University recognizes 3M with inaugural UW System Regents Business Partnership Award

Company, which has plant in Menomonie, cited as ‘innovative and generous’ partner with the university
UW System Board of Regents President Karen Walsh speaks at the presentation of the first Regents Business Partnership Award to 3M Menomonie.
March 30, 2023

Industry partnerships are a cornerstone of UW-Stout’s polytechnic mission. Each year, the university collaborates with more than 700 industry partners.

One of those long-standing partners, 3M, has been recognized with the inaugural UW System Regents Business Partnership Award. It was presented March 29 at 3M Menomonie, prior to the UW System Board of Regents meeting Thursday and Friday, March 30-31, at UW-Stout.

Chancellor Katherine Frank presents the award to 3M Site Director Janice Neitzel.
Chancellor Katherine Frank, right, presents the award to 3M Site Director Janice Neitzel. / UW-Stout

3M Menomonie, 1425 Stokke Parkway, was selected based on the impact of its collaboration on students, faculty and the community. “We know how lucky we are to have an innovative and generous partner like 3M in Menomonie. We are very grateful for what they do in partnership with Stout and in support of our community,” Chancellor Katherine Frank said in presenting the honor.

Accepting the award was 3M Site Director Janice Neitzel. “3M is committed to improving lives around the world, and that begins in our local communities,” Neitzel said. “We are proud of our collaboration with UW-Stout on programs that help the next generation to succeed.”

UW System President Jay Rothman congratulated UW-Stout and 3M “for the important work they are doing together for the benefit of all Wisconsinites. Across the UW System, our universities are working closely with businesses in their regions to identify promising interns, collaborate on research, and generate the talent that meets workforce needs.”

From left, Board of Regents President Karen Walsh, 3M Menomonie Site Manager Janice Neitzel and UW-Stout Chancellor Katherine Frank gather after the Regents award presentation.
From left, Board of Regents President Karen Walsh, 3M Menomonie Site Director Janice Neitzel and UW-Stout Chancellor Katherine Frank gather after the Regents award presentation. / UW-Stout

UW System Regents President Karen Walsh attended the ceremony, offering her congratulations. “The collaboration between UW-Stout and 3M exemplifies the relationships our universities are building with local employers. This award celebrates these partnerships, which are vital to the economic health of our communities and Wisconsin.”

For more than 20 years, 3M has attended UW-Stout’s biannual Career Conferences, hiring an average of five co-op students and interns per year across eight 3M locations.

The company has an excellent history of hiring UW-Stout graduates. In Menomonie, 3M employs 12 UW-Stout alumni, most of whom attended the award presentation.

UW-Stout alumni who work at 3M Menomonie attended the award presentation.
UW-Stout alumni who work at 3M Menomonie attended the award presentation. / UW-Stout

Also, the CSTEMM 3M Scholarship is awarded to eight students by the Stout University Foundation. Two $2,500 awards are given out in each of four programs: manufacturing engineering, computer networking and information technology, engineering technology, and fashion and retail. 

The Menomonie plant has supported UW-Stout academic programs and STEM programming, provided lab equipment for youth camps and supported university building campaigns.

In the fall, 3M is partnering with UW-Stout as lead sponsor for a statewide innovation competition, Make 48, a 48-hour makers event at which teams build a prototype and make a business pitch to judges.

“We look forward to many more years of collaboration with 3M,” Frank said. “Professional collaboration is part of the work we do every day through our program advisory committees, robust co-op and internship programs, applied research and economic engagement efforts.”

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