Maysteel donates $20K to HUHS tech ed department

By JOE VANDELAARSCHOT - Daily News Staff

Dec. 25, 2017

A Hartford Union High School student works on a welding project during a tech education class Thursday at the school in Hartford.
Submitted photo

A recent “very generous” donation will help Hartford Union High School make improvements in the school’s Tech Engineering Education Department.

At the most recent meeting of the HUHS Board of Education, the board formally accepted a donation of $20,000 from Maysteel Industries of Allenton and presented a company official with a certificate of appreciation for the gift.

“The donation is greatly appreciated and the department will put it to good use,” said HUHS Superintendent Attila Weninger during the presentation.

Jason Kraus, chairman of the school’s TEE Department, said the school has been supported for many years by local businesses and others.

“This is another example of one of those local businesses stepping forward to do that,” Kraus said. “We didn’t know ahead of time or ask about a contribution before they took the tour of our facility. At the end of the tour, they surprised us presented us a check for $20,000 to help our department and students.”

Kraus said school staff doesn’t know yet how the money will be used, but there are several possibilities.

“It could be used in our machine or metal processing area. We’ve also talked about the possible purchase of a plastic injection molder,” Kraus said. “We’re always looking at ideas or different ways to aid or improve the department and its impact on our students.”

Darci Boettcher, Human Resources Manager for Maysteel Industries, accepted the certificate of appreciation on behalf of the company. She said the company has helped other schools with donations and felt HUHS was worthy of the gift and will put it to good use.

“We have been in a position where we could invest some funds because we feel it is so important to keep building the manufacturing skills in the community. All of the schools, (in Slinger, West Bend, Kewaskum) and specifically Hartford, are completely in line with what we do here at Maysteel,” Boettcher said. “We’re thoroughly impressed with what they do and understand the circumstances that they go through sometimes with supporting the financial obligation of running those programs. So with our donation we just really feel it’s important to support those programs.

Boettcher said the company’s CEO, their plant manager and one of Maysteel’s manufacturing managers were able to tour the school and the TEE department earlier this month and were all very impressed.

“By providing this donation we want to help students learn the skills that are needed by companies like us in their employees,” Boettcher. “To do this kind of work they need skills and they need to be properly trained. What they learn at these schools prepares them to be the kind of workers we need here.”

In a related move, the Board of Education at its most recent meeting approved the spending of about $31,500 for the purchase of a refurbished Weeks BP-60 router to replace a much older SCM Tech 95 router. In a memo to the board, Kraus said the current SCM router was purchased in 1998 and is out of date and replacement of the controller of the router along would be about $30,000.

“The proposal is to purchase the refurbished router replacement for $40,000,” Kraus said. Kraus said funding the purchase would be as follows:

The trade-in value of the SCM is factored in to the purchase price.

The TEE Department received a donated CMM machine that it is selling for $8,500 to partially offset this cost.

The TEE budget includes $21,000 for replacement equipment.

The remaining $10,500 would come from an incentive grant which has a current balance of about $57,700.

Using those funding resources the net cost to the district for the refurbished router will only be $31,500. Kraus said the current machine is used for production of panel products by two different classes. Course enrollments are about 80 students in four sections this year.

“The major fault in this piece (the SCM router) is like other such equipment where the controller is out of date, there is no simple way to change this,” Kraus said in the proposal to purchase submitted to the Board. “The new (refurbished) equipment will have new controls with current software and screens. The machine hardware has been reworked with a new spindle and a rebuilt rail system.”

According to the company’s website, Maysteel Industries specializes in designing, engineering, and manufacturing custom, precision, sheet metal enclosures, cabinets, and metal fabricated assemblies.