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Scott Walker, Governor
Reginald J. Newson, Secretary

Department of Workforce Development
Secretary's Office

201 E. Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
Telephone: (608) 266-3131
Fax: (608) 266-1784
Email: sec@dwd.wisconsin.gov

Tuesday, October 20, 2015
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
On the Web: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dwd/news.htm
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WIWorkforce
On Twitter: @WIWorkforce

DWD Deputy Secretary Maxwell Joins High School Students for Manufacturing Month at John Deere Horicon Works

HORICON– Today, Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Deputy Secretary Georgia Maxwell joined juniors and seniors from Beaver Dam, Columbus, Fall River, Juneau, Horicon, Mayville, Randolph and Waupun area high schools for a Manufacturing Month tour at John Deere Horicon Works.

"During Manufacturing Month, students across the state are encouraged to tour local manufacturers to see the benefits of a manufacturing career first hand," Deputy Secretary Maxwell said. "The Department of Workforce Development supports career-based learning programs, such as Youth Apprenticeship which enables students to learn skills that will give them a head start among their peers for a family-sustaining rewarding career in many industries, including manufacturing."

Governor Scott Walker has proclaimed October 2015 as Manufacturing Month throughout the state to celebrate Wisconsin's manufacturing industry and to showcase the many opportunities for high-quality careers available to those who work in the state's largest economic sector.

During Manufacturing Month, Wisconsin manufacturing businesses, technical colleges, and other partners are encouraged to open their doors for tours, open houses and other events designed to showcase the great career opportunities that are available to individuals in manufacturing.

Approximately 250 students spent the morning touring multiple area manufacturers including Apache Stainless Equipment Corp., Breuer Metals, Burgess-Norton, Federal-Mogul, Kirsh Foundry, Lyco Manufacturing, MEC, RCI Engineering and Signicast. Following their tours, the students joined together to have lunch at John Deere Horicon Works in Horicon where they heard from Deputy Secretary Maxwell about the benefits of a manufacturing career in Wisconsin.

Moraine Park Technical College, the area technical college in Dodge County, offered students information on career exploration related to apprenticeships, technical coursework, and degreed programs available to get into a career in manufacturing.

Wisconsin offers a variety of workforce training programs like Youth Apprenticeship aimed at building in-demand skills for high-school students. In the 2014 – 2015 school year, Wisconsin’s Youth Apprenticeship program has 617 students enrolled in manufacturing-related programs. These programs combine classroom instruction with on-the-job training that enables a student to graduate high school with the skills needed for an entry-level job in manufacturing.

The average pay for a manufacturing worker in Wisconsin is $54,400 per year, 24% more than the average of $43,700 per year for all private-sector workers. Approximately 9,200 Wisconsin manufacturing employers employ more than 462,000 workers producing more than $55 billion worth of economic output as of December 2014.

John Deere Horicon Works is an active Registered Apprenticeship sponsor. Apprenticeship is a structured system of training designed to prepare individuals for skilled occupations. It combines on-the-job learning under the supervision of experienced journey workers with related classroom instruction.

Over the past three decades, John Deere Horicon Works has trained 107 apprentices producing skilled journeyworkers in 10 different trades including Maintenance Electrician, Machine Repairer, Tool & Die Maker, Machinist, Test Equipment Technician, Industrial Pipefitter, and Electrical & Instrumentation Technician. They have been training apprentices for more than 35 years, and currently have 4 active apprentices, all in the Maintenance Mechanic occupation.

Manufacturers like John Deere Horicon Works are also utilizing DWD's newly re-launched JobCenterofWisconsin.com website to post job openings. They currently have openings listed for tool room machinist, tool and die maker, electricians, welders, press operator, machine maintenance, industrial pipefitter, and assemblers.

Today's tours were organized in part by Moraine Park Technical College, the Dodge County Manufacturing Business Alliance, and the Beaver Dam Chamber of Commerce.

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