Moraine Park Presents Five Business and Industry Partnership Awards


Moraine Park Technical College awarded its first business and industry partnership awards, recognizing valued partners of 2019. The College’s Economic and Workforce Development (EWD) team has implemented five separate partnership awards to be presented each fiscal year; Excellence in Partnership, Employer of the Year, Innovation, New Partner of the Year, and Workforce Development Champion.

The Excellence in Partnership award is given to an organization involved in several areas of the college including advisory committees, Foundation donations, TechConnect, EWD contracts, and boot camp internships. The 2019 award recipient is Mayville Engineering Co. (MEC). As a longtime partner, MEC has supported its employees serving on Moraine Park advisory committees; welding fabrication, IT applications developer, and mechanical design technology. Their generous contributions to the Promise program were vital in meeting fundraising goals, ultimately helping fund tuition for students who otherwise couldn’t afford it. MEC has been utilizing TechConnect and partnering with EWD both in contracted services and as a boot camp internship site for several years. All of these reasons, and more, earned them the inaugural Excellence in Partnership award.  The College presented the award to MEC representatives Alex Crimmings, Charles Francis, and Kevin Smith, during a small, private gathering.

The Employer of the Year award is given to an employer who has made a significant investment in their staff through a partnership with Moraine Park Technical College. The 2019 award recipient is Mercury Marine, for being a valued and consistent partner with Moraine Park. Mercury Marine has partnered with the College to launch the following development programs: Basic Shop Math, CNC Machining Fundamentals, CNC Machining Level 2, Core Skills, Forklift Train the Trainer, Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing, Inspire Supervisor Series, Intro to Engine Fundamentals, Nims Review, and Dealer Training. The College presented the award virtually to Andres Gonzalez, vice president of human resources at Mercury Marine.

The Innovation Award is given to an organization that implemented an innovative solution to a workforce challenge. The 2019 award recipient is Bike Friendly West Bend, for their work and collaboration that surrounded the implementation of bike racks around the city of West Bend. The racks were created by students in the mechanical design and welding programs at Moraine Park. As a result of this project, the students gained valuable real-life experience and earned service learning hours.  As well, the City of West Bend was positively impacted and can move forward in their bike-friendly efforts. The College recognized Bike Friendly West Bend and representatives Andrew Schumacher and Jeff Puetz with a virtual recognition. 


The New Partner of the Year award is given to an organization that supports Moraine Park through contributions, sponsorships, or involvement for the first time. The 2019 award recipient is Envision Greater Fond du Lac for their collaboration and engagement in the development and delivery of the new Leading Through People and Processes (LPP) program. Envision began working with Moraine Park in the winter of 2018 to create an innovative approach to leadership development within the Fond du Lac community. Their existing program had been in direct competition with the College’s offerings, and the goal was to show the community the value of collaboration and partnership while creating a new best practice opportunity. The Leading Through People and Processes (LPP) program, launched in summer 2019, was the first training program developed and delivered collaboratively with Moraine Park. The College presented the award to Envision Fond du Lac representatives Holly Brenner, Allen Buechel, James Cleveland, Sadie Parafiniuk, and Paul Reetz at a small, private gathering.

The Workforce Development Champion award is given to an individual focused on improving the skills and retention of personnel in the region and has positively impacted workforce issues around recruitment, training, and career development. The 2019 award recipient is Harley Lemkuil from Specialty Cheese. Specialty Cheese Inc. first partnered with Moraine Park, as a boot camp internship site, in 2019. Since then, under the leadership of Lemkuil, they have created additional partnerships with the College including machining onsite training and participation in the EWD’s podcast. Lemkuil is always looking for ways to help provide resources to improve the lives of employees including a rideshare program, training in Spanish and English, and child care services. Additionally, Lemkuil is exploring having onsite English Language Learner (ELL) classes. The College recognized Harley in a virtual setting.

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*In person photos were taken prior to the statewide mandate.*

Written by Kristina Haensgen
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