Stateline Manufacturing Alliance Hosts 3rd Annual Manufacturing Signing Day

May 21, 2024


Seventeen students committed to careers in the manufacturing sector through employment and training opportunities with six employers on Tuesday at Stateline Manufacturing Alliance’s 3rd Annual Manufacturing Signing Day.

Sponsored by CCI, JP Cullen, and Blackhawk Technical College, the event honored the students chosen for various employment opportunities, including apprenticeships, internships and full-time positions.

Guest speaker John Cain, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Scot Forge, encouraged students to embrace challenging roles, as these are key to personal and professional growth, he said.

“This generation in the room today who we are celebrating is the generation that holds the future in their hands. And we couldn’t feel more confident,” Cain said.

Zea Becker, a registered apprentice at Frito-Lay, also spoke. Becker was one of the students who participated in the first SMA Manufacturing Signing Day in 2022.

“It’s not just about the work. For me, I’m the only woman in my maintenance department … to learn how to stand on my own two feet and not doubt myself and to look at my co-workers as ways to learn and grow as a person is so beneficial,” Becker said.

The students honored and their employers are:

Baker Manufacturing

  • Fredrick Klingforth, Internal Promotion

Charter Next Generation

  • Brandon Hart, Beloit Turner High School

Jones Dairy Farm

  • Jase Clapper, Fort Atkinson High School
  • Brayden Pearson, Fort Atkinson High School


  • Jayden Anderson, Albany High School
  • Brandon Bernet, Broadhead High School
  • Hunter Condon, Broadhead High School
  • Alex Heimann, Juda High School

Scot Forge

  • Wyatt Broadbent, Milton High School
  • Austin Cruz, Craig High School
  • Jack Hammond, Clinton High School
  • Brycen Harwick, Clinton High School
  • Michael Sullivan, Clinton High School
  • Asa Wam, Clinton High School

United Alloy

  • Xavier Coplien, Monroe High School
  • Caden Mallot, Broadhead High School
  • Brad Winscom, Parker High School

Each student signed a certificate and was given a hat by their new employer. Rob Hendrickson, SMA Co-Chair, Frito-Lay Technical Director and Blackhawk Technical College Board Member, and Kelly Crosby, SMA Co-Chair and Scot Forge HR Business Partner, emceed the event.

David Polk, Wisconsin’s Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards Director, also spoke at the event, applauding all of the Signing Day students for their commitment to manufacturing. He also shared some insight he gained from a book by Jeff Olson called “The Slight Edge.”

“The slight edge is based on the little things you do today,” Polk said. “You all are receiving a slight edge because you are starting your trek so, so very young, and you will have so much opportunity years from now because of what you are doing today.”

The Manufacturing Signing Day event is part of the Stateline Manufacturing Alliance’s strategy to match the skills and career interests of students with the growing need for a qualified workforce to drive economic growth in the local economy.

Established in February 2021, the SMA is the result of regional manufacturers, economic/workforce development organizations, and K-12 education providers coming together to address common challenges and opportunities.
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