Model Partnership with Miller Electric Highlighted

| By: Britten, Casey

The Fox Valley Technical College Board of Trustees recognized Miller Electric Mfg. Co. with a 2015 Community Partnership award during its March meeting.

Anchored by the strong leadership of Miller’s retiring president, Mike Weller, and a 30-year collaboration between the industry leader and FVTC, leaders from the two entities reflected on their work together during the award presentation. Their business/education partnership has emerged as a national model for advancing critical economic development needs.

The contributions of Miller and its parent company, Illinois Tool Works, to FVTC are numerous. They include nearly $1 million since 2011 in consigned or donated equipment to enable students to train on state-of-the-art welding and metal fabrication technologies at the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center in Oshkosh, with the latest additions there coming in the form of robotics. Moreover, the company has provided scholarships for summer camps and supported the FVTC Foundation’s golf outings. Miller’s commitment to the college has also been evident through many of its employees serving on FVTC advisory committees, and the company’s advocacy efforts during the college’s successful 2012 public referendum were second to none.

FVTC’s Business & Industry Services division has worked with Miller in a number of contract training capacities over the years to help build its workforce with skills that align with the company’s operations. Miller employs many FVTC graduates in careers ranging from advanced manufacturing to business to office support and more.

At the award presentation, Weller echoed what he stated during the 2012 public referendum, “We work with organizations around the country, and we don’t see partnerships like this anywhere else.”

Miller Electric Mfg. Co., with headquarters in Appleton, Wisconsin, manufactures arc welding and cutting equipment designed for manufacturing, fabrication, construction, aviation, motorsports, education, agriculture, and marine applications.

FVTC’s Community Partnership award is a new recognition program designed to highlight the value of collaborative relationships as they relate to helping provide a better quality of life in the region.

The celebration of Miller’s Community Partnership award included (left to right): Mike Weller, president, North American Welding for Miller Electric Mfg. Co. and Illinois Tool Works; Stephen Kohler, president of the FVTC Board of Trustees; Becky Tuchscherer, group president, Miller; Craig Treichel, human resources director, Miller; and Dr. Susan May, president of FVTC.