One of the aspects I enjoy most about my job is getting to go into the various businesses that call the New North home. Through the years, I’ve been inside paper mills, insurance companies, a nuclear power plant, dairy farms, health care facilities and manufacturing facilities that make everything from cheese and specialized packaging materials to heavy-duty military equipment and tiny electronics that fit inside things we use every day. It is fascinating to see how so many things get made.
This month’s cover story subject, Schutt Industries in Clintonville, is no different. The family-owned company makes military-grade trailers for not only the military, but also for utilities and extreme off-road enthusiasts. During a recent tour of the facility, Steve Schutt, the company’s vice president of sales and marketing, explained to me the process of how the trailers come together.
It was interesting to see how the metal pieces join (some are pre-assembled at the company’s location in Shawano) to create a trailer that will be used by the U.S. Department of Defense to haul generators (that was the main project being worked on that day). Read contributing writer Nikki Kallio’s cover story on Schutt Industries on page 24 to learn more.
Not all businesses, of course, make physical products we can hold in our hands. Some create and develop insurance policies to protect our property while others make sure an organization’s bottom line adds up correctly.
One factor, however, uniting all businesses is the need for workers. It is no secret there is skilled worker shortage in the New North, but as contributing writer Sharon Verbeten discovered in this month’s Insight Insider feature, small restaurants and retailers are really feeling the pinch when it comes to finding reliable employees. With near-record unemployment, owners know the situation will not change anytime soon, so they are looking at different options to deal with the crisis. Her story starts on page 36.
Insight reporter Jessica Thiel writes about a newer business to the area — JumpStart Auto Repair — in this month’s For the Love feature. JumpStart serves a dual purpose: not only does the female-run service garage repair cars and trucks, it also provides free maintenance to clients of two local domestic abuse shelters and exposes women to the career opportunities in the auto service sector. The story starts on page 22. What’s happening at your business that’s new and different? Keep me posted at [email protected]