Celebrate the Number One Contributor to Wisconsin's Economy: Manufacturing

For the entire month of October, a spotlight is shined on manufacturing, so to end the month, we're showcasing the industry which employs approximately 1 in 6 workers in Wisconsin.

Remember what factories looked like, smelled like, and felt like as recent as 20 years ago? Do the words dark, foul, and grimy come to mind? Well, not so any longer. Today, manufacturing is high-tech, high-skill and high-pay. Not your Father’s, and definitely not your Grandfather’s factory. And Nicolet is working to share the advancements in manufacturing with our students and young learners in our community. 

This year, we've transformed our traditional Heavy Metal Tour which recognizes and celebrates manufacturing into a virtual experience for area 8th graders. Students will be able to explore the virtual environment including two live Q&A sessions with local manufacturers Ponsee & Superior Diesel and Samuel Pressure Vessel Group. There will be ‘booths’ featuring these companies and booth featuring Nicolet programs that align with manufacturing. There are also educational resources for teachers to utilize to guide discussions about manufacturing, research ‘assignments’ that students can complete about local manufacturing and a great trivia activity.

Nicolet believes it's important to share the career pathways in manufacturing with the youth in our community to help them be more informed about options for their future. The College has several manufacturing programs including Welding, Industrial Mechanical, and Electromechanical Technology. These program areas offer good-paying, stable, career opportunities locally and statewide. We also partner with local businesses to help grow manufacturing in the Northwoods.

Read what some of our partners and leaders have to say about the importance of manufacturing:

“Nicolet College is our key trusted partner for developing critical skills in our manufacturing options.  Nicolet’s willingness to adapt classroom programs and on-site training to match our needs is part of what makes this such a successful partnership.” - Jessica Frost, President & Chief Executive Officer, Lake Shore Systems, INC.

"Nicolet’s willingness to work closely with me to customize their delivery on a variety of courses has served to heighten their ability to provide specialized training. Blending PCA’s standard operating procedures with the Nicolet curriculum is ideal to make the training real for our employee’s. This collaboration has heightened our ability to maintain a workforce that is competent and safe in the pulp and paper making process." - Steve Graeber, Safety Manager, Packaging Corporation of America

"I am so grateful to have had the chance to visit manufacturers in the Northwoods these past couple of months, and have been impressed with the level of automation, eye toward safety, interpersonal communication training, wicked cleanliness, and very deep commitment to the rural community they call home. As I speak with plant managers, one thing weighs heavy on them all: the number of impending retirements outpaces the number of people interested in pursing a career in manufacturing. It is an honor for Nicolet to be held in high regard with our manufacturers for serving as a talent pipeline filled with highly skilled grads." Kate Ferrel, President, Nicolet College

"The importance of manufacturing is widespread and evident across the Northwoods, as well as the state, country, and worldwide. It provides opportunity for high-wage, high-demand jobs resulting in a higher than average standard of living for those involved in this sector. Manufacturing transforms raw materials into a multitude of varying finished products used on a micro-level that provides essential items for daily needs on an individual basis, along with developing and producing products at a macro-level that are needed to fulfill our local and national supply chains. Manufacturing also provides the resources that are necessary to propel growth and sustainability in other industry sectors, such as construction, transportation, and hospitality. The importance of manufacturing and its impact to generate broad-scale economic growth throughout the Northwoods and beyond, will continue to play a major role in society and the well-being of our people." Jeff Labs, Dean of Trade and Industry, Nicolet College

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