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Milwaukee 7 Summit Meets to Discuss Steps to Attract Talent to Manufacturing

Michael Reader

Mark Beilman, Director of Education and Training at Precision Plus of Elkhorn, Wisconsin, attended the October 1, 2015 Milwaukee 7 Summit, which was themed, “Attracting Talent to Manufacturing.” The Milwaukee 7 (M7) Talent Partnership at the Manpower Group’s facility in Milwaukee hosted the half-day summit.

The constant challenge of attracting, recruiting, hiring and retaining top talent, especially in industries such as manufacturing where technology is regularly changing and a shortage of highly skilled personnel is apparent, has caused HR professionals and businesses at large to consider new rules of engagement utilizing tools that could result in the perfect employee/employer match.

The summit’s agenda included a keynote presentation by Milwaukee Bucks President Peter Feigin, who shared the critical advantages that make Southeast Wisconsin “a great place to live, work and play.” Following, George Bolgrem, Culture Strategy Director at The Good Jobs and Council Member and Talent Attraction Committee Co-Chair at M7, presented the M7 Talent Attraction & Retention Kit.

Subsequently, there was a panel discussion by area manufacturers and HR professionals: Angie Kasten, Recruitment & Organizational Development Specialist at Palermo’s Pizza; Rachel Lloyd, Human Resources Manager at Glenroy, Inc.; Waylon Gross, Workforce Development and Training Program Manager at Kenall Manufacturing, Patrick Jungenblut, Applications Engineering Manager at Hermle Machine Company; and Natalie Glumm, Manufacturing Sales Manager at Midland Plastics, Inc..  Alicia Dupies, VP of Community Relations at the Milwaukee Bucks moderated the panel.   A Q&A session concluded the summit.

Mark Beilman recounts,

“Overall, it was a very informative summit. George Blogrem’s tool kit presentation for improving a company’s culture and attract talent was on point with remarks such as:

  • Culture/Brand: Be authentic, relevant, consistent and different. Culture is most important to new hires, who want to be part of the team. Communicate culture and brand through employee testimonials, job postings, videos and website.
  • Hiring: Have an effective “welcome on board” program, assign a mentor, give clear description of goals, ask for feedback.
  • Retaining: Conduct micro surveys to gather feedback on what is working and what is not. Make employees feel valued.
  • Referrals: There is no better way to recruit than actual employees recruiting future ones.  Have an effective incentive-based program in place.

 

Peter Feigin spoke about the corporate brand and reinvesting in the community.

The panelists addressed recruitment, retention, and the difficulty in finding skilled employees. Two of the companies represented on the panel, Kenall Manufacturing and Hermle Machine Company, have programs in place that include talking to high school students about careers in manufacturing, and they both work closely with Milwaukee Area Technical College and Gateway Technical College to align their curriculums with the needs of area manufacturers. The other panelists acknowledged that school involvement was a viable route to take in order to improve the availability of prospective employees.”

Almost 150 people attended the summit. The Milwaukee 7 Talent Partnership aligns regional talent resources with high-growth industry clusters, resulting in a stronger, more agile workforce.

 

Millennials in Manufacturing – Precision Plus’ Interns Featured in Wisconsin Manufacturing & Commerce Video

Michael Reader

Several of Elkhorn, WI’s Precision Plus’s summer college or college-bound interns were recently interviewed to get their take on working at a 21st century high tech manufacturing facility. The video was produced by Wisconsin Manufacturing & Commerce, Wisconsin’s Chamber of Commerce, to celebrate Wisconsin Manufacturing Month.

Here are some of the comments from the interns:

  • “You create something from a piece of bar.”
  • “You can touch and see something you drew on the computer”
  • “You get to operate machinery that’s really expensive and they trust you.”
  • “In the classroom, you learn all of the logistics, but here you actually get to do it.”
  • “You look forward to the challenges, but you know that if you get stuck, you can ask someone.”
  • “Expectations are not right. This is not a manufacturing plant from the 1800s!”
  • “You’re just not sitting down. You’re constantly moving!”

Precision Plus is proud to have both internship and apprenticeship programs that connect millennials with manufacturing, providing hands-on experience that is bound to contribute to their future and the future of our country.

For more information on Precision Plus’ internship and apprenticeship programs, please contact Mark Beilman, Director of Education and Training by email, or by phone at 262-743-1700.

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

Michael Reader

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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.

What’s It Like Working at Precision Plus in Elkhorn, Wisconsin as a Summer Intern?

Michael Reader

As we, at Precision Plus, were ready to send off our 2015 summer interns to (or back to) college, we asked them what they thought of their experience, what they took away from it, and how their internships may have an effect on their future careers.

This is what they had to say:

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After being an intern at Precision Plus for two years I’ve come to fully understand how on the job learning can greatly benefit my college experience. It’s taught me skills that I would later use some way in the classroom or in my extracurricular activities. I would definitely recommend being an intern at Precision Plus; it’s a great atmosphere, there are plenty of helpful co-workers, and any internship that can be done before graduating from school will help define what you want the future to hold. I have truly enjoyed my experiences here and have learned so much. Thanks to everyone at Precision Plus -Britt Campbell

The 3-year summer intern experience I have had at Precision Plus has awarded me with a better understanding of the manufacturing industry. In my first summer I got a little experience on the different types of machines and areas within the company. The second year I trained other interns while working as an operator, explicitly on the Tornos CAM platform. This was my third summer at Precision Plus, and I have gained a lot of further knowledge on the Tornos machines. I now know how to setup new jobs, and make adjustments to existing ones. This entire opportunity has allowed me to work with my hands and apply problem solving practices, which has been very rewarding to me. I thank everyone that I have worked with over the summers for their guidance and teaching me about manufacturing. -Bob Dall

My experience as an intern at Precision Plus has exposed me to what actually happens in the world of manufacturing a part. I have learned what features on parts are easy or difficult to hold, differences in materials, and fine-tuned my print reading skills. All of these things I believe will help me in my future as an engineer to make better parts, thus better products at cost effective pricing. The internship is something that many other people my age do not get the opportunity to be in, effectively setting myself apart in the job market. Whether you are straight out of high school or planning on attending a 2-year or 4-year post secondary education, an internship in something close to your field is very important. Actually having a job, no matter the field, is a large thing to help future employment opportunities. Precision Plus is helping me to transition from education to the workforce through my internship. -Matt Dowell

I very much enjoyed my time at Precision Plus The problems I was presented with, although frustrating at times, provided challenges that stretched my abilities and gave me a learning experience that cannot be provided in a classroom.  My favorite thing about this internship was being able to work in a field that pertains to my career aspirations. I will be majoring in computer engineering at MSOE this fall and, as the major suggests, hope to become a computer engineer. Working in an IT position has given me insight into how the computers I will be designing work together and communicate. Learning firsthand how a larger network is maintained has given me a perspective that not many students, and many fewer incoming freshman, will have. This advantage will help me not only in the classroom, but also in the job market. I would definitely recommend this internship program. Although there is only one IT intern position and I wouldn’t want someone else to take it, I know the other interns get similar firsthand experience that is invaluable to anyone going into manufacturing or a related field. -Jessica Flock

My name is Kyle Gorst.  I’ve been with Precision Plus for a year now, and am heading into my first year at Gateway Tech.  Doing this internship with Precision Plus has been very beneficial to my future career. They put me through all of the departments in their shop and taught me a lot. I am currently a CAM and Miyano operator.  I would recommend this internship to any student interested in the manufacturing field. -Kyle Gorst

This internship has been extremely valuable to me. The way I believe it has been the most valuable is by giving me real experience in the manufacturing industry. This experience is something that cannot be gained through classes or books, but rather it can only be gained through an opportunity such as this one. The most beneficial thing I have learned during my time at Precision Plus is the knowledge of all of the steps involved in creating a certain part. As an engineer, it is one thing to be able to design a part that works in a model on the computer, but it’s an even more important thing to design a part that not only works in a model, but also is feasible to make without being cost prohibitive. By working here, I have gained a better understanding of what some of the limitations are of designing a part, which will hopefully set me apart from other engineers who have not had hands on experience like this. -Brad Killen

Overall, I had a great summer being part of the internship program here at Precision Plus I would say that my main role was a floater; I would help out where needed. I spent numerous weeks working in the finishing department, Quality Assurance, and as a CAM operator. While some jobs were more boring than others, the work day went by fast. There is always a job to be done, so you’re never left sitting looking at the clock. Over the past two summers, I have gained many valuable skills that I will be able to use in future jobs. I also believe that interning here has made me more marketable. I would highly recommend this internship. -Sergey Klyukvin

I gained the most from learning on the job and experiencing hands on what it’s like to create and design parts from scratch.  I enjoyed the critical thinking skills I had to endure while working on set ups as well. Learning different viewpoints from the other workers around here has helped me to better understand the multiple ways there are to inspect parts as well.  This experience has helped me to pursue this career even further than I had originally planned.  Working at Precision Plus has definitely encouraged me to always try my best and always be open to try new things. -Amanda Mudlaff

To say my experience at Precision Plus Inc. this summer has been invaluable is an understatement. I have been trained in multiple facets of the ‘business’ sector of Precision Plus Inc. – everything from quoting, to a visit to a customer plant has been covered. I also had the opportunity of testing/validating a laser engraver for some of the parts produced, which I really enjoyed. I really believe that my ‘real-world’ engineering knowledge has started to take form, and can be attributed to the experience I’ve received these past two years interning at Precision Plus Inc. I would certainly recommend an internship at Precision Plus Inc. for those pursuing a technical field of study. It’s a testament to work force commitment that a company of this size would invest so much time, money, and effort into us interns. I think I can speak for all of us when I say it is greatly appreciated. -Jake Ruemmele

Working as an intern for Precision Plus has been an invaluable experience as I was able to not only design parts, but also witness the process of making them. This experience will be extremely useful in my future plans of becoming an engineer. Knowing and understanding the manufacturing process will help make designing new parts or products much easier because I will know the process that goes into actually making them. At first, I pictured working in a factory as being dirty, grueling work, but after working here, I have realized that the manufacturing industry has improved drastically and is no longer the dirty work it used to be. I would recommend entering into the manufacturing to people who work better with their hands and to future engineers so that they can find what interests them in this field. -Tristan Steiner

My name is Troy Steinfest, and I was given the great opportunity to intern at Precision Plus The two summers that I spent here has given me the experience that will help me in my future endeavors. This opportunity will also impact my education as I will be furthering it as I attend the University of Wisconsin-Platteville pursuing a degree in Electrical Engineering. I would recommend any student looking into engineering to consider finding an internship like this that allows someone to see the overall process of how a business works. My favorite experience while working here has to be learning all the individual points of manufacturing a part, and then seeing all the individual work come together to form the final product. The platform that I most enjoyed in the process is Material Handling. Here I was able to see all the material that enters and leaves the company. I learned that a very important factor in keeping a company running smoothly is organization. These experiences are ultimately priceless, and I recommend all students look into programs similar to what Precision Plus has set up. -Troy Steinfest

Precision Plus thanks the summer interns for their contribution and enthusiasm, and wishes them continued success in their studies.

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!

Precision Plus’ Solar Array Stats: CO2 Emission Saved: 15,189.97lb; Equivalent Trees Planted: 390.04; Light Bulbs Powered: 30,305.88 For a Day

Michael Reader

Today is August 29, 2015, at approximately 12 pm. It is a cloudy day in Elkhorn, WI, with the temperature barely making it over 60°F, and 80% chance of storms. Yet, the solar array installed on Precision Plus’ rooftop, is currently generating 22.46 kW of power (of its potential 99 kW), having produced 34.8 kWh so far today. Somewhat low, if compared with the total 649.523 kWh generated August 11th, a sunny day. But it’s cloudy and it is raining.

Since the array went live on August 7, 2015, it has produced more than 10MWh of energy. All things considered (sunny and cloudy days in Elkhorn, Wisconsin) the solar array is predicted to produce about 6.5% of the power consumed by Precision Plus

The installation, under the supervision of Kettle View Renewable Energy, LLC of Random Lake, WI took about a month to complete. The video below documents its progress. The images and the video within, are courtesy of Neil Fleischhacker, Facilities Manager at Precision Plus, who was also responsible for this project.

To read more about Precision Plus’ solar array, click HERE.

For any questions or comments, please contact Neil Fleischhaker by phone or email.

Mark Beilman Joins Precision Plus as Its Director of Education and Training

Michael Reader

On August 3, 2015, Precision Plus (PPI) of Elkhorn, Wisconsin welcomed Mark Beilman as its new Director of Education and Training, to carry on the position first held by Barry Butters.

Beilman’s first job after graduating from the University of Wisconsin at Platteville was with Miniature Precision Components of Walworth, WI, where he served as a research and development engineer for seven years. From 2005 until 2012, he worked at Mukwonago High School as a technical education teacher, and prior to joining Precision Plus he taught technical education at East Troy High School.

When I first started contemplating a career change out of teaching in public education, I wanted to find a job that still included some interaction with young people, but within manufacturing; something I was missing since my days working at MPC, an injection molding company based in Walworth, WI.

I knew I had found that when Barry approached me and discussed this position.  I had worked closely with Barry while I was a teacher at East Troy, placing Youth Apprentice Amanda Mudlaff at Precision Plus  Barry told me how his job was a rewarding mix of working with young people and getting the word out about manufacturing.  He was right. It has been great so far!

As Mike has said, I have big shoes to fill but believe I am up for the challenge.  This challenge has been made easier by all the wonderful people who work at Precision Plus, how they have made me feel welcome, and helped me when I have questions.  It sure has been a whirlwind first three weeks: from sifting through files, learning the Swiss machining process, to meeting interesting people such as Bob Klockars, President of Walworth State Bank, or visiting Gateway’s new manufacturing facility. 

So far my experiences have exceeded my expectations.  I am excited to get our new group of youth apprentices started in the fall and to keep spreading the word about the benefits of a manufacturing career.

-Mark

Mark Beilman and his wife of 14 years, are originally from Madison, but have lived in Walworth County since 1998 and consider it their home. The have two sons, Raymond (10 years old) and John (6 years old). Beilman coaches U8 soccer in Williams Bay.

The Beilmans recently bought a “new” boat (a 1978 Yar-Craft), and are excited to get out fishing and boating as much as they can as the summer winds down. They have a cabin up north, in Superior, WI, where they enjoy spending time in the summer months.

When time permits, Mark enjoys working with antique cars. He is the proud owner of a 1964 Ford 250 and a 1955 T-Bird.

Mark Beilman can be reached by phone or email.

Mike Reader and Other Members of the Wisconsin Aerospace Partners Join Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015 to Promote Wisconsin’s Aerospace Supply Chain

Michael Reader

Every July, Oshkosh, Wisconsin turns into the “busiest airport in the world.” Over half a million attendees flood the city of nearly 70,000 inhabitants, located off the shore of Lake Winnebago for the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA)’s AirVenture Convention.  This year, the convention took place from July 20th through the 26th.

According to data recently published by the organizers, more than 10,000 aircraft arrived at Wittman Regional Airport and other nearby airports for the event, including 2,668 showplanes. In addition, there were state, national and foreign exhibitors, as well as visitors from a record 80 nations around the world.

Over 1000 workshop sessions were attended by more than 75,000 people, featuring drone to spacecraft technology, metal to wood construction techniques, and anything imaginable having to do with aviation and aerospace.

One of the groups exhibiting at the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015, was the Wisconsin Aerospace Partners (Booth #3039, Hangar C), whose mission is “to promote, stimulate and facilitate aerospace related education, and economic opportunities, capabilities and activities in Wisconsin.”

Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, present at the EAA AirVenture Convention, singled out the group  as a supply chain resource, as she encouraged job creators to expand their business into the State of Wisconsin. In the short video below, Lt. Governor Kleefisch talks about the infrastructure already in place in the state that makes Wisconsin the right place in which to do aerospace business.

Two hundred aviation and aerospace companies already make their home in the state. Additionally, in 2013 alone, 3600 academic degrees related to aerospace were awarded from Wisconsin colleges and universities to support the industry’s initiatives.

“The Wisconsin Aerospace Partners supports organizations engaged with the aerospace industry in the State of Wisconsin by establishing a strong network and support system designed to grow the economic vitality of the State and the aerospace industry.” These organizations represent  over 14,000 qualified, capable, and experienced manufacturing individuals who can to serve this industry.

Partner companies are committed to:

  • Communicate the importance of aerospace and technology as a priority for business, economy and community in Wisconsin;
  • Foster education and growth of science, technology and engineering in Wisconsin;
  • Educate positions and develop proposals that support Wisconsin’s aerospace industry;
  • Provide support, infrastructure, and special activities to grow Wisconsin aviation and aerospace business activities; and,
  • Create a focused pipeline to create and grow entrepreneurship in Wisconsin’s aerospace industry.

Precision Plus is proud to be a Wisconsin Aerospace Partner.  For more information about the Wisconsin Aerospace Partners, click HERE.

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