LINKYou have to keep pushing through. It’s OK to fail. I have failed plenty. That’s how you improve. I’ve learned to embrace the things I don’t know and never ever give up,” says Nicole. “HM Manufacturing is my family. I’ll do whatever it takes to keep HM Manufacturing strong.”
President and CEO Nicole Wolter has been featured in the most recent IMTS Insider. Wolter and the HM team have been working tirelessly to ensure that their customers are served while staff stay safe and healthy. As this task may seem daunting to some, she hopes to inspire more manufacturers that are weary about the impacts that Covid-19 will have on their business and the industry as a whole. This time is ambiguous and threatens many businesses, large and small, but as manufacturers and Americans, we will continue to persevere and make the most out of this situation. To read more about what HM is doing, click on the link below.
President and CEO Nicole Wolter has recently been named to the board of directors of the National Association of Manufacturers. The NAM was founded in 1895 and is the largest industrial association in the United States. With over 14,000 members, the NAM has an incredible influence over manufacturing and trade industries and advocates for employees, company owners and corporations both large and small. HM Manufacturing is beyond excited to now be an official part of this association. We look forward to having a voice on the board that will advocate for policies that benefit all manufacturers. Both HM and Wolter are working continuously to reduce the skills gap within the industry and encourage manufacturing as a career path for younger generations, which are both common initiatives within our company and the NAM.
“Nicole commands respect as a recognized leader in our industry, and the NAM will be stronger thanks to her service on our Board of Directors,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons.
“I am honored to be a part of the NAM Board and continue to fight for policies that will ensure our continued growth and success as manufacturers,” said Wolter.
For the full press release, click here to download the PDF
President and CEO Nicole Wolter Invited to USMCA Signing
President and CEO of HM Manufacturing, Nicole Wolter, attended the recent signing of the USMCA deal in Washington, D.C. alongside the President of the United States, Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and many congressmen including Senator Ted Cruz, and Senator John Cornyn. Over the past six months, Wolter has been working with the Job Creators Network, the National Association of Manufacturers and Vice President Mike Pence to advocate for this policy. This Trade agreement with Canada and Mexico is the largest in US history and will be extremely beneficial to companies big and small throughout an array of industries, especially manufacturing. As a smaller manufacturer, policies that help reduce taxes stimulate growth and prosperity. This policy will help reduce regulatory red tape at our borders, reduce costs and make cross-border transactions more consistent and predictable. Additionally, the USMCA will provide the strongest labor and environment obligation in any US trade agreement, making them fully subject to enforcement and dispute settlement. Overall, this policy supports economic growth and stability within all industries and will continue to ensure fair trade throughout our nation. We are very proud to have our CEO represent us and manufacturers across the country by advocating for the USMCA.
Congratulations and happy work anniversary to our plant manager, Adam, who is celebrating his sixth year at HM Manufacturing! Throughout his high school career Adam participated in metals and manufacturing courses that lead him to pursue manufacturing as a career. While his peers would take study halls, Adam would be in the workshop working on his skills and soaking up knowledge from his teachers and older classmates. He competed in a multitude of precision machining competitions at the state and national level. In the Skills USA competitions and NIMS competitions, hosted by TMA (Technology and Manufacturing Association), Adam was awarded 1st place in three out of four categories he submitted.
His eagerness to learn more and create solutions to machining problems drove his passion for manufacturing. “Everything in the world has to be manufactured, it’s an imperative aspect to every industry” says Adam.
Once Adam joined the HM team, he was already skilled with manual machining, CNC Milling and Mastercam. Adam started on the CNC lathe and then transferred to running the prototype department. He studied various CNC machines at HM until he was proficient on every piece of equipment. Adam mentioned that one of his favorite things about working at HM is the opportunity to work in an environment with a great company culture and having the ability to work on interesting and challenging projects for real world solutions. Along with managing the plant and production, Adam focuses on mentoring the interns and apprentices that HM welcomes every summer. He teaches the students about different machines, and what a career in manufacturing looks like. Adam brings interns along by concentrating on their natural talents and implementing positive instruction
Congratulations to Adam on all of your hard work and dedication! We are proud of you and all your accomplishments and we’re excited to see your continued progress as an HM team member.
Nicole Wolter Featured as “Leadership in the Gear Industry” Panelist at AGMA Strategic Resources Network Event
HM Manufacturing President and CEO Nicole Wolter was invited by the American Gear Manufacturers Association to participate as a panelist at the Strategic Resources Network event in Chicago last week. The event spanned two days with a carefully curated schedule that allowed for attendees to network and grow within the gear industry. Day one included open forum discussion on industry hot topics, keynote speakers, demonstrations, and the “Leadership in the Gear Industry Panel”; day two was comprised of three guided tours of manufacturing facilities in the area.
In addition to Wolter, the panel, moderated by AGMA Committee Chairman, Ross Wegryn-Jones of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, included Cory Ooyen (President of Global Gear and Machining) and Zen Cichon (President of Innovative Rack and Gear). Each panelist spoke to common challenges and industry trends including, but not limited to, automation, the increasing impact of social media, and succession.
Widely discussed was automation and how it is changing the gear industry. Wolter, when speaking to its impact on HM Manufacturing, shared that as a custom manufacturer that changes over 10-12 times per day, with lot sizes of 1-1,000 pieces, automation does not benefit them in the way it would a company with large lot sizes. She explained that even with the advances in automation, IIOT, and robotics, the core of HM Manufacturing’s immediate future lies within investing in advanced technology, updated machining centers, and R&D. These investments produce tooling and fixtures that aid in the quick changeover system developed and utilized by HM Manufacturing. This system saves, on average, 45 minutes to one hour per set-up. In support, the company has invested over half a million dollars in new capital equipment in the last year to broaden capabilities.
HM’s social media marketing strategy is reflective of the value placed on highly skilled employees. The purpose, according to Wolter, is to establish high quality as an expected standard, and exceptional company culture as the truly distinguishing feature. “We are intentional about what is posted on social media,” says Wolter, “it isn’t just product after product. It’s people that we want to feature”. She further explains that HM employees are constantly enhancing their expertise through their diligent work and company funded certifications—which deserves to be celebrated, from the HM social media platforms to the company’s “Hall of Fame”.
As a proven industry expert, Wolter had much to contribute to the discussion of succession. She shared her perspective, recommending a mindful, realistic approach.
Growing up, Jeff didn’t have a select plan on what he wanted to pursue after high school. It wasn’t until he attended a vocational school for automotive repair that he learned about the jobs options available with degrees and certifications for machining, solid works and programming. Once he started courses at CLC, his skill set and certifications grew exponentially. Jeff is now a part of HM Manufacturing’s CAD department and specializes in design and engineering for our custom, quality power transmission components. He now has a multitude of credentials ranging from Certified Solidworks Professional in Drawing Tools to NIMS certified in Turning I and II and Interpreting Gear Inspection through the AGMA. He has mentioned how the manufacturing industry has allowed him to thrive in a career that is exciting and interesting. “I have always enjoyed learning new things and getting my hands dirty. HM is a great place to work,friendly faces and warm smiles. I enjoy the new challenge that our customers bring us from the food processing industry, aerospace, and packaging industry; to name a few. I look forward to getting more in to the tight tolerance aerospace industry.”
Jeff also added a few words of wisdom towards the younger generation, “for ones in high school who are considering a career in manufacturing, whether it is starting in a shop, or going to school, I say do it.” HM is proud to offer internships, apprenticeships and shadow opportunities to local high schools in our community. Jeff is a prime example to show students that manufacturing is a proven path for success.
Just recently Jeff has been working with AGMA and is officially certified for Basic Training for Gear Manufacturing through AGMA This course taught correct setup and rigidity to manufacture quality pieces on thegear hobber, gave an in-depth look on gear inspection charts, discussed correct gear geometry terminology and differentiated the specific processes for designed and processing parts. Congratulations Jeff on all of your hard work and dedication towards advancing your knowledge and skillset! We are proud of you and all your accomplishments and we’re excited to see you continue to excel as an HM team member.
On March 6th, 2019 HM Manufacturing President and CEO Nicole Wolter participated in the Small Business Panel at the Latino Coalition and Job Creators Network’s 2019 Legislative Summit at the Park Hyatt in Washington D.C. With over 250 attendees, the Summit featured small business owners, entrepreneurs, and elected officials discussing the public policy issues key to Hispanic business owners and leaders.
As part of the Summit, Wolter joined the Small Business Panel: “Tax Cuts One Full Year Later: Effects on Small Businesses and Works” alongside Dina Rubio, owner of Don Ramon’s Restaurant, Alfredo Ortiz, President and CEO of Job Creators Network, and moderator Elaine Parker, CCO of Job Creators Network. The panel highlighted the ways small businesses were helped by the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.”
During the panel discussion, Wolter explained how the tax cuts helped HM Manufacturing remain competitive, grow product lines, and re-invest in technology. The tax cuts specifically allowed HM Manufacturing to write off the purchase of $500,000 of capital equipment, helping the company create three new positions. HM Manufacturing was also able to provide pay raises, as well as bonuses, and gave back to the local community with equipment and financial donations. Additionally, HM Manufacturing was able to expand the benefits offered to employees. “We were able to give everybody paid healthcare,“ Wolter said on the panel. “100%. None of it comes out of our employee’s paycheck.”
The headliner of the event, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, acknowledged the small business success of particularly Latina women and affirmed his administration’s commitment to unlocking the Latino community’s full potential by removing government restrictions and red tape. “Small Businesses are the engine of the American economy,” Vice President Pence stated. “That’s why we’ve been working tirelessly to help make it possible for you to invest in your workers and grow your businesses.“
Nicole Wolter was one of five attendees given the opportunity to meet privately with Vice President Pence. Dina Rubio, Alfredo Ortiz, and Elaine Parker from the small business panel, as well as Hector V. Barreto, the chairman of the Latino Coalition, were also in attendance.
Wolter looks forward to continuing her work with the Job Creators Network and the Latino Coalition to advance the interests of not just Latino-owned, but of all businesses. She will remain supportive of politicians and public policies that benefit small businesses and the economy. The Small Business Panel featuring Nicole and the entire 2019 Legislative Summit can be viewed online here.
On Thursday, February 21st, 2019, HM Manufacturing President and CEO Nicole Wolter participated in the STEP Forward: Illinois networking event. The STEP Forward: Illinois event is part of Manufacturing Institute’s larger STEP Ahead initiative, a program designed to empower women in science, technology, engineering, and production (STEP) careers.
As part of the networking event, Wolter sat on the LEAD the Next Generation panel with Samantha Chmielewski (Custom Aluminum Products) and JoAnna Simek (BDK) to discuss how manufacturing companies can help the next generation of workers realize the many benefits of pursuing a STEP career.
On the panel, Wolter highlighted the need for companies to consider what Generation Z is looking for in the workplace in an effort to attract them to careers in STEP. “While there are distinct differences between millennials and generation Z, we need to be cognizant that the next wave in our workforce is dedicated to technology, and social media and passionate about diversity” Wolter said. “This is a generation with high expectations and aspirations but they are willing to work hard for the right company and that is important knowledge to know as employers and business owners.”
According to Pew Research Center, Generation Z, or people born after 1996, already represent around 5% of the workforce and are the fastest growing portion of the workforce. Door of Clubs polled 5,000 members of Gen Z on what they were looking for from employers and the results were surprising. Unlike their older Millennial counterparts, over a third of Gen Z value mentorship as the most important benefit and nearly 40% of Gen Z valued health care as the top benefit. While many Millennials value working remotely and flexible hours, the next generation of workers finds a high degree of autonomy and work culture more important than salary and raises. The main objective for many of Gen Z is an empowering work culture.
HM Manufacturing is committed to showing Generation Z the opportunities a career in manufacturing has to offer. In fact, we find Generation Z shares many of the same values in a workplace culture that we do. We currently offer internships, including a six-week program starting with Sophomores in High School. Our company culture has always been based on being a family business and we value the one-on-one mentorship between employees and both the founder of the company and the CEO that comes with that. HM Manufacturing even offers 100% employer paid health care, one of the most important benefits to Generation Z, to our employees.
Manufacturing companies are positioned to recruit Generation Z to careers in the industry. However, if manufacturing wants to close the skills gap, companies need to work on showing the benefits of a career in manufacturing and adapt to meet the changing needs of a younger workforce.
HM Manufacturing is pleased to announce The Illinois Chamber of Commerce has elected our President and CEO Nicole Wolter to its Board of Directors. Wolter also serves on the Technology & Manufacturing Association Executive Board, McHenry High School Advisory Board, and the TMA Education Foundation Board.
The Illinois Chamber of Commerce promotes legislation and public policies designed to stimulate economic growth and improve the state’s business climate. The Illinois Chamber of Commerce also seeks to provide up to date and accurate information to its members, Illinois employers, and the public.
HM Manufacturing is committed to meeting the needs and expectations of our customers, which is why we have completed the International Organization for Standardization 9001:2015 Certification. An independent, non-governmental international organization, ISO creates industry standards designed to provide quality, safety, and efficiency.
The ISO 9000 family of quality management system standards is designed to help organizations ensure that they meet the needs of customers and other stakeholders while meeting statutory and regulatory requirements related to a product or service.
The ISO 9001:2015 Certification helps assure our current and prospective customers that we are serious about the quality of our products. This certification addresses risk and opportunities throughout the company and shows our commitment in leadership. With ISO recognizing HM for its quality systems and processes, our customers know that they can trust us to manage their products and projects, in the same careful way they would themselves.