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On February 26, 2015 Manufacturers Across Wisconsin Will Meet at the Manufacturing Matters! Conference in Milwaukee

Michael Reader

The 2015 Manufacturing Matters! Conference welcomes Wisconsin manufacturers for the 18th consecutive year. On February 26, 2015, the conference will showcase a variety of informational and educational sessions as well as a trade show.

The conference will run from 7:00 am until 4:15 pm,  and will feature keynote speaker Mike Laszkiewicz, Vice President & General Manager, Power Control Business Rockwell Automation, as well as over forty speakers who will address attendees on an array of subjects from trends to staffing , to continuous improvement. Additionally, key sponsors to the industry will be featured at the concurrent trade show.

Manufacturing Matters! is sponsored by The Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP), and focuses on “delivering unmatched opportunities for learning, networking, and collaboration.”

The conference will take place at the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee. For more information, click here.

The sySTEMnow Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin Offered a Well-Rounded STEM Day

Michael Reader

The 11th Annual sySTEMnow Conference took place on October 28, 2014 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. “sySTEM” is an acronym for Strengthening our Youth in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics… “now” means now! The event was open to the general public, including educators and students.

The conference was sponsored by STEM Forward, formerly known as Engineers & Scientists of Milwaukee, a group that has “conceived a cooperative body to meet the needs of engineers in the community” for over 100 years. As technology has evolved, so has the organization, which is currently Southeastern Wisconsin’s leading technical organization “providing and/or promoting educational outreach programs emphasizing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).”

The conference included respected keynote speakers, demonstrations by Generation STEM students, engaging breakout speakers, and networking. Mike Reader, President of Precision Plus led one of the breakout sessions, which was entitled “Building the STEM Pipeline: Small Business Partnership with PLTW,” where he, along with Barry Butters, Director of Education and Training, spoke about how small businesses can effectively address their current and future needs for STEM talent in a highly competitive labor market.

Reader and Butters outlined the marked misnomers about manufacturing, and they discussed how STEM-driven technology has drastically changed the manufacturing industry. By partnering with Project Lead The Way and participating high schools, Precision Plus informs, trains and mentors young talent for possible future positions in the company.

Reader and Butters appreciated the opportunity to participate in the sySTEMnow Conference and look forward to continued dialog.

MSOE’s Rapid Prototyping Consortium Continues a Long Standing Tradition of Research and Innovation in Additive Manufacturing Industry

Michael Reader

Mike Reader, President of Precision Plus and Barry Butters, Director of Education and Training were asked to speak at the October 17, 2014 meeting of the Milwaukee School of Engineering’s Rapid Prototyping Consortium.   The meeting also featured Reed Pulver, National Accounts Manager of All-State Industries and Vito Gervasi Director or R&D, Rapid Prototyping Research. Tom Bray, Dean of Applied Technology Center at MSOE began the meeting with a presentation on the history of the organization and recognition of long standing members.

For over 23 years, the consortium has forged together one of the most successful academic-industry partnerships in additive manufacturing, and is a powerful ally to businesses to drastically cut down on the turnaround time for producing a prototype. A driving force of the consortium has been MSOE’s Rapid Prototyping Research Department, which is credited with many rapid prototyping research accomplishments, such as creating—and patenting– a complex, three dimensional lattice structures modeled after the atomic bond structure found in diamond (TetraLattice), and developing an algorithm to produce the first complex protein model built using rapid prototyping.

The Rapid Prototyping Consortium has consistently been at the forefront of technology. “Today, with its 10 installed systems and over 15 material choices, the center supports about 65 consortium companies on a daily basis with their new product development needs.” Among member organizations, the consortium includes not only industrial companies, but also educational institutions.

Rapid Prototyping Center’s tagline is “Use tomorrow’s technology today.” Sheku Kamara is the director of the consortium.

2014 Manufacturing Matters! Conference Videos Featuring Governor Scott Walker as Keynote Speaker

Michael Reader

Last February 27, over 400 Wisconsin manufacturers came together to participate in Manufacturing Matters!, a conference dedicated to manufacturing leadership.

Precision Plus is happy to share two videos from the conference, courtesy of the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP).

The first video, features opening remarks by Buckley Brinkman, Executive Director and CEO of WMEP, followed by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s keynote speech.

The second video, showcases WMEP 2014 Manufacturing Matters! speakers Jim Perras and Rich Meeusen.

The next Manufacturing Matters! Conference is scheduled for February 26, 2015.

Jeff Lemmermann, CFO and CIO at Precision Plus To Speak at Two Upcoming Conferences

Michael Reader

Jeff Lemmermann, CFO and CIO at Precision Plus has been invited to speak at two conferences. 

On Monday, April 7th at INFOSEC WORLD in Orlando, Florida, Lemmermann will examine four famous information technology breach incidents to point out the missed signs, how the breach was ultimately discovered, the damage from the breach, and the lessons that can be learned to avoid similar attacks.  The presentation entitled “Autopsy Report: Famous IT Security Breaches; What Were the Signs and How They Could Have Been Prevented,” will take place from 11:15 a.m. until 12:15 p.m.

On Wednesday, May 21, 2014, Lemmermann will address attendees of the International Institute of Municipal Clerks, during their 68th Annual Conference, which will take place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Lemmermann’s presentation will be from 2:00 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. and it is entitled, “Security Your Information Assets.”

Manufacturing Matters! 2014: A Meeting of the Minds in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Michael Reader

On Thursday, February 27, 2014, Wisconsin manufacturers representing various industries will meet at the Hyatt Hotel in Milwaukee to share in a day of learning, networking and celebration of manufacturing.  This annual event, entitled ‘Manufacturing Matters!’,  is an annual event organized by the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP), an organization which “enhances the success of Wisconsin’s small to mid-sized manufacturers by providing real-world knowledge in continuous improvement, business strategies and best practice.”

Click on the image on the right to watch a video welcome message from Mary Isbister, Co-Owner and President of GenMet.

Manufacturing Matters! 2014 will begin at 8:00 a.m. with opening remarks by Wisconsin’s Governor Walker and Buckley Brinkman, WMEP’s Executive Director.  Rich Meeusen, Chairman, President and CEO of Badger Meter, Inc. is the featured keynote speaker.

The late morning and early afternoon will offer several breakout sessions, featuring over 50 speakers who will talk about executive and operation hot topics, including:

  • Actionable Ideas for Operations
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Trends That Matter to Manufacturers
  • C-Suite Essentials
  • Crucial Financial and Legal Information
  •  Executive Policy and New State Incentives Update
  • Advanced Talent Management and Workforce Development, featuring the topic:  “The Skills Gap: Is It Real?”

Mike Reader, President of Precision Plus. will join Eric Isbister, Co-Owner and CEO of GenMet Corporation, and Mark Levine, Founding Director of the Center for Economic Development at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, as panelists to discuss the ‘Skills Gap’ subject.  Buckley Brinkman, Executive director of the WMPE will moderate this timely discussion.

Join Precision Plusand hundreds of other manufacturers at this great industry event.  For more information about Manufacturing Matters! 2014, click here.

The M7 Continue to Drive Economic Growth Through Its ‘Choose Milwaukee’ Initiatives

Michael Reader

Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Walworth, Washington and Waukesha Counties came together in 2005 in order to create a regional cooperative economic development platform with the sole mission to attract, retain and grow diverse business and talent in southeastern Wisconsin.  This initiative is known as  Milwaukee7’s ‘Choose Milwaukee‘.

In the 8 years since its launch, this collaborative initiative has been credited with bringing 10,000 jobs to the region with over $500 million in payroll and over $700 million in capital investment. According to Milwaukee Business News, “The M7 has also leveraged millions of dollars in federal earmarks, state assistance and other municipal investments for business projects.”

This year’s Milwaukee7 Council meeting took place on November 5, 2013, at the Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA) and featured the following keynote speakers on current initiatives:

  • Paul Byrne of Modine Manufacturing who spoke about exports;
  •  Julia Taylor of the Greater Milwaukee Committee whose subject was ingenuity and entrepreneurship;
  • David Mitchell of Monarch Corp., who spoke about manufacturing career awareness and training programs; and
  • Giacomo Fallucca of Palermo Villa and FaB Milwaukee, who promoted food and beverage manufacturing.

The M7 has published a detailed program outlining the topics covered during the council meeting.   Their next meeting is scheduled for February 2014 in Racine County.

HollenWolff Follow Up

Michael Reader

Wisconsin’s own HollenWoff, the high-end bearing-lock cuff link designer, has once again been featured in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in this article by Kathleen Gallagher published on January 3, 2013. Precision Plus is mentioned therein as having partnered up with HollenWolff to manufacture the luxurious cuff links.

HollenWolff and its story was first featured on our blog in August of 2012.

Are the $370 Million Wisconsin Receives in Federal Job Training Funds Efficiently Spent?

Michael Reader

“If Wisconsin wants to make a dent in the skills gap, the state will have to make some serious investments in job training, advocates discussed at a luncheon in Brookfield Thursday,” writes  Jeff Engel, Reporter for The Business Journal, who regularly reports about the manufacturing industry and technology  in the state of Wisconsin. He also writes extensively about the skills gap issue and the disparity between manufacturers struggling to find talent versus high unemployment rates.

Tim Sullivan (Photo courtesy of Scott Paulus)

On November 8, 2012, the Tech Council and the Milwaukee Chapter of its Wisconsin Innovation Network hosted a discussion to review recent studies and researches done on Wisconsin’s current investment of its job training funds.  According to Tim Sullivan, former Bucyrus International, Inc. CEO and current unpaid consultant for business and work force development for the state, the roughly $370 million in federal job training funds the state receives are “not highly effective or efficiently spent.”  According to a recent report by Competitive Wisconsin Inc., Wisconsin currently invests less than $15 million in discretionary job training funds.  Additionally, a recently-released study by ManpowerGroup, Milwaukee, studied the topic and made some recommendations to bridge the talent gap.

All involved in the conversation agreed that that there is a talent shortage in Wisconsin which will become prevalently increasing as the current work force reaches retirement age.  Although the recommendations for solving this problem varied, the conclusion was that this was an imminent problem.  It was suggested that the manufacturing sector should also partake in the rebuilding of the manufacturing trade work force.

States such as Pennsylvania and Minnesota, who are actively increasing the funds dedicated to these types of initiatives, were cited as models that work.

Attending the meeting also was Linda Salchenberger, Marquette University associate provost for academic planning and budgeting and co-chair of the Competitive Wisconsin study, who said the initiative didn’t just call for the state government to “simply throw money at the problem,“ but do to it in a way where state grants would match funds raised by businesses, economic development agencies and other groups for targeted initiatives with a proven talent need.”

HollenWolff’s Bearing-Lock Cuff Links, Made in Wisconsin

Michael Reader

From an article by Mary Louise Schumacher of The Journal Sentinel about HollenWolff’s bearing-lock cuff links

“Dressed to the nines for a big fundraiser, two friends chatted about the cuff links clasped at one man’s wrist. They talked about their grandfathers and the bygone elegance of certain masculine accoutrements.

One of the two owned a ball-bearing manufacturing company. The other was a clothing stylist.”

In a precise moment, a new idea was born and a new direction was forged.  HollenWolff has designed a new kind of bearing-lock cuff link that is unlike anything ever made. International patents are pending.

Precision Plus is honored to be a part of the project.