About Education


SkyWater CEO Thomas Sonderman, left, stands with Jeb Nadaner, deputy assistant secretary of defense for industrial policy, outside his company’s plant in Bloomington. (Submitted photo) “Us being in the center of the medical device arena here in Minnesota leads to some interesting applications there,” Sonderman said. “It’s a capability that not only is unique but also well-timed because there is a lot of effort to commercialize space.” Jeb Nadaner, DoD deputy assistant secretary for industrial policy, told listeners at SkyWater’s event that the tech sector’s reliance on foreign chip suppliers and customers that have close ties to China creates new security challenges for the United States. Public-private partnerships are part of defense department strategy to counter that threat. “We as Americans must be assured that the chips our weapons and our equipment used by American troops and in our infrastructure for all our citizens operate as intended when they are needed most and that they’re not ‘exfiltrating’ the sensitive and personal and private data to people that do not wish us well,” Nadaner said. The new fabrication facility “is proof that large-scale and advanced manufacturing continues to be possible in the United States of America,” Ian Steff, Department of Commerce assistant secretary for global markets, said at the commissioning event. “Our domestic capabilities up and down the supply chain must increase … and will increase. This continues to be enabled by industry-driven approaches with government partnership to improve the investment climate as demonstrated here today.” SkyWater, which has 500 employees, expects to add 50 by the time the new clean room is fully operating, Sonderman said. About 20% are engineers and about 20% of them have doctorate degrees. Another 20% of the workforce is former military “because what we do requires high degrees of precision and attention to detail” in working on pieces of equipment that can cost $1 million and up. SkyWater doesn’t make its own products but offers services for companies that do, said Sonderman. “Part of the way we run our facility is just not manufacturing a product for a customer on a given basis but also working with that customer to innovate and co-create next-generation technologies that will go into the products of the future,” Sonderman said.


Small Business Saturday means more foot traffic for Baton Rouge businesses Small Business Saturday means more foot traffic for Baton Rouge businesses By Breanne Bizette | November 28, 2020 at 6:27 PM CST - Updated November 28 at 10:12 PM BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Small Business Saturday means more foot traffic for local businesses in the capitol area, which will be a plus for business owners during the pandemic It’s the busiest shopping weekend of the year, and Saturday is for the more information small businesses that need customers now more than ever. “So, it’s a challenge and it takes a lot of time and effort. Even though we may have been closed on the front door behind the scenes, you know, I said I was like a duck paddling underwater, I just was just paddling faster than ever,” says small business owner Lynn Leblanc. Leblanc and her jewelry store The Silver Sun had to get creative. Like so many others, this local shop focused on getting more customers to buy rings and bracelets online. They are reaching more people on the web, but that doesn’t necessarily mean more money for the store. “Being online and increasing our presence in social media has expanded our presence a little bit. As far as revenue and sales coming in that’s still a challenge every day with COVID and 2020,” Leblanc explains. However, now that Saturday is here, shops across Baton Rouge are happy to at least welcome some customers back inside. “It’s really important to support all of those smaller shops, especially during COVID season when they maybe aren’t getting as much foot traffic as they normally would,” says Annie Lewis who came into The Silver Sun to buy a gift for her mother.