8/18/2017 – Thank you’s received

Tyler Bjorstrom, St. Cloud Technical and Community College Student received a CMMA Scholarship. Click here to read.

Mitchell Jaeckels, St. Cloud Technical and Community College Student received a CMMA Scholarship. Click here to read.

8/21/2017 – CMMA is model for state’s manufacturers, by Katherine Kersten, American Experiment

When Les Engel and a handful of other St.Cloud-area manufacturers got toegher one morning in 2008 to strategize about their “talent pipeline” problem they had no idea how many businesses would show up. “We were expecting 25 people,” says Engel, CEO of Engel Metallurgical in St. Cloud. “We got 105″……

Click here to read more

2017 – Impact, St. Cloud Technical & Community College Foundation, Spring 2017 Newsletter

Click here to read article by Sawyer K. Anderson, welding student and recipient of the Tour of Manufacturers Scholarship.

7/31/2017 – Thank you’s received

Alexander Martins, St. Cloud State University student, received a CMMA $1000 Scholarship.

I would like to begin by simply saying “thank you”. I strive everyday to be the best student I can be, and that is only made possible by the financial support that I receive from caring foundations such as yourselves…..

Scott Stellick, St. Cloud State University student, received a CMMA $1000 Scholarship.

Schooling is an opportunity many people don’t always have and sometimes that can be from financial situations. I believe that scholarships are one of the best ways to continue providing these opportunities. So I thank those who have been willing to help provide these scholarships….

6/13/2017 – CMMA Golf Social









Tim Zipoy introduced Mitch Jansky to CMMA golfers. Mitch and his Kimball High School VEX team competed in World Tournament in Kentucky in April. CMMA supports robotics programs!!


5/2017 – Thank you’s received

From Noah Anderson apprenticed at Louis Industries: I am honored to be chosen as being the first apprentice in this program. I have really appreciated the  opportunity to learn more about the manufacturing industry. From learning OSHA regulations, understanding how to read a blueprint, taking detailed measurements, and running a variety of machines, each day holds new adventures. Working with the people both on the floor and from administration also helped me grow and develop communication skills. Thank you very much for the scholarship to SCTCC. It will surely help me as I continue my schooling.


From Glencoe Silver Lake High School: Dear Supermileage Sponsor, The MTEEA Supermileage Challenge was held May 15-16, 2017 at Brainerd International Raceway. Vehicles from Minnesota, Wisconisn, NOrth Dakota, Iowa, and Canada competed in five different classes to achieve the highest fuel mileage rating over six averaged runs.

Teh GSL Supermileage Team had a great finish… read more


10/2016 – Thank you’s received



















5/2016 – The 5th grade class from Sts. Peter & Paul School in Richmond, MN, traveled to Kentucky to compete with the help of CMMA. They placed 109 out of 149!

St. Peter & Paul VEX 001








Photo MbrYear 2015 CustomCaseworks resized

CMMA 2015 Member of the Year Announced!

Congratulations to Custom Caseworks!






L to R – Les Engel, President CMMA, Nick Weis, Jared Powell and Angela Mortezaee, Custom Caseworks and Randy Pelletier, Pellco Machine



Glencoe Silver Lake School Supermileage photo 2015

2016 -Glencoe Silver Lake High School received a grant from CMMA to help build a new electric vehicle to compete in the MTEEA Supermileage Challenge. The team consists of 20 or so students involved in engineeriing, drafting, welding, small engines, math and science at Glencoe Silver Lake High School. The budget on a project like this runs about $10,000 – $15,000!






10/2015 – Custom Caseworks in Sauk Rapids hosted Becker Middle School students during Statewide Tour of Manufacturing in October.

Nick Weis and students 335 x 250









11/2015 – Storm Robotics of Sauk Rapids – Rice Public Schools says ” Our Storm Robotics team greatly appreciates your grant for our Humanoid Project! This grant will assist our team in purchasing materials for the engineering and manufacturing of our humanoid. Our team will be contacting you again later in the year to let you know how the project is going. Thanks again!”


10/2015 – Bryce Jensen says “I would like to express my deepest gratitude for selecting me as the recipient of your $1,000 CMMA Scholarship. This fall, I am continuing to pursue the following degrees in Energy & Electronics, Instrumentation & Process Control, Robotics & Automation Technology and Mechatronics at SCTCC. Read more..

Alexander Eiden says ” I would like to express my gratitude for selecting meas the recipient of the CMMA Scholarship! I appreciate your recognition of my efforts and I am excited to have the support to finish my degree at St. Cloud Technical & Community College. Read more…


2015 – Wright Technical Center thanks CMMA members for the money to print 20 posters for Wright Technical Center’s Youth Apprenticeship program. Eight students completed the youth apprenticeship program in June 2015 and they were all in the area of manufacturing/machining.


7/2015 – Thank you for the grant that will allow us to purchase a vertical mill. It will be a wonderful addition to our shop area. Board of Education, ISD 51, Foley, MN


7/2015 New CMMA Foundation Established!

Managed by CommunityGiving (formerly Central MN Community Foundation)

Earlier this year, the Central Minnesota Manufacturers Association Foundation was established to provide a means for CMMA members and friends to make CHARITABLE contributions in support of workforce development efforts in the region.   For those familiar with IRS technical terms, the new Foundation is a 501(C)3 nonprofit organization.  (CMMA itself is a 501(C)6 nonprofit, meaning contributions can be itemized as a business expense, but not as a charitable donation.)

The CMMA Foundation will make grants to provide educational opportunities for students of all ages to learn about manufacturing and become interested in manufacturing careers.   As you are likely aware, CMMA has been awarding grants of this nature since CMMA was formed in 2008.   To date, CMMA has awarded an astounding $41,000 in grants and an additional $26,000 in scholarships!  Thank you, CMMA members, for making this possible.

And yet, there’s more to be done.  K-12 schools in the region could benefit from additional financial support for everything from equipment, tooling, and material purchases to robotics team support to local manufacturing field trips.  The tide seems to be turning with regard to student/teacher/parent understanding of the high tech, high wage careers available in manufacturing today – but it’s turning slowly.

Would you like to help CMMA have a stronger impact?

If the answer is “yes” – you are encouraged to make a tax deductible donation to the new CMMA Foundation.  Donations of any amount are welcome and appreciated.  All donations will be acknowledged with a receipt for tax reporting purposes.

Instructions for making a donation

Make checks payable to Community Giving and indicate “CMMA Foundation” in the memo line.  You may include an optional cover letter outlining your donation.  Mail checks to:

Community Giving
101 South 7th Avenue
St. Cloud MN 56301

Initiate a Challenge!!

CMMA board members are in discussion about initiating a fundraising “challenge” of some kind.  As of this writing, we seek ideas and/or interested parties.  One suggestion is to offer a “Legacy Program” whereby a member who donates $X amount will be forever noted as a Legacy supporter.  Another idea is to identify a member company who would commit to $X donation upon three fellow members confirming a challenge donation.  Please call or email to express interest or share ideas regarding a challenge.

As always, you are welcome to contact a current CMMA board member or the CMMA office (800.654.5773) with any questions.

Les Engel, CMMA President
Owner, Engel Metallurgical
Central Minnesota Mfg. Association
CMMA: 800-654-5773


5/2015 Thank you CMMA for your donation of $1000 for our Robotics – Princeton Public Schools, Julia Espe, Superintendent


CMMA 2014 Manufacturer of the Year – New Flyer of America

Central Minnesota Manufacturers Association is proud to proclaim New Flyer of America as the 2014 CMMA Manufacturer of the Year. CMMA President Les Engel recently presented New Flyer representatives with this well-earned award to celebrate the company’s commitment to and support of CMMA.

New Flyer of America is a six-year member of CMMA, having joined the organization one year after it was founded in 2008. This outstanding company has added value to CMMA and the manufacturing community in many ways: Active attendance at meetings and events,  host facility tours for CMMA, youth, and more, guest speaker presentation at CMMA meetings, significant investment in innovation and technology, most recently with their Midi bus line, representation on the CMMA Board of Directors (Stan Voas), and  job creation / economic vitality in the region.

On behalf of the CMMA membership, thank you, New Flyer, for your partnership and your investment in manufacturing in Central Minnesota!

New Flyer photo resized 294x200







Les Engel, Central MN Manufacturers Association President (far right), presents the CMMA 2014 Manufacturer of the Year Award to New Flyer of America representatives (from left):  Bret Gohman, Craig Ziebol, Vern Geislinger, and Eric Jensen.



2/2015 – CMMA received a Certification of Commendation from Governor Dayton in recognition of the Association’s support of the STEM Summit hosted by SCSU.  In its sixth year, the summit allows students, parents, educators and business leaders to promote science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.  For the past three years, CMMA has provided financial support to aid in the cost of bussing area 7 to 12 grade students to the event.  Students tour exhibits and interactive displays while learning about STEM careers.

Gunnar McConnell awarded 2015 CMMA Scholarship

1/2015 At the recent Celebration of Giving Scholarship Breakfast at St. Cloud Technical & Community College, Gunnar McConnell was awarded the CMMA 2015 Scholarship.

MMA Supports SCSU’s College of Science and Engineering

Read more

Winners of CMMA Scholarship 2014

Read more


Pro Staff Partners with Dream It. Do It. MN

Pro Staff and Ware Technology Services, two staffing and recruiting firms within the Atterro Human Capital Group, proudly announce their joint donation to Dream It Do It MN and the establishment of a new partnership to encourage the pursuit of manufacturing careers throughout Minnesota.  Read entire press release.


New Greater St. Cloud Talent Portal Features Over 950 Regional Jobs

St. Cloud, MN, September 9, 2014 – The Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation (GSDC) recently launched a regional talent portal, eater St. Cloud JobSpot (www.GreaterStCloudJobSpot.com).  The portal is an outcome of one of the GSDC six strategic initiatives, “Attract, develop and retain and expand the regional talent pool.”   Read entire press release.


CMMA Receives VEX Partner of the Year Award     

The Dream !t Do !t Central Minnesota VEX Robotics Tournament, the third and final VEX competition in Minnesota for the 2013-2014 season, was held on January 24-25, 2014, at the River’s Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud. The tournament was hosted by St. Cloud Technical and Community College and led by 360° Manufacturing and Applied Engineering ATE Regional Center of Excellence. Fifty-one middle school and high school teams competed. Seven elementary school teams competed in the first Dream !t Do VEX IQ Tournament, and four college teams competed in the first Dream !t Do !T VEX U Tournament.

The Central Minnesota Manufacturers Association was recognized for their continued support of the VEX Robotics Tournaments in St. Cloud. They have supported the tournaments hosted by St. Cloud Technical and Community College since they began three years ago. Les Engel, president of the association, accepted the award.

“We appreciate Central Minnesota Manufacturers Association’s support of the Dream !t Do !t Central Minnesota VEX Robotics Tournament in St. Cloud as we continue to build the pipeline for advanced manufacturing,” says Karen White, executive director of 360° Manufacturing and Applied Engineering ATE Regional Center of Excellence.

Aaron Barker, event coordinator and energy and electronics instructor at St. Cloud Technical and Community College, agrees, “These tournaments are a fun and educational opportunity for these students. They have the opportunity to build their STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) skills while also learning about career opportunities where they can use these skills in advanced manufacturing.”


St. Cloud Technical & Community College and SCTCC Foundation name CMMA Scholarship Recipients for 2013-2014 year

Drew Cardone and Beau Maciej  have been named CMMA sponsored scholarship winners.

Read more about it.


CMMA Supports VEX Robotics…

“Thank you, CMMA, for providing financial support for the 2013 Dream !t Do !t VEX Robotics Competition. Your donation helped make this event a huge success. As you can see from the video link below, VEX Robotics is making an impact on students.  The St. Cloud event in 2012 was the first competition in Minnesota, and the event in February 2013 was the largest.  We had 32 teams sign up for our event, and with an average of 4 – 7 students on a team, we impacted over 125 kids!


Once again, thank you, and I hope for your continued support as VEX Robotics continues to grow.”


Enjoy the video!


CMMA Funding Helps Tech SkillsUSA Engineering Team Visit the White House

Three students from Tech High Schools State and National champion SkillsUSA Engineering and Design competition were nominated and chosen to visit the White House for President Obama’s Science Fair. Mr. Garceau, the team’s teacher and adviser received a call five days before the trip and with the help of many generous donors (including CMMA), funds were raised to send the team out to Washington DC.


The team designed, created, and manufactured a new product called Dolly-2-Trolly. It is a device that clamps onto a two wheel dolly and allows a person to move and maneuver trailers easily. The boys are currently working on having their product patented.  The three students are enrolled in Project Lead the Way (PLTW) courses at Tech and are planning to attend UMD next fall in the Mechanical Engineering program.


President Obama celebrated the remarkable achievements of student science fair winners and extraordinary kid innovators from across the nation in the third White House Science Fair.  The fair brought 100 students from more than 40 states to an all-day, hands-on celebration of the power and potential of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.


The boys meet the President in the White House and listened to his speech, where he honored all the STEM participants, The team also had the opportunity to visit the entire DC area seeing all the tourist attractions.


Local Students Attend FIRST Robotics Competition

“Please send a huge thank you to CMMA members on behalf of the Gearheads!   Without the ongoing support of sponsors like CMMA we would have never made it this far!  Lisa also suggested that we have CMMA try to help get the word out about our needs- thank you for helping us!”     – Joy Birr, Head coach, FIRST Robotics Team #3244


The Gearheads attended the 10,000 lakes regional FIRST Robotics competition Wednesday through Saturday.

From the MN state sanctioned sport of robotics:  St. Cloud’s F.I.R.S.T. Robotics team #3244 won their regional competition on Saturday March 30, 2013 at the U of M’s 10,000 lakes division!  Team #3244, affectionately known as the Granite City Gearheads,  placed first with the assistance of Teams 525 and 2052.  They will attend national championship competition in the  Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis MO in April 24-27. The high school students from Apollo, Tech and Cathedral high schools arrived home with first place trophies, the Judges award and a safety award! The team consists of more students than what attended the competition.


More and more people are becoming aware of this new state sanctioned that currently has 180 MN high school teams in FIRST Robotics, more than high school varsity hockey teams in MN!


This group of students collectively put in over 2000  hours during our 6 week build season, in addition to school, homework,family commitments, other sports and activities!


FIRST Robotics demands students to be professional and courteous through “gracious professionalism” and “cooper-tition.”.  FIRST Robotics’ combination of competing while working with your competition which  includes assisting them to be the best they can be, even when they are your competition.


Students need to raise additional funds to attend national competition and are looking for suggestions of local businesses that may have an interest in supporting this group of future engineers and business leaders.  Our immediate needs including funding the trip to St. Louis. Beginning estimates are around $15,000 including the $5000 entrance fee, hotel stay and bus ride.  The entrance fee is due today, Tuesday April 2.


Other needs for the trip include donations of use of a truck and enclosed trailer to haul our tools to St Louis (we have mentors with their class A license), tool boxes and spare parts to nationals.  Permanant Donations of cordless dewalt drills, racheting wrenches, heavy duty closing plastic totes, snacks and bottled water would also be appreciated.


We thank those of you that have supported us in the past and ask that if you have other suggestions of possible sponsors, please feel free to contact them on our behalf or- send us their contact information so we may approach them!


Please feel free to text, call or email me with questions regarding other product donations.  Please make checks out to “Apollo Robotics.”  The donations are tax deductable and you will receive a receipt from the school district.  If you can advise me of donations coming in, we will have accounting looking for the donations!


In the long term, the team is currently looking for additional coaches and volunteers with a variety of skills to help lead this amazing group of students and keep the team alive!



Robotics on a roll in Minnesota schools

An explosion in the popularity of high school robotics teams has suddenly made it chic to be geek.


Robotics team members are getting varsity letters and patches, being paraded before school assemblies like other sports stars and seeing trophies in the same lobby display cases as their football, basketball or baseball counterparts.


“It’s the new kid on the block,” said Dawn Nichols, head of school at Convent of the Visitation Catholic School in Mendota Heights, which has the only all-girls robotics team in the state.


A telling statistic: For the first time ever, there are more varsity robotics teams than there are boys’ varsity hockey teams in the state. There are 156 high school boys’ hockey teams and 180 robotics teams, up from 153 last year, according to the Minnesota State High School League.


Click here to read the full article!




Dear CMMA:

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your generous donation of $1,000.00 towards the March VEX Robotics Event. We greatly appreciate the support of CMMA to further the outreach of our VEX Robotics Program.


We place a high value on our relationship with  you. We look forward to continuing to work with you in the future. 


Thank you for your donation!


Bruce Peterson, Academic Dean

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