Baraboo Sauk County hosts Engineering and Manufacturing Action Workshop with area industry leaders

More than 35 industry and academic leaders from greater Sauk County gathered at UW-Platteville Baraboo Sauk County for the second in a series of group meetings to target and expand the role of the campus with the area’s engineering enterprises. Organized by Acting Dean of UW-Platteville’s College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science Dr. Phillip J. Parker, the ongoing series of discussion and action sessions will forge a stronger partnership among engineering businesses in and around Sauk County and the many decades of engineering education strength that UW-Platteville brings to the area. 

Attendees participated in guided brainstorming on different topics, with a shared focus on choosing a decisive set of actions to “build a campus that meets the workforce needs of the region,” according to the charge from Parker.  

Groups of seven to 10 participants each discussed professional skills, an internship pipeline, K-12 outreach and financial incentives for students, with each group assembling a specific list of projects and the concurrent available, and missing, assets needed to deliver them. Then, the groups continued work to further refine a clear objective with an action plan to focus on getting a single priority ready to implement. 

“I love brainstorming,” said Parker. “The best brainstorms are followed by dynamic and thoughtful decisions and tasks.” 

UW-Platteville Chancellor Dr. Tammy K. Evetovich and Interim Provost Dr. Wayne Weber welcomed the group, offering thanks for everyone’s commitment and effort, and pledged to continue listening intently to what comes out of the sessions. 

“The work from this group is gaining momentum, and as a regional leader in STEM, UW-Platteville is committed to extending the reach of our academic programs through the Baraboo Sauk County campus to meet the area’s needs,” said Chancellor Evetovich. 

Associate Professor of Industrial Studies Eric Rimel was very pleased with the effort of his group, focused on professional skills. Rimel said the extensive plastics and materials industry in Sauk County is an expanded source for internships and other projects for his students. 

“There is some work students do in Platteville that is very scalable to the Baraboo campus and to Sauk County industries,” he said.    

Individual groups pledged to convene and communicate in the coming months to continue their work, and Parker pledged to hold another session for the larger group in the spring. 

“I heard great things coming out of these discussions,” said Parker. “I’m excited for what we can all accomplish together.”