Waupaca businesses recognized for partnering with schools
The Wisconsin School District Administrators Association honors Waupaca Foundry with the statewide 2021-22 Bert Grover Child Advocacy Award.
Waupaca Foundry is the only business in the state to receive this award for a significant contribution to children.
More than 420 school districts in Wisconsin can nominate individuals or businesses for the Children’s Advocacy Award. The Business Awards recognize Wisconsin’s exceptional business education partnerships in support of the larger mission of educating all children.
To receive the award, businesses must demonstrate a significant commitment to children by sharing time, talent and/or financial support.
Invest in the next generation
“We nominated Waupaca Foundry for this award because they are advocates for children. They are in our community, not only by saying how much they support our school, but by having their staff come in and be mentors to our students in our school to provide their time and talents,” said District Superintendent Ron Saari.
Waupaca Foundry has a history of investing in the next generation through scholarships, high school work co-op and apprenticeship programs, and endowments and partnerships with local schools.
“High-quality career opportunities that engage young people and their parents in manufacturing are critical to our future. Too many people have long viewed manufacturing jobs as an unpopular career path in the U.S. that benefits young people from manufacturing careers. The benefits are exciting, especially when students recognize the importance of the industry and its dynamism in the global economy,” said Kirk Kallio, Director of Human Resources.
For the 2021-22 school year, Waupaca Foundry offers 75 high school co-op and youth apprenticeship programs to students across the country to develop their skills and provide a career path into manufacturing.
“Whether it’s the time and talent of our team members, financial resources or physical equipment – we’re investing in our community. As we build strong communities and that translate into strong teams at Waupaca Foundry,” said Sara Timm, Director of Marketing for the Foundry.
On May 27th, Waupaca Foundry celebrated its 2021-22 co-students and youth apprentices at Waupaca High School.
Signing a da is an endorsement of recent graduates who plan to pursue careers in the technical industry.
Local business co-op students and young apprentices announced their future career plans at the event. High school graduates who pursue careers in the skilled trades and choose to work for local employers are also recognised.
Three Waupaca High School graduates are committed to the Waupaca Foundry, and more than 100 students will continue to work seasonally this summer before beginning their first year of graduate education.
Seniors Join Wupaca Foundry
• Caleb Mullet and Jordan Plum are graduates of Waupaca High School and will be entering the Precision Machining Technician program at Mid-State Technical College while working at the Waupaca Foundry. The apprenticeship program offers the opportunity to gain on-the-job training and earn an industry-recognized certificate while earning a full-time salary.
• Ian Walsh is a graduate of Waupaca High School and is now a full-time employee in the Waupaca Foundry Forming Department.
“Partnering with the school district is a great advantage for Waupaca Foundry and our community. Partnering with the school creates opportunities for students and develops their skills in high school, which is great for Waupaca Foundry, the district and students is beneficial,” said Rob Johnson, executive vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer of Waupaca Foundry.
• Shania Sopa is a graduate of Waupaka High School. She was awarded a $2,000 scholarship and will study nursing at Marquette University. Sopa is the daughter of Bart Sopa, an electrical maintenance technician at Waupaca Foundry.
• Vincent Nikolai is a graduate of Waupaka High School. He was awarded a $2,000 scholarship and is heading to the University of Wisconsin-Madison to study kinesiology. Nikolai is the son of Mike Nikolai, President, COO and CEO of Waupaca Foundry.
• Aryah Elm is a graduate of Wild Rose High School. She was awarded a $2,000 scholarship and is heading to the University of Alabama to study law. Elm is the daughter of mill inspector Todd Grambsch.
• Kyle Hotvedt is a graduate of Waupaka High School. He was awarded a $1,000 scholarship and will attend Fox Valley Technical College to study aeronautics and pilot training. Hotvedt is the son of Waupaca Foundry credit analyst Mary Hotvedt.
• Brock Keil is a graduate of Waupaca High School. He received a $1,000 scholarship and will attend Northeastern Wisconsin Technical College to study electrical distribution, natural gas, and utilities. Keil is the son of lab technician Matt Keil.
• Brooke Peterson is a graduate of Wupaca High School. She was awarded a $2,000 scholarship and will study accounting at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens. Peterson currently holds an accounting cooperative position at Waupaca Foundry and will continue to hold that position this summer.