As the countdown nears the end, we all ask ourselves, “Where did the summer go?” Once again, the warmer months have flown by, and the school bells will soon be ringing. Many of our interns have already left us to return to school, and the remaining will be finishing by the end of this week. We are grateful for their help and enthusiasm they brought every day this summer, and we wish them the best as they return to school. It is our hope that this experience has helped them understand how to apply the classroom learning to the manufacturing world.
Providing career exploration opportunities is something we are passionate about here at Precision Plus. It started back in 2012 when we realized no one outside of this industry knew anything about the magic that happens in advanced manufacturing facilities around the world. We wondered why the best and brightest of the next generation had no interest in manufacturing careers. The simple answer was that they knew nothing about modern manufacturing, other than seeing old film footage of dark, dirty, and dangerous manufacturing plants from many decades ago. Students didn’t know the truth about modern manufacturing, and even the education community and most parents had the same outdated perceptions of manufacturing careers. We in the manufacturing industry had failed to get involved, open our doors, and offer experiences in order to make a difference. Now six years later, through a lot of hard work and effort, we see a resurgence in technical careers. We are delighted to see this and to see other manufacturers getting involved. Together we can move the needle; I know this because I have seen it happen across the country. There is much honor in making things right here in the United States, and the rewards are many – both financial and emotional. However, we still have a long way to go.
As we are about to celebrate Labor Day this coming Monday, I must reflect on all the wonderful and passionate people I have met over the years in manufacturing. Much has been said and written about the Skills Gap, but now we are recognizing we also have a Body Gap. With the economic expansion, we see an increased demand for talent, and when we cannot find talent, we set about creating it ourselves. Still, with unemployment levels so low, it is very difficult. This Labor Day, we take pause to reflect on the goodness around us and celebrate our team members that arrive here every day, ready to make a difference. They are the single greatest reason we are our customers’ first choice in precision machined components. We just wish there were more passionate doers interested in manufacturing careers.
A few additional thoughts and events on the horizon.
- The Walworth County Fair is running now through Monday. This is the largest county fair in Wisconsin and dates back to 1840. Yes, 178 years ago. Nothing like strolling around the fairgrounds, checking out the 4-H barns with all the critters, eating unhealthy food, and watching the diverse groups of people walking about. It is truly a throwback to simpler times, and maybe that is what I enjoy the most. Or maybe it’s a close second behind the fossil fuel orgy called a tractor pull. If you have never witnessed such an event, put it on your bucket list. Check out the schedule of events and list of attractions at https://www.walworthcountyfair.com
- We will celebrate Labor Day this Monday, September 3rd and all our team members that make the magic happen for our customers.
- Friday, September 14th, we will be taking three motor coaches loaded with students, faculty, and parents to the International Machine Technology Show (IMTS) at McCormick Place in Chicago. We are so excited for this event; learn more at https://www.imts.com/ about the must-see occasion.
- On Saturday, October 20th, we celebrate Manufacturing Day here at Precision Plus with our Annual Open House from 9:00am to 1:00pm. We invite the community for tours, food, and conversation. If the weather cooperates, we invite our team members and guests to bring their favorite toys (cars) that inspired so many of us to seek out manufacturing careers. For more information or to register for this Open House event, please visit: https://www.mfgday.com/events/2018/precision-plus-7; https://www.preplus.com/events/; or contact Sue Hall at (262) 743-2882.
Lastly, I need to give a big shout out to the Precision Plus team for the successful completion of our ISO 9001-2015 audit. There were no findings or observations, which led to our registration approval to the new standard earlier this month. Congratulations are in order for the entire team for completing this intense process, but we cannot rest there. We will undergo two additional audits later this year, as we seek AS9100 certification for the aerospace industry.
May you all have a safe, enjoyable holiday weekend with family and good friends.
Mike Reader, President