(WAUPACA, WI) May 20, 2021 — Waupaca Foundry creates opportunity for students at its foundry and machining locations through mentoring programs and scholarships in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Tennessee.
On May 20, Waupaca Foundry joined area businesses at Waupaca High School for its inaugural signing day celebrating graduates committing to pursue a career in the skilled trades. Similar to signing day events for high school student athletes, Waupaca Foundry’s youth apprentices will be applauded as they announce their career plans in the skilled trades – a sector in high demand due to large labor shortages. Students signing for future careers with Waupaca Foundry are all from Waupaca High School:
- Jon Christie will work in the core room and continue his education while working.
- Taylor Salter will work in the mill room and continue his education while working.
- Jada Olmeda will work in the core room.
“These students were hired for their demonstrated work ethic and positive reviews from their mentors,” said Waupaca Foundry Director of Human Resources, Kirk Kallio. “We are proud to be able to offer opportunities to young people. We will to continue our mission of delivering high quality and innovation to our customers for many years to come. Jon, Taylor and Jada will continue this tradition.”
In 2021, Waupaca Foundry provides 46 internships, summer employment for more than 100 college students, and provided cooperative work-school programs to 75 high school teens in four states.
Additionally, the company will distribute $39,000 in scholarships to graduating high school seniors. Most of the graduates are children of current employees at one of the seven manufacturing facilities nationwide. Scholarships have been awarded to those students attending two-year technical schools and four-year colleges.
Youth employment and scholarship programs are part of Waupaca Foundry’s corporate commitment to supporting the communities in which foundries and machining plants are located and are an investment into the company's future. "The competition for good employees is intense and this is one way we can encourage young people to pursue STEM careers,” said Rob Johnson, chief financial officer for Waupaca Foundry. "From metal work to robotics, there is opportunity for young people to have rewarding careers in manufacturing and we hope one day these students come back and apply what they've learned with us."
Scholarships are being presented as follows:
- Waupaca, Wis.: six scholarships totaling $11,000
- Marinette, Wis.: four scholarships totaling $6,000
- Tell City, Ind.: seven scholarships totaling $9,000
- Etowah, Tenn.: six scholarships totaling $9,000
- Effingham, Ill.: five scholarships totaling $5,000
“In my three years working seasonal summer help on the manufacturing floor and a fourth year in an internship, I’ve been able to see both aspects of production and management,” said Jennamarie Pagel, Waupaca Foundry Human Resources Assistant. “Waupaca Foundry helped me to become and learn what I wanted to do in the future.” Jennamarie now works full-time for Waupaca Foundry in its corporate human resources department.