Technology Education teacher Jacob Gitter, left, talks
with CEO of Metalcraft Martin Gallun as he watches West
Bend West senior Sedric Gilbert operate a robotic weld
cell Wednesday afternoon at the West Bend high schools.
John Ehlke/Daily News
Earlier in the year, Metalcraft of Mayville donated
about $250,000 of equipment to the West Bend high
schools to be used in technical education courses.
facilitator of this donation was LAB Midwest, a company
that helps schools and manufacturing businesses come
together to get industrial technology in the hands of
students. Representatives from both companies visited
the technical education classroom Tuesday during one of
the manufacturing classes.
Midwest President Matt Kirchner said the number one
influencer on the selection of a job is exposure in
middle school and high school. “Our job is really, how
do we inspire young people,” he added.
some cases, schools will go through the organization to
purchase equipment through grants or as part of the
budget, and in others a company like Metalcraft will buy
it and donate it.
Metalcraft President Randy Gloede said part of their
mission statement is to help improve the community
through such donations. He explained the company hopes
to create talent in the community.
Ethan Boylen, left, and West Bend West senior Brandon
Dahlke watch one of the donated machines from Metalcraft
be operated Wednesday afternoon at the West Bend high
schools. Metalcraft in Mayville donated a quarter of a
million dollars worth of equipment to the high schools.
John Ehlke/Daily News
response to the donation, technical education teacher
Jacob Gitter is working to developing a new course and
to provide students with the opportunity to earn more
certifications before graduation.
“Anything worthwhile in life is a win-win,” Gloede said.
He explained every company is looking for talent and
this donation will give students a shot at gaining
experience, a skill set and problem solving skills so
they can graduate and earn a “good wage early in life”
in their own community.
Though students are already working with the robots and
other equipment donated by Metalcraft, some won’t have
the chance to experience the new curriculum, like East
High School senior Jon Habersetzer.
Habersetzer said they’re just getting beneath the
surface in what they can do with the robots, but the
experience could make it easier for him to learn new
programs in the future.
Students are already learning the programming language
used by the robots and are able to automate the
manufacturing of items like clay pigeons.
Gitter explained to visitors from the two companies that
the class gets experience with coming up with products,
creating a business plan, selling the items and filling
orders. He added “It gives them the pressure.”
year the class had $10,000 in gross revenue from the
sales of products like lawn art and decorative flags.
Later in the year the students may have a chance to see
the scale of manufacturing done at Metalcraft during a
field trip, which Gitter and Gloede discussed while
Gloede was visiting. While there the students would see
75 robotic arms at work, like the ones found in their