Waukesha County Business Alliance WAUKESHA COUNTY October 2022 ACCELERATE
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OCTOBER 2022 MAGAZINE SUZANNE KELLEY President & CEO Waukesha County Business Alliance, Inc. A few short weeks ago, the Alliance hosted its 104th Annual Meeting. It was an inspiring, exhilarating and celebratory evening with nearly 500 attendees joining us at The Brookfield Conference Center. One of our greatest joys is celebrating the business community at this program. Celebrating the educators and nonprofits making a difference in our communities; celebrating the businesses – small and large – expanding in our region; and celebrating the talent that we’re so lucky to have here in Waukesha County. As we prepare to turn the page on another year, I will leave you with the same challenge I had for those at our Annual Meeting. I challenge you to find one new way to engage with the Alliance in the coming year. Perhaps you have an Emerging Leader in mind to nominate for next year’s award. Maybe there’s a policy committee you’ve been considering joining to support our advocacy efforts. Your organization may be looking to collaborate with our schools to support business education partnerships in Waukesha County. There is no better time than now. THERE IS NO BETTER TIME THAN NOW. ANDRE LORENZEN Senior Vice President, Milwaukee Office JILL DIDIER Vice President, Business Development, Milwaukee Office An equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. LEARN MORE AT MIRON-CONSTRUCTION.COM At Miron Construction, we make the most of every opportunity, creating meaningful connections and crafting unforgettable experiences along the way. Relationships are at the core of everything we do. Our team continuously strives to capture what truly matters for our clients, our partners, and each other. Together, we are Building Excellence. 3
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6 Kohl's Celebrates 60 Years 8 Wisconsin Has a Problem. A People Problem. 11 Experience the Trades in Waukesha County 13 EXECUTIVE PROFILE: Isabelle Cherney, Ph.D., President, Mount Mary University 14 Exciting Changes at Mount Mary University 16 EXECUTIVE PROFILE: Robert Fine, President, St. John's Northwestern Academies 17 St. John's Northwestern Academies Returns to Its Roots 24 SUCCESS STORIES: FlexRide 26 Waukesha County Center for Growth 29 Alliance Office Renovation Includes Corporate Training Center 30 SPOTLIGHT ON THE TRADES: Superior Crane Corporation 32 Around the County 33 Welcome New Members 510 S. WEST AVE | WAUKESHA , WI 53186 | 262 . 522 . 2600 | DELZER . COM DESIGN FULFILL PRINT CONTENTS 20 COVER STORY Manufacturing Is Alive and Well in Waukesha County
WAUKESHA COUNTY BUSINESS ALLIANCE, INC. | WAUKESHA.ORG Kohl’s As A Leading Retailer Over the last 60 years, Kohl’s has grown from one store in Brookfield, Wisconsin, to a leading omnichannel retailer with more than 1,100 stores in 49 states. Kohl’s business is built on a strong foundation of more than 65 million customers, an unmatched brand portfolio, and industry-leading loyalty and Kohl’s charge card programs. Kohl’s continues to innovate and offer shoppers convenient services, opportunities for discovery and an overall inviting experience. Kohl’s recently announced that the company’s transformative partnership with Sephora will expand to include a Sephora presence at all Kohl’s locations. With approximately 600 stores across the country now open – and 850 open by 2023 – Sephora at Kohl’s continues to perform well, making prestige beauty more accessible to more Americans than ever before. Adding the immersive Sephora at Kohl’s beauty experience paved the way for Kohl’s to refresh the look and feel of the entire store, including reflowing categories, moving the active area to the front of the store, creating discovery zones that feature new and emerging brands, adding size- and skin tone-diverse mannequins, and widening aisles to make the experience more welcoming and efficient. Additionally, Kohl’s continues to invest in its physical footprint and over the past few years, has been testing smaller format stores in various markets to localize its product assortment by using better data and science, making it more relevant, and catering to the market’s needs. The company plans to open 100 small-format stores in the next five years in previously untapped markets that could not support a full-sized Kohl’s store. This past summer, Kohl’s announced that one of these stores will be the company’s first-ever downtown Milwaukee store, opening in Fall of 2023 at Hub 640, with an entrance leading right into the popular 3rd Street Market Hall. These smaller stores will reflect the new Kohl’s with a modernized look, feel and functionality and will reach new younger, more diverse customers. Behind each of these initiatives are approximately 100,000 associates nationwide and great teams of talented individuals who embody the organization’s values, including thousands inWisconsin-area stores and at Kohl’s Menomonee Falls headquarters. KOHL'S CELEBRATES 60 YEARS 6
Since 1962, Kohl’s has expanded and evolved, but what has and always will be a source of pride is the company’s commitment to customers, associates and communities. Kohl’s Commitment to Corporate Responsibility Kohl’s has a long-standing commitment to being a responsible corporate citizen and believes in supporting associates, customers and communities through environmental, social and governance stewardship. Giving back is at the heart of who Kohl’s is as a company with a focus on supporting family health and wellness nationwide through several charitable efforts, while also addressing disparities head-on. For more than 20 years, Kohl’s Cares® has donated 100 percent of the net profit from the sale of Kohl’s Cares books and plush toys to health and wellness nonprofits locally and nationwide. So far, more than $400 million has been raised nationwide to help countless kids and families. Locally, Kohl's is committed to supporting the communities it calls home and has given more than $144 million to Milwaukee nonprofits. Through Hometown Partnerships, Kohl’s collaborates with nonprofits that provide access to art and culture, health and social services and other opportunities including economic empowerment and neighborhood development. In addition, Kohl’s Hometown Giving Program gives eligible nonprofits serving Milwaukee andWaukesha County communities the opportunity to apply for grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000. Kohl’s has also committed to donating $20 million to diverse communities by 2025, specifically, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Black, Indigenous and People of Color, LGBTQIA+, people with disabilities, women, veterans and active military members. From the purposeful addition of a chief diversity and inclusion officer role, to the launch of adaptive product offerings for adults, and the intentionality of adding diverseowned brands to our assortment so customers see themselves reflected in our products, Kohl’s believes that understanding and embracing our differences is fundamental in creating an inclusive environment for all. Kohl’s also believes that incorporating sustainable solutions in the way the company does business will help to build better futures for families. With such a large retail footprint, Kohl’s is in a unique position to make positive impacts on the planet and has set goals and policies to ensure that impact is forward-looking. Kohl’s currently diverts more than 86 percent of its waste from landfills and has more than 325 electric vehicle charging spots across 140-plus locations. Kohl’s looks forward to building on the accomplishments of the last six decades and continuing to serve customers, associates and communities in both theWisconsin area and nationwide for years to come. •
WISCONSIN HAS A PROBLEM. A PEOPLE PROBLEM. A lot of strange things came out of COVID-19, things that went beyond a public health crisis. The Great Resignation— the movement of millions of Americans not coming back to their jobs— stands out at the top of my list. As you slowly ventured back into the world in the summer of 2020 to support local businesses, it might have occurred to you that we need more people. You might have been visiting your favorite restaurant and waited over an hour to get served because of a lack of waitstaff. Perhaps you spent an additional 15 minutes in line to get your groceries because six checkout clerks were reduced to three. You tried finding childcare as you went back to work, only to discover your day care provider was shut down because its help was nowhere to be found. Services that you took for granted prepandemic suddenly became hard to find and even harder to schedule. Where did all the workers go? While many were caught off guard by people’s sudden lack of interest in showing up for work, industrial companies around the state were not. They had already been dealing with a vanishing workforce for several years leading up to the pandemic. How did we get to this point? As the saying goes, demographics are your destiny. The state of Wisconsin simply does not have enough people to keep up. Our state is aging; a wave of retirements is hitting our workforce, and we currently do not have access to the depth of people needed to replace the legacy knowledge and skill sets developed over almost two centuries of making things. To further complicate matters, Wisconsin’s successful baby boomers are JEFF HOFFMAN Principal, Cushman & Wakefield | Boerke wicpa.org/sponsor WICPA Sponsorships The missing piece of your marketing puzzle. WAUKESHA COUNTY BUSINESS ALLIANCE, INC. | WAUKESHA.ORG 8
heading south for the winter. And perhaps most importantly, millennials and Gen Z generally have not shown interest in working in the industries that madeWisconsin. There is hope. We have seen what the future of industry looks like right here inWaukesha County. Companies like Generac, Milwaukee Tool and HUSCO continue to make substantial investments in our local communities. But how can we ensure that the state of Wisconsin can meet the needs of its growing employers as industries continue to evolve at a breakneck pace? Industrial is What We Do is an easy-to-read playbook that was written to provide solutions for a handful of Wisconsin’s biggest economic challenges. The book was inspired by much of the work that theWaukesha County Business Alliance has been performing around talent development. Industry thought leaders such as Suzanne Kelley, Rich Barnhouse, Kent Lorenz, Matt Neumann and Austin Ramirez all provide their insights on topics such as workforce development, education, workforce housing, automation, and most importantly WHY a company should invest in Wisconsin. One of the pleasant surprises that I learned throughout this project was the nationally recognized strength of our technical college system. Nearly 250,000 people per year enroll inWisconsin’s technical college system and 94 percent of the graduates are taking jobs for Wisconsinbased companies. The results are so impressive that I have pledged all proceeds of book sales to a new scholarship fund at Waukesha County Technical College which will be called Wisconsin 2030. While we face many challenges, they are not insurmountable. Nearly all states across the country, especially the upper Midwest, are confronting the exact same challenges that we are. Let’s build upon our foundation of industry and get to work makingWisconsin the best possible place to do business. • "...I have pledged all proceeds of book sales to a new scholarship fund atWCTC which will be calledWisconsin 2030." Headquarters: 262 662.5551 13890 Bishops Dr., Ste. 100 Brookfield, WI 53005 pschwabe.com Design-Build Design-Assist Pre-Construction Construction Remodels National Brand Programs 9 OCTOBER 2022 MAGAZINE CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD
For more than a decade, theWaukesha County Business Alliance has worked to develop our future workforce by exposing students to the career opportunities available in our region. With manufacturing and construction being driver industries inWaukesha County, the Alliance was proud to ignite students’ passion for the trades through an interactive and engaging expo with hands-on demonstrations of career pathways. Experience the Trades was hosted at theWaukesha County Expo Center and provided nearly 1,500 middle and high school students the opportunity to meet 38 local manufacturing and construction employers. Students got to 'try on' the trades through activities such as virtual welding, using an imitation grinder to grind parts used on American sailboats, buffing the hood of a car, building a secure structure, surveying with a robotic station, and more. Workforce is the number one issue facing the business community and the Alliance continues to find ways to show middle and high school students that the manufacturing and construction industries have many fulfilling, stable, high-paying jobs to consider. This year's expo was a remarkable showcase of the collaboration that can happen when businesses and educational institutions come together. Thank you to the schools, businesses, sponsors andWaukesha County who made Experience the Trades a great success. We hope to see you at next year's event on October 5, 2023. • 11 EXPERIENCE THE TRADES IN WAUKESHA COUNTY ROBYN LUDTKE Senior Vice President, Strategic Initiatives &Workforce, Waukesha County Business Alliance, Inc. IN THE NEWS View a clip from CBS58 or read a feature from the Waukesha Freeman. STUDENT SPOTLIGHT After attending the expo, students from Swallow Middle School wrote a blog about their experience. Read more about what these students had to say about the event. Read More PARTICIPATING SCHOOLS & BUSINESSES Nearly 1,500 students from 23 schools had the opportunity to meet 38 businesses. Learn more about who participated on the Alliance's website! Read More
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OCTOBER 2022 MAGAZINE 13 Describe your role. I am president of Mount Mary University and provide leadership and oversight for all aspects of the university, including academics, student affairs, mission, finance, enrollment, donor relations, athletics, and other key areas. What has been your biggest takeaway since starting in your new role? I continue to be in awe of our diverse student body, and their passion for education and social justice. The dedication to our mission of transforming lives permeates everything the staff and faculty do. I love meeting with alumnae who continue to tell me their stories of transformation by this fine institution. I love spending time with the School Sisters of Notre Dame (many of whom are living on campus in TrinityWoods) and learn about the rich history of Mount Mary and the sisters’ charisms that we are proud to continue. What is something unique about you? English is my fourth language! I have traveled to 32 countries on five continents, and visited 48 states in the U.S. What is the most important lesson you've learned in your career? One of the most important lessons is probably that it is important to stay true to your values/mission and be authentic. Another important lesson is also to be open to new ideas and learn from others. Diversity of thought, reflection, and collaboration are key ingredients to better decision-making and leadership. No matter how busy I get, I try to keep calm, be kind, respect others, reflect on the situation, and consult a diverse group of people. The bigger the diversity of the group, the better the outcome. What’s the first job you ever had? I was a tutor for Math, French and Latin throughout high school in Switzerland. My first job was working as a secretary at an U.S. computer company (Digital Equipment Corporation) in Geneva, Switzerland. What is your dream job? I am in my dream job! What is your favorite pastime? Spending time with my husband and three grandchildren (almost five-year-old twins and one eight-month-old), hiking, and discovering new places. • ISABELLE CHERNEY, PH.D. President, Mount Mary University EXECUTIVE PROFILE
WAUKESHA COUNTY BUSINESS ALLIANCE, INC. | WAUKESHA.ORG New leadership and an innovative new program are among the exciting changes at Mount Mary University. Isabelle Cherney, Ph.D., began her tenure July 1, 2022 as Mount Mary’s 13th president. Cherney, a highly acclaimed social scientist and educator, was previously vice provost for graduate education at Merrimack College in Massachusetts. A nationally recognized researcher, Cherney was invited by the Obama administration on four occasions to participate in White House conferences. A native of Switzerland, Cherney speaks four languages and is a world traveler who has spent time in 32 countries on five continents and has visited 48 U.S. states. Cherney is familiar with the transformative power of a Mount Mary education. Her husband, Mike, and many of their nieces and nephews have been educated by the School Sisters of Notre Dame, the university’s sponsoring organization. Her sister-in-law and one of her nieces graduated fromMount Mary. Her husband grew up only one block from campus. Mount Mary continues to be rated among the most successful institutions in the Midwest in graduating diverse and low-income students, and in providing value for all students regardless of their background, according to the 2023 Best Colleges Report by U.S. News andWorld Report: SOCIAL MOBILITY: Mount Mary is ranked #1 inWisconsin and #2 in the Midwest among regional universities in this category, which measures the success rate of graduating Pell students based upon six-year graduation rates. ETHNIC DIVERSITY: Mount Mary is among the top-performing regional institutions in the Midwest for ethnic diversity. ECONOMIC DIVERSITY: With 65 percent of students receiving Pell grants, Mount Mary is recognized as one of the top performers in the Midwest among regional universities. The report states: “U.S. News believes that Pell figures are the best available gauge of institutions’ relative commitment to access for all.” EXCITING CHANGES AT MOUNT MARY UNIVERSITY 14
OCTOBER 2022 MAGAZINE 15 My dad owned a small business so I saw the rewards and struggles firsthand. I think that’s why I really enjoy helping businesses grow to the next level. At First Business Bank, everyone here is part of one team and we work with clients through good times and bad, which I know means a lot to business owners. GREG BLOCK Vice President - Commercial Banking HONORING RELATIONSHIPS firstbusiness.bank Member FDIC BEST VALUE: Affordability is measured by four indicators, the ratio of quality to price; the amount of need-based aid, the percent of need-based aid recipients awarded scholarships or grants; and the average discount. Mount Mary is among the top four inWisconsin in this category and #25 among regional universities in the Midwest. BEST SCHOOLS: Mount Mary’s ranking is #58 overall among regional universities in the Midwest, and is ranked seventh among the 16Wisconsin schools in this category. One of Cherney’s first major initiatives is overseeing the launch of Mount Mary’s new undergraduate major in User Experience Design (UX). One of the fastest growing fields, UX is the interaction between humans and technology. A UX Designer investigates the human experience with technology and strives to design systems that are functional, accessible, and enjoyable for all users. Demand for UX designers is booming. However, the representation of women in technology fields continues to lag. Women comprise just 25 percent of technology occupations. Of that, only nine percent are women of color. Mount Mary University is in a unique position to help change those statistics. Mount Mary’s commitment to educating women from a diverse population puts the university at the forefront of this booming field. Plus, job prospects for graduates are unrivaled. UX designers are sought after and heavily recruited by major companies. Starting salaries in the Milwaukee area can average nearly $100,000 per year. Mount Mary University continues to innovate and break new ground. With dynamic new leadership and pioneering new programs, Mount Mary is making a mark as a leader in higher education in southeasternWisconsin. •
Describe your role. As a leader of an organization, I believe my overarching goal is to serve. Serve students, families, our faculty and staff. Making sure all those constituents have the tools, the opportunities and the resources to provide an inspiring educational experience for our students. What has been your biggest takeaway since starting in your new role? Each and every school has a distinctly different culture and climate. If I could give one bit of advice to parents, it is to explore your options and learn about the school your child attends. Making sure it is a good fit for your child and family. What is the most important lesson you've learned in your career? Be a good listener! Actively listen to people in your day-today life. What’s the first job you ever had? Milwaukee County lifeguard. What's your dream job? I truly have enjoyed my career and appreciated the opportunity to play a small role in the development of thousands of young people. Many who are now leaders in various fields around the world. What is your personal key to success? Having a wonderful and supportive partner in life. My wife plays a large role in not only my work/life balance, but also as a confidant and advisor. What book are you currently reading or would you recommend? The Hero Code: Lessons Learned from Lives Well Lived by Admiral WilliamMcRaven. It is an easy short read. What is something unique about you? Uniquely un-unique. What is your favorite pastime? My wife and I love spending time with our family. From our adult children to grandchildren, every opportunity we have them together is special to us. You never stop being a parent. • ROBERT FINE President, St. John's Northwestern Academies EXECUTIVE PROFILE WAUKESHA COUNTY BUSINESS ALLIANCE, INC. | WAUKESHA.ORG 16
OCTOBER 2022 MAGAZINE 17 On a brisk morning in September of 1884, the Rev. Sydney T. Smythe, a 21-year old Episcopal priest and recent graduate from nearby Nashotah House Seminary, reopened a school named St. John’s Hall. Young, energetic and determined, Sydney Smythe committed himself to completing a dream. The dream was that of his mentor, Dr. James DeKoven, whom Sydney had met as a young, 15-year old boy attending Racine College in Racine, Wisconsin. The boy had grown into a man; and now the man stood on the doorstep of a 39-year educational adventure. As Reverend Smythe looked upon his initial class of students, he saw looking back at him 19-day students and one boarding student; they were attending a coeducational, college preparatory school. He had done it! He had honored the memory of his mentor by breathing life back into St. John’s Hall. Sydney made his mentor’s motto of “Work Hard, Play Hard, Pray Hard” the guiding principles of his academy. He embraced change, sought the growth of his school and eagerly accepted challenges in each new day. Change came quickly. Military drill became part of the curriculum through the efforts of General Charles King, leading to the new name of St. John’s Military Academy in 1886. By 1887, the Academy housed 12 boarding students. 1888 marked the last year for female students. St. John’s Military Academy became an all-boys school for the next 130 years. On a September day in 1888, another all-boys military academy opened in the Midwest. Harlan Page Davidson purchased an old hotel and five acres of land in Highland Park, Illinois and started Northwestern Military Academy. Davidson began the Academy based on his values of firm discipline and wholesome, high standards where young men respected structure, discipline and high ideals. Both schools grew quickly in cadet numbers and in campus structures. In 1911, Northwestern Military Academy purchased 50 acres of land from Keyes Park in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin and changed to Northwestern Military and Naval Academy. Wisconsin now claimed two premier leadership academies. ST. JOHN'S NORTHWESTERN ACADEMIES RETURNS TO ITS ROOTS
WAUKESHA COUNTY BUSINESS ALLIANCE, INC. | WAUKESHA.ORG The excitement, change and growth that ushered in a new century also brought its own set of challenges. Conditions pressed heavily upon both schools. In 1995, the last Northwestern class graduated from its Lake Geneva location and merged into St. John’s Military Academy, becoming St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy (SJNA). In efforts to continue growing, St. John’s Northwestern accepted another challenge in 2018. After a 130-year absence of female students, the Academy opened its doors to young women again. Another return to roots took place in 2019 with the addition of the Prefect Academy next to our Military Academy. The Prefect Academy follows a British boarding school model. Prefect students wear appropriate men and women’s civilian clothing, both dress and casual. Thus was established one Independent College Prep School with two paths towards success. Today, SJNA prepares students to meet their future head on. This starts in the Middle School Academy, which offers a well-rounded traditional curriculum with additional requirements in STEM-based courses through Project Lead theWay (PTLW) and in its signature developmental leadership program, Aspiring Leaders. In high school, the SJNA college preparatory curriculum allows students to challenge themselves, pursue personal interests, and take advantage of unique opportunities. Students at SJNA can: choose to earn a STEM Honors or a Humanities Honors diploma; become a skilled bagpipes musician; explore five different world languages from multilingual faculty; follow STEM-based pursuits in an active PLTW engineering and computer science program; earn a private pilot’s license; learn and exemplify foundational leadership skills in its signature Prefect Academy leader development program or in the accredited Military Academy JROTC program; prepare well for university and earn college credit by choosing from nine Advanced Placement (AP) courses or by choosing from 10 different college courses in conjunction with a successful partnership with Cardinal Stritch University. In all four pillars today, SJNA provides students the knowledge, skills and guidance necessary for meeting the demands of a 21st century education, for building young men and women of character, and for thriving and serving others in a global society. No doubt, the Reverend Smythe and President Davidson would look favorably upon the direction, focus and students of today’s school. The name, St. John’s Northwestern Academies, truly describes the vibrant learning center of the 21st century. • 18
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Launched more than 10 years ago as the Waukesha County Manufacturing Alliance, a group of local manufacturing leaders continues today in its efforts to share best practices among industry peers, raise the profile of manufacturing in the community – specifically among students, parents and educators – and be the voice of the industry in Southeastern Wisconsin on critical issues impacting one of our state’s driver industries. In 2010, the Waukesha County Business Alliance held the first meeting of the Waukesha County Manufacturing Alliance. Manufacturing leaders from across Waukesha County came together to form the group, looking for an opportunity to gather as an industry, share best practices and support a continued strong manufacturing environment in Waukesha County. Since 2010, the Manufacturing Alliance has continued to grow. In 2022, the group evolved its name to the Manufacturing Alliance of Southeast Wisconsin, recognizing that members represent areas throughout southeast Wisconsin, while Waukesha County continues to be the primary focus. Simply put, the Manufacturing Alliance of Southeast Wisconsin serves as a platform for manufacturers to share WAUKESHA COUNTY BUSINESS ALLIANCE, INC. 20 MANUFACTURING IS ALIVE AND WELL IN WAUKESHA COUNTY Manufacturing Alliance of Southeast Wisconsin leads direction on industry efforts AMANDA PAYNE Senior Vice President, Public Policy, Waukesha County Business Alliance, Inc.
COVER STORY OCTOBER 2022 MAGAZINE 21 ideas, encourage innovation, work together to transform the image of manufacturing and target new talent. “The group is focused on a shared purpose – making sure our region’s world-class manufacturing industry continues to thrive,” explains Suzanne Kelley, president & CEO of the Waukesha County Business Alliance. “Many people do not realize that manufacturing is the lifeblood of our region’s economy and that we have the most manufacturing jobs per capita in the nation.” Waukesha manufacturer Aries echoes the sentiment of Waukesha County being a great place to do business. “Aries has been successful over the years due to our passionate employees. Waukesha is a great location to work, hire and we love bringing our customers from all over the country to our Waukesha facility,” said Larry Brown, president & CEO, Aries Industries, Inc. and member of the Manufacturing Executive Council. Recruiting new talent to the industry has remained one of the top priorities for the Manufacturing Alliance throughout its history. Early on, manufacturing leaders recognized that the business community could (and should) build stronger connections with education partners as a means of targeting new talent and giving students exposure to career opportunities they might never have considered. Through its strong partnership and work with the Waukesha County Business Alliance’s Education Steering Council, the first Schools2SkillsTM tour was hosted. Originally created to connect superintendents and teachers with local manufacturers, Schools2Skills quickly evolved into a platform for educating students about the career opportunities in manufacturing. Schools2Skills gives middle and high school students tours of local manufacturers to see firsthand the innovative and advanced technology available right here in southeast Wisconsin. For more than 10 years, the Alliance has coordinated Schools2Skills tours each school year. This school year, 22 tours will take place with middle and high school students from across Waukesha County and beyond. A true collaboration between the Manufacturing Alliance and Education Steering Council, manufacturing members of the Alliance continually step up and “open their doors” to students. In addition to the Schools2Skills tour program, career expos have been another outlet to build awareness and excitement around manufacturing and trades career pathways. For several years, the Alliance has hosted a manufacturing career expo with hands-on demonstrations from employers for student visitors. In 2022, the group took that to the next level. Combining both construction and manufacturing for a single Experience the Trades Expo, the inaugural joint trades expo event on October 4 welcomed 1,500 middle and high school students. By visiting with the 40+ companies throughout the expo, students were able to try hands-on activities, such as demoing robots, creating circuit boards, using virtual welders, assembling parts, flying drones, safely handling power tools and more. The tremendous response from local K-12 partners in sending students to participate demonstrates the need for ongoing partnerships between business and education to support that kind of career exploration. It’s one thing to learn about a career, skill, or tool while in school. It’s another to see the real-world application, understand what someone does for a living in that industry and be able to test it out for yourself. “The students and staff LOVED it!,” said Chris Trotter, director of school to work opportunities for the Elkhorn Area School District. “It was well organized and communicated, and the employers did an incredible job of engaging students." In addition, growing partnerships with post-secondary education institutions in the area has been a focus for the Manufacturing Alliance. Through a partnership with Waukesha County Technical College (WCTC), the Alliance has hosted regular tour opportunities in the last two years for manufacturing companies to visit WCTC, tour the Integrated Manufacturing Center and learn about opportunities to connect with the school and its students.
WAUKESHA COUNTY BUSINESS ALLIANCE, INC. | WAUKESHA.ORG 22 The Alliance has also hosted past tours of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Milwaukee School of Engineering’s Rapid Prototyping Center (RPC). The group has remained focused on best practice sharing. This has included past operational tours for manufacturing leaders and best practice sharing among manufacturing human resources professionals. “TLX Technologies has benefited from our relationship with both the Alliance and other manufacturers. Through the exchange of ideas on employee recruitment, technology, and world markets, we have learned how to better engage and serve our own target markets,” said Neil Karolek, president of TLX Technologies in Pewaukee and member of the Manufacturing Executive Council. As the number one contributor to Wisconsin’s economy, manufacturers in the state employ nearly one in five workers. The stats in Waukesha County mirror those statewide – manufacturing accounts for roughly 20 percent of the jobs in Waukesha County. Eaton, a global producer of power management technologies, is one example of manufacturing’s impact on our local, regional and state economy. “Eaton is proud of our commitment to the communities in Waukesha and Milwaukee counties. We made nearly $300,000 in charitable contributions in the state,” said Guillaume Laur, senior vice president & general manager. “During the last two years, we have invested $34 million into a 233,000-square-foot expansion in Waukesha. Eaton’s six locations in Wisconsin employ more than 1,500 employees.” Another example is Waukesha manufacturer Wildeck, which recently announced plans to move its corporate headquarters to a new location in the City of Waukesha to accommodate continued growth. At 21+ acres, the new campus is more than three times the size of Wildeck’s current facility and the new buildings will undergo major construction and renovation in advance of a planned 2024 opening.
OCTOBER 2022 MAGAZINE 23 “We are dedicated to investing in innovation, automation and technology,” said Dan Lorenz, president of Wildeck, Inc. and member of the Manufacturing Executive Council. “This new space will helpWildeck to double our business in the next four years and increase our continued need for new employees and our commitment to Wisconsin.” Throughout the month of October, Alliance members are visiting with members of the Manufacturing Alliance to help celebrate Manufacturing Month. With nearly 140 manufacturing member companies, the Alliance remains committed to serving this driver industry. Manufacturing IS alive and well in Waukesha County, and through collaboration, focused solutions and action, we can work together to keep it that way. “Our company benefits from the Waukesha County Business Alliance because of the great job they do with their leadership development program along with the Manufacturing Executive Council,” said Chris Shult, CEO of Bevco Engineering and current chair of the Manufacturing Executive Council. •
A Dream Come True Before FlexRide Milwaukee, a job in Menomonee Falls was out of reach for Brandon, and he is not alone. “There are a lot of people out there who are trying to work, and they don’t have reliable ways to get to the jobs that you guys arebringing people to,” he said. In that way, FlexRide is “a dream come true,” Brandon said. Brandon takes FlexRide to Arandell Corp. in Menomonee Falls, where he has been working for the better half of 2022. He rst heard about the service while watching the local news this spring. Soon after, while working at a popular burger chain, Brandon heard about a job opening at Arandell from a friend. He applied and got the job, which pays him signi cantly more than his previous position, and he’s happier than ever with the new company. Brandon uses FlexRide almost every day to get to and from work. He nds that FlexRide is dependable and brings him door to door from Sherman Phoenix to Arandell. With rides costing $1.50 each way, it’s also a great way to save some money. “It can help me get out to places I’ve never even thought about working,” said Brandon, who plans on continuing to use the service until gas prices go down and he has saved up enough to purchase a vehicle of his own. “I’m telling everyone about you guys, I want people to save their gas and use your service.” “It can help me get out to places I’ve never even thought about working.” WAUKESHA COUNTY BUSINESS ALLIANCE, INC. | WAUKESHA.ORG FLEXRIDE SUCCESS STORIES 24
A “Flex” Fan for Life New to Milwaukee and looking for a job, Richard had a problem: a lack of personal transportation. Sure, he could borrow his friend’s car, but he didn't want to count on that, and his friend worked the day shift. He could ride the bus, but that didn’t get him to the front doorof the companies he was applying to in the suburbs. His x: “Flex,” as in FlexRide Milwaukee. “I wasn’t getting around much at all because I didn’t have a car,” said Richard, who moved from Chicago in early 2022. “One day I was borrowing the car and dropping my friend o , and I heard about ‘Flex’ on the radio. I took some information down, got home and Googled it. Then I downloaded the app. It was easy.” Within days, Richard was riding FlexRide to work as a food safety technician at Cargill Meat Solutions in Butler. Without it, he was faced with having to walk a mile from the closest bus stop to work. “I have always been on time to work, so it’s been very helpful to me,” he said. “It’s been nothing but positive. I would suggest it to anybody. You can’t beat it – go do it.” In fact, Richard is promoting the service with some of his co-workers, even as he is looking into purchasing a car of his own – using money he saved from the job that FlexRide helped make a reality. Also, because of FlexRide, and because of the work he does in inspecting meats bound for major local grocery stores, our food is a little safer. “I would suggest it to anybody. That’s why I shared it, planted the seed,” he said. “Anybody in need of transportation to work, this will help you get there and better your life situation.” “It’s been nothing but positive. I would suggest it to anybody. You can’t beat it – go do it.”
WAUKESHA COUNTY BUSINESS ALLIANCE, INC. | WAUKESHA.ORG This past July, I had the privilege of starting as the new Executive Director of theWaukesha County Center for Growth. After working in Texas and Virginia for the past eight years, I am thrilled to be back inWisconsin! I have spent my first few months getting to know the community through conversations with elected officials, local government staff, economic development partners, and the business community. I’m grateful to everyone who opened their doors to me and shared their insights and priorities. Overall, I have been blown away by the thoughtful, pro-business leadership across the county and the depth and breadth of business activities. Here are some of my key takeaways after 90 days on the job: Waukesha County is THE place where cool products are made. October is Manufacturing Month, and we have had the privilege of touring many local operations and learning more about these businesses. These are not your grandfather’s manufacturing operations – these plants are highly sophisticated and automated, and their employees are highly-trained. Our local manufacturers are making products we use every day and are constantly innovating. Just a few of our companies (there are many!) making cool products include: • Glenroy in the Village of Menomonee Falls makes flexible packaging, including packets for Emergen-C and standup pouches for peanut butter and jelly. • Sussex IM in the Village of Sussex manufactures Mr. Lid Storage Containers and cosmetics packaging. • INNIO in the City of Waukesha is helping lower the energy industry’s carbon footprint by remanufacturing Waukesha Engines. Many of our businesses are family-owned and have long histories in the Waukesha County community. During my visits with businesses, I have been inspired by the passion company leaders have for their business and for their teammembers. These companies value their employees and their customers and have had decades of success as a result. • VJS Construction Services is celebrating their 75th anniversary this year and continues to evolve to serve its clients through a holistic development process. • Gross Automation, founded by Bob Gross over 25 years ago, has helped increase productivity and lower costs for more than 100,000 customers through their automation and electrical control technologies. • IEWC, headquartered inWaukesha County, was founded in 1962 and now has almost 30 locations in 10 countries. • MSI General has been family-owned for three generations and has cultivated a corporate culture built on the core values of integrity, commitment, trust, passion, and teamwork. These values are highlighted throughout the company’s headquarters, which also serves as an innovative showcase of unique materials and design options for clients. The quality of life is Waukesha County is unbeatable. From the incredible dining options to the high quality infrastructure to the stunning fall foliage, I continue to be amazed at just how much we love living here. Special shoutout to the Waukesha County Park System – we have spent many hours each week exploring the countless park trails and marveling at all the unique natural areas. The county’s exceptional quality of life is an asset we will be highlighting as we develop marketing materials to help our employers attract top talent to the area. I know I am just scratching the surface when it comes to learning more about our business community and why Waukesha is the best place for business. It is truly an honor to serveWaukesha County and help our businesses and communities grow. Please be sure to reach out if your business is growing or facing any challenges – I am here to help! • WAUKESHA COUNTY IS THE BEST PLACE FOR BUSINESS NICOLE RYF Executive Director, Waukesha County Center for Growth 26
As your local bank, we’re proud to serve the people, businesses, and organizations that work diligently to make our county the best it can be. We’ve been in Waukesha County for 24 years, and we’re proud to have five convenient locations here. Further, we’re committed to offering the expertise, resources, and solutions you need to succeed. When you combine the best local knowledge with the security of a strong bank, it’s a winning combination. PARTNER WITH WAUKESHA COUNTY’S BANK FOR BUSINESS™ MEET THE TEAM: townbank.us/yourpartnerships See More Of Our Recent Wins! $50,000,000 Working Capital Financing | Medical Distributor $13,000,000 Working Capital Financing | Manufacturer $7,500,000 Construction Financing | Equipment Dealership $4,200,000 Equipment Financing | Manufacturer GRIFFIN PROCHNOW SVP, Business Banking firstname.lastname@example.org 262-966-7714 PAUL SCHLEICHER Assistant VP, Business Banking email@example.com 262-369-4224 CRYSTAL KENITZER NMLS # 472263 SVP, Private Client firstname.lastname@example.org 262-369-4229 PEGGY ARMSTRONG Group EVP, Private Client email@example.com 262-369-8804 Securities, insurance products, financial planning, and investment management services offered through Wintrust Investments, LLC (Member FINRA/SIPC), founded in 1931. Trust and asset management services offered by The Chicago Trust Company, N.A. and Great Lakes Advisors, LLC, respectively. Investment products such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds are: NOT FDIC INSURED | NOT BANK GUARANTEED | MAY LOSE VALUE | NOT A DEPOSIT | NOT INSURED BY ANY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY COURTNEY BRODERICK Vice President Treasury Management firstname.lastname@example.org 414-255-1013
WAUKESHA COUNTY BUSINESS ALLIANCE, INC. | WAUKESHA.ORG LeadershipWaukesha County has been a premier leadership development program for more than 30 years. The robust program provides the tools, processes and inspiration necessary to develop and enhance leadership skills that empower participants to assume effective leadership roles in the community and their careers. This 10-session program is held in-person every other week from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. Each class is facilitated by an experienced professional who leads the group through leadership development, discussions, book reviews and more. Scan here to learn more! Leadership Waukesha County 28
The Alliance is closing out the year with a newly renovated office space complete with a corporate training center. The focus of the recent renovation was to have a meeting space with capacity for both the Alliance and its members to host larger programs. The new Chortek Training Center can house approximately 70 guests (depending on the room layout) for formal trainings, board meetings, educational seminars, and more. The expanded space also includes updated technology and the capability to also host attendees virtually. In addition, the entryway to the training center is complete with reception space for networking and refreshments. In addition to the Chortek Training Center, the Sikich Conference Room continues to be available for member use and can host approximately 36 attendees (depending on the room layout). The Alliance is excited about the opportunity to host more of its programs internally, as well as offer members the opportunity to rent the room. Pricing and additional information on room layouts can be found on the Alliance's website. • ALLIANCE OFFICE RENOVATION INCLUDES CORPORATE TRAINING CENTER
Tell us a little bit about yourself. I am 17 years old and a graduate of Waukesha West High School and Superior Crane Corp's SCC University. I love working on my truck, being outside and spending time with my friends and family. Why did you decide to get involved with the trades? I have always known that I wanted a job that would keep me active. The trades are always busy and there is something new to do each day. What led you to your current career path? I have always loved making things. I started exploring different options and gained an interest in welding and fabrication. What is the hardest part about being in the trades? I don't think it's for everybody, the work can be physical and intense. I have found that working in a faster-paced environment can be stressful at times. What’s your favorite part about your job? Coming into work each day and having something new to do. It allows me to experience all the different things that make up my career. Working with good people has made the job more fun and meaningful. What would you say to someone who wants to get involved in the trades? If you want to get involved in the trades stick with it. Find a company that will take care of you and try and learn as much as possible. Always ask questions and don't be afraid to mess up because everyone does. • Where do you see yourself going in the future? One day I would like to have my own company. I'm open to letting my experiences and time help me decide what that is. • TOMMY MOERMAN Welder, Superior Crane Corporation SPOTLIGHT ON THE TRADES WAUKESHA COUNTY BUSINESS ALLIANCE, INC. | WAUKE- 30