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In partnership with area middle, high, and post-secondary schools, MITGI works to create greater career awareness, provide resources to students, and help connect schools to the business community. Through hundreds of hours of volunteer time and more than $250,000 in annual tool and equipment donations, MITGI provides resources that schools


need to promote careers in manufacturing: t Tours help students to see different types of facilities, work environments, and explore career opportunities


t MITGI-sponsored scholarships to help students defray the costs of education, and in turn, connect the business with the student


t Paid job shadowing and internships to allow prospec- tive employees to receive practical work experience while exploring the types of jobs possible in manufacturing


t Equipment donation, training support, and curriculum consultation to ensure that skills taught in schools match local business needs


t Robotics club sponsorship to provide resources, support, and enthusiasm for STEM activities


t Executive level participation in advisory boards to ensure that opportunities in education and business exist for students when they are ready to work In the region, MITGI plays a leading role to promote the


industry, steer the community toward common goals, and inspire action. MITGI provides leadership for career and technical education enhancements in the area through partnerships with the Hutchinson EDA, Hutchinson Chamber of Commerce, Made in McLeod, and the Southwest Initiative Foundation. Through these partnerships, and by showcas- ing the efforts of MITGI with students and parents, other businesses in the area are joining together to create industry awareness and provide resources to students and schools.


Company Culture: The Human Side of Workforce Development Each year, Sheila Murphy, Director of HR and Safety, meets with hundreds of students to talk about manufactur- ing. In 2014, a group of students and their families toured MITGI as part of a city-wide manufacturing tour. After the tour fi nished, the brother of one student returned to MITGI to discuss job opportunities. Murphy’s description of paid job shadowing, a MITGI program where students can work alongside MITGI employees to observe needed skills and experience the environment, caught his attention. The young man started job shadowing the next day, and within the week,


determined that this was the career path for him. He quickly became a valuable member of the MITGI manufacturing team. “We have been impressed with the initiative that students show when choosing to learn more about jobs in manu- facturing; it says a lot about their drive,” Murphy said. “We welcome students and their parents to learn about manufac- turing. We believe that by connecting through on-site tours, in-classroom visits, and job shadowing, we’re helping to shape the future of millennials and our industry.” Making the connection between personal interest and hands-on experience is not a new way to engage prospec- tive employees, but is rather a return to a proven mentoring approach to career development. “We believe that there is no better way to make a career decision than through experience. Personal connections and hands-on interactions are powerful ways to see if manufac- turing is a fi t,” Murphy said. “By offering paid job shadowing and internships, potential employees are able to see if they enjoy the work while allowing us to make sure that the per- son will fi t our team.”


Fostering and maintaining a positive and innovative com- pany culture is integral to the success of MITGI. “The growth that MITGI has experienced in recent years makes it even more essential that we are mindful of what is important to our company and what makes this a great place to work,” said Andrea Waller-Plath, MITGI General Manager. “As sales increase and more people join our team, we strive to maintain a close-knit and personal environment where people can bring their talents and ideas to the table. Working together as a team, employees can enjoy meaningful work and be proud of the products we create. The result is posi- tive—for our customers, employees, and community.”


Jennie Nelson is the Director of Sales and Mar- keting at MITGI, a manufacturer of standard and custom cutting tools in Hutchinson, MN. Combining innovation with quality and repeatability, MITGI tools have become the product of choice in many R&D departments and manufacturing facilities that serve medical, automotive, aerospace, and rapid prototyping industries. Founded as a re-grinding company and custom cutting tool manufacturer, MITGI has grown and expanded, but the focus has remained the same: precision, quality, and personalized customer service.


Email: jennie.nelson@mitgi.us Phone: (320) 455-0535 Web: www.mitgi.us


July 2016 | AdvancedManufacturing.org 135


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