NWTC, Wisconsin Technical College System honor Robinson Inc. with Futuremaker Award
Robinson, a metal manufacturer based in De Pere, received the Futuremaker Partner Award from Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC) and the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) Board. The award was given to Robinson Director of Manufacturing Services Jamie Tilkens during a presentation last evening.
“Manufacturing in Northeast Wisconsin is strong because of companies like Robinson,” said NWTC President Jeff Rafn. “They truly share our commitment to building a highly skilled workforce and strong communities. At NWTC, we are proud to call Robinson our partner and pleased to celebrate the powerful impact of our collaboration.”
The Futuremaker Partner Award is presented four times a year by the WTCS Board to recognize the unique, long-standing connections between the state’s employers and local technical colleges.
“I am honored to present Robinson with the Futuremaker Partner Award,” said WTCS Board President Rodney Pasch. “Robinson supports an apprenticeship program in the local high schools, provides hands-on experience in welding, fabrication and design to secondary students, offers tuition assistance and flexible scheduling for employees attending NWTC, and funds scholarships for local college bound students.
“It is that kind of commitment to technical education and community that is indicative of the partnerships Wisconsin’s technical colleges form with business and industry. This special relationship ensures students receive the education and support needed to lead to family supporting careers with Wisconsin’s employers.”
Robinson has been a crucial partner of NWTC’s in breaking down financial barriers to education. Since 2007, the company has maintained a named scholarship through the NWTC Foundation, ensuring students in machine tool, welding, and mechanical design technology have access to the skilled technical training our workforce needs.
In 2017, Robinson took their financial commitment to education to a new level, pledging $100,000 over five years to the NWTC Foundation for student scholarships. Each year since, $20,000 has been used for direct scholarships for incoming welding students to help lessen the financial burden for a crucial trades pipeline. The company’s continued generosity and commitment to education has been commemorated with a dedicated “Robinson Inc. Welding Lab” on the Green Bay campus.
Robinson is also generous in supporting a skilled workforce. They consistently hire NWTC graduates and support current employees returning to the College for additional skilled training. Over the years, dozens of employees have returned to NWTC to continue their education in programs like supply chain management, business, and trades. NWTC graduates hold positions in various areas across the company, including machining, welding, fabrication, programming, mechanical design, estimating, accounting, and senior leadership.
“Robinson is honored to receive this nomination from Northeast Wisconsin Technical College and the recognition from the Wisconsin Technical College System Board,” said Tilkens, an NWTC alumnus. “We realize our success is supported by community partnerships such as the one with NWTC. This collaboration helps provide our team members with knowledge, skills, and development, which has enabled us to become a top ten metal manufacturer in the United States. We value our partnership with NWTC and are excited about the possibilities and continued collaboration.”
In September, NWTC received the 2023 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the largest and longest-standing DEI publication within higher education.