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Precision Plus Welcomes Two Youth Apprentices and Two Gateway Youth CNC Boot Camp Students

Michael Reader

Youth Apprentices

Jordan Belanus, a senior at Elkhorn Area High School in Elkhorn, WI and Jake Sherwin, a senior at Big Foot High School in Walworth, WI, have joined Precision Plus’ Youth Apprentice Program.

Jordan Belanus began working as an Information Technology (IT) youth apprentice at Precision Plus (PPI) on November 9, 2015, reporting to Jeff Lemmermann, the company’s CIO and CFO. The IT apprenticeship adheres to the IT Skill Standards Checklist established by Wisconsin’s Department of Workforce Development.

Items on the checklist vary from soft skills such as communicating effectively and thinking critically, to job-specific skills such as upgrading an operating system or installing software. The checklist serves as a guideline to help the apprentice obtain designated competencies.

Jordan enjoys working on computers for friends and family, having developed an affinity for programming and networking. As an IT apprentice, he will also be putting those skills to work, performing back up operations, upgrading operating systems and installing software as needed. He will also assist to process employee IT help requests. As his internship progresses, Jordan should be able to perform certain tasks of his own volition, rather than being directed to do so.

In order to receive a certificate for his internship, Jordan must complete 450 total hours of work by August 2016. By state law, however, he cannot exceed 20 hours per week. He learned about PPI’s apprenticeship opportunity through his school’s career and technical education coordinator.

At Elkhorn Area High School, Jordan’s favorite subjects are algebra, physics and geometry. He plans to attend Gateway Technical College in the fall of 2016 and subsequently use its 2-plus-2 articulation agreements with the University of Wisconsin or with Milwaukee School of Engineering to continue his education in computer engineering.

In his spare time, Jordan enjoys playing video games, playing guitar, and practicing Tae Kwon Do, for which he holds a second-degree black belt.

Jake Sherwin began his manufacturing apprenticeship with PPI on November 2, 2015. He reports to Mark Beilman, Director of Education and Training.

The manufacturing apprenticeship follows the Skill Standards Checklist established by Wisconsin’s Department of Workforce Development for that purpose. The first part of the apprenticeship will include a general assessment of Jake’s math skills, micrometer and blueprint reading skills and geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) interpretative skills.

After the first phase is completed, Jake will spend time with mentors from different departments to learn skills and applications from them first hand. Jake will be completing the core skills and machining unit of the Production Pathway of the Skill Standards Checklist.   Mentors will sign off on the acquired competencies at the end of their mentoring.

The curriculum at PPI goes hand in hand, with Jake’s curriculum at Big Foot High School. Jake learned about the apprenticeship opportunity at Precision Plus when Mark Beilman spoke to his technical education class in September. Jake knows that he wants to work in the trades—most likely in construction—after his graduation. However, he enjoys the science and agriculture classes he is taking, as well as helping with his family’s farm. In addition, he works part-time at Heyer True Value Hardware Store in Walworth, Wisconsin, so he is keeping his options open. His apprenticeship will also require him to complete 450 hours by August 2016.

When time permits, Jake enjoys hunting and fishing, baseball, and playing bass guitar in a band.

 

Youth CNC Boot Camp Students

Two Gateway students, currently enrolled in Gateway Technical College (GTC)’s Elkhorn Campus Youth CNC Boot Camp have begun their job shadowing experience at Precision Plus, as part of their current semester requirements.

Monday through Friday, Elliot Salentine from East Troy High School and Cameron Bunne from Elkhorn High School attend high school in the morning, followed by classes and training at GTC from 12:30 until 4:30 in the afternoon. As they learn different processes and applications at school, a concurrent shadowing program lends them the opportunity to watch professionals performing those jobs. Each student spends one hour per week at PPI to meet those requirements.

Thus far, the students have shadowed Marty Baumgardner in the Quality Assurance Lab, Ryan Landreman and Brad Pearson on the Miyano platform, and Curtis Hibl in the CAM Department. The shadowing will continue on the Tornos platform, the Secondary Department, the Scheduling Department and, finally, the Shipping Department.

Elliot and Cameron will continue their high school/boot camp schedule until the spring semester begins on February 2, 2016. At that time, they will attend their high school classes in the mornings, but will participate in a mentoring program at Precision Plus in the afternoon, learning and working in different departments. The mentoring phase will end in May 2016. The students will receive high school and boot camp credits for their experience at the company.

Although the Youth CNC Boot Camp mentoring program is similar to the Youth Apprenticeship program already in place, possible modifications may be made based on the students’ incoming skill level.

Cameron and Elliot are members of the first Youth CNC Boot Camp to graduate from GTC’s Elkhorn Campus in Walworth County. The program had already been running successfully at GTC’s other two locations in Racine and Kenosha.

For more information about Precision Plus’ apprenticeship and mentoring programs, please contact Mark Beilman via email or by calling 262-743-1700.

 

Precision Plus Intern Amanda Mudlaff Receives a $5,000 Scholarship to MSOE

Michael Reader

Amanda Mudlaff, who has served both as an intern and an apprentice at Precision Plus, received a $5,000 Scholarship to Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE).

Barry Butters, Director of Education and Training presented the scholarship to Amanda during the Class of 2015 Senior Awards at East Troy High School, which took place on Sunday, June 7th.

The Precision Plus Team congratulates Amanda on her achievement.

Precision Plus Efforts Help Bring a New CNC Boot Camp to Walworth County

Michael Reader

There is no doubt that Precision Plus had rallied incessantly to bring CNC training to Walworth County in Wisconsin. With Gateway Technical College’s (GTC) February 2015 announcement of their Elkhorn Campus expansion, which will include a new state-of-the-art manufacturing training center, CNC training in Walworth County is now a reality. As early as July 2015, incoming high school seniors will be able to attend a CNC Boot Camp at the Elkhorn Campus.

The CNC Boot Camp has proved to be a successful 14-week training program for adults, and it is currently on its 22nd session at the iMET Center in Sturtevant.  About three years ago, the same program was developed for high school seniors, to be taken in conjunction with their regular high school classes. The High School CNC Boot Camp—also known as the CNC Youth Boot Camp–also includes an internship with a manufacturing company.

This past year, Precision Plus supported the program by taking Boot Camp student Scott Dvorak from Waterford Union High School as an intern. Barry Butters, Director of Education and Training said, “Logistically, this was the first time that it made sense to sponsor a student. Scott attends early morning classes at the school, which is about a 30-minute drive from Precision Plus–a much shorter ride than it would be for his CNC classmates who typically attend the Racine School District. He arrives at the company at 10am and works until 3pm.

The CNC High School Boot Camp at the Elkhorn Campus is certainly a plus for Walworth County students and the community. Its July kickoff, however, is contingent on having enough interest from area students. Applications are due no later than May 1, 2015.

With the short time frame in mind, Precision Plus’ mission became to bring the news to as many people as possible and encourage students and parents to look into the program.

On Tuesday, February 24th, Barry Butters attended the Whitewater High School Career and Technical Education (CTE) Committee meeting along with Derek D’Auria the Executive Director Walworth County Economic Development Alliance (WCEDA). The meeting is held twice a year for the school’s career, technical education teachers, so they can, in turn, share curriculum, and classroom updates with their industry partners and discuss new ideas and developments. Butters and D’Auria took this opportunity to inform the group about the CNC High School Boot Camp coming to Walworth County.

On Monday, March 9th, Barry Butters along with Rich Lofy, the Coordinator of the CNC Youth Boot Camp, spoke to a few East Troy students and parents at East Troy High School about opportunities in the machining industry and the boot camp itself. The event was coordinated by Stacey Kuehn, Assistant Principal at East Troy High School, and it was in conjunction with the school’s parent-teacher conference night.

On Friday, March 13th, Butters met with Lauren Paterson, a Badger High School student, her parent and the Badger High School Career and Technical Education Coordinator, Marie Collins, to discuss the Boot Camp and show Lauren some actual CNC applications.

On Monday, March 16th, Butters met with five students, two parents and the three guidance counselors from Elkhorn Area High School to talk about the CNC Youth Boot Camp and tour Precision Plus, so as to give the them a good understanding of the CNC machining industry.

  1. Butters begins the tours with a PowerPoint talking to students about what they will be seeing on the floor
  2. Butters shows the students parts that are being run on the Tornos Cam machines
  3. Butters talks about the Swiss type CNC machine
  4. Butters shows the students the Miyano CNC turret lathes
  5. Butters talks about the optical comparator and the precision that is held on the parts

On Tuesday, March 31st, three Gateway new student specialists and their supervisor toured Precision Plus to gain a better understanding of the machining industry.

The new student specialists were,

  • Amanda Hruzek, who services Delavan Darien High School, Williams Bay High School and Badger High School
  • Joseph Sell, who services Whitewater High School, Burlington High School and the Wisconsin School for the Deaf
  • Katie Graf, who serves the Walworth County Alternative High School, Elkhorn Area High School, Catholic Central High School, East Troy High School and Big Foot High School

Their supervisor is Angela Becerra-Chvilicek, who is the Director of College Access for Gateway.

Today’s machining professionals require a solid and balanced mix of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) background, mechanical aptitude and great problem solving skills. As such, it is imperative that those in the guidance/counseling areas have a firm grasp of the skills required to be 21st century machinist.The visit included a PowerPoint presentation and tour of the facility.

On Wednesday, April 1st, Precision Plus hosted another tour for students interested in the CNC Boot Camp in Walworth. The participation included two students from Burlington High School, one from Badger High School, one from Waterford Union High School, one from Elkhorn Area High School, and one from Wilmot High School. Each student brought along a parent. There were 12 people total for the tour.

Independently of Precision Plus’ efforts, two information meetings have taken place already. There will be one more chance for students to attend an information meeting for the CNC Boot Camp at the WCEDA office on Wednesday, April 8th. The WCEDA Office is now located in the South Building at the Gateway Elkhorn Campus. Interested students can call Marci Barr at 262-741-5263.

 

To Celebrate Manufacturing Month, Precision Plus in Elkhorn, Wisconsin Welcomed Five Area High Schools for Plant Tours

Michael Reader

One hundred and forty-one students and eleven chaperones from five area high schools visited Precision Plus of Elkhorn, Wisconsin during the month of October 2014, to celebrate Manufacturing Month and learn about the industry and the company. MFG DAY 2014 held earlier in October, had kicked off the month-long event. The schools in attendance were Delavan Darien High School and East Troy High School on October 16th, Elkhorn Area High School and Lake Geneva Badger High School on October 23rd, and Tenor High School on October 27th.

The tour began at Precision Plus’ classroom with personnel introduction, a PowerPoint presentation about the history of the company and the role of a contract manufacturer, followed by a demonstration of the software used at Precision Plus, and a video showcasing the trajectory of a part from concept to completion. After a question and answer session, the students took a plant tour. Upon returning to the classroom, students had another opportunity for Q&As and received a PMPA pen/flash drive with information about CNC training and career statistics.

Precision Plus received several notes from the schools, reiterating the importance of such opportunities for students who are evaluating their future career possibilities.