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Project Mini Chopper

Get Your Motor Running!

Chopping it up- Mini Chopper in the Media

 Mini Chopper Program helps build enthusiasm for Manufacturing-An innovative project in Manitowoc County aims to rev up an interest in manufacturing among young people - helping to propel them toward the technical careers that need skilled workers.  Click here to read more.

Axelson, Barb. "Chopping it Up." Insight on Manufacturing July 2013 14-16.

Hear the choppers roar! Start your engines!- Mini Chopper

Congressman Petri tours mini choppers at Manitowoc Lincoln- Pictures 

 Mini Chopper Interview by WLUK Fox 11-Video

AT&T Contributes to Project Mini Chopper - Click here to read more.

Lakeshore Technical College Foundation Receives $4,500 AT&T Award to Support Project Mini Chopper:

AT&T Donation Supports Program that Engages Youth in Exciting Careers in Manufacturing


CLEVELAND, Friday, February 6, 2015 — The Lakeshore Technical College Foundation was presented with a $4,500 AT&T Innovation Award today to support efforts to engage youth in manufacturing careers.

The AT&T donation will support the Manitowoc County High School Manufacturing Project: Project Mini Chopper, where high school students build mini choppers throughout the school year. The goal is to expose students to exciting technology and show them that careers in manufacturing can be very rewarding.

“We know many of our manufacturers are looking for workers to fill highly skilled, technologically advanced jobs,” said Ashley Armstrong, Lakeshore Technical College High School Career Coach – North.  “Our mission is to educate students and parents that manufacturing has evolved over time and today’s field is much more advanced and focused on technology.  This AT&T contribution will help us further our efforts to educate and encourage students to consider exciting careers in manufacturing.”

In its seventh year, the program continues to improve the image of manufacturing careers, involves students in a fun manufacturing project, and creates an environment that brings together local students and employers for future employment opportunities.

“We are proud to support the efforts of Manitowoc County education, business and manufacturing leaders to engage students in the promising careers available in advanced manufacturing,” said Scott T. VanderSanden, president of AT&T Wisconsin.  “As a company, AT&T is committed to investing in education and helping prepare our young people for future success.”

As part of the program, students learn project management, budget management, communication skills, presentation skills, mechanical design, computer aided drafting, engineering, information technology, teamwork and manufacturing processes, including welding, painting, fabricating, assembly and finishing.  They also earn high school and college credits, and make business and community connections.

“Project Mini Chopper is a wonderful program that is exposing our young people to the exciting and promising careers that are available in today’s manufacturing profession,” said State Senator Devin LeMahieu.  “It is great to see business partners like AT&T stepping up to support local efforts to build our future workforce.”

Over 350 students have participated in Project Mini Chopper since 2008.  The program is a collaborative effort among the Lakeshore Technical College Foundation, The Chamber of Manitowoc County Foundation, Progress Lakeshore, and local manufacturers.

The AT&T Wisconsin Innovation & Investment Award program provides funding to organizations and programs that improve the community by advancing education, enhancing the environment, promoting economic development, or delivering other community services. 



2015 Manitowoc Co. student-built mini-choppers unveiled- HTR News Article


After months of design, collaboration and construction, three project Mini-Chopper teams, sponsored by area businesses, unveiled their completed mini-choppers to the public Friday, April 24.


After months of design, collaboration and construction, three project Mini-Chopper teams, sponsored by area businesses, unveiled their completed mini-choppers to the public Friday, April 24, at the Manitowoc County Ice Center as a part of the Ant Hill Mob Bike Show.

In its seventh year, the Chamber of Manitowoc County and Progress Lakeshore partnered with local businesses and county school districts to help students gain skills in manufacturing.

The mission of Project Mini-Chopper is to “assist students, parents, educators and the community to understand that manufacturing provides excellent career opportunities, which will help create a skilled and professional workforce to meet local manufacturing and economic needs today and in the future.”

Throughout the school year, student teams gained experience in the manufacturing world by working hand-in-hand with a corporate sponsor in designing, fabricating and troubleshooting the bike, as well as managing the budget, schedule and overall project.

The bikes were judged using a composite score that included design process, monthly updates, mid-year reporting, unveiling presentation and finished project.

This year’s Project Mini-Chopper winning team was Two Rivers High School.

Student team members also had the opportunity to apply for one of five scholarships provided by A.C.E. Building Service, Inc., Lakeshore Technical College and the Ant Hill Mob.

Scholarship winners announced at the unveiling event were Benjamin Behnke, Valders High School; Kyle Behrendt, Austin Funk and Shawn Horner, Two Rivers High School; and Jordan Johnson, Mishicot High School. Each student will receive a $500 scholarship.

Broadwind Towers and Heavy Industries sponsored the Two Rivers High School team; Manitowoc Cranes sponsored the Mishicot High School team; and Formrite Companies sponsored the Valders High School team.




Valders Mini Chopper 2015

Two Rivers Mini Chopper 2015

Mishicot Mini Chopper 2015