Artwork for podcast The Manufacturers' Network
Revolutionizing Manufacturing: A Vision for Change with Ann Franz
Episode 3327th May 2024 • The Manufacturers' Network • Lisa Ryan
00:00:00 00:29:01

Share Episode


Connect with Ann Franz:

In this episode of the Manufacturers Network Podcast, host Lisa Ryan welcomes guest Ann Franz, the executive director of the Northeast Wisconsin Manufacturing Alliance. Ann has been instrumental in spearheading initiatives to promote and elevate the manufacturing sector in Northeast Wisconsin since 2006.

Key themes:

1. Importance of Changing the Image of Manufacturing: Ann shares how she and her team work tirelessly to change the negative perception of the manufacturing industry, ensuring that younger generations are aware of the clean, bright, and innovative nature of modern manufacturing facilities.

2. Collaborating with Educational Institutions: Ann describes the challenges and successes of building relationships with educational systems to expose students to the world of manufacturing. She shares initiatives like the Get Real Math program to demonstrate the real-world applications of math in manufacturing.

3. Addressing Industry Challenges: Ann discusses the need for a skilled workforce in manufacturing and describes the efforts made to address this, such as investing in technology and productivity gains through Industry 4.0 initiatives. Additionally, she highlights the importance of soft skills and employability skill training for students.

Lessons Learned:

- Engaging industry leaders is key to driving change in the manufacturing sector, and it's essential to have individuals dedicated to implementing the vision and ideas generated by industry stakeholders.

- Starting small and executing 1-2 initiatives masterfully can lead to further stakeholder excitement and engagement.

Fun Facts:

- Ann Franz's journey in promoting manufacturing began with her first job as a receptionist in a manufacturing company during high school.

- The Northeast Wisconsin Manufacturing Alliance has given over half a million dollars in college scholarships and has seen significant enrollment increases in manufacturing-related programs in educational institutions.

Ann Franz's dedication to promoting manufacturing in Northeast Wisconsin has led to tangible changes in perceptions, growth in educational programs, and increased engagement from industry players. Through her collaborative efforts with academic institutions and industry leaders, she continues to drive positive change in the manufacturing sector.

For more insights into advancing the manufacturing industry and promoting partnerships between industry and education, visit the Northeast Wisconsin Manufacturing Alliance's website or contact Ann Franz at

Tune in to the Manufacturers Network Podcast for more inspiring stories and valuable insights from industry leaders.




More from YouTube