Towards the end of December, Whirltronics hosted a tour for the local high school students. Over the years, we have hosted many tours with local corporations through our Manufactures Alliance group from the Twin Cities. Several colleges have walked the floors of our facility as well and we continue to grow more interest at the high school level.
For us, we enjoy opening up to the
community and schools by sharing what we are doing, why we do it and how can we do better. Jennifer Lindquist, the VP of Engineering and New Product Development, believes it is a great opportunity for everyone involved, “We use these tours to teach others about Lean Manufacturing and also get one way feedback from the group. The one-way feedback lets us know about opportunities to improve our current processes. We are never done with our Lean journey. We are constantly looking for ways to improve!”
With students thinking about college and plans beyond high school, careers are a hot topic for conversation. Staying close to home is always an added benefit when planning a career. Whirltronics is proud to offer quality jobs for local residents within an ever-growing industry, something Jennifer is passionate to promote“… there are opportunities for all levels of skill type right in their own community. Most of the students didn’t know that the commercial park existed.”
The Buffalo High School students were split into two groups for this tour, one with Jennifer and the other group was hosted by Mechanical Engineer, Matt Severson. Matt loves to show the students the fine points behind the concept of everyday items that we may not consider when we see them, “Bringing a group through, especially a student group, can be an eye-opening experience when you realize what it takes and how much goes into making products that can seem deceptively simple, like a lawn mower blade. I would hope that this experience would make the students look differently at some of the products they use on a daily basis, and realize that a lot of time and effort went into not only making that product but in learning to make it effectively and efficiently.”
The 2-part tour for the students was a shop floor experience which included walking through the fabrication area and watching a cycle at the austempering station. The second part of the tour was a Q and A session with Jennifer and Matt. Here the students were told about the inner workings of Whirltronics, far beyond the heavy machinery. They discussed team building concepts including Core Values and unity, and also showcased how ideas and methods on paper, can become a reality.
“As a manufacturing company that focuses on helping our customers convert concepts into physical parts, we see the value in bringing a real world or physical experience to compliment concepts and ideas,” Matt shared after the tour, “The students learn about the design process and scientific method, but to be able to see those methodologies in practice at a company can reinforce what they learn, and Whirltronics is happy to support that.”
Not only does Whirltronics strive for having an impact in the metal manufacturing industry, but we want to grow a positive impact in our community as well. Offering an experience to high school students like this creates a path of opportunity into a trade or career, but more importantly, educates them on possibilities and persistence.
Is your company or school interested in a Whirltronics tour? Contact Whirltronics directly at 763-682-1716 or online at www.whirltronics.com. For more blog posts and current company information, follow us on LinkedIn.