Aztalan Engineering welcomed Senator Johnson to Lake Mills on May 27, 2014 where the main focus was how manufacturers look to attract young professionals that are excited about moving the company forward without turning to big government to forge the way. Senator Johnson took a few minutes to discuss the national debt and solvency of social security, while stressing the need to scale back on relying so heavily on the federal government. However, the visit was centered on the innovative ways manufacturers can meet their needs of acquiring skilled laborers by the way of community and local education involvement. Aztalan Engineering is embracing these ideals with programs they have put into place themselves.
Dirk Maroske, CEO of Aztalan Engineering, had the opportunity to talk one-on-one with Senator Johnson while taking a tour of the grounds. “Senator Johnson encouraged us in our continuous efforts to reach out to our educational institutions and jointly work on developing our highly skilled workforce of today and tomorrow to develop a competitive edge over our global competition.”
Aztalan is committed to providing an educational experience through a summer internship for students enrolled in any one of the following disciplines at a four year university or college: Engineering (Mechanical, Manufacturing, Industrial), Production/Operations management, or Industrial technology management. Aztalan Engineering is in its 5th year of the summer internship program. A total of seven interns have been a part of the program, with two having just entered on May 19, 2014.
Aztalan Engineering’s internship program provides a real world experience for students new to the engineering career path. The program is directed to students that have completed their first or second year of college. Throughout the course of the internship period Aztalan provides the intern with the following educational experiences:
- One main project, where the intern will have to develop, manage, or improve an current process at Aztalan Engineering. Common examples of projects are managing and creating tool drawings, or creating annotation drawings and improving the process.
- The intern will learn manufacturing and machining processes while spending one to two days a week with a machinist on the manufacturing floor.
- The intern will help with various projects in quality, programming/engineering services, or operations.
Aztalan also offers an apprenticeship program through the State of Wisconsin. Two apprentices have been hired as full-time employees, and are currently working on their first year of the four year program. In order to obtain well-rounded training and necessary qualifications as a skilled worker in the trade, the apprentice will work in the all areas of the machine shop. The instruction and experience gained will give the apprentice the qualifications needed to become a skilled machinist. They will be state certified after completion of the machinist apprenticeship program.
In addition, Aztalan Engineering is also participating in the Middle College Program for the first time this summer. This program is a collaborative project of Madison College, Moraine Park Technical College and the Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin. It is designed to help students ladder into technical college education training and gain experience during and after high school to pursue their career. A student from Lake Mills has been selected for this summer’s program. Expected to begin in July, he is looking forward to his experience and hands-on learning.
Aztalan is committed to being a good partner with the government and a good corporate citizen. “Having Senator Johnson visit Aztalan was important, as we wanted him to see the efforts we are making to be a global leader in precision machining, learn about issues at the federal level, and see what AEI can do as a company to help”, said Kirk Kussman, Director of Sales and Marketing at Aztalan Engineering. Aztalan’s commitment to education and training is important in our community and organization.
As Aztalan continues to grow, Quick Response Manufacturing and Feature Based Quoting will help to continue the delivery of high quality parts while remaining cost competitive globally, ensuring they will be able to meet the demands of an ever-changing global marketplace.