Career & College Readiness Activities Around the Region


SPHS Manufacturing Academy Students Take Career Tour of Area Businesses

Kurt Hildebrandt
Jul 9 2019 2:43 PM

Students are briefed on the skills necessary to work for a manufacturing company.
SPHS tech ed instructor Michael Reeser (middle) and Brian Mayo, one of the owners of APT, CNC Inc., talk to Manufacturing Academy students about some of the skills needed to work at the company. 

Saint Peter High School students, who participated in the school’s Saints Manufacturing Academy classes, took advantage of a summer experience activity to tour three area businesses on June 19 to learn more about job opportunities and careers in those fields.

The students were accompanied by Michael Reeser, SPHS industrial technology teacher; Mandy Quist, SPHS College and Career Readiness Coordinator; and Corrie Odland, Workforce Development Coordinator for SPHS, Tri-City United and Le Sueur-Henderson high schools.

The students began their day with a tour of APT, CNC, Inc. located in Kasota and owned by Brian and Maegan Mayo, both SPHS alums. APT, CNC Inc. offers precision machining services to meet its customers' needs including CNC (computer numerical control) milling and turning, along with welding and access to outside process' such as laser cutting and hardening. 

Brian Mayo gave the students a tour of APT, CNC Incorporated’s facility and spoke with the group on the various equipment/machines that his employees use in the day-to-day operations and what skills and training are needed to work at his company.

The second stop of the day was at Kibble Equipment’s Mankato facility, which is a full-service John Deere dealership. Students there met with Scott Brockman the Mankato store manager for Kibble’s Mankato and Minnesota Lake facilities, Bill Phelps parts manager, and Dave Hurn service manager.

Brockman provided students with a broad overview of Kibble Equipment, which operates stores in 22 locations in Minnesota, South Dakota, and Iowa, and specifically talked about the Mankato location. Phelps and Hurn also talked to the students about careers with the company and, along with Brockman, talked about the training students need to work for Kibble as well as the company’s tuition reimbursement programs that are available.

The visit to Kibble also included a short tour of their Mankato facility, including the service and parts area.

The last stop was at Winco, a generator manufacturing company located in a 200,000-square foot facility in Le Center.  Shane Willams, Operations Manager, gave the group a tour showcasing the various generators that Winco builds and sells. 

Winco is unique in that they work with their customers and build the generators from metal up. Generator sales consist of portable everyday models to large generators that can provide power to large manufacturing companies.

A few highlights included viewing the sales area, walk through of step-by-step design and build: including material laser and cutting, welding, assembly, finishing with powder coating/painting, and inspection. Employees are cross trained, including lean and Six Sigma, to ensure efficiency, quality and cost-effective production for their customers.