Manufacturing Alliance

The Waukesha County Manufacturing Alliance serves as a platform for manufacturers to share ideas, encourage innovation, work together to transform the image of manufacturing and target new talent. The Manufacturing Alliance was formed in 2010 in response to the critical needs of our manufacturers, who account for 20% of industry — or 1 in 5 jobs — in Waukesha County.

Here are some programs of the Manufacturing Alliance:

  • Manufacturing Executive Council – The Manufacturing Executive Council is comprised of manufacturing leaders who set the strategic direction for the work of the Waukesha County Manufacturing Alliance – working to raise the profile of manufacturing in Waukesha County, share best practices and attract a talented pipeline of skilled labor.
  • OpEx tours – The Waukesha County Business Alliance hosts Operational Excellence tours for its Manufacturing Alliance members. Company leaders come together to tour a manufacturer in Waukesha County to share best practices, offer leadership level learning opportunities and foster a strong manufacturing environment in southeast Wisconsin.
  • HREx programs – The Waukesha County Business Alliance hosts an HR Excellence Series for its Manufacturing Alliance members to share best practices, offer leadership level learning opportunities and foster a strong manufacturing environment in Waukesha County. Manufacturing human resources professionals from around Waukesha County hear from a guest speaker on the topics that most affect their work day-to-day. Attendees share best practices, questions and ideas through a facilitated roundtable discussion on the speaker’s topic following the presentation.
  • Schools2Skills™ Manufacturing tours – Schools2Skills™ Manufacturing started in 2011 to give Waukesha County high schools the opportunity to tour local manufacturers and see firsthand the innovative and advanced technology right here in southeast Wisconsin. Schools2Skills™ Manufacturing is dedicated to educating students about what the manufacturing industry has to offer, showing them that a career in manufacturing allows those with highly technical skills to excel and succeed.
  • Careers Uncovered – Careers Uncovered is a new program designed to help Waukesha County educators learn more about the career pathways offered in Waukesha County’s key industries. Educators visit a local company to learn about the career pathways available in the industry, tour the company and network with employees from all areas of business operations and have a roundtable discussion with company leadership. The experience concludes with educators working together to reflect and put together an action plan to apply the knowledge they gained to assist with the academic and career planning process.
  • M.A.D.E. Career Pathways Expo – The M.A.D.E. (Manufacturing, Automotive, Design and Engineering) Career Pathways Expo is an annual career expo that brings in 800 high school students to learn about career opportunities and pathways in manufacturing.

Manufacturing HR Excellence Program – 10 steps to assess your employment branding practices

More than 30 manufacturing HR leaders attended the Alliance’s Manufacturing HR Excellence program on February 6 to learn about “10 Steps to Assess your Employment Branding Practices” from experts Andie Gebert, Michael Best Workplace Solutions, and Laura Fischer, Sikich LLP.

School of Applied Technologies programs enjoy record enrollments

When the economy is strong, jobs are plentiful and college enrollments are steady. When the unemployment rate is high, people tend to go back to school and enrollments rise. In Waukesha County Technical College’s School of Applied Technologies, there has been a bit of a paradigm shift. The unemployment rate in the United States in October 2018 remained at a low 3.7 percent, but enrollment in our applied technologies programs soared.

Addressing workforce needs

The Waukesha County Business Alliance is creating new programs and expanding existing ones to address workforce needs in Waukesha County’s four high-growth industries: manufacturing, health care, construction/skilled trades and information technology.

Superintendent/President Roundtable: Manufacturing

Our quarterly superintendent/president roundtable met on Wednesday, October 31 to discuss the future of the manufacturing industry with Tom Fotsch, chief operating officer for EmbedTek in Waukesha. Read more here. We’re bringing in presidents and superintendents of school districts around Waukesha County to build partnerships and meet the workforce needs of Waukesha County’s four high-growth […]

Governor Walker announces $5.1 million in Commute to Careers grants

Governor Scott Walker announced that 29 grants, totaling more than $5.1 million, have been awarded under the Commute to Careers program.

Interactive, hands-on activities get students excited about careers in the skilled trades

On Thursday, October 18, more than 1,000 middle and high school students in Waukesha County attended the Alliance’s 4th annual M.A.D.E. Career Pathways Expo at Waukesha County Technical College to learn more about careers in the manufacturing, automotive, design, engineering and construction industries. This was our biggest career expo to date. 35 local employers were […]

Manufacturing Executive Council

Jeff Clark

Waukesha® Metal Products

Jim Zaiser

Vice Chair
Hydro-Thermal Corp

David Bahl Jr.

Owner/Plant Manager
Weldall Manufacturing, Inc.

Brian Baker

President and CEO
Sentry Equipment Corp

Betsy Bear Hoff

Alloy Products Corp

Bill Berrien

Pindel Global Precision

Mike Brancato


Larry Brown

Aries Industries, Inc.

Steen Coleman

President & CEO
M2M Group

Michael Darr

Director of Operations
Firestone Building Products

Kim Erdmann

Entrust Manufacturing Technologies, Inc.

Waleed Gamay

Vice President of Operations
DreamPak LLC

David Gazzo

Felss Rotaform LLC

Neal Glaeser

Denali Ingredients LLC

Bill Goggins

Harken USA

Bob Gross

Gross Automation

Tim Hearden

SR Vice President of Operations
Generac Power Systems, Inc.

Ken Heins

KLH Industries, Inc.

Luis Hernandez, Jr.

Urethane Systems Plus Inc.

Matt Hockman

VP/GM Power Delivery & Regulation
Eaton, Cooper Power Systems Division

Neil Karolek

TLX Technologies LLC

Al Leidinger

Mathison Manufacturing, Inc.

Kevin Lichtenberg

Stanek Tool LLC

Seth Liubakka

General Manager
PST Group

Kent Lorenz

Community Leader

John Miller

Engineering Specialists Inc

Michael Mills

General Manager
GE Healthcare

Bob Mortensen

Chief Operating Officer
HUSCO International

Alan Petelinsek

Power Test Inc.

Fritz Reich

Reich Tool & Design Inc

Doug Sawyer

Vice President
Universal Welding & Engineering Inc

Don Schlidt

Dedicated Computing

Jim Schneberger

New Berlin Plastics

Chris Shult

Bevco Engineering Company, Inc.

Jack Siehoff

Waukesha Site & Engineering Leader
INNIO Waukesha Gas Engines

Eric Skibo

Senior VP & General Manager
MetalTek International

Rick Steinke

VP of Manufacturing
Sentry® Equipment Corp

Judie Taylor

Community Leader

Mark Thurman

Dynatect Manufacturing, Inc.

Thorsten Wienss


Todd Zakreski

HUSCO Automotive

Cheryl Aschenbrener

Business Partner
Sikich LLP

Mike Flynn

Business Partner
First Business Bank

Rich Kaiser

Business Partner
Michael Best

Rick Kalscheuer

Business Partner
R&R Insurance Services, Inc.

Mark Schwei

Business Partner
Consolidated Construction Co Inc