Before Christmas, some of the Quest Industrial team had the opportunity to help install a robotic cell at the New Glarus High School in Wisconsin, just a short 20 minute drive from Quest Industrial Headquarters. The New Glarus School District was one of several applicants who inquired about a robot donation from Quest Industrial. Because of the enthusiasm, drive, and passion Dr. Thayer, Superintendent of the New Glarus School District, and Mr. Mihm, the Technology Education Teacher, expressed for having this cutting edge technology, their school was chosen. They were willing to make the project happen by pulling in the resources needed to help make the donation successful. While installing the donated robotic cell, many of the teachers, including Mr. Mihm and Dr. Thayer, were so appreciative and filled with excitement because of what the robotic cell means for the current and future students of the school. Dr. Thayer, Mr. Mihm, and the New Glarus School District have a vision for where the jobs will be for the future workforce and they want to see these young adults succeed.
The team was also able to speak with several interested students about working in robotics and what type of jobs are available at a robotic integration company. They discussed, mechanical engineering – the engineers who design the End of Arm Tooling for the robots and the peripheral equipment or automation that helps the robot perform its task, robotic engineering – the engineering and thought process of writing and developing code for the robots to make sure it can do its job correctly, efficiently, and repetitively, electrical engineering – the engineers who design electrical schematics and the layout of the cables so that the cell functions properly and doesn’t blow fuses or cause electrical issues for the plant, pneumatic engineering – the engineers who design the most efficient and best air or suction layout so the tooling on the robot functions as it should, assembly engineers – the engineers who ensure the robotic cells are built correctly in a timely fashion to ensure satisfied customers, maintenance technicians – the people who are out in the field maintaining the robots or troubleshooting issues with customers if needed, and office positions such as inventory manager, accounts payable, operations manager, sales, and marketing.
The Quest team was happy that these students were interested in the robotics industry because it can be challenging to find employees who have the skills and knowledge to work with robotics. Paraphrasing the owner of Quest Industrial, Don Wickstrum, we don’t care whether or not someone has a degree in programming – sometimes even those who have graduated from a college robotics program do not fully understand how to code a robot properly. It is experience that we look for in our employees. So a student right out of high school who has experience and catches on to coding quickly, he/she will be able to be trained and that is someone who will go far in the robotics industry. The Quest Industrial team will be working with Mr. Mihm on a training program so he and the students can dive into robotic programming.
We want to thank all of our communities for their interest as well as congratulating the New Glarus High School, Dr. Thayer, and Mr. Mihm. We are excited for you all and hope that more young adults can see the value in what the school now possesses. Congratulations and we look forward to working with you!
While we have received a lot of positive feedback from the public about our donation to New Glarus High School, we feel it is important to address the question as to why the school in our hometown, of Monroe, did not receive this donation. This is plain and simple: The Monroe School district did not feel that it aligned well with what they had for current curriculum and also cited the November 8th referendum for the reasons why they declined to accept an application for the robotic cell. While we were very disappointed this was the decision, and more so since this is our hometown, we also must choose to respect their decision. It is times like these that remind us our community extends much beyond Monroe, to all of the tri-state area. We did have several high schools and tech schools apply for the donation, but after much deliberation we picked the New Glarus High School for many reasons which we discussed previously in the article. Again, thank you to everyone for the mostly positive feedback and your continued support.