When Trend-Watching Pays Off:  meet Ann Franz

Jim Golembeski, Envision Board Member

It was 2006 when Paul Rauscher met Ann Franz. Ann had recently started as Business Liaison for Bay Area Workforce Development Board (WDB), and  Paul owned EMT International, a manufacturer of large, high-speed printers in Green Bay. Watching trends in manufacturing, Paul had observed:

  • An aging manufacturing workforce in one of the most heavily concentrated manufacturing regions in the country
  • A public image of manufacturing as dirty, dumb, dead-end, and headed for China
  • A K-12 and university education system that actively promoted four-year university degrees and discouraged training in the skilled trades
  • An economic opportunity to build on regional strength and experience