Skip to main content


Showing posts from March, 2010

Head Start for All: Educational Emphasis in Earlier Stages

An interesting report was officially unveiled today by the New America Foundation entitled “A Next Social Contract for the Primary Years of Education.” It states that too much energy and focus is given to children too late. That is, once they have tuned out and become disinterested in learning, it is difficult to get the children back up to par. By 4th grade, when children begin to read to learn, progress is difficult if they haven’t properly learned to read. By setting high-quality standards in educating from age 3 through 3rd grade, the report states, students are better prepared to learn.

That’s right – the educational system they envision starts at age 3! Head Start, meanwhile, is widely recognized as a pre-school program, but it is generally available to those below the federal poverty level. “Social Contract” may be onto something in building a better foundation in children’s’ education, but it will take a lot to change what we know as K-12.

Antimicrobial Paint and Laminate on Furniture

Blogging note! Do not hit return until done with blog entries.
This article is a bit scary about situations out east where instances of "superbugs" contaminated schools and infected some students. They talk about locker rooms and such as potential hot spots for bugs. Spectrum Industries has researched anti-microbial paint and laminates and could supply a solution where needed in a classroom.

What do small business, made in USA, and bread have in common?

Spectrum Industries Inc. is proud to produce products that are made locally and distributed internationally. Finding innovative ways to grow, produce, and prosper in today's business climate is universal. Follow the link to discover an innovative American company that has found a way to prosper by looking at how they do business in a new way.

The Lesters opened their business in 2005 and quickly established themselves as a neighborhood fixture. But in early 2008, everything changed. Commodity crop prices went haywire, sending the cost of flour soaring. “It was catastrophic,” Ben said. The Lesters decided that basing their products on an ingredient produced thousands of miles away in the Midwest no longer made good business sense, and they began to ask what it would take to source grain from local growers.

To read more go to the Cornucopia Institute web site.

Billion Acts of Green

Our planet needs help, and your actions matter!

The Billion Acts of Green campaign, developed by the Earth Day Network, is the core of Earth Day's 40th Anniversary program. This effort is focused on the facilitation and cultivation of service on behalf of the planet. The goal of the campaign is to aggregate the millions of environmental service commitments that individuals and organizations around the world make each year - thereby sending a powerful message that people from all walks of life are committed to solving climate change.

The Billion Acts of Green web site serves as the repository for these commitments. Through the web site, individuals and organizations can make their own commitments to the environment. These commitments will be automatically counted toward Earth Day Network's ultimate goal of a billion acts. Currently the website has raked in 5,062,593 acts of green.

Become an environmental leader by adding your green act today, and read more about Earth Day Network&…

Virtual Field Trips: The Green Way to Teach and Be Taught

Teachers naturally want to do the most for their students, but do not necessarily have the resources to accomplish items on the wish list. In the world of Distance Learning, the wish list need not be a bucket list. With a small amount of A/V equipment and some technical knowhow, a whole classroom can take a field trip to almost anywhere without needing a permission slip, much less hopping on a bus.

A number of websites have been participating in Virtual Field Trips (VFT’s) for many years. Tramline started with science-based VFT’s, but has since expanded to social studies, math, and literature. K-12 educators have used and added to this site since 1997.

Want to learn more about New Zealand? LEARNZ (Linking Education and Antarctic Research in New Zealand) has been in operation since 1995. Initially, LEARNZ wanted to bring students to the Antarctic, and has since expanded VFT’s throughout New Zealand.

The Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration (CILC) originally started in Indiana…

What If Education Programs Received the Same Attention Sports Receive?

Basketball fans across the nation are returning to work with lots to talk about after the first weekend of March Madness. Although many are wishing they would have rethought their bracket choices, I am not sure what is more upsetting, the shocking loss of Kansas to Northern Iowa on Saturday, or the thousands and millions of dollars poured into sports entertainment while or educational systems make budget cut after budget cut?

Now don't get me wrong, as a recently retired college athlete I am a huge sports fan myself; currently mourning the losses of hometown favorites, the Minnesota Gophers and Wisconsin Badgers, as well as sulking with the hundreds of people falling in bracket rankings because I too had Kansas taking it all. Nonetheless, my recent interest in following the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the National Education Technology Plan (NETP)and several other blueprints that plan to increase innovative technologies in the classroom, makes me wonder what it wo…

Spectrum Industries, Inc. Promotes Denise Parkhurst

Chippewa Falls, WISpectrum Industries Inc. has promoted Denise Parkhurst to Integration & Reseller Channel Customer Support Manager. Denise Parkhurst will assume responsibility for the strategic support of Spectrum’s reseller channel partners and the supervision of the channels sales support team. Based out of Spectrum Industries headquarters in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, Parkhurst and her team will focus their efforts on delivering exceptional customer experiences by supporting the customer before, during and after each sale.

Spectrum Industries is widely viewed as an industry leader and innovator in the manufacturing of furnishings to support audio-visual, presentation and technology-rich environments. With the increase in demand and popularity of Spectrum’s products it also brings an additional level of support for the channel partners who sell the products, incorporate the audio-visual and technology equipment and install them in colleges, universities, schools, government age…

Loyal Spectrum Employees Accumulate 355 Years of Work

From 25 years at Spectrum to 10 years at Spectrum; employee loyalty is what keeps the innovative wheels turning. Several employees were recognized at yesterday's company-wide meeting for their years of service at Spectrum Industries. Employed for 25 years (from left to right), Kevin Sobotta, Greg Gadke and Leonard Woodman started their careers with Spectrum in 1985.

Employed for 20 years (from left to right), Teresa Repaal, Dave See, Martin Klomstad and Jim Lloyd began their careers with Spectrum in 1990.

Employed for 15 years, John Ketterhagen, Scott Dorn, Mary Matuszak, Brian Shufelt, Laurie Johnson, Karl Dinger and Scott Drake started their careers with Spectrum in 1995.
Finally, employed for 10 years, C.W. King, Butch Dachel, Barb Frazer, Kyle Hansen, Ben Williams, Tyler Hanson, Dave Naiberg and Lonnie Kroeplin began their careers with Spectrum in 2000.

Spectrum would like to thanks all of these employees for their hard work and dedicated years of service.
Together these employ…

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

A Little St. Patrick's Day History

The First Parade
The first St. Patrick's Day parade took place not in Ireland but in the United States. Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City on March 17, 1762. Along with their music, the parade helped the soldiers reconnect with their Irish roots, as well as fellow Irishmen serving in the English army.

Over the next 35 years, Irish patriotism among American immigrants flourished, prompting the rise of so-called "Irish Aid" societies like the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick and the Hibernian Society. Each group would hold annual parades featuring bagpipes (which actually first became popular in the Scottish and British armies) and drums.

In 1848, several New York Irish Aid societies decided to unite their parades to form one New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade. Today, that parade is the world 's oldest civilian parade and the largest in the United States, with over 150,000 participants.


Furniture in Architectural Laminate Colors? Of Course We Do That!

As furniture manufacturers, we at Spectrum Industries are well known for our durable yet stylish desks, lecterns, and laptop carts. Flip through our catalog and you will see plenty of reasons why we can add value to educational and training facilities for many years to come. But what is not shown in our mainstream literature is our knack for customization. As any successful company would, we’re happy that all of our fine efforts appeal to the masses, but we love to show off every once in a while, too! Our Product Development staff certainly has all the talent and tools to do so.

For years now we’ve put together some interesting color schemes in our products. Recently we’ve had architects who have always admired our furniture, but only recently discovered that custom laminates and powder coatings are fair game as well. Our message: Be our guest. By all means, flip through the Wilsonart laminate of your choice and complement it with a powder coating from our partner Spraylat.

Even though …

i3 Innovation Grants Open

The United States Department of Education has released final priorities and opened the application process for the Investing in Innovation Fund, also known as "i3," a $650 million grant program that's designed to fund "the development of path-breaking new ideas, the validation of approaches that have demonstrated promise, and the scale-up of the nation's most successful and proven education innovations."

The Investing in Innovation Fund, a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, provides competitive grants designed to encourage programs that improve student achievement, student retention, student graduation rates, and teacher/administrator effectiveness. To this end, applications are being accepted by local school districts, groups of school districts, and non-profits working with groups of schools or whole districts.

Eligibility and Priorities
There are several eligibility requirements for those applying for i3 grants. Successful proposals must be…

Spring Ahead for Daylight Saving Time

Did you know Daylight Saving Time was introduced to save energy...

Get Ready! Tomorrow (Sunday, March 14) at 2 a.m. Daylight Saving Time begins. In other words we "Spring Ahead" and lose an hour during the night.

The change to Daylight Saving Time allows us to use less energy in lighting our homes by taking advantage of the longer and later daylight hours.

Did You Know....A Little Daylight Saving Time History
Daylight Saving Time was instituted in the United States during World War I in order to save energy for war production by taking advantage of the later hours of daylight between April and October. During World War II the federal government again required the states to observe the time change. Between the wars and after World War II, states and communities chose whether or not to observe Daylight Saving Time. In 1966,Congress passed the Uniform Time Act, which standardized the length of Daylight Saving Time.

Daylight Saving Time is four weeks longer since 2007 due to the pass…

Las Vegas Anyone?

It's almost 5 o'clock on Friday afternoon and as we all dream about the weekend, one can't help but thinking about getting away to Las Vegas for the weekend. Fortunately, it's not all that far fetched; InfoComm 2010 at the Las Vegas Convention Center is less than three short months away.

InfoComm is the most forward-looking pro-AV event in the world where over 900 exhibitors bring the show floor to life, showcasing the latest technologies and hottest products on the market.

Read more about InfoComm 2010, and see what attendees, like Spectrum Industries, will be showcasing at the event.

Shoppin' Around at GlobalShop

For the past two days we have been shopping around at GlobalShop, the largest store design and at-retail marketing show in the United States, and seeing as today is the final day of the Las Vegas expo we are wondering what catches your wandering eye when shopping?

The past few days we have seen it all from P.O.P. displays and store fixtures or digital signage to creating a memorable dining environment or illuminating artwork at a museum.

What have you seen that catches your attention? Is it the flashy Las Vegas sign or something more simple?

Friday Netbook Update-Netbooks dead? Yes, in the higher ed student market at least

No matter, Spectrum Industries has a laptop/netbook storage and recharging cart for any technology. While higher education seems to require the larger screens and more power from a full size laptop, K-12 seems to have grasped the mini laptop and is running with it. And all the teachers are telling the kids "no running with netbooks".

Considerations When Selecting A Laptop Storage Cart

 “We are preparing for a district-wide mobile laptop (notebook) & netbook roll-out. We have decided on a vendor to purchase laptops from but what should our school district be considering when evaluating the various Laptop Carts that are on the market?”

With schools across the country deploying mobile computers at an accelerated pace this question is becoming more and more common. Spectrum Industries has long been considered the gold-standard and leading innovator in mobile laptop cart design and manufacturing. We have worked with educational organizations publications to define the criteria to consider when selecting a laptop storage cart. Below we will touch on the key components and features you should carefully consider when selecting the cart for your institution.

A laptop cart generally will hold between 12 and 32 fully-loaded laptops and at times a wireless access point, printer and auxiliary equipment. The value of these items can approach $50,000.…

Spectrum Industries Is Listening

Spectrum Industries Inc. has been interacting with the educational system for over 40 years. Spectrum Industries is driven by the desire to listen to the needs of students and educators from Kindergarten to Higher Education and develop ways to enhance learning.
The article below explains a few ways the higher education landscape is changing.

Ten Demographic Trends Offer Unprecedented Challenge―and Opportunity―for Colleges and Universities in 2010
EducationDynamics’ Market Research and Advisory Services identifies key growth areas

Hoboken, New Jersey (January 28, 2010)― Market Research and Advisory Services, a division of EducationDynamics led by Carol Aslanian, has identified ten demographic trends poised to change higher education market assumptions―and the way colleges and universities do business. According to Aslanian, “Our observation, market research, and student market analysis show that tomorrow’s students will have different expectations for their college experience, will expect…

Spectrum Industries Featured in Manufacturing Today

New specialties in evolving markets, maintaining quality management and coping with the economic dowturn are very relevant topics in the workplace today. An article in Manufacturing Today covered these topics and more, specifically featuring Spectrum Industires. The article highlighted Spectrum Industries focus on quality and safety as it expands into new markets.

To read more about Spectrum Industires new specialties, quality management and view on the economic downturn visit Manufacturing Today.

Spectrum Industries Supports The American Cancer Society Relay for Life

Although the Chippewa County Relay for Life official event is July 30th & 31st this year, Spectrum Industries Inc. continues its fundraising efforts during the entire year. Led by Teresa Repaal, cancer support is given throughout the company with seasonal sales of Main St. Café pies and That’s My Pan items, as well as the ongoing sales of muffins and candy bars. Enthusiastic support is also shown at company-wide cookouts, where employees donate food, time, and money – all to help those diagnosed with cancer to fight and win their battles!Spectrum placed 3rd of 33 teams in raising $110,000 for the 2009 Relay for Life’s walk for cancer, raising $5,269. Their tremendous effort carries on this year under the theme of “Celebrating More Birthdays”. The July 30th & 31st birthday party agenda includes games all night, inflatable rides, presents, cakes, silent auction, food, camping & DJ/music. “Celebrating More Birthdays” means there are more cancer survivors fighting & winnin…

Visit Spectrum Industries at MACUL 2010

MACUL will host its 34th annual conference at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids, March 10th-12th.

Attending MACUL 2010? If so be sure to drop by booth 442 to visit with Spectrum employees Brian Lambert and Kaye Strojny. Additionally, visit the Model Classroom (in the Exhibit Hall) to see a display of cutting edge technology with engaging presentations by educators and vendors.

Spectrum Industries is one of the furniture sponsors for this year's MACUL Model Classroom.

The Spectrum Industries furniture on display will be sold at 30-50% off! Come early, as the furniture special is "first come, first served." Click here to see more of the Spectrum Furniture for sale at the MACUL 2010 Conference.

Read more about MACUL 2010 and view presentation schedule.

If interested in purchasing Spectrum Furniture from MACUL Conference contact Kaye Strojny at 800-235-1262 EXT 2129 or

Chi-Hi Team Wins JA Challenge

Spectrum Industries, Inc. sponsored the winning team in the Junior Achievement Business Challenge

Spectrum Industries, Inc. sponsored a team of three Chippewa Falls Senior High School students in the Junior Achievement Business Challenge event on Wednesday, March 3, at the Ramada Inn Convention Center in Eau Claire. Under the guidance of Dean White, Vice President of Engineering at Spectrum Industries, the Chi-Hi team created the winning computer-simulated business strategy.

The team of Chi-Hi students included Brandon DeMars, Matt Leis, and Evan Clark; each won $600 scholarships provided by the CHS Foundation and the William J. & Gertrude R. Casper Foundation.

Read article by THE CHIPPEWA HERALD: Friday, March 5, 2010, at

Happy National Salesperson Day!

Today marks the 10th Anniversary of National Salesperson Day! Created by Maura Schreier-Fleming, president of Best@Selling in Dallas, National Salesperson's Day recognizes selling skills and dedication to the profession.

Spectrum Industries would like to take this opportunity to recognize the hard work performed by our Furniture, Point-of-Purchase and Applied Medical Solutions sales staff.

To learn more about our sales representatives or to find a sales representative in your area visit the Rep Finder on our website.

Additionally, Spectrum would like to thank our resellers for all their hard work. To become a reseller or to learn more about our reseller program visit Reseller Tools on our website.

Thank you sales staff your hard work is greatly appreciated, and Happy National Salesperson Day!

Grants & Funding

At Spectrum Industries, we understand the strain education budgets are under. We also recognize how much help grants can provide.
For your assistance, Spectrum Industries keeps an updated list of available funds on our grants page.
If you would like, Spectrum can help you with the grant process. If you have the do-it-yourself spirit below is a story recently released by a grant expert in eschool news that may help.

Eight essential skills for school grant seekers
By Deborah Ward

I recently had dinner with two grants professionals in Florida. One of them was
quite upset, because someone she knew had remarked that the role of a grant writer was simply to “collate paper and submit an application.”
If only it were that easy!
The conversation brought to light the common misconceptions that exist about just what grant writers do, and I’m going to try to clear up these misconceptions.
Before I begin, I should state that not all grant professionals have the same responsibilities, and these depend lar…
Point-of-Purchase Trends: Converting Shoppers Into Buyers

Ads can get consumers into stores, but it usually takes some point of purchase strategies to get them to buy a product.

With the growth of online shopping retailers must now compete with the Internet for impulse purchases, putting more pressure on the sales environment in their stores and increasing the need for innovative point-of-purchase (POP) media, materials and techniques.

A research and design firm, Miller Zell (MZ), reported in a recent study that:
• Two-thirds of retail shoppers take a list with them, but six out of ten make brand purchasing
decisions after they enter the store.
• Shoppers can identify a brand from five feet in less than five seconds.

As a result, POP is becoming an even more important part of the marketing mix. More specifically end-of-aisle displays can really catch the eyes of consumers. A separate MZ survey indicated that end-of-aisle displays “engaged” more shoppers than other in-store media. The percen…

As Fast as Technology Changes, Spectrum’s Harbor Cart Withstands the Test of Time!

Spectrum Industries has been designing laptop carts for 15 years now. In that period of time, we have modeled ourselves as champions of continuous improvement. Our laptop carts are certainly no exception – each model we release reflects the most recent customer input combined with diligent and conscientious product design.

Laptop requirements have changed greatly in those 15 years. Some customers want larger screens. Others want smaller, more portable laptops. Most everyone wants laptops that charge quickly and last longer. As needs change and technologies advance, the Harbor Cart has consistently kept our customers satisfied for nearly a decade.

How has the Harbor Cart done this?

The Harbor Cart remains the only modular laptop cart on the market and is an extremely mobile laptop cart. Each module charges 8 laptops and smoothly slides beyond the cart for ease of use. Up to 4 modules can be stored for a capacity of 32 laptops. The Harbor Cart has a footprint of only 37 ½” by 30”, so stori…