PMPA and Production Machining Magazine Feature Precision Plus in Recent Publications

Michael Reader

In an article published in the PMPA Magazine on April 18 2013, Miles Free, its Director of Technology Services, describes the events of February 2013 that took place at Precision Plus and surrounding schools following a manufacturing education initiative.  The article was also reprinted by Production Machining Magazine.

“A career in precision machining can be part of a dual path of work and education. A dual track leads to a lifetime of career success.”

 PMPA Member Company Precision Plus, and CEO Mike Reader, in Elkhorn, Wis., is showing manufacturers how to engage effectively to get the word out about skills needed in manufacturing.

On February 22, Precision Plus hosted an open house attended by Wisconsin Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. CEO Reed Hall, staff members and local press. The shop tour allowed the attendees to see how manufacturing is an important part of the Wisconsin economy, and the critical role Precision Plus and their machinists play in making high-technology, precision-engineered components—components that are used by many companies in the state, as well as across North America and around the world.

On February 27, Precision Plus hosted the Elkhorn Area High School Manufacturing Career Panel. “The skills gap that we hear about is real, and we opened our shop to show the attendees that there are great career opportunities right here in their own back yard,” Mr. Reader says. “Earn while you learn through tuition reimbursement programs is something many families haven’t considered.”

To help students understand the nature of the opportunities available, speakers from across the industry were brought in to share their experiences. Olaf Tessarzyk, managing partner and president at ZPS America LLC, discussed the wages earned in the trade across the country and around the world. He also discussed the opportunities available nationally and internationally for skilled people in manufacturing.

“Bring your math, engineering and problem solving skills, and you can have a great career in manufacturing,” Mr. Tessarzyk says. “Our service techs earn great pay, have great careers, have good quality of life and get to travel. They are also highly respected as the people who can get your equipment back into operation when no one else can. It is a great feeling to be the ‘go-to guy or gal’ today when so many people remain unemployed.”

John Murphy of Morris Midwest discussed the companies in Wisconsin that purchased precision machined products from companies like Precision Plus “It is a veritable ‘Who’s Who of Wisconsin manufacturers,’” he says. “While the job and opportunity is local, the fact is that the products made are vital to other companies and jobs all across the state.”

Dan Murphy, regional sales manager and product expert with REM Sales, spoke to the 180 students in attendance and described the technologies and how they are used. “A lot of orthopedic and surgical implant components are made using Swiss machining technologies like those here at Precision Plus,” he says. “I was really impressed when about eight of the students attending, all of whom were in the highest ranking of their graduating class, came up to me to tell me two of them were considering a career in biomedical engineering. The visibility and importance of precision machining in their future field was easily seen by these students.”

Darlene Miller, CEO of Permac Industries in Burnsville, Minn., had a message for the female students in attendance. “We actually have an advantage in this industry. We think differently. Critically. Our asking ‘why?’ leads to improvements and efficiencies in processes. Our attention to detail helps minimize mistakes. But our passion helps keep everyone motivated and working toward the same goal.

“After working in manufacturing, I moved into sales, and bought an interest in the company. I grew my share and grew my company. Today, we supply leading companies around the world. I was recently honored as one of 122 Women in Manufacturing by the Manufacturing Institute,” Ms. Miller continues. “Another honoree was a young woman who operates a CNC machine and designed an assembly process for her employer. I don’t know of any place with so many opportunities for a career, recognition and to make a difference as precision machining and advanced manufacturing.”

Mr. Reader summarizes his take on the career panel, “I think this year’s Manufacturing Career Panel was a success. Despite our lovely Wisconsin weather, we engaged almost 200 students, including a valedictorian and several others at the top of their class. The best and brightest showed up. While many of them still plan on attending college, and we hope they do, they now are aware that they have another choice besides going deep into debt. They now know that they can earn while they learn, gain a skill as they get an education and integrate their manufacturing experiences into their engineering studies.”

“Learn your skills locally, but understand they are needed globally,” he concludes. “Your highest and best use may just be becoming a skilled craftsman in high-demand globally. Even the Swiss, who are known for their culture of manufacturing expertise and quality, are trying to find more manufacturing talent. A career in precision machining can be part of a dual path of work and education. A dual track leads to a lifetime of career success.”

The Jobs are Here, Where are the Candidates? Wisconsin Manufacturing Stats.

Michael Reader

Let’s talk Wisconsin Manufacturing! 5,600 jobs are currently available in manufacturing in the State of Wisconsin and 0 qualified employees to fill them. Precision Plus’s  infographic points out some startling information.

T-1 to Elkhorn Area High School’s Manufacturing Career Panel!

Michael Reader

Tomorrow, Wednesday 27, 2013 marks the launch date of the Elkhorn Area High School Manufacturing Career Initiative!  The event will take place at the Wehner Auditorium at Elkhorn Area High School at two scheduled times:  from 1pm until 2:30pm and from 7pm until 8:30 pm. Students and parents are welcome to participate.  The event will feature a panel of manufacturing executives who will answer questions from the audience.  The panel is comprised of these manufacturing executives:  Daniel J Murphy, Regional Sales Manager for Rem Sales, LLC, Darlene M. Miller, President and CEO of Permac Industries, John T. Murphy, President of Morris Midwest, LLC, Michael J. Reader, President/Owner of Precision Plus, and Olaf Tessarzyk, Managing Partner of ZPS America, LLC.

The driving force behind this initiative, however,  is Business Education Teacher JoAnne Pella, who understands the importance of manufacturing in the business matrix who insists in teaching it to her students and educating their parents about the possibilities of 21st Century manufacturing.

As of the end of the day today, more than 200 students are planning to attend this conference and we look forward to having two exceptional sessions.

For more information, please contact JoAnne Pella via email, or by phoning her at 262-723-4920, extension 1637.



The subject of the meetings will be skills gap occurring in manufacturing today

Wisconsin Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch to Tour Precision Plus on Friday, February 22, 2013

Michael Reader

February 19, 2013, Elkhorn, WI – In a continued effort to increase Wisconsin’s in-state manufacturing, particularly in the aerospace and aviation sector, Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch will tour the facilities of Precision Plus of Elkhorn, Wisconsin.  She will be joined by Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s (WEDC)  Executive Director Reed Hall and Communications Manager Tom Thieding.

The purpose of this tour and discussion is to present Lt. Governor Kleefisch with a clear picture of Wisconsin’s manufacturing supply chain, showing how the State can benefit from developing additional manufacturing opportunities.  By engaging State agencies in promoting advanced manufacturing targeting the aerospace and aviation industries, the State of Wisconsin can also benefit from the growth potential offered through this type of business development.

“We are excited to have the Lt. Governor and WEDC Executive Director tour our manufacturing facility,” said Precision Plus President Michael Reader.  “It is critical to the State’s economy for us to work together in promoting advanced manufacturing as we offer great career opportunities and compensation packages for highly-skilled machinists and support personnel.”

Precision Plus is a high-precision machining and solution provider to numerous OEMs around the world.  With over 8 million dollars spent on state-of-the-art machining equipment over the past 5 years, and a staff of highly-skilled machinists, Precision Plus has been recognized as a leading supplier of Swiss-type and CNC-turned components.  The company was recommended to WEDC by a large aerospace group as a supplier well-positioned to help grow Wisconsin’s aerospace and aviation industries.  Mr. Reader added, “Let’s put hard working Wisconsinites back to work in rewarding careers and grow our way out of this economic slump”.

The event will take place on Friday, February 22 from 3:45pm until 5:00pm (originally scheduled from 9:30am until 10:45am ) and Precision Plus cordially invites the news media and press to partake in the tour and discussion.  Precision Plus is located at 840 Koopman Ln., Elkhorn, Wisconsin 53121.  Should this tour need to be rescheduled due to anticipated weather conditions in our area, it will be announced on our social media channels and on this blog.

Precision Plus is devoted to bringing manufacturing back the United States through awareness and education and actively promotes its vision within the State of Wisconsin and the country.

For more information on this event, please contact Michael Reader at (262) 743-1700 x105 or via electronic mail.

An Infographic That Tells The Story of America’s Skills Gap: A Growing Crisis for Skilled Labor

Michael Reader

A picture is worth 1,000 words. There is a growing crisis for skilled labor and this infographic by tells the story., plain and simple, supplies work boots to those who need them.  Their job does not stop there, however.  They simply understand that with a limited number of people available to replace the retiring skilled labor force, it is not only their industry that might suffer, but also our country as a whole.  To address this dire situation, has partnered up with Skills USA to bring awareness to it.  They have also designed the infographic above to make the point loudly and clearly.

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce, helping each student excel.  SkillsUSA is a national nonprofit organization serving teachers and high school and college students who are preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations, including health occupations.

Let’s work together to change the outcome sooner than later!  Precision Plus is proud to be part of the equation.


Two New Miyanos Just Arrived at Precision Plus

Michael Reader

Twice the fun!

We have just added two brand new Miyano ABX-TH3 lathes with magazine bar-feeders and high pressure pumps. These precision turning machines will accept bars up to 64 mm (2.51969″) diameter, have triple 12-station turrets and expand our lineup of ABX machines to a total of six.

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The left and right upper turrets are equipped with Y-axis functions and the lower turret is equipped with a long Z-axis slide traverse enabling complex processing simultaneously on the left and right spindles, for high efficiency.  The ABX-TH3 lathes are designed to provide the most productive processing of precision parts to date. See the Miyano ABX-TH3’s full specs here.

Besides providing innovative technology, Citizen Machinery Miyano Co., Ltd., manufacturers of the ABX-TH3 lathes, also have a strong environmentally forward program in place that promotes energy and resource savings, recycling, and contamination prevention.

Our new Miyano ABX-TH3 additions have increased our manufacturing capabilities, and we look forward to continue to work with our customers to supply them with precision components to their specification.

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.”

Vocational Education and Training – The Swiss Answer To Unemployment

Michael Reader

With unemployment rate of 2.8%, the country of Switzerland is coming under increased observation by other industrial countries to discover its secret.  The consensus of opinion seems to be that its unique educational system is the most likely answer.

Swiss industries in cooperation with the educational system have devised a program referred to as Vocational Education and Training (VET).  The compulsory education for a Swiss child ends at nine years.  After this, they have the option of continuing their education in two different tracks.  Those children that want a career in academics can continue in the traditional school-based learning track, and those that are seeking a trade or vocation can enter into the VET program.  This program is a combination of classroom work and apprenticeship programs.  At present over 50% of the youth in Switzerland are choosing this track.

The VET program has the youth in the classroom for 1 to 2 days out of the week with the rest of the work week being spent at the host company of their apprenticeship. The course work at the VET schools is determined by the trade organizations that help run the schools.  This keeps the studies in line with the skills that are most needed in the market place. These programs tend to last for 3 to 4 years depending on the field of study.  Youth studying in these programs are then awarded a Federal diploma after passing their final exam. The youth that pass this test are also able to go onto a specialized university program in their field.  One of the aspects that have been found as most intriguing is the use of other businesses to sign off on the work that the apprentice is doing for the host-company, offering a transparency in the industry as well as a cohesive manner of maintaining the standards for those particular industry apprenticeships.

The current statistics show that around 58,000 companies are providing up to 80,000 apprenticeships.  These are presented to the lower secondary schools every year to enable the parents and students to know what is available.  The result of the training and expense is that most of the youth can expect to enter into a vocation with a starting salary of $50,000 or more.  Although this program is funded by the private sector, the output generated by the apprentices is seen to cover the cost and the end result is a trained labor force with the skills for the jobs that are available and needed.

Connecticut Manufacturers Celebrate Manufacturing Day 2012 to “Call Me Maybe”

Michael Reader

Several Connecticut manufacturing companies have a little fun on the job and spoof a popular song in honor of 2012’s Manufacturing Day.

In this video, employees from the following companies are featured:  CBIA, CONNSTEP, New Haven Manufacturers Association (NHMA), The Smaller Manufacturers Association of Connecticut (SMA), Air Handling Systems (Woodbridge), Cooper-Atkins Corp (Middlefield), Capewell Components (S. Windsor), ebm-papst (Farmington), G & R Manufacturing(Naugatuck), Munson’s Chocolates (Bolton), Prospect Machine Products (Prospect), and Schwerdtle Stamp Company (Bridgeport).

Audio: Carley Rae Jepson – Call Me Maybe. (C) 2011 604 Records Inc.
Video Produced by CBIA’s Chris McGuire and Liz Krueger

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