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Precision Plus’ President Mike Reader Speaks at The Economic Forum Presented by the La Crosse Area Development Corporation

Michael Reader

Mike Reader, President of Precision Plus of Elkhorn Wisconsin was invited to speak at The Economic Forum presented by the La Crosse Area Development Corporation (LADCO) on Thursday, October 8, 2015. The presentation was entitled “Workforce Development Challenges & Strategies,” addressing tangible steps for manufacturers to take to help tackle workforce challenges.


The October 8th event also featured Ann Franz from Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, and Mark Kaiser from Lindquist Machine Corporation, both representing the NEW Manufacturing Alliance (NMA) of Northeast Wisconsin. James Hill of LADCO moderated the forum.

All three presenters addressed two common threads: how to raise industry and career awareness, and how to promote collaboration between sectors.

The NMA represents a group of manufacturers who work with educators, workforce developers, chambers of commerce and state organizations to promote manufacturing in Northeast Wisconsin. Franz and Kaiser explained how the organization makes available valuable resources through their outreach program, listing manufacturers who regularly offer plant tours, have representatives who can speak about the industry and career opportunities, offer college internships, job shadowing, mentoring, and youth apprenticeships. In addition, the organization makes available to educators a number of tools to deploy in the classroom, and prospective employees a model pathway for shaping their careers.

Reader recounted his own personal journey to turn the skills gap tables, when he “stopped complaining” and began reaching out to educators, legislators, associations and fellow manufacturers, while organizing career panels, plant tours for students and parents, participating in career fairs, and hiring a dedicated individual to undertake the outreach efforts on a full-time basis. He also established internships and apprenticeships, created scholarships, crafted tuition reimbursement programs, joined career and technical education (CTE) committees, and invested in local education—efforts which, along the way, have nurtured individuals who now make Precision Plus their employer.

LADCO businesses attending the forum, walked away with a wealth of executable ideas. La Crosse, WI is a key city in Western Wisconsin located along the Mississippi River, in what is called the “Coulee Region Business Center,” ideally located to serve the tri-state area of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa. LADCO is an organization that strives to promote and retain business in the area, offering an array of business related programs throughout the year.

 

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!

Press Release: 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.