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.
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)
As programs ensue to showcase manufacturing careers to middle and high school students, the question remains, “How do you get kids who know nothing about manufacturing to be interested in simply checking it out?” Continue reading “The Secret to Inspiring a New Generation of Manufacturers: Amber Carlson”
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”
Remember Robert Bjoraker—the husband and proud father whose family was homeless at one point? Wyoming Machine Inc. hired him as a part-time custodian three years ago. But Traci and Lori Tapani believe in employee growth, training and promoting from within. In fact, they’re now national leaders for that practice. As a result, Robert has advanced to the highly technical position of laser cutter. Continue reading “From Homeless to Happy: Robert Bjoraker’s Ascent at Wyoming Machine”
Congratulations to the 130 women who today received the prestigious annual Women in Manufacturing STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Award, a national program of The Manufacturing Institute. The award honors women showing excellence and leadership in manufacturing. Honorees represent all levels from the factory-floor to the C suite. Continue reading “Congratulations 2016 STEP Award Recipients”
Gallup: “Companies cannot afford to ignore 50% of the potential workforce
and expect to be competitive in the global economy.”
If you’re in manufacturing, you know all about the worker shortage and how much it’s costing your company. Continue reading “Worker Shortage Woes? Hire women. Here’s Why and How”