Category: Wyoming Machine News
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!
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
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!
“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.
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!
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:
On October 26, we received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Women Business Owners. While we’re honored to have received this, we humbly share this award with you, our employees, customers and vendors. The award acknowledges our success in business and we attribute that success to all of you. Continue reading “Tapani Sisters, Co-Presidents of Wyoming Machine Inc., Share Their Lifetime Achievement Award from NAWBO”
Kent Hering and his wife, Betsy, have come a long way since their first camping trip in 1976 where they discovered they couldn’t start a fire. Years later, Kent is owner and founder of Littlbug Enterprises, producer of light-weight, stainless steel camp stoves. They require no maintenance kit, spare parts, wind screens or heat exchangers. Best of all, the stove can be rolled up in a sleeping pad instead of taking up space in a pack. Continue reading “Hot Idea: Wyoming Machine Works with Entrepreneur to Create Award Winning Camp Stove”
Lori and Traci Tapani, sisters and Co‐Presidents of Wyoming Machine, love volunteering for STEM‐related causes. http://bit.ly/1hanZrL They serve on regional, state and national boards. Locally, they’ve assisted Pine Technical College—from curriculum development to speaking at their commencement. The sisters also lend a hand to middle school STEM events and camps. Continue reading “From Seeds to a State Model: How a High School’s STEM Program Became a State Inspiration”
The surprise about WMI’s recent tour for nine Metro Deaf School high school students and three staff was that the event was as rewarding for employees, and owners, sisters Traci and Lori Tapani, as it was for students. Continue reading “Tour for Deaf Students Inspires Students and Wyoming Machine”