Skip to Main Content

Search NewsCenter

Top Stories

Focus on the Entrepreneur: Grassroots

Focus on the Entrepreneur: Grassroots

Spring 2013

Making it Work

Making machine parts for friends turned into a thriving business in just two years for one local entrepreneur, thanks to training at Fox Valley Technical College.

“To be honest, I didn’t expect this business to take off so quickly,” says Chuck Duginski, owner of Grassroots Shop Services in Neenah, a quality-focused industrial repair and machine services shop. “We’re already looking into adding more space, but we don’t want to grow faster than what we can handle.”

Grassroots Shop Services began in Duginski’s garage as a part-time hobby. “I was a machinist all my life and friends were always asking me for favors,” he recalls. “When a total stranger came to see me, the light bulb went on that this could be a full-time business.”

Before launching his new enterprise, Duginski looked into training options through the Venture Center at Fox Valley Technical College, at the insistence of his wife, Mary Beth. “I was a little intimidated at first,” he states. “However, the e-seed™ program quickly taught a hands-on, 50-year-old guy like me how to run a business. Just learning to be aware of the different tax laws, for example, has saved my company a lot of money.”

Once launched, the business quickly outgrew his garage space. Within six months of moving into a larger space, Duginski hired his first employee, and six months later, his second. “Word has spread that we’re a quality shop, and we’re now in demand,” he says. “We have a full range of Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines to handle every project. We want to be a company that keeps work in the United States rather than having it outsourced.”

Amy Pietsch, director of the Venture Center, points to Duginski as a true success story. “Chuck is a great person who had a vision, and then he took that dream and made it into a practical approach toward small business ownership,” she states. “The American economy needs more people like Chuck.”

The Venture Center is now working to encourage more entrepreneurship across the country by offering other colleges a license to provide the e-seed™ program in their areas. “More than 40 schools nationwide attended our launch last December,” Pietsch says. “Many of them are now taking the next steps in a train-the-trainer model to successfully implement the program.”

Duginski is also working with Pietsch to promote e-seed™. “In the future, I plan to go back to Fox Valley Technical College to attend some seminars and possibly receive more training,” he says. “I would do it now, but frankly, I just don’t have the time!”

E-seed™: Growing Entrepreneurs

Developed by Fox Valley Technical College, e-seed™ is a signature entrepreneur training program offered through the Venture Center. This hub of entrepreneurial activity has:

  • Launched more than 300 businesses, in industries like renewable energies, restaurants, organic clothing, eye care, home health care, retail, manufacturing, shipping and distribution, and many more.

  • Created a national training model that is being offered by other higher education institutions.

FVTC President's Blog


New This Week

Student & Alumni Spotlight

Turning to Technology

Turning to Technology

Nov 4, 2016

When Carolyn Becker wanted to change careers and work with advanced technology, she looked to ...

Market Ready

Market Ready

Nov 4, 2016

Marketing program grad Jennifer Hecht finds a rewarding career promoting the Fox Cities.

Problem-Solver

Problem-Solver

Nov 4, 2016

Jake Reedy got a great job offer before he completed his Electro-Mechanical Technology degree at ...

Featured Photos

Featured Videos

Fall 2016 Focus Magazine

Read the latest issue of Focus magazine, with features highlighting students and alumni in Marketing, IT, Electro-Mechanical Technology and much more.

Upcoming Events

16 Jan 2017

19 Jan 2017

On Campus: UW-Green Bay

11 a.m. - 1 p.m. | Appleton Campus Commons

On Campus: UW-Green Bay

Thinking of transferring to UW-Green Bay?

23 Jan 2017

Calendar

«January 2017»
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
25
12/23/2016 - 1/2/2017
41011

College Closed for Winter Break

All FVTC locations will be closed for the winter break.

Read more
26
12/23/2016 - 1/2/2017
41011

College Closed for Winter Break

All FVTC locations will be closed for the winter break.

Read more
27
12/23/2016 - 1/2/2017
41011

College Closed for Winter Break

All FVTC locations will be closed for the winter break.

Read more
28
12/23/2016 - 1/2/2017
41011

College Closed for Winter Break

All FVTC locations will be closed for the winter break.

Read more
29
12/23/2016 - 1/2/2017
41011

College Closed for Winter Break

All FVTC locations will be closed for the winter break.

Read more
30
12/23/2016 - 1/2/2017
41011

College Closed for Winter Break

All FVTC locations will be closed for the winter break.

Read more
31
12/23/2016 - 1/2/2017
41011

College Closed for Winter Break

All FVTC locations will be closed for the winter break.

Read more
1
12/23/2016 - 1/2/2017
41011

College Closed for Winter Break

All FVTC locations will be closed for the winter break.

Read more
2
12/23/2016 - 1/2/2017
41011

College Closed for Winter Break

All FVTC locations will be closed for the winter break.

Read more
3
45
1/5/2017 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
56188

On Campus: UW-Green Bay

Thinking of transferring to UW-Green Bay?

Read more
67
891011
1/11/2017 12:00 PM - 6:00 PM
35640

Transportation Preview Day

Wednesday, January 11, 12-6 p.m. | Explore program options in high-demand transportation fields

Read more
121314
1516
1/16/2017 - 1/20/2017
17
18
1/16/2017 - 1/20/2017
19
20
1/16/2017 - 1/20/2017
21
22232425262728
1/28/2017 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
48847

Discovery Day

Want to visit us in person? Attend Discovery Day to experience campus life at FVTC. 

Read more
293031
1/31/2017 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
56249

Troop Talk

Troop Talk is held every other Tuesday, and will help you transition from military service to college to employment.

Read more
1
2/1/2017 11:30 AM
55872

Speaker Series: Dr. Alexis Pauline Gumbs

Wednesday, Feb. 1, 11:30 a.m. | Dr. Gumbs shares her experience as a survivor of sexual violence

Read more
2
2/2/2017 11:30 AM
55875

Speaker Series: Dr. Alexis Pauline Gumbs

Thursday, Feb. 2, 11:30 a.m. | Experience a multimedia poetic presentation about police brutality

Read more
34
2/4/2017 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
63741

Free Legal Assistance Clinic

Need help with a legal issue? Attend our free legal assistance clinic, offered by the FVTC Paralegal Student Organization. Saturday, Feb. 4, 9 a.m.-Noon

Read more

FVTC Social Media

Connect With Us banner

FVTC eConnect Newsletter Sign-up








CAPTCHA image
Enter the code shown above: