founder and president, thanked Kistler and Campbell, along with Dennis Neal, director of facilities and
support services for Widefield School District, who is
acting as facilities manager for MiLL.
“We’re humbled, proud and blessed by the event,”
Sherwin-Williams on board
Mattson said. “We had 350 people here.”
The number of industry partners has grown
quickly, from 52 at the beginning of 2017 to 101 now.
One of the most important new partners is Sherwin-Williams, which recently made an exclusive 10-year
agreement with MiLL, and is providing finishing
supplies to the training center.
Les Smith of Sherwin-Williams talked about the
widening skills gap at the open house event. Smith
had read one of the stories in FDMC Magazine in
October 2016, exactly a year earlier, about the new
MiLL training center.
MiLL already had a number of industry partners,
but still needed a major finishing supplier. Sherwin-Williams would become that company.
Smith said that Sherwin-Williams will be involved
in the installation of a DuBois Equipment Co. flat-line finishing system and spray booths, all applying
waterborne finishes. A UV drying oven may also be
At the open house event, Les Smith of Sherwin-Williams told FDMC and Woodworking Network that
there was a need for finishing training.
“This is an opportunity to look into the future,” he
said. “And to train the next generation of finishers.”
Smith said that Sherwin-Williams will also use the
MiLL to train its own employees and industry part-
ners in addition to students.
“This is what it’s going to take for the industry to
have a future,” he said.
Mattson recognized industry and educational partners, and the students themselves.
“You students are awesome,” he said.
“We asked students about what they did not like
about education,” Mattson said.
“They said, ‘We have no say in it, and they shove
all this stuff at us and we ask why, and they say we’re
getting you ready for a test.’”
“The new curriculum is all about that,” Mattson
said. “(We tell them) why you students are here, what
do you want to get out of the program, and these are
the things that have been developed for you.”
One recent student plans to become an instructor and
is currently volunteering at the MiLL two days a week.
Colton Pring is a recent graduate of Peyton High
School and was impressed by the recent display of
equipment at the MiLL open house event, and industry’s support of the program.
“It’s hard to comprehend that so many people
have come together here,” he said.
Pring was one of the first students at the Peyton wood
program and graduated this year. He will be attending
college-level classes at the MiLL when they start.
A trio of Widefield High School students are taking classes and attended the open house event. Tenth
grader Tim Blair, a sophomore in woods manufactur-
Local contractors go extra
mile for MiLL
Dean Mattson and the MiLL team built relationships
with the local contractors, including wiring and air
Mattson said that local contractors have been
willing to put in an extra effort and even work on
their own time because they believe the project
Specifically, project managers and technicians
from Copestone General Contractors and Foster
Electric Corp. volunteered to complete the job.
Stephan Morin and Larry Cumley, Copestone Gen-
eral Contractors, and Julio Mariscal-Guzman, fore-
man, journeyman electrician, Foster Electric Corp.,
were among those that contributed. They felt this is
something significant that’s helping people. They did
work on their own time to complete the building.