Plant News

Girl power

Posted on Nov 15, 2016 :: Plant News
Jessica Thiel
Posted by , Insight on Manufacturing Staff Writer

Program promotes STEM careers to high school freshmen and sophomores

By the time she was in high school, Tiffany Carter already had her sights set on becoming an engineer. When it came time to explore the career she looked to her father, who works in the field.

Carter, now a mechanical engineer at Miller Electric, was lucky to have a role model to teach her about the profession she wanted to pursue. She recognized, however, that not every girl is so fortunate and set about to change that.

After learning of Smart Girls Rock, a program that originated in Alaska and is designed to encourage girls to explore engineering, Carter decided she wanted to do something similar — and do it better.

Carter set out to bring the program to the Fox Cities and to have it focus on all science, technology, engineering and math careers. She approached her employer with the idea and was delighted to find much support.

Carter’s goal is to educate students about STEM careers, break down misconceptions and provide girls with positive female role models.

“STEM outreach is very important, especially for women,” Carter says, noting that targeting girls and making sure they have the support they need is key.

Miller Electric recently partnered with Talent Collaborative of the Fox Cities Chamber to hold the second annual Smart Girls Rock event.

Ninety-five freshmen and sophomore girls from Appleton West, Menasha, Neenah and St. Mary Catholic high schools gathered at Miller Electric to take part in group speed mentoring and interactive activities. Mentors represented several fields, including engineering, health care, finance and accounting.

Freshman and sophomore year, when students are narrowing down and planning their high school courses, is the ideal time to reach girls, Carter says. “That’s the age where you’re typically figuring out what to do.”

Sophia Schwartzbauer, a freshman at Menasha High School who is interested in becoming a pediatrician, said she appreciated learning about the different types of jobs available and finding out about the paths the mentors followed to reach their goals.

For Valarie Wojcik, a welding engineer for Miller Electric and one of 45 mentors, the decision to help with the event was an easy one.

“It’s really important to help get the word out that these careers actually exist and that you can be successful and grow a lot,”  Wojcik says.

Wojcik, who graduated from high school in 2007, said she didn’t have access to anything like Smart Girls Rock and didn’t realize welding was a career option for her until her senior year. “Getting into it has completely changed my life and floated me down a different path than I ever thought I’d be on.”

The program has garnered overwhelmingly positive feedback, Carter says, with 98 percent of participants last year saying they came away with a better understanding of career options available to them.

Patty Milka, vice president of talent and education for the Fox Cities Chamber, says the event is growing, and each year a different business will host.

Carter sees the program as a win for the businesses that participate. She believes the girls will remember the support they received. After all, “these are potentially their future employees.

Wisconsin metro areas make best places to work

SmartAsset, a national personal finance technology company, included four Wisconsin metro areas on its new list of the 25 best places to work in the manufacturing industry – more than any other state.

Marinette ranked sixth in the study, with Watertown-Fort Atkinson in eighth, Appleton in 17th and Wausau 23rd. Wisconsin was the only state with two metro areas in the top 10 and four in the top 25.

SmartAsset calculated the rankings by analyzing U.S. Census Bureau data on income and employment for manufacturing workers in 398 of America’s largest metropolitan statistical areas. The data included one- and five-year employment and income growth, manufacturing jobs as a percentage of total jobs and income after housing costs.

George Washington University honors Bemis CEO

William F. Austen, president and CEO of Bemis Co., Inc., was inducted into the George Washington University Engineering Hall of Fame.

The George Washington University Engineering Hall of Fame recognizes distinguished School of Engineering and Science alumni, faculty, staff and friends who have contributed to engineering, technology or management in a sustained and significant way.

“When you consider that George Washington University’s engineering school has about 22,000 living alumni, you immediately understand that our Hall of Fame is a very select group that truly represents the ‘best-of-the-best’ of engineering and computer science at GW,” said Dr. David S. Dolling, dean of George Washington University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science. “We’re proud to count Bill Austen as a member of this prestigious group.”

“Bill is an outstanding leader,” said Timothy M. Manganello, chairman of the board for Bemis Co. “Bill drives results, connects well with stakeholders and employees, and embodies all the characteristics of a high-performing leader.”

Manitowoc delivers 100th Grove crane

Only one year after its introduction, Manitowoc has delivered its 100th Grove GMK5250L. German rental company Armbruster Autokran-Vermietung, which is based in Pliezhausen, will add the all-terrain crane to its fleet of 14 machines.

“We proudly welcome the 100th GMK5250L to our fleet, and we are excited to provide our customers a real added value,” said General Manager Bernd Armbruster during the handover celebration in Wilhelmshaven, where the GMK5250L is manufactured.

The GMK5250L features a 70-meter main boom and is equipped with Manitowoc’s standardized, operator-friendly crane control system. The crane features the VIAB turbo clutch, which offers several benefits, including wear-free starting and braking and reduced fuel consumption.

Faith Technologies earns No. 14 ranking on magazine’s list

Faith Technologies, an electrical, engineering and technology contractor, ranked 14th on Electrical Construction & Maintenance magazine’s Top 50 Electrical Contractors list.

The annual EC&M listing ranks leading U.S. contractors based on their electrical revenue from the previous year. Faith Technologies had revenue of more than $425 million in 2015.

“The innovative work and sustainable practices Faith Technologies strives for each and every day has helped us achieve this ranking on the EC&M Top Electrical Contractors list again for 2016,” Mike Jansen, CEO at Faith Technologies, says. “We look forward to continuing to take advantage of growth opportunities that help us serve our clients in the best way possible.