October is Manufacturing Month!!

October really is one of our favorite months of the year! It marks the beginning of Fall, the leaves start to change, the air begins to get a little bit cooler, and October is manufacturing month of course! Manufacturing is one of the more important industries for Wisconsin accounting for 19 percent of our state’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Therefore, Governor Walker has declared October, “Manufacturing Month” in conjunction with National Manufacturing Day which is celebrated on October 7th.

What better way to celebrate how great manufacturing has been to the state of Wisconsin than dedicating a whole month to the industry. Manufacturing in WI is responsible for more than $57 billion worth of economic output and employing over 462,000 Wisconsinites according to wmc.org. There are great opportunities for manufacturing positions in Wisconsin between 2012 and 2022 for machinists (1,680); manufacturing sales representative (3,684); mechanical engineering (142); computer engineering (58); and electrical engineering (42) according to Wausaudailyherald.com.

October is a great time to get students in for facility tours and lessons about potential future careers in manufacturing.  Weldall Manufacturing, Inc. in Waukesha has taken the initiative and brought students in for tours at their location. This is part of a great program called Schools2Skills. TMJ4.com says, “High school students in Waukesha County toured local businesses Tuesday as part of a program aimed at piquing their interest in manufacturing careers.” 


Sustainability Pushes Contract Packaging Growth

If you take a look back to our post in August, we mentioned that the contract packaging industry was on the rise. In August, a research market report stated that contract packaging was expected to rise by more than 10% through 2020. We went into a little bit of depth about sustainability as one of the key factors pushing this growth.

As this year continues we can see some companies taking initiative in their push to be more sustainable. According to Packaging News UK, Coca-Cola is one major company that has set its sights on becoming more sustainable. Coca-Cola has set goals they hope to reach by 2020 in an effort to become increasingly sustainable as a company. These goals are laid out in an article excerpt from Packaging News UK and are as follows:

–          Take 40% of the total energy used from renewable and clean energy sources

–          Recover for recycling 40% on average of total packaging placed on our markets

–          Source 20% of the total PET used from recycled PET and/or PET from renewable material

–          Reduce the amount of primary packaging by 25% per liter of beverage produced

–          Certify over 95% of key agricultural ingredients against the Coca-Cola system’s Sustainable Agricultural Guiding Principles

–          Invest 2% of its annual pre-tax profit in communities

–          Double the number of employees taking part in volunteering initiatives during work time by 10%

These goals are a huge step in the right direction of sustainability. If they are able to reach their goals by 2020 it will be great not only for Coca-Cola, but for the packaging industry as a whole. Hopefully seeing a large company such as Coca-Cola take a leap forward in sustainability it will drive others to follow suite.

Fun Ways to use Batteries in the Classroom

Whenever I hear “September” I think of one thing, and that’s the start of school. As summer comes to an end and the new school year begins, this is a good time to talk about some practical and fun uses for batteries. I have a few everyday uses and a couple other exciting projects that are a great way to get a basic understanding of batteries while having a little fun at home or school. I am sure everyone knows about the classic potato battery, but I have rummaged around the internet to find other projects that will make learning and teaching even more enjoyable.

Here are some of the more basic, everyday uses for batteries in the classroom:keyboard

  • – Clocks
  • – Phones/radios
  • – Flashlights
  • – Laptops
  • – Calculators
  • – Cameras

Here are a few uses that you might not think about until you desperately need them. Make sure you order the batteries you might forget are needed and keep a small stock of them for emergencies!battery collage

  • – Projector remotes
  • – TV/VCR remotes
  • – Wireless microphones
  • – Wireless computer mouse
  • – Wireless keyboard

Here are some other great ways to use batteries in the classroom or at home! These projects are relatively easy to do, do not take a ton of materials, and are a great way to work in pairs or small groups.

Project #1 – Splitting Water Molecules:

You can use batteries (9-volt) to split water molecules! The best part is, you don’t need a ton of supplies!

Here’s what you need:science

  1. 1. A 9-volt battery
  2. 2. Two #2 pencils without eraser and metal connector
  3. 3. Salt
  4. 4. Thin Cardboard
  5. 5. Small glass
  6. 6. Water

You can find directions for this experiment here: https://www.chromebattery.com/battery-kids/projects/splitting-water

Project #2 – Battery Made From Pennies:

A battery for just $.03?! This is a great project related to batteries and just like the first one, it doesn’t take a ton of supplies.

Here’s what you need:penny battery

  1. 1. Pennies (newer than 1982)
  2. 2. Sand paper
  3. 3. Cardboard
  4. 4. Vinegar
  5. 5. Aluminum Foil
  6. 6. Basic LED light, or calculator

You can find directions for this experiment here: A battery out of pennies? Who knew?!

Stay tuned for updates on the OI Packaging blog!

Do you want to know more about Opportunities Inc? Would like to see something specific on our blog? Email Samuel Brick with topics you would like to know more about at sbrick@oppinc.com. Don’t forget, you can also add us on LinkedIn and follow our YouTube channel!

Contract Packaging on the Rise!

Contract packaging is projected to grow by more than 10% through 2020. There are a few main reasons for such steep growth in global contract packaging. One of the most talked about topics globally is ways to improve a company’s green footprint. This means sustainability is now one of the largest drivers for the rapid growth in contract packaging. The forecasted growth is also due to companies using contract packaging to cut some costs. By contracting out additional packaging, companies are able to cut machine and labor costs.

At Opportunities, Inc. our main focus for sustainability is recycling. Product is most often shipped to us in corrugated packaging. As we break down the bulk packs, the larger packaging is sent down a conveyor system. Opportunities, Inc. recycles over 45,000 corrugated trays and cartons daily at just one of our three packaging locations throughout Southeastern Wisconsin.

As the world continues making an effort to become more “green”, big businesses are sure to follow suite. Yahoo Finance says, “Consumer and manufacturers will give more importance to sustainable packaging during the forecast period because it is recyclable, sustainable, and environmentally friendly.” As younger generations look for new ways to clean up the planet, large manufacturers have no other option if they want to keep their strong brand loyalty.

As we move forward, larger companies are finding that contract packaging is a great way to outsource some of their excess packaging needs, as well as cut machine and maintenance costs. Outsourcing your packaging can do a lot more than just save money, it can also “ease labor shortages, allow companies to focus on core competencies, and even change a company’s corporate culture”, says Packaging.com. Outsourcing can benefit any company whether these current packaging trends continue or not. A survey conducted by Packaging.com stated that the top reason to outsource is to, “reduce cost (40%)” followed closely by “access to expertise (38%).”

Sustainable packaging and reduction of costs are huge factors that will drive future market growth. Keep these in mind as time progresses to keep your company on a path for growth. Stay up to date on sustainability and remember that there is always someone that is looking to keep their costs down and your area of expertise could be exactly what they are looking for.

If you want to check out any more of the article or see the full Markets and Research report here are the links:





Why choose Rayovac Batteries through Opportunities, Incorporated?

Opportunities, Incorporated was recently awarded the State Use battery contract! We are now the official supplier of 9-volt, C-cell, D-cell, AAA, and AA batteries to state agencies. By having this contract, our organization is able to help people throughout the community fill your battery needs while also creating vocational training opportunities.

Opportunities Inc. as an organization…

  • Serve over 3000 individuals annually through training, employment and social enrichment programs
  • Partner with over 150 community businesses

As the program ramps up, we would like to thank everyone who has already participated by ordering and urge you to spread the word to all other state, city and county agencies. Our goal at Opportunities Inc. is to make battery ordering quick and easy for you.

Check out our pricing catalog, battery specifications, and order form at our OI Packaging State Use webpage.

Interesting facts about Rayovac:

  • &Rayovac has been a Wisconsin based company since 1906.
  • &In 1939, Rayovac was ahead of the curve by announcing the first leak-proof “sealed in steel” dry cell battery.
  • Confident in their product Rayovac starts selling the Workhorse flashlight with a lifetime warranty in 1984.
  • By 2007 Rayovac is officially the battery supplier for Disney Parks.

Welcome to our blog!

At Opportunities, Inc. we offer a lot of great services that greatly benefit the community and our customers. The main intention of this blog is to highlight some of the contracts and projects that Opportunities, Inc. performs for the state. Throughout this blog we want to highlight how we are constantly finding ways to ensure that YOU are our main focus. This blog will also highlight some of the new machines, and processes that we use to ensure your satisfaction. At Opportunities, Inc. we pride ourselves in quality control, making sure that your orders are packed and shipped correctly. We will also have some fun and interactive posts that may help you or someone you know in the future including:

  • Beginning to end pictures and videos of projects
  • Fun facts and uses for batteries
  • Our mission and how you are helping to serve it
  • New packaging ideas and cost saving tips
  • And more!

We hope that you continue to follow our blog as we continue to post. Not only will our blog feature original content from people throughout our organization, but we may also post links to other blogs and web pages that we hope you will find useful. We know your time is valuable so we will keep our posts as informative and brief as possible.

Stay tuned for updates on the OI Packaging blog!

Do you want to know more about Opportunities Inc? Would like to see something specific on our blog? Please email Samuel Brick in regards to the topic you would like to know more about at sbrick@oppinc.com. Don’t forget you can also add us on LinkedIn and follow our YouTube channel!


Staff at Opportunities Inc.