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!”
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.
When Carolyn Becker wanted to change careers and work with advanced technology, she looked to ...
Marketing program grad Jennifer Hecht finds a rewarding career promoting the Fox Cities.
Jake Reedy got a great job offer before he completed his Electro-Mechanical Technology degree at ...
Read the latest issue of Focus magazine, with features highlighting students and alumni in Marketing, IT, Electro-Mechanical Technology and much more.
Thinking of transferring to Franklin University?
Wednesday, February 22, 5-7 p.m. | Explore program options in the high-demand field of engineering!
Thinking of transferring to UW-Green Bay?
Troop Talk is held every other Tuesday, and will help you transition from military service to college to employment.
Speaker Series: Dr. Alexis Pauline Gumbs
Wednesday, Feb. 1, 11:30 a.m. | Dr. Gumbs shares her experience as a survivor of sexual violence
Thursday, Feb. 2, 11:30 a.m. | Experience a multimedia poetic presentation about police brutality
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
(2/7/2017 8:30 AM - 1:20 PM)
(2/7/2017 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM)
(2/7/2017 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM)
(2/7/2017 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM)
(2/8/2017 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM)
(2/8/2017 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM)
(2/8/2017 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM)
(2/9/2017 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM)
Junior Achievement 8th Grade Technical Careers Challenge
A real-world experience that allows teams of middle school students to work with a business person to compete against one another as they manufacture or provide a service.
Cooking Demo: Asian Cuisine: Bamboo Steamer to Mouth-Watering Wok
Asian Cuisine: Bamboo Steamer to Mouth-Watering Wok | Saturday, Feb. 11, 10 a.m. - Noon
(2/14/2017 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM)
(2/14/2017 11:30 AM)
(2/15/2017 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM)
(2/15/2017 11:30 AM)
(2/16/2017 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM)
(2/21/2017 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM)
(2/21/2017 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM)
(2/22/2017 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM)
(2/22/2017 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM)
(2/23/2017 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM)
(2/23/2017 4:00 PM - 6:30 PM)
On Campus: Herzing University
Thinking of transferring to Herzing University?
Cultural Cuisine 2017
Join us Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017 for cultural hors d'oeuvres prepared by our Culinary Arts students.
Public Safety Job Fair
Wednesday, March 1, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Public Safety Training Center
Speaker Series: Tony Bednarowski
Thursday, March 2, Appleton Campus | Learn how foods we consume have a profound effect on performance, body composition and overall blood chemistry as well as state of mind
(3/4/2017 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM)
(3/4/2017 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM)
On Campus: Marian University
Thinking of transferring to Marian University?
(3/7/2017 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM)
(3/7/2017 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM)
(3/9/2017 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM)
(3/9/2017 9:00 AM)
(3/9/2017 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM)