On Tuesday, August 28, nearly 40 teachers spent the day learning about local businesses and their employment trends, practices and needs. They were joined by several DeForest Area Chamber of Commerce members for an opening presentation by Jim Morgan, President of the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce Foundation. Morgan’s presentation, “From the Mouths of Manufacturers – A Summary of Conversations with Wisconsin Employers,” highlighted his insights from meetings with more than 300 of Wisconsin’s business leaders in manufacturing.
The day also included a panel discussion with Human Resource professionals from four local employers: Rich Duval, from EVCO Plastics; Tony Sobczak, Mousehouse Cheesehaus; Trisha Thompson, Settlers bank; and Dave Witkowski, Meriter Health. Each gave an overview of their company, and shared the most important changes or trends facing their industry and the traits/skills they look for when hiring and retaining employees. They also gave advice to teachers about helping students prepare for success in school and work. Judi Walsh, high school College/Career Transition Counselor, also gave an update on the district’s career readiness initiatives.
A good portion of the day was then spent touring local businesses. Each teacher toured three of the following: ABS Global, Firestone Building Products, Arlington Research Station, American Girl Distribution Center, Corbi Plastics, Wisconsin Laborers’ District Council, Sassy Cow, and American Family Insurance headquarters.
One teacher commented, “It gave me a better idea of what to present to students when talking about careers and what employers are looking for.”
The day was organized by the School/Community Relations office as part of the district’s summer professional development program.