The NEW Manufacturing Alliance (NEWMA) www.newmfgalliance.org will be celebrating its 15-year anniversary in 2021. The vision of the organization is that every Northeast Wisconsin manufacturer will find the talent it needs. NEWMA works collaboratively with K-16 education, workforce and economic development. The Alliance has grown to over 300 members representing over 70,000 manufacturing employees working in the 18 counties of Northeast Wisconsin.
The significant difference between the Alliance and other organizations is that it is manufacturer-led. “When the Alliance was formed, I knew manufacturers had to get out and share our stories,” says Paul Rauscher, CEO of EMT International and founder of the organization. “Who is better to share that message than us?”
In the 15 years since the Alliance was formed, there have been dramatic results. Local technical colleges have seen increases in enrollment and graduation rates of manufacturing-related programs in excess of 300 percent. The Alliance membership has supported over $300,000 in college scholarships. In addition, the Alliance worked directly with New North colleges to create bachelor-degreed engineering technology programs.
“From the very beginning of the formation of the NEWMA, providing scholarships for graduating high school seniors resulting in a manufacturing career has been one of our highest priorities,” says Mark Kaiser, president and CEO of Lindquist Machine Corp. and a NEWMA board member.
“I still remember being at the start-up meeting on June 6, 2006 when we formulated the goals and vision for the Alliance, and now due to that day, we have Manufacturing First Expo, Internship Draft Day, Excellence in Manufacturing/K-12 Partnerships Awards and Get Real Math videos,” says Ann Franz, executive director of NEWMA. “The organization is the voice for manufacturers by sharing the annual results of the Northeast Wisconsin Manufacturing Vitality Study Index and NEWMA Industry 4.0 study.”
One of the first efforts of the organization was changing the image of manufacturing careers. Each year since 2009, the Alliance’s All Stars has spotlighted 12 manufacturing employees who exemplify the best of the best. Award winners are showcased in the annual publication devoted to manufacturing careers. The online version of the magazine also includes hyperlinks to three-minute videos highlighting each award winner. More than 250,000 magazines have reached the hands of students and parents.
Featured on the 2021 All Stars magazine cover is Derrick Hayes, a welder at Fincantieri ACE Marine, Green Bay. “Derrick is a hard-working, determined individual who serves as an excellent role model for all,” says Bill Boudreau, production manager for Fincantieri ACE Marine.
2021 All-Star award winner Tanner Peterik, a welder at Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry, said he would like to change the perception of manufacturing careers. “If you’re a team player and willing to learn and work on your craft, you will be presented with opportunities; what you do with that is up to you.”
NEWMA is poised for another 15 years in continuing its work in promoting and finding the talent its manufacturers need to remain prosperous in Northeast Wisconsin. For more information contact Ann Franz at 920-498-5587 or [email protected]
To view the entire 2021 Anniversary Celebrations edition, please click here.