June 2, 2014
Aztalan Eng., an employee-owned manufacturer of precision machined parts in Lake Mills, Wis., welcomed Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., to its facility on May 27. The visit focused on how the company and other global manufacturers are attracting young professionals at a time when meeting the demands for a skilled workforce present challenges for a competitive hiring marketplace.
Johnson discussed the national debt and solvency of Social Security, while stressing the need to scale back on heavy federal government intervention. He also addressed innovative ways manufacturers can meet their needs of acquiring skilled laborers through heightened community and local education involvement.
For the past five years, Aztalan has offered a summer internship for students enrolled in mechanical, manufacturing, or industrial engineering; production/operations management; or industrial technology management at a four-year university or college.
The company also offers a four-year apprenticeship program through the state of Wisconsin; two apprentices having been hired as full-time employees. The firm also will participate in the Middle College Program for the first time this summer. This program — a collaborative project of Madison College, Moraine Park Technical College, and the Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin — is designed to help students ladder into technical college education training and gain experience during and after high school to pursue their career.