October 11, 2012 at 8:18 a.m.
The Stacy-based Wyoming Machine Inc. (WMI) last week hosted about 100 students, invited guests, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar and Congressman Chip Cravaack at an open house to kick-off a postsecondary education initiative; involving millions in federal funding for community colleges. Pine Technical College is one of the area colleges slated to receive funding. It is working with Wyoming Machine to put the federal funding to use training the next generation of manufacturers. Wyoming Machine co-presidents Lori and Traci Tapani told the attendees at the open thouse they are pleased to be part of an effort to enhance the economic successes of manufacturing. Both have actively worked in recent years with events and professional organizations to get young people interested in manufacturing. Skilled workers are aging, and the industry uses high tech equipment like lasers to fabricate parts. To ensure that the manufacturing sector stays strong education and training is necessary. Sen. Klobuchar told the students Minnesota’s agriculture and manufacturing sectors are its big exporters. Klobuchar said people holding degrees in high tech manufacturing will get employed. Rep. Cravaack told the student audience at the open house to emphasize their Science, Technology, Engineering and Math or STEM courses in their classwork. The Department of Labor announced that three colleges-- St. Cloud Tech, Central Lakes and Pine Tech will share $13 million to expand the educated labor pool. The open house took place in conjunction with National Manufacturing Day and students from a number of schools in this region were taken on tours of Wyoming Machine by employees.
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