WCBA promotes Baer, increases education focus

The Waukesha County Business Alliance has increased its focus on strengthening the county’s business and education partnerships.

The WCBA has promoted Mary Baer to vice president of community engagement to lead these efforts. She previously served as director of membership development but will now be responsible for identifying and developing community partnerships that will address Alliance members’ needs and drive economic growth in Waukesha County.

“The position reflects Mary’s great work in growing the Manufacturing Alliance, building our current business and education partnerships, and leading the Alliance’s outreach with nonprofits, workforce development groups, economic development organizations and other community partners,” said Suzanne Kelley, president of the Alliance.

Baer recently helped launch the Waukesha MADE Action Committee, a group that works to facilitate communication between the manufacturing community and the school district. It is chaired by Nick Kroll, president and chief executive officer of Aries Industries, and members include representatives from DUECO Inc., Husco International, Hydro-Thermal Corp., MetalTek International and Weldall. Waukesha’s three high schools, Waukesha School District Superintendent Todd Gray, the Waukesha Career & Tech Ed Coordinator Amy Lange and several WCBA Education Policy Committee members are involved in the effort.

The Action Committee has five subcommittees: Beyond High School Nights, which exposes high school students and their parents to manufacturing careers; Manufacturing Businesses in the Classroom, which brings real world manufacturing problems into the classroom; Student-to-Student Interactions, which allows students participating in a manufacturing program to share their experiences with other students; Mentoring Connections, which connects students with manufacturing mentors; and MADE Calendar, which supplements school calendars with manufacturing opportunities.

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