not have been funded. So far, the $6 million raised by the H Foundation has resulted in more than $35 million in subsequent funding with extraordinary results.

Precision Plus has been a strong supporter of the H Foundation and the Goombay Bash for more than ten years. This year, however, the company is stepping up its commitment to become a ‘BIG KAHUNA’ Sponsor by donating $10,000 to the organization.

The Goombay Bash, with its lively Caribbean theme, departs from the typical fundraiser event format by encouraging all who attend to sport Hawaiian-styled clothing and leis. This year, actor LaRoyce Hawkins of NBC’s Chicago PD, will emcee the event, which boasts silent auctions, a live drawing of $10,000 raffle prize, a gourmet buffet and fireworks finale. More than 1,000 attendees will continue to make the Goombay Bash at Chicago’s Navy Pier, “the tropical party where everyone wears Hawaiian…while raising money for cancer research.”

Tickets to the event can be purchased through the H Foundation.

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