Peyton Betts started a high-wage career as a welder only weeks after graduating high school, all thanks to dual credit opportunities at NWTC's Northwoods Academy.
Samuel Pressure Vessel Group named 2022 Soar Higher Partner
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College’s (NWTC’s) Soar Higher Partner award is an annual recognition honoring an industry partner championing technical education, giving back to the community, and living the College’s values. Samuel Pressure Vessel Group (SPVG) does all of that and more. As a long-time partner of NWTC, they continuously contract with the College for workforce training and education; sponsor summer camps, community events, and high school student development; and serve as a role model for businesses living the values that drive NWTC’s work. We are proud to honor their commitment to the region and higher education by recognizing them as our 2022 Soar Higher Partner.
Promoting Life-long learning and championing technical education
One of the College’s goals is to provide more pathways to higher education in our region. Getting hands-on experience in a career before graduating high school is a rare occurrence for many teens, but at SPVG, it’s a reality. Through a collaboration with local high schools and NWTC, SPVG hires a handful of students to work part-time at their facility and covers the cost for them to enroll in college credentials related to their work. This innovative and collaborative process allows young adults to explore opportunities before graduating and gives them a jump-start to gaining the skills necessary for a successful career.
In addition to creating pathways into skilled careers and higher education for high school students, Samuel Pressure Vessel Group regularly invests in its workforce. Five years ago, SPVG applied for its first Workforce Advancement Training (WAT) grant through the Wisconsin Technical College System, partnering with NWTC to train welders. Now, because of that training and continuous improvement in the onboarding process, their conversion rate for welder advancement has more than doubled!
“We have a close working relationship with NWTC. Setting up training is flexible and seamless, and the level of integration and commitment is beyond anything we could have imagined. Our partnership demonstrates the value of education and continuous improvement to our employees and community,” said Mark Callow, operations manager at SPVG.
SPVG also started leadership development training and interview training through NWTC’s Corporate Training and Economic Development (CTED) department, to ensure that their mid- and upper-level management have the skills to recruit and retain top talent in today’s rapidly changing work environment. SPVG also sends employees to the NWTC Marinette campus to take classes, rounding out their skills and abilities.
“Good leadership is crucial to success and investing in our workforce and providing mentorship to new employees is always a good investment,” said Callow.
Giving back to the community and living the College’s values
Employees describe SVPG as having a “family-like feel,” even though it is part of a large multinational corporation, and they take their responsibility to the community seriously. They sponsor local events and fundraisers like the Marinette Booster Club golf outing and youth summer camps, assisted in the purchase of a golf cart for Marinette High School students to use as a means of transportation on campus for those with transportation issues, and use their welding and manufacturing abilities to create unique metal fire rings for hundreds of auctions, events, and prizes throughout the Marinette, Menominee, and Peshtigo areas.
“Employers break down barriers for their community through involvement and engagement. We want to remove the competitor mentality and focus on how we can be good neighbors, good corporate partners, and help our community grow together with our fellow businesses,” said Callow.
SPVG believes in being part of the community, not just in it, and it shows in its commitment to uplifting both its workforce and region.
Part of the NWTC’s mission is to provide ‘education, training, and life-long learning opportunities for all individuals and businesses leading to the development of a skilled and culturally inclusive workforce.’ Not only is SPVG committed to promoting life-long learning and training, but they also recognize the value of creating a workplace that fosters inclusion. Recently, they started a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee to increase their focus on belonging in the workplace, and we are proud to share such an important core value.
For all these reasons and more, we are proud to name them our 2022 Soar Higher Partner.
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The Soar Higher Partner award recognizes a business that is championing technical education, promoting the College, and living NWTC's values.