Throughout the month of October, Rotochopper planned and hosted several events for local schools and employee’s families to exhibit and market the opportunities available in the high-tech world of modern manufacturing. The purpose of our events during manufacturing month was to promote the careers available in the industry and celebrate the work being done by our employees.
To kick off manufacturing month, Rotochopper hosted a virtual tour as part of the Central Minnesota Manufacturers Association (CMMA) Tour of Manufacturing. The month-long virtual tour gave attendees an inside look at the work done at Rotochopper’s manufacturing facility and the equipment that is built there. The virtual tour continues to be a resource for students and families beyond manufacturing month.
Rotochopper employees and their families enjoyed a Family Day event on October 14th with a meal, self-guided tours, and equipment demos. They also got a sneak peek at the newest piece of equipment in Rotochopper’s line up that will officially launch in January.
Three student groups toured Rotochopper’s facility including the West Stearns CEO (Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities) group, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa/Sauk Centre MAPS (Manufacturing and Production Systems) class, and Kimball High School Small Engines class.
“Promoting the career opportunities available in the manufacturing industry to the next generation is extremely important in being able to continue to grow and maintain our workforce. Breaking down the perception that manufacturing jobs are “dirty” and still very manual is important. Things have come a long way in the last 20 years, robots are not replacing our current workforce, but enhancing the work experience and taking some of the manual repetitive jobs that aren’t so fun and doing them more efficiently,” Chad Molitor.
The West Stearns CEO class visited Rotochopper as part of their year-long course designed to utilize partnerships that provide an overview of business development and processes. WSCEO’s mission is to grow the future leaders of Albany, Melrose, and Sauk Centre by connecting them to the leaders of today. The enthusiastic and inquisitive class toured Rotochopper on October 19, 2021. Their top takeaways from their visit were: Rotochopper uses 100 gallons of red paint every month to paint the equipment they build and the machines are used to grind mostly wood, but grind other materials such as, sheet rock, corn, plastic and peat moss, just to name a few.
The last week of October the BBE/Sauk Centre MAPS class visited Rotochopper two separate days as part of the first semester of their class. They spent one morning touring the Rotochopper facility and the second morning having more in-depth conversations with different departments within the company to learn more about the various types of career paths available. During the course of their class, they will tour area businesses, build a resume, and complete an internship, as well as complete several college classes through Ridgewater College in Willmar, MN for credits towards a future degree.
The Kimball High School Small Engines class toured Rotochopper on October 26th. They had lots of great questions about how the equipment is built and how to operate it, including, “How long does it take to build a grinder?”, “How much does a grinder cost?”, “What types of waste can you grind?”, and “How do you change the sizing screens?”
“Our students talked about their tour of Rotochopper the rest of the day. They really enjoyed touring the different areas of the company and the people giving the tour were extremely friendly and answered all of our questions,” said Jay Klein, Guidance Counselor at Kimball Schools. Ashley Eisenbraun, Kimball Schools Small Engines Teacher, agreed that the tour was a hit with the students.
Rotochopper CEO, Tosh Brinkerhoff, had the opportunity to speak to each student group that visited Rotochopper during the month. Tosh encouraged the students to try new things to see what they like and find where their skill set fits in. “Find something you’re passionate about, and always keep learning and evolving,” said Brinkerhoff.
Rotochopper is proud to support a variety of school programs giving students a first-hand look at how businesses operate and connecting them with leaders and real-world opportunities. If you know of a student group that would like a tour, contact our Director of Community Relations.