Bringing manufacturing jobs back to America starts with consumers, according to author Richard Roedel, who witnessed firsthand how outsourcing can cost jobs and affect the quality of products when he worked as a real estate executive. During the height of the recession, he saw his career come to an end and decided to switch gears to the health care field at age 50. He went back to school to boost his skills needed in a competitive job market.
When the economic development arm of the state of Wisconsin partnered up with two other state agencies to help Badger State businesses work on sustainability, Alan Verploegh of Mitchell Metal Products was interested.
Mitchell Metal is a Merrill, Wis.-based company that was founded in 1954 by Gordon and Arlette Mitchell, and today produces a whole range of metal forming products, including fabrication, metal stamping, welding services, zinc plating, and value-added assembly. Verploegh is a co-owner and treasurer of the company, which has done business with industries like children’s furniture, office furniture and equipment, precision metal enclosures, windows and doors, hospitals and long-term care beds, electrical power, and construction equipment, among others.
Mitchell Metal Products has always been interested in sustainability, Verploegh said, but until the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP) and the Northwest Wisconsin Manufacturing Outreach Center put together, in 2010, the Profitable Sustainability Initiative (PSI), Mitchell Metal hadn’t done a whole lot in the area. Read more