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.
  • Manufacturing the Future Expo – The Manufacturing the Future Expo is an annual career expo that brings in 800 high school students to learn about career opportunities and pathways in manufacturing.

If you’re interested in learning more about this group, contact the Alliance.

Supporting expungement reform

Workforce development is the number one issue facing Waukesha County, the Milwaukee 7 region and our state. With record-low levels of unemployment in Wisconsin and an aging workforce, employers and workforce leaders recognize that criminal justice reform can improve both the labor market and life outcomes for people with criminal records. Supporting programs that assist […]

Alliance supports reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank of the United States

One of the Alliance’s 2019 policy objectives is to increase exports from Waukesha County and southeastern Wisconsin. In just the last five years, the EXIM Bank has helped nearly a dozen of our members export their products overseas. Learn more about EXIM here. Below is our letter of support. September 11, 2019 Senator Ron Johnson […]

Addressing the workforce issue

As part of a comprehensive strategy to address the workforce issue, the Waukesha County Business Alliance is working to connect businesses and educational institutions. It’s important for us to work together to make sure students are both college- AND career-ready after high school graduation. Click here to watch the video. This video was originally shown […]

Connecting Counselors

Our first Connecting Counselors program was on Wednesday, April 10. Connecting Counselors is a complimentary networking program for educators in southeast Wisconsin. Middle and high school counselors have the opportunity to learn about one new post-secondary program/degree available to students that supports the in-demand industries of manufacturing, construction, health care and information technology. The “speed […]

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.

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.

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.

Jon Wehrli

President, Power Systems Division
Eaton, Cooper Power Systems Division

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