SURGEONS of STEEL
n May o g n i t e
Spring 2018 - Volume 12; Issue 1
In this issue TDMAW Thanks ThermTech for Promoting Business Opportunity Between Members & ThermTech Customer
Tax Law Changes at a Glance Building Skills. Building Confidence. Building The Future.
President's Letter Consider Advertising in the
Surgeons of Steel
Reach readers who are directly connected to Wisconsin’s tool, die & machining industry 2018 Advertising Rates: Member/Partner/Sponsor
ow! The 1st quarter of this year flew by. The TDMAW has started the year off with four outstanding events:
• Sussex IM Tour in January • A breakfast seminar with Thomas in February • A lunch sub-contracting opportunity for our members with Clifford-Jacobs Forging sponsored by our good friends at ThermTech • The Face of Work panel breakfast meeting in March.
All these events were very well attended. I really appreciate the Sussex IM, ThermTech, Team Inc., and all of our speakers for making them all a success. I truly hope that the attendance we are getting at these events is a result of offering programming that is valuable to you all. If you have ideas on topics you would like to see please let me or any other board members know. The first quarter also gave us an opportunity to give back to our manufacturing community and education partners. We welcomed Mike Mallwitz as an honorary member. Mike has given so much to our association and continues to be one of our biggest advocates. We awarded two future tool and die makers $500 scholarships, thanks to financial support from Partner E. L. Simeth, and became a sponsor for MSOE’s Baja team. As we make our way towards warmer weather I hope to see you all at the May event at Delafield Brew Haus, The Golf outing and at the Summer outing in August. Have a terrific 2nd quarter! Kirk Kussman President, TDMAW 2018 firstname.lastname@example.org (920) 342-9455
2 | TDMAW HQ (262) 532-2440
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Editorial Calendar: Interested in submitting an article for the Surgeons of Steel? Email your 500-700 word, Microsoft Word document to TDMAW at ToolMaker@TDMAW.org. Deadlines to submit articles are: Winter Issue: January 1 Spring Issue: April 1 Summer Issue: July 1 Fall Issue: October 1
Table of Contents
2018 Board of Directors
President’s Letter..................................................................... 2
President – Kirk Kussman Aztalan Engineering Inc. 920.648.3411 | email@example.com
TDMAW Thanks ThermTech for Promoting Business Opportunity Between Members & ThermTech Customer........... 7 TDMAW Member Highlight: Matzel Manufacturing.................... 8
Vice President – John Thomann W-Steel & Grinding, Inc. 262.252.3630 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Federated Insurance: The Unhappy Reality of Slip & Fall Accidents.............................................................. 11
Treasurer – Brian Nuetzel Matzel Manufacturing, Inc., 414.466.3800 | Briann@mzmatzel.com
Veteran Recruitment and Hiring at Power Test........................ 12
Secretary – Chris Ernster eTek Tool & Manufacturing 262.377.4150 | email@example.com
TDMAW Signs On to Sponsor MSOE Baja SAE Team............... 14 Migrating to the Azure Cloud Offering Clear Benefits.............. 15 Tax Law Changes at a Glance................................................ 16
Chairman of the Board – Pete Kambouris Wisconsin Engraving Company 262.786.4521 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Federated Insurance Question of the Month: Okay to limit holiday pay to specific employee class?............. 17 Franklin Public Schools Commitment to Manufacturing................................................................... 18 Legislative Update: WMC Winning for the Business Community............................................................. 20 Wisconsin Workforce Board Services..................................... 22 Thomas Net Shares B2B Insights........................................... 24 The Workforce Development Challenge.................................. 25 Building Skills. Building Confidence. Building The Future................................................................ 26 TDMAW 2018 Partners and Sponsors..................................... 27
2018 Calendar of Events May 8, 2018 6:00-8:30 PM
Federated Insurance Delafield Brewhaus, Succession Planning Delafield Speaker, Attorney Marcus Loden of von Briesen & Roper
June 19, 2018
TDMAW June Outing Golf or Charter Fishing on Lake Michigan
Silver Spring Country Club
August 13, 2018
Sporting Clays Summer Outing
Waukesha Gun Club
TDMAW Headquarters W175 N11117 Stonewood Drive, Suite 104, Germantown, WI 53022 262.532.2440 Phone | 262.532.2430 Fax | email@example.com | www.tdmaw.org
KYLE J. HAUG Vice President Business Banking 262-703-3726 Member FDIC. ® and Huntington® are federally registered service marks of Huntington Bancshares Incorporated. Huntington.® Welcome.TM is a service mark of Huntington Bancshares Incorporated. ©2017 Huntington Bancshares Incorporated.
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In the Know TDMAW is pleased to recognize its newest Honorary Member, Mike Mallwitz, former President of Busch Precision and current Workforce Solutions Director at MATC. The TDMAW is grateful for Mike’s past leadership on the Board, Membership Committee, Programs Committee, Business Support Committee & Workforce Development Committee, and for the welcoming spirit he has modeled for our group. Mike will receive his Honorary Member plaque at the May 8th meeting. We hope you will be there to help congratulate him! NOW is the time to enroll or renew your participation in the TDMAW’s Red, White & Blue Sponsorship Program, which offers companies with a vested interest in the Wisconsin tool, die & machining industry, and opportunity to support to our members while receiving advertising, networking and other promotional opportunities for their organizations. The sponsorship year runs from May 1 through April 30th, annually. Renewals and new enrolments must be received prior to May 1st! Contact TDMAW headquarters for more information. TDMAW logo apparel now available for sale through the new TDMAW Lands’ End store. Show your pride of membership by ordering embroidered, logoed items through the store. The store link and a sample of the embroidered logo may be found on the TDMAW website, TDMAW.org. TDMAW does not receive proceeds from your purchases but encourages you to promote the association through the use of logoed apparel or other items. TDMAW Lands’ End store link: https://business.landsend.com/store/tdmaw/ BotsIQ WI Robotics Competition planned for May 5, 2018 at Waukesha County Technical College. The BotsIQ program exposes students and their families to a variety of manufacturing careers. While students are building their 15-pound robots in preparation for the competition, they are also discovering their attitude and aptitude for advanced manufacturing careers. Two times a year we bring the teams together in a double elimination format whereby they test their robot in 3-minute combats. In between matches the students analyze the condition of their robot, assess the best course of action and implement the fix before their next match. Truly, a real time live test under pressure. YOU CAN HELP! Get involved (and meet your future workforce) by helping set up, work the competition, sign up as a sponsor, or come as a spectator! Contact Pat Yunke to volunteer, email@example.com, or contact TDMAW for sponsorship information.
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TDMAW.org has a new look! If you haven’t checked it out already, take a look and get to know your way around the TDMAW website. It’s the best resource for upcoming TDMAW events and member & sponsor contact information. Members: there is a spot for you to include your company capabilities and a brief company description in the member directory. This is a great way for prospective customers to find you! Here is the link to send your capability and business description to headquarters for input into the member directory: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/67GF7N3 - Don’t worry, it’s quick and easy! TDMAW is on Social Media – Follow the Tool, Die & Machining Association of Wisconsin on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter! 2018 Membership Dues are Past Due! If you have not renewed your TDMAW membership, you may submit your $260 dues payment via check or as an online payment on TDMAW.org using your credit card; use the Donation Page and indicate “2018 membership dues” in the comment box, to pay online. If you know of an independent corporation or business entity with operations located in Wisconsin who engages in the business of metal machining, who is not already a TDMAW member, send them our way! We’re stronger together! toolmaker@TDMAW.org | 5
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TDMAW Thanks ThermTech for Promoting Business Opportunity Between Members & ThermTech Customer
n Tuesday, February 13, TDMAW Partner ThermTech of Waukesha hosted a luncheon with the goal of connecting TDMAW members with a ThermTech customer who is attempting to identify new suppliers in our area. Around twenty-five members attended the luncheon to determine if there was an opportunity for their companies to do business together.
Early reports are that some members gained a new customer through ThermTech’s efforts; while not everyone made a connection, we heard that others appreciated the opportunity and would like to see TDMAW host more events of this type. Here’s what some attendees had to say about the luncheon: “It was a great luncheon. Love the collaboration of the supply chain to find additional solutions for the client and increase the opportunities for the market as a whole. Would enjoy more of these as applicable.” Peter Rathmann, President/CEO, Allis Tool & Machine Corporation “I firmly believe meetings like this are what the TDMAW is all about. Kudos to Therm-Tech for hosting such a brilliant event.“ Pete Kambouris, Wisconsin Engraving Company “It was very informative and looked like a great opportunity; unfortunately, I don’t have the capacity to pursue them, currently, as a customer.” Jeff Mahuta, Mahuta Tool Corp TDMAW is always looking for ways to add value for its members and is grateful to ThermTech for thinking outside the box and bringing this opportunity to our members. If you have an idea of how our members can work together for the greater good, please contact Laura Gustafson at TDMAW Headquarters (ToolMaker@ TDMAW.org), we’d love to help you bring your idea to fruition.
toolmaker@TDMAW.org | 7
TDMAW Member Highlight: Matzel Manufacturing
We are going back a few years here, but TDMAW member company Matzel Manufacturingâ€™s story is one worth retelling! In addition to running Matzel Manufacturing, co-owners Wayne Mattiesen and Brian Nuetzel are active members of TDMAW, with Brian serving as our current Treasurer, a Past President and past Membership Committee member as well as chairing the Business Support Committee which manages the partner and sponsor programs. Wayne serves on the Development Committee, which focuses on workforce development and is a regular attendee of member meetings and events. Matzel Manufacturing has also hosted several student tours. Thank you for all you do for our association and industry, Brian and Wayne!
w w w. b i z t i m e s . c o m
ELECTRONICALLY REpRINTEd fROm dEC 18, 2009 - JAN 7, 2010
Managers of a closed factory form a new enterprise Also in this issue :
executives share holiday inspirations the last Word: improve your cash flow Construction & Design Directory
8 | TDMAW HQ (262) 532-2440
Managers of a closed factory form a new enterprise
By Eric DEckEr, staff writer
arlier this year, MIC Group, a Texas-based contract manufacturer, decided to close the doors of its Universal Brixius Inc. subsidiary on Milwaukee’s northwest side. “If it was only the economy, they would not have closed it,” said Wayne Matthiesen, former plant manager of the company. “But when they announced their intention (to close), the Milwaukee sick day legislation was on the brink, and there was the potential for cap-and-trade while Wisconsin uses coal-fired electricity. It was the financial impact (of those things), along with the recession.” “It was one of the most heart-wrenching decisions, but one I had to make,” recalled Nelson Byman, president and chief operating officer of MIC Group. “These were great people, and it was not an easy decision.” Last December, Universal Brixius had about 120 employees. By March, it was down to almost 70. And by May, only a handful of workers remained to help wind down the company’s operations before they turned out the lights. Wayne Matthiesen Brian Nuetzel However, the lights would not stay dark for long. Matthiesen and Brian Nuetzel, former general manager of the company, purchased the long-term lease for the building, its machinery, tooling and the customer lists of Universal Brixius earlier this fall. They formed Matzel Manufacturing Inc., a startup company that provides many of the same services their former employer did. Matthiesen had worked at Universal Brixius since 1987, and Nuetzel started his career there in 1973. The pair had worked under several different ownership groups and managed almost all of its operations at one point or another, giving them intimate knowledge of the firm’s operations, key customers and supplier relationships. “Before we had a corporate owner, we worked for a single owner, and Wayne and I were the main forces (running the company),” Nuetzel said. “There hasn’t been a deal that has been closed (here) in the last 20 years that Wayne and I weren’t part of. That’s going to be a great advantage for us.”
Opportunity knocks In late spring, as operations were winding down at the soon-to-be-closed Universal Brixius, both Matthiesen and Nuetzel saw an opportunity to form a new company. That opportunity became crystal clear to them as business liquidation specialists began preparing machinery for auction and clearing out the plant. “When they started throwing out paperwork, and tooling was going into hoppers, we just had to tell them to stop,” Matthiesen said. “There was too much value and too many livelihoods at stake. And we thought we would need this stuff if we were ever going to put this back together.” When Byman was in town in June, the pair asked if there was some way to prevent the auction process by acquiring the building, machinery and tooling themselves. “One of the things I really wanted was to not have all these folks lose their jobs,” Byman said. “I have a lot of confidence in (Nuetzel and Matthiesen). I think they will be extremely successful. They’re good manufacturing people and good people. and I’m going to help them wherever I can.” Nuetzel said Byman’s commitment to the employees of MIC Group became apparent during the negotiation and sale process. “He has a lot of compassion for the people who work for him. I think he lost a lot of sleep with the people he had to lay off (with the closure),” Nuetzel said. “He really helped smooth out the transaction for us. When we came across a stumbling block, he was there.” Nuetzel and Matthiesen purchased more than 40 CNC milling machines, high-speed lathes and other precision machining tools, along with a long-term lease for the 55,000-square foot-building that formerly housed Universal Brixius. They also acquired tooling and lists of customers from the closed company. Their purchase was made possible with a $320,000 loan from Pewaukee-based Foundations Bank and guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business w w w.biz times.com
D e c e m b e r 1 8 , 2 0 0 9 - J a n u a r y 7, 2 0 1 0
B i zT i m e s M i l w a u k e e
54 years of Milwaukee manufacturing 1955 The precision tooling and machining company that would later become Universal Brixius is formed by Woodrow Brixius, who worked from his basement on the northwest side of Milwaukee. By the late 1960’s, his operation had grown to four buildings and about 460 employees, making it the largest job shop in the Midwest.
1979 Woodrow Brixius passes away and the company is run by his widow, an attorney, accountant and its sales manager.
Administration. Although Matzel Manufacturing is technically a startup company, the experience of the ownership team and the low purchase price for the machinery, tooling and long-term lease made the loan highly attractive, said Glenn Stadler, first vice president of commercial lending at Foundations Bank. “When I found out what the terms were, those deals and opportunities don’t come around very often,” Stadler said. “(Matthiesen and Nuetzel) are very knowledgeable but also surround themselves with good people. All of the stars kind of aligned. It made good sense, and they were able to hit the ground running with customers and orders they had already been machining for.” Greg Kolton, president and chief executive officer of Foundations Bank, said, “This was a tremendous deal and fits right into our wheelhouse of looking for manufacturers to grow economic activity in our community and jobs.” Matzel Manufacturing also received financial support through several Wisconsin programs. The Department of Commerce has given the company up to $150,000 in job creation tax credits over 15 years for creating up to 28 new jobs.
1986 Universal Brixius is acquired by Charlie Goad. At the time of the purchase, the company has about 60 employees in two buildings. Goad consolidates operations into one location and increases sales by 600 percent by the late 1990’s. Brian Nuetzel and Wayne Matthiesen run most of the day-today operations at the facility.
2000 Goad sells Universal Brixius to MIC Group, a division of J.B. Poindexter Co. Inc. 2009 – MIC Group decides to close Universal Brixius; Matthiesen and Nuetzel acquire its machinery, tooling and long-term lease and form Matzel Manufacturing Inc.
velop its training program and is helping to pay for training for its employees. “This is training for lean and so they can be multi-functioning, so we can use these guys in a broader phase of machining,” Nuetzel said. “When they’re done, they will be able to run complete (machine) cells.” “These are the people with tribal knowledge,” Matthiesen said. “We will use as many of them as we can and put them back to work.”
Changing gears The company now has 10 full-time employees and expects to hire a few more by the end of the year. Matzel Manufacturing likely will have about 20 employees by late spring and it should have 40 to 50 within a few years. “That’s our five-year plan, but the way things are going, they could be elevated,” Nuetzel said. “Some of our customers are begging us to take on more work.” Matzel plans to keep its workforce relatively small, despite its large range of capabilities. Over the next few months, the company is rearranging its machinery and developing new work flow systems to streamline flow and improve productivity – its first steps toward
“The skilled workforce we have in Wisconsin is incredible, and to get our old employees back is incredible.” — Brian Nuetzel, Matzel Manufacturing Inc.
Finding financial assistance and incentives to hire former Universal Brixius employees is crucial to Matzel Manufacturing’s future success, Nuetzel said. “The skilled workforce we have in Wisconsin is incredible, and to get our old employees back is incredible,” he said. “That means more than having the equipment here.” The state’s Department of Workforce Development also helped the new company de-
adopting the principles of lean manufacturing. “As we switch our focus from large-scale production to lower quantities, we will be able to rebuild (the facility) and our human resources,” Nuetzel said. “By bringing in the best of the best (of Universal Brixius’ employees), we can be low-quantity manufacturing and still make money.” By early spring, Matzel Machining will have its rearranging project completed and will have
2009 MIC Group decides to close Universal Brixius; Matthiesen and Nuetzel acquire its machinery, tooling and long-term lease and form Matzel Manufacturing Inc.
created a series of work cells throughout the facility.
Prosperous prospects Because of the decades they spent working at Universal Brixius, both Nuetzel and Matthiesen believe their new company has a much better chance of success than a typical startup company. Matzel Manufacturing is now serving some of Universal Brixius’ former customers in the construction and agricultural equipment, small engine, fluid power and railroad markets, including Eaton Corp., Briggs & Stratton Corp., Dynex/Rivett Inc., John Crane Inc. and Citation Corp. “We have a vendor base that we’ve worked with for sometimes 20 to 30 years,” Nuetzel said. “Some of them were so thankful that we did (buy the company) because they didn’t know where they were going to get parts from.” MIC Group will likely become a Matzel Manufacturing customer in the future, Byman said. “I know Wayne and Brian and their capabilities,” Byman said. “I think we will put some business in there. There’s a certain niche they can fill, and I know I can’t, and I know they’re going to get the first shot at it.” “We got the tooling and engineering processes from the whole life of the company,” Nuetzel said. “It’s hard to put a value on the knowledge and tooling, but it’s priceless. There’s 50 years of trials and tribulations there.” The company is optimistic about its prospects for the first quarter of 2010. “We have high expectations in early January for a turnaround,” Nuetzel said. “We’re moving faster than our projections and with different customers than we had projected. If the customers that we expected to be there kick in, there should be a huge increase for us.” Matthiesen agreed. “We should be even more diverse (in our customer base) if we can pull some of our former customers back in,” he said. n
Posted with permission from the December 18, 2009 issue of BizTimes Milwaukee © www.biztimes.com. Copyright 2012. All rights reserved. For more information on the use of this content, contact Wright’s Media at 877-652-5295.
The Unhappy Reality of Slip & Fall Accidents
lthough it varies by industry, claims made by businesses for slip and fall accidents account for more than 20 percent of general liability claims each year, and have an average payout of more than $20,000. Every business has the potential to experience these incidents, but the retail and commercial industries are often prime targets for slips and falls, most likely due in part to their frequent interaction with the public. Likewise, certain times of the year also seem more prone to slip and fall incidents, such as colder months and the autumn and winter holidays. The causes definitely vary, but three particular circumstances commonly increase a business’s risk.
One area of increased risk is simply more traffic. Regardless of
the reason, more traffic naturally points to a greater chance for mishaps. Add other distractions such as point of sale displays, store demonstrations, or any other typical “shopping” distraction, and the risk increases. To reduce this risk, you would need to reduce foot traffic, and what business owner wants to do that? A more acceptable alternative is to emphasize the importance of regular facility inspections, on-going housekeeping, and sound maintenance practices.
Next is seasonal weather. Depending on your store’s location, rain and winter’s sleet, ice, and snow can significantly impact slip and fall frequency. Couple this with customers who may not be wearing appropriate footwear for the conditions, and your risk increases. Businesses should implement policies to keep walkways, driveways, and customer parking areas clear of ice and snow accumulation. • Pay special attention to drainage runoff or discharge from buildings, canopies, and landscaping. • Many incidents occur after a day of snow/ice melt and the refreeze in the evening or morning hours, which are also often the busiest times of day. • And don’t forget indoor slips and falls. Customers inevitably track in whatever type of precipitation is outdoors, creating wet and slippery floors, especially around entrances. Keeping employees aware of and on the lookout for these increased weather-related risks is critical to slip and fall prevention— inside and out.
And last, but certainly not least, is fraud. The winter holidays in particular are prime time for fraudsters. The reasons are as varied as the people involved, but often they stem from an increased need for money, or even simply taking advantage when larger crowds or weather conditions present an opportunity. Fraud can be hard to detect and prove, but being aware of fraud indicators, keeping video surveillance footage, and documenting your housekeeping details (e.g., When was ice melt laid? When was the floor mopped?) can be valuable for helping to combat fraud. Slip and fall incidents and their root causes can be obvious (an icy sidewalk), or not so obvious (a “staged” fall for fraudulent purposes). In other words, business owners need to be ready for all conditions. Look at your business through the eyes of a customer, paying special attention to the three common causes discussed here. They show what your business could be exposed to, and the preventable situations you can remedy to help you avoid an insurance claim. For more information on slip and fall prevention, contact your local Federated marketing representative.
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toolmaker@TDMAW.org | 11
Veteran Recruitment and Hiring at Power Test Article Courtesy of Waukesha County Business Alliance
hrough the years, Power Test, Inc. has enjoyed significant success recruiting, hiring and retaining United States military veterans to their workforce. For a number of reasons, veterans have proven to be cornerstone employees who provide consistency as the company grows around them. Their depth of skills, efficiency, ideas, teamwork and dedication enhance and focus a workplace culture. They are able to draw on their training and experience to envision both broad and tactical ideas, processes and procedures that are key to growth initiatives. Functionally, the jobs they fill require extensive technical knowledge and travel experience, and veterans are well-equipped in both regards. Given their experience, the on-the-job training allows them to quickly excel as reliable contributors.
Aside from the technical know-how and experience they bring to the table, perhaps the biggest benefit of hiring veterans is the integrity that is ingrained in their character. In times where retention is especially challenging, the loyalty and passion veterans display to the company, customers and community is incomparably strong. In many ways they provide a quick and quality return on the hiring investment. Engaging with the veteran support community has proven to be Power Testâ€™s most successful mechanism to find quality candidates. As these groups continue to grow and organize, Power Test will continue working to optimize all of the offerings they provide. Wisconsin has a relatively new Veterans Chamber of Commerce that is becoming an increasingly valuable resource through which the community learns and exchanges best practices. It
provides networks to potential candidates and extensive instructional resources for the recruitment and education of veterans and non-veterans alike. Additionally, established national networks and recruiting firms have given Power Test considerable confidence in the hiring process. Recently, Power Test has worked with Absolutely American, Inc., a veteran-owned firm that mirrors the characteristics of the candidates we seek. Hire Heroes USA is another organization that seeks to bridge the gap between veterans and the companies that want to hire them. Organizations like this prove to be essential as they are integrally involved in training veterans looking to transition to the civilian workforce. Power Test has also found significant value in veteran job fairs throughout the state of Wisconsin. The time and investment
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that has gone into attending and exhibiting at these events has met expectations both in terms of quantity and quality of potential candidates. The veteran recruiting method practiced by Power Test that has exceed expectations is current military veteran employee referrals. Current employees are intimately familiar with the workplace culture and know the kind of people that are likely to excel in the available positions. That knowledge, when applied to the networks that they maintain, has yielded some of the best candidates Power Test has seen in recent years. As companies bring on additional veteran employees, this particular avenue will see compounding results with even the slightest emphasis. Power Test’s purpose is ‘We Make It Better’ for our customers, our community and each other. Our success depends on each person setting their teammates up for success. There is no better way to establish this culture in our workplace than through people who have experienced this at the highest levels. Veterans have helped raise Power Test to its current position, and will continue to be key contributors to the company’s spirit and success in the future.
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toolmaker@TDMAW.org | 13
TDMAW Signs On to Sponsor MSOE Baja SAE Team
aja SAE is a college design competition that tasks student teams from all around the world with building a small offroad vehicle. All teams are supplied with an identical engine and general rules to follow. The MSOE Baja team has been an on and off program that last competed in 2012, but this yearâ€™s senior design team has resurrected the club team to aid them in being competition ready. The senior design team has completed most design work for the braking, steering, and suspension systems and is moving forward with fabrication and testing. The club team is working on getting the vehicle competition ready; looking at paneling, safety, and drivetrain performance. The team is registered to partake in the Baja SAE competition in Pittsburg, Kansas from May 17th â€“ 20th.
The competition itself consists of five dynamic events and grades teams not only on how well they perform during the event, but on the design, build, and record keeping aspects as well. The events themselves are an acceleration event which tests the cars weight more than anything due to a universal engine. There are also sled pull, maneuverability, and suspension events. Then to cap the competition off there is a four-hour endurance race. Overall the competition tests every aspect of the vehicle, especially the suspension. The suspension event is a mystery event in which the competition organizers set up a treacherous obstacle course in hopes of destroying a multitude of vehicles.
14 | TDMAW HQ (262) 532-2440 www.TDMAW.org
Migrating to the Azure Cloud Offering Clear Benefits Article submitted by TDMAW Partner, SWICKtech
igrating to the Azure Cloud is offering clear benefits. From increased convenience, reliability, and scalability, to financial benefits, Microsoft Cloud services are a perfect fit for many organizations.
both before and after the migration, test and determine these technical requirements early in the process.
While undertaking an Azure cloud migration has clear benefits, it’s not without challenges. Developing a solid cloud migration strategy and checklist, however, will set your organization up for success. Take the following precautions in to ensure a smooth transition.
together. However, when changes are made to one environment, it can cause hiccups in another. Determine which applications are dependent on each other to function, including applications moving to the Azure Cloud Services environment and those that are not. Make sure all applications will still work together even after the migration, or search for solutions that allow them to continue working harmoniously.
1. Take Stock of Migration Needs:
Define what applications or resources need to be migrated. This will help you develop a migration plan while also identifying potential challenges to the process, like legacy applications or bandwidth requirements.
2. Research Legacy Applications:
Older applications will have more cloud migration challenges. Develop a thorough understanding of all applications and their technical requirements. Certain application aspects may need to be updated or changed to comply with the new requirements. In some cases, when the application is either very out-of-date or incompatible with the Azure Cloud Services environment, it may be faster to re-write the application to ensure compatibility. To reduce downtown,
3. Investigate Dependent Applications: Often, multiple applications work
4. Create a Migration Plan: Once you understand your technical requirements, create a cloud computing migration strategy and plan outlining target migration dates, key challenges, and personnel requirements.
Azure cloud migration is low, prepare for the worst. Before your migration, develop a response plan in case data is lost. It’s better to be prepared for the worst than to be caught off guard.
7. Test and Repeat: After the migration, test your application to ensure they’re functioning correctly. Perform regular tests after migration, since environment or in your individual application changes may cause future issues. Cloud migration challenges can slow down the process, increasing downtime and decreasing revenue. But, with a solid cloud migration checklist in hand, you can cover all your bases.
5. Notify and Train Personnel: Even a Still unsure if Azure Cloud services are successful Azure cloud migration will require downtime. Inform your team so they can prepare. Don’t forget to train any impacted personnel prior to or immediately after the migration, so the transition can remain as smooth as possible.
6. Create a Disaster Recovery Plan:
right for you? Our team of cloud computing experts have years of experience dealing with IT consulting, migration consultation and implementation, and cloud migration challenges. Contact us today to see how our team can get you started down the right path.
While the risk of losing data during an
toolmaker@TDMAW.org | 15
Tax Law Changes at a Glance Article submitted by TDMAW Red Level Sponsor, Tushaus & Associates Certified Public Accountants and Consultants
TDMAW is pleased to be able to support machine tool students with its Edward L Simeth Scholarship, funded by TDMAW Partner E. L. Simeth Company. Visit TDMAW.org to learn more about the scholarship, which is awarded to deserving students each semester.
Individual Tax Provisions ✓ The standard deduction for 2018 is $12,000 for single filers and $24,000 for joint filers.
✓ All personal exemptions are eliminated. ✓ The child tax credit increases from $1,000 to $2,000, of which $1,400 will be refundable.
✓ The deduction for state and local taxes (SALT) is limited to $10,000 annually.
Business Tax Provisions ✓ The current top corporate rate of 35% is lowered to 21%. ✓ Pass-through entities (partnerships, S corporations
and limited liability companies) can claim up to 20% deduction of earnings, subject to certain restrictions.
✓ The corporate AMT is repealed. ✓ The deduction for business-related entertainment is repealed.
Daniel Zdroik 16 | TDMAW HQ (262) 532-2440 www.TDMAW.org
Okay to limit holiday pay to specific employee class? We are in the construction industry. Can hourly clerical personnel be paid holiday pay when the hourly yard and field employees are not? Strictly speaking there is no federal or state employment law that prohibits an employer from offering paid holiday benefits to clerical office staff and not to yard or field workers. Indeed, notwithstanding any statutory obligations related to health insurance, employers are generally free to determine which categories of workers receive which benefits or perks, and to our knowledge employers can offer different benefits and perks to employees who work in different capacities, so long as the criteria for doing so is not unlawfully discriminatory (i.e., not based on factors such as age, race, gender, religion, or union status, etc.). Strictly speaking from an employment law standpoint, seeking to give (or actually giving) some employees (or even just one) better or preferential fringe benefits or other “perks” and not others is not per se unlawful in all cases and is in some cases permitted. To be sure, what you propose is a form of discrimination, but it would not constitute UNLAWFUL discrimination
unless the basis for offering the holiday benefits are the clerical employees’ membership in a protected class (or the exclusion of the yard/field employees from the benefit is based on their protected class status). For example, if you offered the holiday benefits to Caucasian employees, but did not for a similarly situated Hispanic employee, this could create exposure to a claim for unlawful national origin discrimination (though defensible if there is a legitimate justification). If, however, the basis for offering the proposed enhanced fringe benefits or perks is legitimate and non-discriminatory (i.e., perhaps the offer is necessary to compete in the marketplace with other clerical workers, or in some cases an offer of a particular benefit may be necessary to secure a particularly talented worker, or to reward a certain amount of tenure), then on its face such a policy does not appear to be unlawfully discriminatory (although in cases of any tenure-based perk, these should be provided to all employees who are similarly situated and have been employed at least as long, though admittedly this is not the situation you describe). Be aware that if a neutral offer of a better or more enhanced benefit to certain individuals (or just one) visits a negative
effect on a particular protected group, it, too, could be considered unlawfully discriminatory under a theory of disparate impact. In this regard, if the hourly, clerical team is a homogeneous group (i.e., female) and the hourly field/yard employees are all or primarily outside that classification (i.e., male), then there is at least potential exposure to a claim of unlawful discriminatory disparate impact, though as noted the employer may be able to defend against such a claim if there are reasonable, lawful factors other gender and legitimate business purposes supporting the employer’s policy. The best practice, of course, is to simply have uniform paid holiday policies and apply them consistently to all similarly situated employees. Even where an employer’s decision to offer better or enhanced benefits, perks, privileges, terms and conditions to one employee or a group of employees is lawful, such action could still create employee relations/morale issues if co-workers (yard/field employees) learn that they do not enjoy the same, and who may become resentful towards the clerical employees who do, and/or to the employer who allowed or offered them. Any new or revised policy should be clearly communicated in advance of its implementation. toolmaker@TDMAW.org | 17
Franklin Public Schools Commitment to Manufacturing Article submitted by Nick Kohn, Franklin Public Schools
FHS has also taken a comprehensive approach to space and equipment redesign. Since the summer of 2017, the high school has added over 1600 square feet of renovated space for design and manufacturing, as well as adding over $200,000 in new manufacturing equipment including manual lathes and mills to compliment the school’s three axis Haas vertical CNC mini mill, along with new concrete welding booths, 3D printers, and laser engravers. Future equipment needs include a programmable CNC lathe, a mini water jet, and advanced robotic arms and other artificial intelligence capable of running manufacturing equipment.
he mission of the Franklin Public School District, in Franklin Wisconsin, is to inspire personal success through learning experiences that focus on student needs and active partnerships with family and community. When it comes to manufacturing at Franklin High School, this mission serves as more than just words, it is a roadmap to success.
The development of a robust manufacturing program has become a vital part of the Franklin Public School District’s education for employment plan. By the end of the 2021-2022 school year, Franklin High School’s goal is to increase the number of students participating in a work-based experience in the manufacturing sector by 200%. Franklin’s ability to achieve this goal is dependent on a number of factors including the updating of the high school curriculum, expansion of their manufacturing space and equipment, and most importantly, strengthening their partnerships with Wisconsin manufacturers.
Franklin is off to a good start in all three areas. Current high school manufacturing coursework includes the development of a broad range of employability and technical skills on a diverse set of manual and programmable equipment and software packages. Over the last year, Franklin High School manufacturing instructor Noel Bisog has worked closely with Milwaukee Area Technical College to align manufacturing coursework with MATC curriculum, allowing students to jump into more advanced coursework after high school graduation. At the start of the 2019 school year, Franklin High School is planning to offer a new capstone manufacturing course, tentatively called “Saber Manufacturing.” This capstone course will be designed as a studentrun business, where student machinists, welders, woodworkers, engineers, and entrepreneurs regularly collaborate with community members to manufacture the parts, equipment, and products the community needs.
These advances are not limited to the high school, however. When a brand new 6th through 8th grade middle school opens in Franklin for the start of the 2019 school year, the heart of the building will include a 4,000 square foot manufacturing and engineering center with a full range of manufacturing, engineering, and robotics courses.
Franklin Students working on a 3 Axis Vertical CNC
18 | TDMAW HQ (262) 532-2440 www.TDMAW.org
While these changes provide tremendous opportunities for students, the most critical factor in the current and future success of the Franklin High School manufacturing program lies in its relationships with the community. Over the last year, the Franklin Public School District has significantly increased its partnership base through the formation of the Saber Business Alliance, an organization made up of like-minded industry, higher education, and school district personnel committed to working together to create authentic work-based learning experiences for Franklin Public School students. In tandem with these partners, Franklin High School has been able to provide some exciting opportunities for its students to engage in career-based experiences both inside and outside their school walls. Many of Franklin’s local manufacturers have joined the high school in these efforts by opening their doors to a number of youth apprentices and interns, developing the future workforce while these students are still in high school. Partnership efforts have also included local manufacturers serving as mentors to students, providing tours for students, joining one of Franklin’s planning teams, and the donation of equipment and materials to support the continued development of the manufacturing program.
experience coordinator, Rachel Fredricks at email@example.com for more information. Thank you for your
assistance with the creation of authentic, vibrant learning experiences that engage and develop the future workforce.
“Every industry partner is vital to the success of Franklin High School students. Planning for the educational and economic future of the region is more successful when schools and industries work together.”
New manual Lathes
All of these changes have provided Franklin with the necessary foundation to take its manufacturing program into the future, but there is still work to be done. Beginning this summer, Franklin High School will be forming a community partner-based manufacturing advisory subcommittee. The goal of this committee will be to continue to advise the district in its ongoing development of the manufacturing program. Every industry partner is vital to the success of Franklin High School students. Planning for the educational and economic future of the region is more successful when schools and industries work together. If you or your organization is interested in partnering with Franklin, they would love to hear from you! Please contact Franklin Public Schools community
A Franklin Manufacturing Student Working on a Bridgeport Mill
toolmaker@TDMAW.org | 19
WMC Winning for the Business Community
Article Submitted by Scott Manley, WMC Senior Vice President of Government Relations
After the 2016 elections, Republicans won historic gains in statehouses across the United States. Wisconsin was no exception. The 2017-18 legislative session began with Republicans holding a 64-35 majority in the State Assembly, and a 20-13 majority in the State Senate. These are the largest GOP majorities in the past fifty years. Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) was optimistic heading into the legislative cycle because it had all the makings for an historic session of progrowth reforms. As President Trump would say, it set up to be so successful that we might get tired of winning.
And that’s exactly what happened. Dozens of consequential bills passed the legislature and were signed into law by the Governor. The list of victories is too numerous to mention, but some of the highlights of the now-concluded legislative session are listed below.
Regulatory Reform Wisconsin became the first state in the nation to prevent bureaucratic agencies from implementing new regulations that will cost more than $10 million statewide unless both houses of the legislature vote to approve the new regulations.
Mining Moratorium Repeal The knee-jerk moratorium against metallic mining that was enacted nearly twenty years ago was repealed, allowing companies to pursue permits to conduct environmentally sound mining. If a project is approved, this will bring wellpaying jobs to Northern Wisconsin where they are desperately needed.
Repeal of the State Property Tax The state forestry tax portion of property tax bills was eliminated last year, saving Wisconsinites about $180 million on their property tax bills.
Wisconsin history. The enabling legislation offers “pay-as-you-grow” tax incentives that tie assistance directly to investment and job growth.
Employment Regulation Preemption Wisconsin will now have clear, consistent and uniform employment regulations as local governments have been preempted from enacting their own boutique standards. The bill also prohibits municipalities from forcing businesses to give up their right to resist unionization of their workforce as a condition of receiving government approvals and permits.
Workforce Skills Training A total of $20 million in additional funding has been allocated to support the upskilling of workers through our technical colleges and universities. A new pilot program to allow middle school children to participate in youth apprenticeships was also created.
Repeal of the State AMT Significant progress was made two years ago to scale back the state Alternative Minimum Tax. Effective this year, Wisconsin has completely repealed this misguided tax that punishes success.
Personal Property Tax Exemption for Machinery Although we had hoped to completely repeal the state tax on personal property, the recently enacted exemption for machinery, tools and patterns is a great first step in the right direction. The new exemption will save businesses an estimated $74 million each year.
Foxconn Wisconsin landed the largest direct foreign investment in U.S. history, and the largest economic development project in
Welfare Reform Able-bodied adults will now be required to work or attend training for at least thirty hours per week to be eligible for welfare benefits. In addition, drug screening and treatment will be required for certain public assistance benefits. These reforms will help address the worker shortage by getting people off the sidelines and back into the workforce.
Tort Reform The legislature enacted a package of tort reforms that change our class action and civil discovery laws to reduce the growing transactional costs of civil litigation. The new law also places common sense disclosure requirements on third-parties who bankroll lawsuits, and imposes badly-needed limitations on third-party
20 | TDMAW HQ (262) 532-2440 www.TDMAW.org
auditors of businesses’ unclaimed property tax liability. These reforms continue Wisconsin’s status as a national leader on civil justice reform.
Unfinished Business Remains These and many other important legislative victories are impressive by any measure. We are fortunate to have a legislature that has done so much to advance the agenda for growth and prosperity. When we look at the dysfunction of our neighbors to the south, it’s a great reminder of what a blessing it is to be on an entirely different economic and policy trajectory.
given employers this badly needed relief. It’s disappointing that the majority of lawmakers in both houses subordinated good public policy to their political relationships with the opponents of this sensible reform. Lawmakers need to make fixing this problem a top priority next session if we want our manufacturing, construction, agriculture, forestry, mining and transportation sectors to remain strong. All told, it was an excellent legislative session for the business community, and Republican lawmakers who took
principled votes on dozens of important bills deserve enormous credit. WMC will dedicate considerable effort to supporting the legislators who stood with our members on pro-growth reforms this session. We will also work hard to ensure that the right lawmakers are in place to tackle the unfinished business next session. This column was first published in the Spring 2018 issue of Wisconsin Business Voice, a quarterly publication of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce.
That said, this session also saw a few missed opportunities. For example, disagreement over transportation funding last summer caused a political stalemate that largely paralyzed the legislature for months. That lost time could have been spent on more productive endeavors. In addition, much legislative bandwidth in both houses was spent on two bills that would have allowed local property assessors to dramatically increase the tax burden on many businesses. One of those misguided bills would have allowed assessors to basically tax businesses based upon on how they choose to finance their day-to-day business operations. This is an idea so terrible that even Gov. Jim Doyle had the good sense to veto it, yet many legislative Republicans pushed the concept until the very end of the session. Fortunately, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) took a strong stand for tax fairness, and stopped these misguided bills from advancing. Another top WMC priority was (and remains) enacting a fee schedule for workers compensation medical procedures. Without a fee schedule, Wisconsin’s work comp medical costs are nearly 50 percent higher than the median state. Forty-four other states have
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toolmaker@TDMAW.org | 21
Wisconsin Workforce Board Services Wisconsin Workforce Boards help employers of all sizes recruit, hire, and train employees as your talent placement consultant. • Need an in house H/R specialist to help locate your future workforce? • Need access to underemployed or unemployed labor pool? • Need help with the administration of programs to access training resources? We do that! The 11 Workforce Boards help employers leverage the many services and financial programs that the workforce system can implement to support your business needs.
Our services include: Hiring and Recruitment
Low and no-cost Talent Development solutions help you find qualified employees through services including:
• Onsite recruitment coordination
Take advantage of custom and specialized training solutions, on-the-job training programs, Wisconsin Apprenticeship, and Wisconsin Fast Forward to ensure employee skills meet your business demands. Grants and reimbursements may be available.
• Application collection and access to screening
Access to Dislocated Workers
• Online job posting • Talent placement
• Access to pre-employment assessment tools
Labor Market Economists are ready to deliver and help you use the most current local and regional labor market and economic data. Learn about: • Local labor force data and analysis • Wage comparisons • Employment projections • County profiles
When mass layoff occurs in your regions, the workforce boards can help you access the dislocated talent pool. These workers will have access to training resources necessary for reemployment at their new employer.
Qualify for hiring incentives and tax credits that can reimburse your organization for training costs or creating access to employment for specific groups.
Grow your business today.
The Wisconsin Workforce Boards will work with you to deliver custom solutions to fit your individual business. Visit www.WWDA.org for more information.
A proud partner of the
The Wisconsin Workforce Development Boards are Equal Opportunity Employers & Service Providers. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. All voice telephone numbers may be reached by persons using TTY/TDD equipment via the Wisconsin Relay Service at 711.
22 | TDMAW HQ (262) 532-2440 www.TDMAW.org
Wisconsin’s Workforce Development Boards Wisconsin’s Workforce Development Areas & Workforce Boards Northwest www.nwwib.com
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West Central www.wdbwcw.org
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Doug Bartz Earl Buford Laura Catherman Paul Stelter James Golembeski Rene Daniels Mari Kay-Nabozny Jon Menz Beth Sullivan Patricia Schramm Rhonda Suda
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Laura Catherman (262) 695-7880
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Anthony E. Snyder, MBA, CAE, IOM (920) 720-5600 ext. 302
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James Golembeski (920) 431-4100
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Rene Daniels (715) 204-1640
Northwest Wisconsin Workforce Investment Board
Mari Kay-Nabozny (715) 682-9141
West Central Wisconsin Workforce Development Board
Jon Menz (715) 232-1412
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Pat Schramm (608) 249-9001
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Rhonda Suda (608) 342-4220
For more information and resources, please visit www.wwda.org
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Doug Bartz (262) 697-4586
network. toolmaker@TDMAW.org | 23
Thomas Net Shares B2B Insights
Speaker Tony Uphoff, President and CEO of Thomas
hank you to Tony Uphoff, President and CEO of Thomas, for presenting at the February breakfast meeting. Meeting attendees learned how Thomas provides solutions to connect B2B buyers with industrial suppliers. These include Thomasnet.com, industryâ€™s largest Product Sourcing and Supplier Selection platform with information on over 500,000 North American suppliers and more than 6 million products. The company also provides fullservice marketing services, digital product data syndication solutions, and has built more than 5,000 websites for industrial manufacturers and distributors. Thomas delivers original content to help marketers and supply chain professionals make better decisions, through leading titles including Inbound Logistics, Industrial Equipment News (IEN), and Your Industrial Daily.
24 | TDMAW HQ (262) 532-2440 www.TDMAW.org
The Workforce Development Challenge
The March breakfast meeting featured a panel discussion about the challenge of workforce development. We all share it: The task of navigating the changing world of employee recruitment and retention. The expert panel included: Dawn Schicker, Vice Chair of WOW Workforce Development Board, who
discussed understanding the multigenerational workforce. Instead of thinking of the different generations as TEAM Baby Boomer and TEAM Millennial, and working against each other, employers should capitalize on the valuable blend of experience, wisdom, creativity and new ideas that a multi-generational workforce brings. Corry Joe Biddle, Vice President of Community Affairs at Metro Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) and Executive Director of FUEL Milwaukee. Corry Joe discussed Generation Z: The workforces’ next wave of young talent. She says employers should be prepared to offer Generation Z competitive compensation packages, while providing clear career paths, development and coaching, and opportunities to innovate procedures, products and company culture. While TDMAW members aren’t interested in creating ping-pong ball lounges and providing bean bag chairs
for their employees, the panel suggests they can still create a specific culture for employees and communicate it during the interview. Something like, “we consider ourselves a family, with everyone having important contributions to make”. Generation Z wants to feel like a part of something! Brian Doudna, Executive Director of Wisconsin Workforce Development Association. Brian discussed engaging your local workforce development boards. Brian encourages businesses to communicate their growth strategy and share their mission critical jobs and related salary offerings with their economic development or workforce development board. Each local workforce board has developed a plan to advance skill development efforts in their region. TDMAW offers a special thank you to Laura Catherman, President of WOW Workforce Development Board, who acted as our emcee.
toolmaker@TDMAW.org | 25
Building Skills. Building Confidence. Building The Future.
Article submitted by: WOW Workforce Development, Inc. Operations Manager, Cindy Simons
ttracting, training, and retaining talent is one, if not, the most important activities businesses do in today’s tight labor market. If you have positions with high turnover, an aging but skilled workforce, or are struggling to keep up with industry changes, you may want to consider apprenticeship as your solution. You will see the impact where it matters the most… in your bottom line with higher productivity, lower turnover, less recruitment costs, and increased workplace safety.
The Registered Apprenticeship model allows businesses to take charge of building their own pipeline of highly-skilled and highly-motivated workers. Apprenticeship offers a flexible training solution aligned with national industry standards and your company-specific standards. You get the benefit of a wellskilled, well-rounded worker ready for a professional career in your company.
Opportunities. In 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor awarded a $5 million American Apprenticeship Initiative Grant to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards entitled: Wisconsin Apprenticeship Growth and Enhancement Strategies (WAGE$). Building on national support to expand apprenticeships, the WAGE$ project covers a 5 year period from October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2020 with key goals in the following areas: • implement registered apprenticeships in 3 sectors: Advanced Manufacturing, Health Care, and Information Technology; • cover 12 occupations in the industries listed above; and • train 1,000 new apprentices. Specific to Advanced Manufacturing, there are 4 existing or new apprenticeship programs: • Welder Fabricator or Welding Robotics (expansion of existing program) •Industrial Manufacturing Technician (expansion of existing program) • Maintenance Technician (expansion of existing program) • Mechatronics (new program)
Not just for skilled trades. Additionally, apprenticeship is not just for skilled trades. Manufacturers with small to mid-size information technology (IT) related departments or positions are encouraged to consider apprenticeship programs for: • IT Help Desk; • Data Analyst; and • Software Developer.
Design a program that works for you. Apprenticeship can be customized to meet the needs of every business. Train new workers or upgrade the skills of your current workforce. As employees retire or are promoted, you’ll be creating career paths for the next generation of skilled workers.
Ready to Get Started? Submit your name, organization name, phone number, email address, and apprenticeship program you are interested in learning more about to firstname.lastname@example.org. A WOW Workforce Development, Inc. representative will contact you with further details.
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Blue Level Sponsors Alro Specialty Metals Inside Sales | (800) 365-4140 www.alro.com Bell-Well Sales Co. Tom Schoenecker | (262) 781-3670 www.bellwellsales.com Cincinnati Tool Steel Co. Ronald Cincinnati | (800) 435-0717 www.cintool.com
von Briesen & Roper, S. C. Marcus Loden | (608) 661-3962 www.vonbriesen.com
White Level Sponsors United Milwaukee Scrap | Schulz's Recycling Midwest Forman Recycling Nick Schrubbe | Jolene Draxler | Sue Czarniak (414) 698-0765 | (715) 536-7141 | (414) 351-5990 www.umswi.com | www.schulzs.com www.midwestformanrecycling.com
Citizens Bank John Schmitz I (262) 548-0208 www.citizenbank.com Fox Valley Metrology Kit Krabel | (920) 426-5894 www.foxvalleymetrology.com Huntington Bank Kyle Haug | (262) 703-3726 www.huntingtonbank.com Lindner & Marsack, S.C. Sally Piefer, (414) 273-3910, www.lindner-marsack.com
Morris Midwest Eric Grob | (414) 586-0450 www.morrismidwest.com
toolmaker@TDMAW.org | 27
W175 N11117 Stonewood Drive Suite 104 Germantown, WI 53022
Join TDMAW members, partners and sponsors for a presentation by TDMAW Sponsor,
ATTORNEY MARC LODEN OF VON BRIESEN & ROPER, S.C. Succession Planning Dinner Meeting
TUESDAY, MAY 8
The Delaﬁeld Brewhaus 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM Marc’s presentation will cover: business valuation, structuring and documenting a business sale, buy-sell agreements and personal planning. Sponsored by:
Visit TDMAW.org/Programs to register TODAY!