Wyoming Machine Co-President Traci Tapani appointed to Young Women’s Initiative Executive Council by Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan

 By Press Release Courtesy of Governor Walz Press Secretary Teddy Tschann

[ST. PAUL, MN] – Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan today announced appointments to the Executive Council for the Young Women’s Initiative and the Young Women’s Cabinet. Wyoming Machine Co-President, Traci Tapani, was one of the appointees to the Young Women’s Initiative’s Executive Council.

Both bodies of leadership are part of the Young Women’s Initiative of Minnesota, a public-private systems change partnership with the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota to achieve equity in opportunities and improve the lives of young Black, Indigenous, and women of color. The Executive Council includes leaders from business, academic, non-profit, and government sectors. The Cabinet is composed of young leaders from communities across the state that experience some of the greatest disparities in opportunities and outcomes. Appointments are effective through January 2, 2023.

“It’s my honor to elevate the leadership of these extraordinary young women from communities across Minnesota,” said Governor Walz. “The best way to ensure that young women have the opportunities and resources they need to thrive is by asking them directly what we can do to improve their community. I look forward to working with the incredible leaders on both the Cabinet and Executive Council to achieve a better, more equitable Minnesota.”

“I am encouraged by the growing number of young women leaders throughout Minnesota. Now more than ever, it is essential that we continue to uplift the voices of women from diverse backgrounds,” said Lieutenant Governor Flanagan. “The Young Women’s Cabinet is a demonstration of our continued commitment to center young women in our decisions to improve the lives of all Minnesotans. Thank you to the young women who applied and shared their powerful voices, ideas, and stories with us. We are so grateful for and inspired by every one of you.”

“With the leadership of the Executive Council and the continued leadership of the Young Women’s Cabinet, Minnesota is ready for a much-needed transformation that positions young women and their families at the center of solutions,” said Gloria Perez, President & CEO of the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, and a co-chair of the Executive Council. “I look forward to partnering with the Young Women’s Cabinet and the Executive Council to activate the power of our state’s young women and achieve gender and racial equity. When young Black, Indigenous, and women of color in Minnesota thrive, all young women, families, and communities thrive.”

Young Women’s Cabinet
Aaisha Abdullahi – St. Paul, MN
Millenium Amha – St. Paul, MN
Sabrina Kubisa – Hopkins, MN
Amal Mohamed – Bloomington, MN
Amy Zhou – Minneapolis, MN
Chynna Mou – Minneapolis, MN
Trinity Hanif – Ostego, MN
Rahi Patel – Minneapolis, MN
Ashley Toledano-Solis – Bloomington, MN
Jaeden King – Onamia, MN
Mercedes Van Cleve – Prior Lake, MN
Scout Holding Eagle – Moorhead, MN
Anisa Omar – Mankato, MNH
elen Hedge – Minneapolis, MN
Deilyah Dexter – Onamia, MN
Nibraas Khan – Eagan, MN
Madison Finora – Duluth, MN
Sara Abraha – Oakdale, MN
Ella Weber – Crookston, MN

Executive Council for the Young Women’s Initiative
Lieutenant Governor Flanagan, Co-chair
Gloria Perez, Co-chair of Council, President and CEO of Women’s Foundation of Minnesota

Verna Cornelia Price, Co-chair of Council, and CEO at Power of People Consulting Group
Adriana Alejandro Osorio, Philanthropy Advisor at UNICEF USA
Ana M. Pérez de Pérez, Executive Director at discapacitados abriéndose caminos
Anita Patel, Leadership Programs Director at Bush Foundation
Annesa Cheek, President of St. Cloud Technical and Community College Cathy Chavers, Tribal Chairwoman of Bois Forte Band of Chippewa
Denise Rutherford, Sr. Vice President of 3M Corporate Affairs
Dennis Olson, Commissioner of Higher Education
Emily Larson, Mayor of Duluth
Eric Jolly, President and CEO of Saint Paul and Minnesota Foundation
Gaye Adams Massey, President and CEO of YWCA St. Paul
Houston White, H/W Men’s Room Barbershop and Northside Advocate
Irene Fernando, Hennepin County Commissioner
Joan Gabel, President of the University of Minnesota
JoMarie Morris, Non-profit Consulting and Immigration Attorney
Joyce Ester, President of Normandale Community College
Kara Carlisle, Vice President of Programs at McKnight Foundation
Kim Norton, Mayor of Rochester
Laura Bishop, Commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Lorna LaGue, President of White Earth Tribal and Community College
Maria Regan Gonzalez, Principal Sustainability Design Consultant at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
Melanie Benjamin, Chief Executive of Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe
Mitra Jalali Nelson, Saint Paul City Councilmember
Monica Meyer, Executive Director of OutFront Minnesota
Nicole Matthews, Executive Director of Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition
Padmini Udupa, Principal of Longfellow Alternative High School
Patti Tototzintle, CEO of Casa De Esperanza
Paul Pribbenow, President of Augsburg University
Phillipe Cunningham, Minneapolis City Councilmember
Rebecca Crooks-Stratton, Secretary/Treasurer of Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Representative
Rena MoranSarah Stoesz, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood North Central States
Senator Patricia Torres
RayShelley Buck, Prairie Island Tribal Council President
Steve Grove, Commissioner of the Department of Employment and Economic Development
Susan Bass Roberts, Vice President and Executive Director at Pohlad Family Foundation
Suzanne Rivera, President of Macalester College
Tish Bolger, CEO at Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys
Traci Tapani, Co-President of Wyoming Machine                                          Tuleah Palmer, President and CEO at Blandin Foundation
Wendy Nelson, Chairwoman of the Carlson Family Foundation

About the Young Women’s Initiative
The Young Women’s Initiative of Minnesota (YWI MN) is a partnership between the Governor’s Office, the Women’s Foundation, and the YWCA. The YWI MN includes a Cabinet, which is comprised of young women and gender-expansive youth aged 16-24, and an Executive Council, which is comprised of leaders from government, business, academia, philanthropy, and nonprofits.

YWI MN centers the leadership and solutions of young women of color, American Indian young women, young women from Greater Minnesota, LGBTQ+ youth, and young women with disabilities. The initiative brings together nonprofits, businesses, government, philanthropies, and young women to promote equitable systems that benefit all, grounded in the belief that when young Black, Indigenous, and women of color in Minnesota thrive, families and communities thrive.

The Young Women’s Initiative of Minnesota has reached more than 4,300 young women and their families directly across intersecting areas of economic opportunity, safety, and leadership; made community investments of $1.76 million to 58 organizations, 80% led by women of color to advance the Blueprint for Action; engaged 91 women as members of the Young Women’s Cabinet; made 78 “I Believe in You” grants, direct investments in the ideas and solutions of young women through the WFMN Innovators program; and published 10 original research reports focused on young women’s leadership and solutions, including Impacts of the Young Women’s Initiative on the State’s Labor Market. The Young Women’s Initiative’s statewide partnership and direct investments in young women are now being replicated across the nation through the National Philanthropic Collaborative of Young Women’s Initiatives.

Our Very Own Rosie the Riveter

President Trump signed The Rosie the Riveter Congressional Gold Medal Act into law last week.  The same week our family grieved the loss of our very own Rosie, great-aunt Magdalene Halladay.  The medal will be awarded collectively to the women in the US who joined the workforce during WWII in recognition of their contributions to the United States and the inspiration they have provided to ensuing generations.”  It will be displayed at the National Museum of American History in Washington DC.

In Port St. Lucie, Florida, I visited Aunt Mag at her home in March, right before COVID-19 changed the whole world.  I was the last family member to see her before she died at age 95 last week.  In addition to being a wife, mother, sister, and friend, she was also a patriot, American hero, and entrepreneur.

At the age of 20, Magdalene left her job as a secretary in Chicago and went back home to Door County, WI.  The shipyard in Sturgeon Bay put out the call for help in the war effort, and without a second thought, Mag answered it!  She was hired as a welder at a starting wage of $.25/hour. During my visit in March, she shared that she was so proud to be doing such an important job that she would have done it for free.  In total, the Sturgeon Bay shipyards produced 258 new vessels during WWII.  Mag welded the hull section of ships built for the Navy.

In 1943 Mag married a Navy sailor and moved to Boston,  where she continued her manufacturing career at Raytheon.  Other interesting facts include that she was a published poet and had a photographic memory.  Mag “found me” on Facebook about six years ago, and we talked on the phone and shared family stories.  I was intrigued by how savvy she was with social media and technology. She was a bright star on our family tree, and so worthy of a Congressional Gold Medal!

To find out more about the Rosie the Riveter Congressional Gold Medal click here.


Our Team is Glowing with Pride as Wyoming Machine Partners with Another Small Business to Fabricate Critical Parts for Hospital Ventilators

As the demand for ventilators explodes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are partnering with another local manufacturer to do our part to help.  Our customer has been producing a sub-assembly for a major international supplier of ventilators for the past 20 years, and we are part of their supply chain.  You can read an article in our local newspaper HERE

Wyoming Machine producing ventilator components
Our team appreciates knowing how their work is making a positive contribution during the COVID-19 crisis.

We’re fortunate to support so many customers in critical infrastructure industries.  As we continue working as a critical supply chain partner, we’ve made many changes to the way we work to keep our team safe.  In addition, we are attaching a special notice to parts traveling through our manufacturing process so that our team knows when they are making a direct contribution during the COVID-19 crisis.  The response has been fantastic!

Stay safe and healthy – and please contact us if we can help you with a project!

Manufacturing a Response to COVID-19 – Listen to Traci Tapani on the Skilled America Podcast

“Not all heroes wear capes, and not all heroes have four-year degrees”Rachel Unruh, Chief of External Affairs, National Skills Coalition

As skilled workers find themselves on the front lines of the national response to COVID-19, Skilled America talks to manufacturers Traci Tapani and Mike Tamasi about how their companies have adapted in the age of social distancing, how they’ve shifted production to contribute to the fight against the pandemic, and what they think about the sudden attention their essential work has brought on the industry.

Listen to Skilled America Podcast Episode 2:  Manufacturing a Response to COVID-19

Wyoming Machine Co-President is a guest on the Skilled America Podcast.  The episode discusses how manufacturers are adapting their companies to manufacture essential items to help in the COVID-19 crisis.
The National Skills Coalition produces the Skilled America Podcast.

Meet Bob – Leader of an Exceptional Team

ENGINEERING IS IN HIS DNA – Bob’s love for creating and building things started when he was very young and has continued in both his professional and personal life.  His father was an engineer at 3M and always had a machine shop in his garage or workshop.  Bob was helping his father design and machine parts before he entered his teenage years.

While in school Bob took all the shop classes that were available and was offered a machining/engineering internship at 3M in Austin, Texas after graduation.  Although he was primarily a “gopher” in his position, Bob was exposed to the design and manufacturing process – and he was hooked!  Bob earned an Associate Degree in Machine Tool Processes/Tool & Die Mold Making at Saint Paul College and went back for an additional semester to learn CNC programming.


Bob spent 17 years at a manufacturing company that built analog prepress equipment for the offset printing industry.  He was originally hired as a machinist but was quickly promoted to the machine-building/assembly area.  Bob feels that accepting this challenge is one of the best decisions he ever made because he was able to machine components AND build things!


Bob shared, “As my career progressed, I had some very good mentors that gave me advice and opportunities as a leader and a manager.  It also groomed me to serve as a mentor for other people.”  Eventually, Bob was promoted to the Manufacturing Manager position overseeing machining, welding, painting, electrical assembly, and mechanical assembly.  Production planning, inventory control, purchasing, production, customer service, quality, and shipping were added to Bob’s list of responsibilities in the final years that he held the position.


Bob joined our team at Wyoming Machine in 2009 after his previous employer dissolved in the wake of digital printing equipment replacing analog systems.  Instead of being a user of sheet metal components, Bob became a sheet metal supplier.  In 2012, Wyoming Machine combined the Estimating and Engineering departments into a unified team.  Communication is key between these two groups and having them together allows them to work closely from the start of the quoting process, through the creation of production documents, to the actual production of components.


“Manufacturing is manufacturing no matter what you are producing.  If you provide quality items and maintain great customer and vendor relationships, you can do anything.” – Bob Loder


Bob gives much credit to his team saying, “In my opinion, the team of engineers and estimators at Wyoming Machine are unmatched in the industry with their years of experience and dedication.”  With a combined total of 206 years of experience in sheet metal fabrication, Bob and his team are here to help you with your next project!



Minnesota’s GOT Talent – Minnesota Business Magazine July/August 2018

Minnesota Business Magazine July/August 2018

Finding creative ways to promote careers in manufacturing and address the shortage of skilled labor is something we’ve worked hard at for many years.  The cover story of this recent issue of Minnesota Business Magazine focuses on out-of-the-box thinking for smart hiring in a tight labor market.  Co-President Traci Tapani was interviewed for the article and she shares how we develop people within our organization using teamwork, technology, and tenacity!  (click here for the article – page 28)

Traci Tapani Testifies before a U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee



Traci Tapani to Testify Today at Congressional Hearing on the Workforce Skills Gap


Traci Tapani, Co-Owner of Wyoming Machine, Inc., based in Stacy, Minn., and national expert on workforce development and the Skills Gap, will testify at a 10:00 AM hearing today (5/9/2018) held by The Congressional Committee on Education and the Workforce. The hearing will examine the skills gap between high school graduates and skilled positions, especially in manufacturing. The Manufacturing Institute estimates that 2,000,000 manufacturing jobs will go unfilled in the next 10 years.

Traci will discuss the skilled worker shortage and the creative solutions she and sister and Co-President Lori Tapani use to find and train employees. The sisters work closely with Community and Technical Colleges, as well as high schools and even grade school children to inspire technical educations and careers in manufacturing.

The Tapani sisters’ efforts are widely recognized. Last year they won the W.O. Lawton Business Leadership Award in Washington DC, sponsored by the National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB). The annual award honors one large and one small business or organization committing time, money and leadership to enhance their community’s workforce and economy. The award also salutes the recipients’ partnership with their local Workforce Development Board.

Both Lori and Traci have also received the national STEP Award. The STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Award is given annually to honor the achievements of women in manufacturing.

The Manufacturing Institute launched the STEP Ahead initiative in 2012 to celebrate women in the manufacturing industry that are making a difference through advocacy, mentorship, engagement, promotion, and leadership. Women make up about 47 percent of the labor force, but only 27 percent of the manufacturing workforce.

Traci’s testimony begins at 35:50 on the YouTube video (link here)



Wyoming Machine Hosts U.S. Senator Tina Smith at Her First Minnesota Appearance Since Swearing-In

We started 2018 with some excitement!  On Friday, January 5th, Minnesota Senator Tina Smith chose to make her first Minnesota appearance at Wyoming Machine.  We toured our facility and then hosted a roundtable discussion about workforce with a group of community leaders.  Manufacturing offers exciting career opportunities, and the future relies on our ability to attract, develop and retain people.  Here are some links to the media coverage:

Sen. Tina Smith emphasizes workforce shortage at first Minnesota appearance since swearing-in (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

Smith’s Senate odyssey begins with sprint toward November (Washington Post)

Back in Minnesota, Smith starts Senate sprint (Minnesota Public Radio, Capitol View)