At Power Engineering & Manufacturing we believe that strong business partnerships are the cornerstone of sustainable growth and community development. Our approach involves establishing and maintaining a strong collaborative framework by establishing partnerships with local school districts, career-driven organizations and other community groups. Together with our partners, we are promoting manufacturing careers and creating a positive impact in the Cedar Valley.

Our company President and CEO, Dennis Schilling, also serves as the Chair of the Cedar Valley Manufacturer’s Association (CVMA). Through CVMA, we have established strong partnerships with educational institutions in the Cedar Valley, fostering collaboration and community engagement. Our relationships extend to Waterloo Community Schools, Waterloo Career Center, Cedar Falls School District, as well as Hawkeye Community College.  We also support Amatrol’s IGNITE Program: Introduction to Advanced Manufacturing, which is offered through Hawkeye Community College and additionally, IGNITE courses I & II which are available to freshman and sophomore students at East and West High Schools in Waterloo.

Waterloo Community Schools, Waterloo Career Center and Cedar Falls Community School District:

Power Engineering actively collaborates with local schools to bridge the gap between education and industry. Our company is actively engaged in initiatives such as career fairs, classroom presentations and work-based learning opportunities. Whether it is hosting facility tours or participating in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) events, we are committed to investing in our youth and are actively involved in several initiatives aimed to promote manufacturing career paths and bolster the manufacturing workforce in the Cedar Valley.

Hawkeye Community College:

As a key player in the Cedar Valley’s workforce development, Power Engineering partners with Hawkeye Community College by participating in workforce training opportunities for employees, supporting grant initiatives related to advanced manufacturing and workforce education programs and providing opportunities for internships and apprenticeships. This collaboration strengthens the local talent pipeline and supports the growth of the manufacturing sector.

Amatrol IGNITE Program: Intro to Advanced Manufacturing:

The IGNITE program is a competency-based program that introduces fundamental concepts in advanced manufacturing and provides students with an exploratory curriculum that includes hands-on training in a variety of topics within the scope of manufacturing and related trades. It introduces students to several manufacturing career paths with real-world equipment, while at the same time developing transferable skills that the industry demands. IGNITE bridges the gap between education and industry, fostering a new generation of skilled technicians ready to thrive in the dynamic world of manufacturing. Power Engineering fully supports the IGNITE program with the goal of providing local manufacturers a pipeline of well-prepared and a highly skilled workforce.

Power Engineering’s partnerships with educational institutions and programs exemplify our dedication to community development, workforce readiness and the next generation of leaders in the Cedar Valley. Other PEM partnerships include:

Cedar Valley Manufacturer’s Association (CVMA)

The Cedar Valley Manufacturer’s Association (CVMA) was established in 2022, with our company’s President and CEO, Dennis Schilling, taking on the position of Chair. CVMA is comprised of manufacturers in the Cedar Valley with similar initiatives and goals. CVMA’s mission is to bolster the manufacturing workforce in the Cedar Valley. Our strategy focuses on engaging young students, raising awareness and fostering interest in manufacturing careers while boosting the enrollment rate of manufacturing programs within high schools. To achieve this mission, our approach involves establishing and maintaining a strong collaborative framework between CVMA, local school districts and career-driven organizations. Through this partnership and by actively involving our members in student interactions that highlight exciting career opportunities, we seek to create positive changes in the school systems that inspire students to consider manufacturing as a rewarding and esteemed career path. We believe this joint endeavor will effectively promote manufacturing career paths within schools, thereby addressing the skilled workforce deficit in the future.

Grow Cedar Valley (GCV)

By partnering with Grow Cedar Valley, we have gained access to a dynamic network of local businesses, community leaders and resources. GCV helps facilitate connections between Cedar Valley businesses and provides networking opportunities with access to regular events and collaborative workshops. By forging strategic alliances with other organizations, we tap into a collective pool of knowledge, resources and expertise. These partnerships foster innovation, enhance efficiency and create a ripple effect that benefits not only us but also our partners and the entire community. Partnering with Grow Cedar Valley provides PEM with a platform to connect, advocate and contribute to the economic and social well-being of the Waterloo/Cedar Falls area and its surrounding community.

Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS)

Power Engineering & Mfg. has been involved with CIRAS for years. CIRAS is a valuable resource offering a range of programs and services to enhance the competitiveness of Iowa businesses. Initiatives include lean manufacturing, process improvement, technology and more. CIRAS is also involved with the Cedar Valley Manufacturer’s Association as a resource to help with growth, leadership, productivity, technology and workforce opportunities.

Waterloo Black Hawks & Waterloo Bucks

In 2023, we established partnerships with the Waterloo Black Hawks and the Waterloo Bucks to increase visibility in the Cedar Valley. By connecting with these teams, we can engage with a wider audience of sports enthusiasts through their dedicated fan base. Additionally, our employees can take advantage of benefits such as discounted tickets and promotional events.