The Manufacturing Business Alliance (MBA) held their second annual awards banquet Thursday, Feb. 23. The MBA is a group that focuses on promoting manufacturing careers in the greater Dodge County, Wisconsin area.

High school or college students who embrace learning about manufacturing technology is the criteria for the Youth in Manufacturing Award. This year's award was presented to Devon Prien and Max Smith. The two youths are both active in the industrial technology program at the Beaver Dam High School and are enrolled in the Apprenticeship Program in partnership with Apache Stainless Equipment Corporation. Beth Devon and Max have taken the entire industrial technology curriculum and they helped to promote the Youth Apprenticeship program to state officials as well as mentoring at the high school level. Both Devon and Max plan to pursue a career in manufacturing, starting with joining the Apache team.

The Manufacturing in Education Award goes to a teaching professional who works to engage students in manufacturing and collaborates with manufacturers about workforce needs in the Dodge County region.  Joe Kutzler, the Beaver Dam High School (BDHS) Technology & Engineering teacher, received the award. He was recognized for reviving the Youth Apprenticeship program, partnering with the MBA and collaborating with area manufacturers on their workforce needs, participating in state workforce initiatives and helping his students receive Dept. of Workforce Development certificates.

H.L. Cox with Mayville Engineering Company, received the Career in Manufacturing Award. H.L.'s career in manufacturing began much later in life. H.L. entered the workforce for the first time when he was 47 years old; he found himself in a welding boot camp. H.L. is a full time welder at MEC, a guest speak and advocate for Moraine Park manufacturing programs. He speaks with people who are at risk about his life and the opportunities in manufacturing. J.L. also continually mentors youth in Boys and Girls Clubs and is involved in MEC's mentoring program.

The Manufacturing Partnership Award was presented to Pam Korth, Human Resources Manager at Apache Stainless Equipment Corporation. This award is for a business professional that works to build bridges between manufacturing and various educational, government and community organizations. Pam has been a driving member of the MBA and immediately volunteered to take the key leadership role as chairperson of the organization. Pam has devoted many hours in meetings, tours, presentations and events. She continues to promote manufacturing, while helping Apache to be active in student manufacturing career programs, like the Youth Apprenticeship, Middle College and Welding Boot Camps.

The MBA is organized under the Beaver Dam Chamber of Commerce as an official affiliate organization. Since 2013, the MBA has been engaged in providing networking between manufacturers, business and educational institutions and works directly with the Wisconsin Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin for resources and support. MBA's activities include marketing and communication programs and public events to promote manufacturing in the greater Dodge County, Wisconsin region.