SWISS TURNED COMPONENTS | (262) 743-1700

Third Annual Manufacturing Career Panel at Elkhorn Area High School on February 18, 2015, Draws a Large Crowd of Students

Michael Reader

For the third year in a row, Precision Plus in partnership with Elkhorn Area High School, presented a Manufacturing Career Panel to more than a hundred high school students from several area schools.

The event, which took place on Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at Elkhorn Area High School was organized to explain to students what 21st century advanced manufacturing is and how it has changed over the last decades, to dispel old manufacturing myths, to talk about manufacturing career opportunities, and exciting educational opportunities available for students in the area.

The program was moderated by Mike Reader, President and Owner of Precision Plus, and by Barry Butters, the company’s Director of Education and Training. A shout-out was given to JoAnne Pella, Career Advisor of Elkhorn Area High School, for her contribution and dedication to make the panels possible.

The panelists were distinguished industry leaders Dennis Giesler, General Manager of Parker-Hannifin Quick Coupling Division, Dawn Tabat, COO of Generac, Geoff Martin, Principal and Senior Leader of GE Healthcare Partners, and Rick Lofy, Lean Six Sigma Instructor at Gateway Technical College. Click here to see their expanded bios.

All four panelists drew from their own experiences in manufacturing, sharing the broad spectrum of opportunities that exist within the industry at all levels. They all spoke about the next generation of advanced manufacturing professionals, and how they are looking at that generation, which included the students present, to carry the future. All speakers agreed that we live in an exciting time, when things are changing faster today than in the history of the world. And that these fast, dynamic, changing times require problem-solving, creative-thinking individuals who can move with the changes and have the ability to rapidly adapt and progress through collaboration and continuous improvement. Success now and in the future, they concluded, will be driven by the purpose, culture and passion of those individuals and companies who are committed to make a difference.

2015 Manufacturing Career Panel To Be Held on February 18 at Elkhorn Area High School

Michael Reader

The third annual Manufacturing Career Panel will be held on Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at Elkhorn Area High School. In partnership with Elkhorn Area H.S., Precision Plus will lead a panel of manufacturing experts who will talk to an audience of over 200 students from area high schools about bright and challenging manufacturing career possibilities. The event will take place from 1:00 to 2:35 p.m.

This year, four manufacturing industry leaders will participate as panelists, with Mike Reader of Precision Plus as  Master of Ceremonies. All four panelists have demonstrated their tenacious spirit to succeed and will share their experiences and insights with the students.

Dawn Tabat, Chief Operations Officer – Generac. Ms. Tabat, currently oversees manufacturing, logistics, global supply chain, quality, safety, information services and human resources. She began her career at Generac with a summer job on the assembly line. Tabat credits her corporate success to welcoming and making the best of opportunities as they presented themselves—a trait, which she strives to pay forward. With 2013 revenues of $1.5B, Generac Power Systems is a manufacturer of backup power generation products for residential, light commercial and industrial markets.

Geoff Martin, Principal and Senior Leader – GE Healthcare Partners; Service Line Leader for GE’s Hospital of the Future Solution. Mr. Martin leads implementation teams who provide transformational solutions for organizational redesign and governance enhancement of healthcare institutions. GE’s Solutions focuses on increasing access, decreasing costs, and improving quality in healthcare through a combination of consulting and technology.

Dennis Giesler, General Manager- Parker Hannifin’s Quick Coupling Division. Mr. Giesler has led the Quick Coupling Division—the world’s largest manufacturer of quick couplings–since 2008. The company also produces hydraulic and pneumatic couplings in a variety of sizes, materials, and end configurations to accommodate a broad spectrum of design requirements as well as offering hydraulic swivels, check valves and state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment.

Rick Lofy, Lean Six Sigma Instructor at Gateway Technical College, and Coordinator, CNC Summer Youth Boot Camp held at IMET Center in Sturtevant, Wisconsin. Mr. Lofy will explain the boot camp program, and the benefits for students with regard to  skills and knowledge,  and work experience.  Additionally, he will address the boot camp’s expectations and hours.

Mike Reader, President of Precision Plus  Mr. Reader who has presented on our first two panels and is the chief organizer of the event. He along with Barry Butters, Director of Education and Training at Precision Plus, have dedicated themselves to bringing the world of manufacturing to students of area schools through field trips, job shadows, internships, youth apprenticeships, and informational panels.

This event attracts high-caliber students who are up for the challenge offered in today’s high-tech manufacturing arena. Fourteen high schools have been invited to participate:

  • Badger High School (Lake Geneva, WI)
  • Beloit Memorial High School (Beloit, WI)
  • Big Foot High School (Walworth, WI)
  • Burlington High School (Burlington, WI)
  • Delavan Darien High School (Delavan, WI)
  • East Troy High School (East Troy, WI)
  • Faith Christian School (Williams Bay, WI)
  • Richmond Burton High School (Richmond, IL)
  • Union Grove High School (Union Grove, WI)
  • Waterford High School (Waterford, WI)
  • Westosha Central High School (Salem, WI)
  • Whitewater High School (Whitewater, WI)
  • Williams Bay High School (Williams Bay, WI)
  • Wilmot High School (Wilmot, WI)

For more information about the event, please contact Barry Butters, Director of Education and Training at Precision Plus via phone or email.

Manufacturing helps to drive Wisconsin’s economy as a top contributor to the state’s real GDP ($50 billion in total output in 2013) and by employing16 percent (465,000) of the state’s workforce. While manufacturing was hit by the recent recession, it is making a fast-paced recovery. Reports indicate that the sector has recovered at least half of its jobs initially lost in the downturn, with the latest economic forecasts predicting continued employment growth and recovery into 2016. Manufacturing is expected to add nearly 19,000 jobs by 2020 (Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin).  Many of these jobs will require skills to support the technologically evolving and lean operations of manufacturing companies.

Manufacturing in Wisconsin will continue to be a prime source of employment as we have more workers in this career field than any other state. In addition, the manufacturing sector provides some of the best-paying non-managerial jobs, particularly for those with less than a 4-year college degree.

To view recaps of previous events, please click on the year: 20132014