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Wisconsin manufacturers eye next generation of employees

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in Hiring,Human Resources

A group of Wisconsin businesses has created a series of videos for grade school and high school teachers to use for teaching practical applications for math on a manufacturer’s production line.

The Northeastern Wisconsin Manu­­facturing Alliance includes employers such as KI Furniture, cheese maker Sargento and snow blower manufacturer Ariens.

It aims to change the perception that manufacturing is “dingy, dumbed-down and dead-end,” says Andy Bushmaker, senior HR manager for KI Furniture.

The videos drive home the point that manufacturing employees use skills like trigonometry, software optimization and robotics on the job.

“There’s more to manufacturing than pulling levers; there’s opportunity for real money and advancement,” says Bushmaker, who notes the manufacturers are recruiting the next generation of employees by partnering with the schools.

“Young people won’t be able to capitalize on these opportunities if they don’t have the math and technical knowledge these jobs require. We’re helping them acquire those skills.”

The alliance also sponsors mentorship opportunities to introduce students to careers in manufacturing. More than 1,000 students have visited KI’s plant in the past year for tours and internships.

Contact: Andy Bushmaker through Chris Grady, (202) 471-4228.

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