Manufacturing Matters: Gov. Walker speaks at conference on "vital industry to state of Wisconsin"

MILWAUKEE -- Governor Scott Walker spoke Thursday, February 25th at the "Manufacturing Matters" conference at the Hyatt Regency near N. Old World Third Street and Kilbourn Avenue.

The conference brought together manufacturing leaders from across the state for a day of learning, networking and collaboration.

Governor Walker spoke about how the state is continuing to integrate manufacturing classes and workshops in high schools.

Below is a statement from the Governor's Office on this event:

Governor Scott Walker spoke about the importance of the manufacturing industry in Wisconsin (Thursday) at the Manufacturing Matters! 2016 Conference, held at the Hyatt Regency in Milwaukee.  Hosted by the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP), this annual conference brings together manufacturing leaders from across the state for a day of learning, networking, and collaboration.

“Manufacturing is a vital industry to the state of Wisconsin and contributes significantly to our economy,” Governor Walker said.  “We’re happy to be here today at the annual Manufacturing Matters! conference to highlight the success of the industry as well as discuss ways we can continue to improve and grow manufacturing in our state.  As we travel throughout the state, we’ve heard from employers in high-demand industries like manufacturing that they have open positions available, but are unable to find the skilled workers they need to fill them.   That’s why we continue to invest in resources like Fab Labs, which develop our next generation of workers and equip them with the practical skills they need to succeed in the workforce.”

The theme for the Manufacturing Matters! 2016 Conference is “Taking the Lead.”  The conference highlights the various ways the manufacturing industry contributes to the state’s success and leading Wisconsin forward, including discovering and adopting technologies that create value and efficiencies, becoming faster, stronger, and more agile, reducing resource utilization and environmental impact while growing profits, and reaching new countries, industries, and markets.  Manufacturing Matters! features several break-out sessions and allows attendees to follow targeted tracks focusing on specific issues, including Workforce and Culture, Growing Your Business, C-Suite Essentials, Wisconsin Manufacturing Ecosystem, Cost and Efficiency, and Transformation and Change.  Attendees have the option to build their own agenda and follow entire tracks or pick and choose sessions from different tracks.

To strengthen Wisconsin’s manufacturing industry and aid in bridging the skills gap, 2015 Wisconsin Act 55 established a Fabrication Laboratory (Fab Lab) Grant program to support state public schools in obtaining equipment for Fab Labs.  Fab Labs originated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT’s) Center for Bits and Atoms (CBA), and have quickly been adopted by schools throughout the country to encourage hands-on, project-based science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning.  Fab Labs allow students to experience the process of making something themselves and gain experience through opportunities to learn from mentors and each other; gain knowledge about the machines and material they work with; and learn more about the design process and the engineering that goes into invention.