Northeast Metro Business VHEDC 2018 - Page 27

VHEDC COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP AWARD SCHWING America, Mold Craft, Du Fresne Manufacturing and Specialty Mfg. C o. The VHEDC Community Partnership Award recognizes collaborative partners that help the VHEDC to advance its mission of ensuring a prosperous local business economy in Vadnais Heights and the surrounding areas. These four manufacturing companies offered 2017 summer internships to four White Bear Lake High School students through the new Gen Z Connection: Skills and Careers in Manufacturing program. From left: Justin McPhee, VP of Engineering at Mold Craft; Steve Moeller, Director of Manufacturing for Specialty Mfg. Co.; Joy Vander Heiden, Senior HR Generalist for SCHWING America; and Jim Stephan, VP of Sales and Marketing for Du Fresne Manufacturing. SCHWING AMERICA, a member of the German SCHWING Group, was established in 1974; it offers industry leading concrete pumps, truck mixers, batch plants, reclaimers and genuine parts for distribution in North and Latin America. MOLD CRAFT, a privately-owned company founded in 1964, has built a reputation as a high-quality, custom maker of injection molds for plastic and metal parts. Nominations for the 2019 VHEDC Business Awards can be made on the VHEDC website beginning in May and close September 1. Refer to site for requirements: DU FRESNE MANUFACTURING, incorporated in 1990, is an industry leader in precision metal fabrication; it offers design assistance, dedicated prototype facilities, equipment, component assembly, and project management services. SPECIALTY MFG. CO., a family business founded in 1900, manufactures metal and plastic valves that are essential components for a wide range of applications for industries including medical, communications, dental, automotive and mechanical. Joy Vander Heiden, Senior HR Generalist for SCHWING America, said, “SCHWING America was proud to participate in the Gen Z program. Local businesses sharing resources with the VHEDC and White Bear Lake Schools shows the strength of our community and the desire for us all to work together to address the skills gap that exists in today’s tight labor market.” Justin McPhee, VP of Engineering at Mold Craft, said, “In my eyes, Mold Craft and the other three companies were just doing what was right for manufacturing and the community, and what was right to provide students with an extraordinary experience in real-life manufacturing. I’m very proud to receive this award on behalf of Mold Craft and our awesome staff from the front desk to the engineers, toolmakers and machine specialists – all the way through to the shipping department. At least 18 of our 39 employees had direct hands-on involvement with the Gen Z program.” Jim Stephan, VP of Sales and Marketing for Du Fresne Manufacturing, said, “The partnership between White Bear Lake Schools and local industry created the Gen Z program to engage and educate local high school students in manufacturing for lifelong career opportunities and provide Northeast Metro businesses with much needed skilled labor. Gen Z is continually recognized statewide as a successful model in education/industry engagement and will hopefully continue to grow in student/area business involvement for years to come.” Steve Moeller, Director of Manufacturing for Specialty Mfg. Co., said, “It was an honor partnering with local businesses, White Bear Lake Area School Distict and VHEDC to make the Gen Z Program a reality. We especially want to thank White Bear Lake High School’s Delroy Nyren and Rich Wessels, and VHEDC Executive Director Ling Becker for their contributions. This program could not have happened without their extraordinary efforts.” 27