Mastercam User Goes Above and Beyond to Recruit Future Manufacturers
Matt Guse, President of M.R.S. Machining in Augusta, Wisconsin, understands the unavoidable crisis looming over the manufacturing industry: the skills gap. After experiencing firsthand the struggle of trying to fill open positions from a dwindling pool of candidates, Guse took it upon himself to recruit more skilled tradesmen. Sometimes Guse helps to host teacher workshops, where he guides instructors and school faculty through the process of establishing their own skilled trades training programs. Other times he volunteers to officiate school sporting events, keeping an eye out for students he believes would excel in the trades.
Guse’s continued attention is focused on helping at the Cardinal Manufacturing shop at Eleva-Strum High School in Strum, Wisconsin. The Cardinal Manufacturing shop is essentially a skills-focused high school manufacturing program that turned into a self-funded student-run business. Guse has been involved since his father, M.R.S. founder Robert Guse, donated the Cardinal shop’s first lathe machine and first milling machine to get the program started in 2007.
Any Eleva-Strum student who passes Metal Working I and II may apply for enrollment in the Cardinal Manufacturing shop program the same way he or she would apply to a job: with a resume, project portfolio, and letter of recommendation. The application process is just the first way the program mirrors the real world.
Students learn every aspect of manufacturing as they accept and fill orders from all over the country, from quoting a job to managing quality control. A Cardinal graduate will be knowledgeable in welding, CNC programming and operating, and construction upon completion. Guse personally vouches for any student who completes the program.
“They take ownership in their parts. They know the soft-skills part. They know the manufacturing. So, when I hire somebody from there, it’s like getting an employee who has been running a shop for 10 years.”
After graduation, students can immediately start seeking paid positions or continue their training at technical schools or universities. Either way, their outlook is good. If students choose to enter the workforce, they are quickly recruited for apprenticeships or permanent positions.
If they choose to pursue their education, the cost of their books and tuition is often completely covered by grants and scholarships. Guse promises his recruits that options are out there for anyone interested in manufacturing, and his efforts continue to reinforce the industry.
You can read more about the success of M.R.S. Machining and the Cardinal Manufacturing shop in an inspiring Technical Education Magazine article titled High School Metal Working Class to Manufacturing Career.