Bipartisan tour of Milwaukee shop

April 07, 2014 - 07:00pm
"(From left) Wayne Matthiesen, co-owner of Matzel Manufacturing, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, Milwaukee Alderman Joe Davis and Brian Nuetzel, co-owner of Matzel. Credit: Nalani Services Inc."

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Milwaukee Alderman Joe Davis (D-2nd District) toured Milwaukee's Matzel Manufacturing Inc. Feb. 27 and discussed cross-party solutions for creating a "pro-hiring" environment for local manufacturers. Those solutions include accelerating the development of Wisconsin youth apprenticeship programs that allow young professionals to gain real-world experience. Matzel Manufacturing, which was founded in 1957 and machines complex castings and forgings, has such an apprenticeship program.

Anthony Thao, a senior at Lynde and Harry Bradley Technology and Trade School in Milwaukee, is serving an apprenticeship at Matzel and hopes to become a full-time employee after completing the apprenticeship. Thao noted he is learning a variety of skills and processes on different machines.

Johnson stated that Milwaukee-area employers and workers are coming together to create a stronger community. Davis complimented companies like Matzel for engaging younger workers and noted the senator's willingness to reach across party lines to share ideas and create solutions that benefit manufacturing.

Matzel Manufacturing Co-owners Brian Nuetzel and Wayne Matthiesen commented on the importance of city, state and federal officials actively addressing manufacturing issues. "I'm happy to see our elected officials getting to the root cause of issues that affect each and every one of us," Matthiesen said.

—Deeatra Kajfosz, freelance writer


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