As part of the new Manufacturing and Production (MAP) class, ten Willmar High School students toured the Rotochopper facility on the final day of their class rotation with West Central Steel, Inc.
During their 8-day rotation at West Central Steel, Inc. and Central Minnesota Fabrication, students were able to see the steel that is cut at West Central to manufacture Rotochopper equipment. “We wanted to show the students full circle where the materials being cut at our facility ends up,” said Jon Linstrand, Drafting/Designer CAD Operator at West Central Steel. Jon’s son, Quinten, is one of the students participating in the program.
Several Willmar businesses saw a need for a program that gives students the opportunity to experience manufacturing professions hands-on and help students understand the opportunities that are available to them in the community. Mike Kroeker, Willmar Senior High MAP instructor, said, “The focus of the program is welding, drafting, carpentry, mechanics, robotics. The purpose of the program is to introduce students to the businesses, introduce the business leaders to the potential employers, and help fill the void of skilled work.”
Patrick Burg, Director of Quality Assurance and Outside Processing, led the group on a tour of Rotochopper’s manufacturing facility. The tour focused on skilled labor opportunities within Rotochopper available to the students after graduation. “I thought we would see people assembling machines. We did see some of that, but we also saw robots welding and assembling components,” said Kroeker. The toured ended with a grinding demonstration showing the group what Rotochopper equipment does. “It was really cool to see the machine running,” said Quinten Linstand.
Following the tour Kroeker said, “There are some great opportunities in our area to be part of a company that does business all around the world.” During manufacturing month, we’d like to join the chorus of manufacturers around the world encouraging young people to take a look at the great careers available to them in manufacturing. If you know of a student group that would like a tour to see what we’re all about, let us know!