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From jsonline.com: "IT project to train workforce" -- Information technology is a driver of the modern economy — in Wisconsin, nationwide and around the globe. But you don't need to be Jeff Bezos to have a successful IT-related career. [...]
From jsonline.com: “IT project to train workforce” — By Tom Perez, US Secretary of Labor - Information technology is a driver of the modern economy — in Wisconsin, nationwide and around the globe. But you don’t need to be Jeff Bezos to have a successful IT-related career.
The Wisconsin Technical College System has designed a new project that will allow more adult learners — in particular veterans, laid-off workers and others whose livelihoods have been disrupted by trade — to acquire the skills necessary to get good IT jobs.
During a visit Wednesday to Gateway Technical College in southeastern Wisconsin, one of the partners in this 16-college consortium, I will highlight a $23 million statewide grant that the federal government is making to support this innovative and dynamic curriculum.
I’m eager to see firsthand how federal dollars will improve Gateway’s ability to create a pipeline of workers with the IT competencies needed in advanced manufacturing. I’m looking forward to talking with students, with school officials from several of the community colleges and with the business partners who are essential to the program’s success.
The grant is a part of the U.S. Labor Department’s TAACCCT program; that stands for Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training. As an acronym, it leaves something to be desired. But as an investment in our community colleges’ capacity to prepare Americans for 21st-century jobs, it is critical and unprecedented.
Partnership on several levels is the key to the program’s success; indeed, it is a prerequisite for consideration for a grant. Local businesses in particular are directly involved so that the colleges are aligning their instruction — hand in glove — with local industry’s needs.
This kind of demand-driven approach is the only sensible way to build human capital and empower the workforce. There’s no point in offering a certification or credential in advanced widget manufacturing if no company in the area is hiring widget technicians.
Working in collaboration with several employer partners, the Wisconsin IT project will give people the training required to become everything from human resource specialists to multimedia artists, from web developers to pharmacy technicians. Grant dollars will be used throughout the Badger State — to enhance programs in computer support, to create new career pathways that combine health and IT-related skills and more.
Skills development is a pillar of President Barack Obama’s strategy to grow the economy from the middle out, not from the top down. We have a talented and resilient workforce. But for our workers to climb ladders of opportunity, they need us to strengthen the rungs. They need us to invest in their potential.
Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training does exactly that, helping workers learn precisely those state-of-the-art skills that employers need and that will keep our economy strong for decades to come.
The program is now in its third year, having pumped nearly $1.5 billion total into community colleges nationwide. The latest round of funding, announced earlier this fall, includes 57 grants that will support projects in every state, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. They will expand programs in a range of growing industries including advanced manufacturing, transportation and health care.
The career training program helps businesses stay on the competitive cutting edge in a complex global economy. And for workers, it serves as a springboard into the middle class, catapulting them into jobs that can support a family and provide basic economic security.
We’re proud to help Wisconsin community colleges offer top-notch IT instruction. And the career training program overall is critical to the Obama administration’s mission of creating economic growth, opportunity and widely shared prosperity.
Grants help technical colleges Dec 02 2013
From marshfieldnewsherald.com: "Column: Capitalizing on collaboration through grants" -- Grant applications are often highly competitive, so a grant award is acknowledgment of the high value and impact of Mid-State Technical College, or MSTC, programs and services. [...]
From marshfieldnewsherald.com: “Capitalizing on collaboration through grants” – By Sue Budjac, president Mid-State Technical College - Grant applications are often highly competitive, so a grant award is acknowledgment of the high value and impact of Mid-State Technical College, or MSTC, programs and services.
Grants allow us to capitalize on existing assets, people and sources to improve the quality of an MSTC education. They are also a tribute to the innovative thinking and determined efforts of our employees.
This past year, our college was awarded a total of $1,005,047 in grants, an increase from the $858,788 received during the previous fiscal year and $777,596 three years ago.
Collaboration is an important aspect of the grant process and MSTC’s culture. For example, in partnership with Incourage Community Foundation and our K-12 partners, MSTC recently received one of only 10 national grants from Constellation, a national energy company. This $45,000 award enables MSTC Renewable Energy program faculty to help nearly 200 students from four local high schools to measure the energy efficiency of their school facilities and design a photovoltaic system to be used as a demonstration unit in future classes.
We also regularly collaborate with other Wisconsin technical colleges. The U.S. Department of Labor recently awarded a $23.1 million grant to Wisconsin’s 16 technical colleges to address emerging needs in the Information Technology sector, from which MSTC received nearly $900,000 to create an Automation Specialist Advanced Technical Certificate. A similar grant last year provided MSTC with close to $600,000 for a Stainless Steel Welding program at Marshfield Campus.
These cooperative efforts allowed us to leverage $1.5 million to proactively respond to emerging workforce needs.
Grants often enrich the way we maximize our college and community strengths and resources. For instance, the Constellation grant utilizes existing high school facilities as laboratories for hands-on training. As a result, students learn in a real-world environment, fostering a positive learning experience and familiarizing them with the benefits and rigor of higher education.
Each grant is unique in its composition and benefits. Nonetheless, there are many common themes. Our strategy is to acquire grants that are meaningful for the work we do in the region. Grants enable us to stretch our resources and reduce pressure on our operational budget while enhancing the quality of an MSTC education, ultimately reinforcing student success.
I want to acknowledge the continuing efforts of MSTC employees and our local partners who bring grants to the college and central Wisconsin. These grants are an affirmation of our ability to creatively engage local school districts, community organizations and businesses in meaningful partnerships. They also complement our unwavering effort to innovate while making the most of our strengths and opportunities. And, when coupled with our operational resources, they enhance the delivery of in-demand learning experiences and valued student services, increasing the positive impact we have on students.
NTC Phillips Campus in midst of expansion Nov 29 2013
From pricecountydaily.com: "NTC Phillips Campus in midst of expansion" -- An expansion project geared at better meeting the needs of one increasingly in-demand base for education in the Northwoods is moving forward at Northcentral Technical College’s Phillips Campus. [...]
From pricecountydaily.com: “NTC Phillips Campus in midst of expansion” – An expansion project geared at better meeting the needs of one increasingly in-demand base for education in the Northwoods is moving forward at Northcentral Technical College’s Phillips Campus.
Each year, NTC completes two major capital projects, and current construction efforts at the Phillips Campus make up one of those projects for 2013.
The overhaul involves an expansion of the manufacturing lab along with the addition of 4,500 square feet of new classroom space to the southwest corner of the campus building.
“What it’s going to mean is that the Phillips Campus is going to be able to support more programs such as the machine tool and the manufacturing technician, which will complement our one-year and one-semester welding programs,” said NTC North Campus Dean Roberta Damrow.
The footings and floors for both areas of expansion are in. Now, the campus is waiting for segments of the actual building to arrive, something project leaders believe will happen in mid-January.
Damrow noted that these project aspects are expected to be wrapped up in April.
It looks like the new spaces will be useable in time for summer classes and then see full scheduling by fall semester of next year, as Damrow explained.
One really nice feature about the classroom addition is that the partition between two distinct classrooms can be opened up to create a larger area spanning 1,700-square feet, Damrow noted. This feature will help cover the campus’ increased need for face-to-face instruction to support expanded offerings in the manufacturing lab while at the same time providing a space different groups can utilize outside of school hours.
“We should be able to support community needs for large groups,” Damrow said.
Four new IVC (Interactive Video Conferencing) rooms will be added along with the large, connectable classrooms.
This will allow the North Campus of NTC to stream more courses offered at other campuses across the college system. Damrow sees this increased distance learning capacity being particularly useful when it comes to meeting community needs for continuing education, something that’s a cornerstone of work in the early childhood field or the food and beverage industry, to name a few career areas.
“Any sort of occupation that needs continuing education. We’ll be able to stream in more classes so people don’t have to travel as far to be recertified,” Damrow said.
Expansion plans also call for the creation of something called a net meeting room, which will hold 16 computer spaces for students taking online and Adobe Connect classes.
This allows for more flexibility in course offerings to meet the diverse needs of different learners.
A new set of bathrooms is also in construction plans for the larger classroom space.
In addition to the building expansions, contractors are putting up a stand-alone storage shed behind the main building to house equipment and materials for use in the manufacturing lab. This structure is on schedule to be completed before Thanksgiving.
“The Price County campus continues to see growth, and we attribute that to the newer campus and the newer programming that we continue to bring in…” Damrow said.
Area residents find in NTC a nearby institution where they can access a range of education options, as Damrow explained.
Instructors at the Phillips Campus sees a number of high school students “getting a jump on their college career” via technical college courses that are transferable to other colleges, as well as students who spent their first year post-high school at the campus and then transfer to Wausau or other colleges across the state.
“It’s a cost effective way to start your education. It’s also a cost-effective way to earn your first degree, and we know that lifelong learning is the way of the future, so we intend to continue to be innovative in offering things that are going to support the local industries,” Damrow said.
The campus is tentatively planning for a spring ribbon cutting to dedicate the new spaces.
Milestone reached in FVTC job search program Nov 29 2013
From porstcrescent.com: "Milestone reached in FVTC job search program" -- The JobSeekers Network program at Fox Valley Technical College welcomed its 1,000th participant in November, making the free offering to the community one of the fastest-growing job search efforts in the Midwest. [...]
From postcrescent.com: “Milestone reached in FVTC job search program” — APPLETON - The JobSeekers Network program at Fox Valley Technical College welcomed its 1,000th participant in November, making the free offering to the community one of the fastest-growing job search efforts in the Midwest.
JSN started as a support group at FVTC four years ago, and it has now grown into a curriculum-based job search program that teaches how to land a career using skilled networking practices and more.
The program also developed an optional textbook for participants and the community, the Human Search Engine, and its LinkedIn social media group has grown to more than 1,000 active members as well.
JSN if offered weekly at FVTC’s Appleton and Oshkosh campuses. For more information on the sessions, visit www.fvtc.edu/jsn.
WITC president receives honor Nov 29 2013
From ashlandwi.com: "WITC president receives honor" -- Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College president Bob Meyer recently accepted the District 3 National Council for Marketing & Public Relations (NCMPR) Pacesetter award. [...]
From ashlandwi.com: “WITC president receives honor” – Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College president Bob Meyer recently accepted the District 3 National Council for Marketing & Public Relations (NCMPR) Pacesetter award.
The Pacesetter of the Year Award recognizes a community college president or CEO who has demonstrated special leadership and support in marketing and public relations. It is awarded annually in each of NCMPR’s seven districts, and district recipients automatically become a nominee for the national award, which is presented at the national conference.
“I am enormously humbled and honored to receive this recognition,” said Meyer. “This award also reflects on the many staff that have dedicated themselves to our students and contributed to WITC’s national ranking. Achieving such a high ranking really helps our marketing efforts.”
Throughout Meyer’s tenure, WITC has enjoyed a positive image in the media and community. He strove to advance two-year colleges regionally and nationally through advocacy. Last year, WITC celebrated its centennial, which provided media attention for the college, and the college was recently named fourth-best two-year college in the nation by Washington Monthly magazine. Meyer included this in his PR communications and advocacy efforts with key stakeholders and legislators.
To advance the college nationally, Meyer attends the National Legislative Summit in Washington D.C. every February accompanied by other administrators in the college to meet with Wisconsin senators and congressmen and women.
Under Meyer’s leadership, WITC added several new programs to respond to the needs of the community while expanding its online offerings.
“I regard this award as more of an acknowledgement of others accomplishments as much as my own journey,” said Meyer. “In fact, I’m more of a facilitator of a college full of pacesetters and a statewide consortium of pacesetters.”
Madison College co-worker gives gift of lifetime Nov 29 2013
From nbc15.com: "Co-worker gives gift of lifetime" -- It's a gift that will last a lifetime, a selfless donation made to a co-worker. The gift is giving one Madison man a big reason to be thankful this holiday season. [...]
From nbc15.com: “Co-worker gives the gift of a lifetime” – It’s a gift that will last a lifetime, a selfless donation made to a co-worker. The gift is giving one Madison man a big reason to be thankful this holiday season.
This time last year Terry Webb found out his kidneys were failing, he and his doctors started the process to get on the donor list. A wait that could take 8 or 9 years. During that time, he started searching for a family member who might be able to help him out sooner.
“Judging by what everyone says to me now, I was pretty bad.” Starting dialysis, Terry says he wasn’t himself. “Progressively the disease got worse.”
Things started looking bad when family member after family member came back with a negative match.
“There’s only one that came back as a potential match and it was far from ideal.”
As provost at Madison College, Terry struggled both at home and at work.
“Well we could all tell that Terry was not doing as well as he could be,” says his co-worker, Keith Cornille.
So a few offices away Keith Cornille decided to step up.
“There’s a whole other side to this, what happened if I didn’t do something? What happened if I knew I was a match and could have helped someone and didn’t.”
Be it an act of fate, a miracle or just sheer dumb luck, he was a match.
“This was a really exceptional match. The likelihood of that happening when you’re sitting next to someone working with them everyday is something more stunning than anything else.”
The surgery was in June, and it went off without a hitch. Terry says he was lucky enough that his body didn’t reject the kidney at first, a common occurrence.
“I actually went to visit Keith in the hospital room that’s across the hall from me because it’s hard to believe that it made such a big difference.”
Counting his blessings everyday that he can return to life as normal.
“I can do things that I couldn’t do before, unfortunately that includes household chores, raking, stuff like that.”
“If I didn’t give him my kidney I was afraid he was going to ask me to come over and do all of his chores and I didn’t want any part in that I have my own leaves to rake!”
Keith says all kidding aside, it’s an amazing feeling to give someone his life back.
“To consider a donation of life to really think about what the impact of that donation could be on someone.”
Opening Terry’s eyes to the generosity of his co-worker, and the inspiring gift he’ll cherish forever.
“To be part of this entirely selfless act that really makes you look at doing the same sorts of things yourself more often.”
From wausaudailyherald.com: "Youth Apprenticeship builds workforce of the future" -- Mosinee High School has participated in Wisconsin’s Youth Apprenticeship, or YA, program since 1995. During that time, over 350 students participated in this unique work-based learning program. [...]
From wausaudailyherald.com: “Youth Apprenticeship builds workforce of the future” – Mosinee High School has participated in Wisconsin’s Youth Apprenticeship, or YA, program since 1995. During that time, over 350 students participated in this unique work-based learning program. YA allows juniors and seniors to work part-time in a field they are considering for their future, while taking high school courses that support that career direction.
As the School to Career coordinator, one of my responsibilities is to supervise students in this program. From my perspective, this program has literally changed the lives of some of our students. They have learned to “walk the walk” and gain those skills necessary for success in the world of work while finding out if that career direction is right for them. I asked students to share their thoughts on participating in this program.
“I applied for youth apprenticeship so I could gain work experience in a professional environment. What I like most about my position is the face-to-face contact I have with customers. I learned I am very interested in the business field and would enjoy a career in it. After high school, I will be attending UW-Whitewater for business management with a minor in finance/insurance.”
— Kevin Zimmerman, BMO Harris Bank, Mosinee
“I work at the desk taking calls, doing health history updates and confirming appointments. I also help clean work stations, assist with sterilization, X-rays, charting, restocking and sealants. I applied for an apprenticeship because I was thinking about going into dental hygiene. I like that I am learning more about the field, and I like working with people. I’ve learned I can work really hard if I put my all into it, and that I work really well with people and as a team. After graduation, I plan to attend NTC to become a dental hygienist.”
— Rachel Schulte, Family Dental, Mosinee
“I help manage the school’s website and assist with technology problems throughout the district. I applied for YA so I could work in the field I want, as well as for the recognition that comes with YA. I enjoy working in a field that I am very knowledgeable about, and I can use my knowledge to efficiently do whatever task is at hand. I’ve learned how to manage and handle multiple projects at once, completing them efficiently and to the best of my ability. After high school, I plan to attend college for a degree in computer science.”
— Noah Warren, Mosinee High School
“I am a CNA on the Surgical/Orthopedics floor. I was interested in a job in healthcare and thought work experience now would help me gain an insight into what my future career might entail. At Saint Clare’s, witnessing the strength of people pushing through less-than-desirable circumstances to overcome obstacles has become the most inspirational thing in my life. I enjoy the interactions I have with people much more than I ever dreamed possible. I proved to myself that my communication skills are critical in the medical field. I plan to attend UW-Madison to pursue a degree in genetics and continue on to medical school with my ultimate goal to become a physician.”
— Halee Nieuwenhuis, Saint Clare’s Hospital, Weston
“I help design processing systems for many big name companies. I applied for YA because I wanted to learn first-hand what the work environment would be like in my selected field. My favorite aspect of my job is working with Auto-Cad. The most important thing I’ve learned during my YA experience is that I insist on being perfect at a lot of what I do. Once I graduate from high school, I plan on going to a four-year college to become a mechanical engineer.”
— Andrew Hilgemann, A&B Process Systems, Stratford
“I help prep food on Saturdays, and during the week I work up front helping customers. I applied for YA because I thought it would be a good experience, and it looks good on college and job applications. I like working with people and working “hands on” rather than just sitting behind a desk. I’ve learned that I work well with others in stressful times and what teamwork really is. After high school I plan on working until I find out what I would like to do with my life.”
— Morgan Plautz, Culver’s, Cedar Creek, Rothschild
As you can see, Youth Apprenticeship provides students with experiences that will benefit them throughout their lives, but YA also benefits every business involved with the program. Employers get direct access to a pipeline of motivated workers interested in building a career in their industry, and they have the opportunity to shape their future workforce. YA covers a variety of areas from agriculture to welding.
Employers interested in connecting with a student looking for an apprenticeship should contact their local high school YA coordinator or Donna Schulz at Northcentral Technical College in Wausau.
From whby.com: "Job Center helps company add jobs quickly" -- Some state officials are celebrating a jobs success story in Appleton. Department of Workforce Development Secretary Reggie Newson and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch stopped by Clean Power today. [...]
From whby.com: “Job Center helps company add jobs quickly” — Some state officials are celebrating a jobs success story in Appleton.
Department of Workforce Development Secretary Reggie Newson and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch stopped by Clean Power today.
Company president Jeffery Packee says a partnership with the Job Center of Wisconsin, and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College helped his company hire new workers, quickly. He says they had to fill about 50 positions in just over two weeks, after they got a contract from Marinette Marine. Packee says the workers needed a variety of skills.
Packee says all of the jobs are full-time, and they’re now adding 34 more workers. He says Clean Power is using the job center again, to fill those positions.
From insightonmfg.com: "WCTC helps Superior Crane achieve ISO certification" -- Waukesha County Technical College helped Waukesha-based Superior Crane Corp. achieve its ISO-9001;2008 certification, and has featured the process in a video on its homepage. [...]
From biztimes.com: “WCTC helps Superior Crane achieve ISO certification” – Waukesha County Technical College helped Waukesha-based Superior Crane Corp. achieve its ISO-9001;2008 certification, and has featured the process in a video on its homepage.
The Center for Business Performance Solutions analyzed the company’s processes and provided a consultant to assist Superior each week as the company worked toward its goal. Click here to see the video.
As a result of the partnership, Superior’s machine shop became certified in July 2012 and its fabrication and parts department’s Quality Management Systems became certified in July 2013.
With its ISO certification, Superior has expanded its reach to serve the military and nuclear industries. Work processes, training, new personnel and equipment are now documented, while non-conformances are tracked and corrective/preventive actions are taken to prevent their recurrence.
From wkow.com: "Thanksgiving dinner disasters averted" -- As Thanksgiving approaches, visions of burned turkeys, lumpy gravy and burned stuffing can bring kitchen anxiety to even the most seasoned cooks. [...]
From wkow.com: “Thanksgiving dinner disasters averted” – As Thanksgiving approaches, visions of burned turkeys, lumpy gravy and burned stuffing can bring kitchen anxiety to even the most seasoned cooks.
WKOW visited Madison College Culinary Arts to talk with Chef Paul Short, who teaches us how to fix the most common cooking disasters on turkey day.
“If the turkey’s not thawed completely, don’t crank up the oven — delay dinner,” Short said. “We don’t want to make people sick. It’s about getting together and having a great time, so having that great time destroyed because we rush something, that’s not going to work.”
Short says people who don’t thaw their turkeys well enough often crank up the oven temperature to compensate; however, “it’s not cooking any faster. It’s only cooking faster on the outside.”
The solution is to cut the turkey meat off the bone, slice it into 1-inch thick slices, place the slices in a pan, cover the meat with gravy, and simmer for 30 to 35 minutes until the meat reaches 165 degrees in the middle or is no longer pink.
“You just need to serve it differently,” Short said, explaining to serve the slices and gravy on a platter. “It’s not going to look like a normal Rockwell turkey.”
Short makes sure to mention that people should sanitize all knives, boards and surfaces if there are raw turkey juices.
“You really need to clean this up before you do anything else because you don’t want to make your guests or family sick from your turkey,” Short said.
Lumpy gravy is an easy problem to fix, according to Short.
“Just sieve it,” he said, holding up a fine mesh strainer. He explains that if people are adding a thickener to hot liquid, the thickener needs to be cold. Otherwise, it will form lumps or what Short likes to call “dumplings.”
To avoid burning stuffing, set the baking dish in a pan of shallow water and bake.
“The water will cause steam to come off there, so it’s going to help us create a moist stuffing and also help us in the cooking process to help that custard bond together,” Short said, explaining to bake the stuffing in the water bath the entire time it’s in the oven to avoid burning the top and bottom.
FVTC training workers in 3D printing Nov 26 2013
From insightonmfg.com: "3D printing puts form, fit and function on the fast track" -- When companies can turn ideas into reality within 24 hours, it’s not hard to imagine the powerful impact 3D printing can have on the manufacturing industry. [...]
From insightonmfg.com: “From mind to model: 3D printing puts form, fit and function on the fast track” – When companies can turn ideas into reality within 24 hours, it’s not hard to imagine the powerful impact 3D printing can have on the manufacturing industry. Simply put, 3D printing technology turns 3D computer models into prototypes by “printing” the model, layer by layer, using various substances such as powder or plastic to create a tangible object.
“It’s an easy way to visualize your parts to check them for form, fit and function,” says Dean Sommerfeld, instructor of mechanical design technology at Fox Valley Technical College (FVTC). “You can model something on computer and it looks good, but it’s hard to tell scale. If you’re designing something to fit in your hand, does it fit?”
There is plenty of demand for workers trained in this technology. FVTC’s Mechanical Design Technology program has a consistent 90-plus percent graduate employment rate. The college is the only institution in the state with three fabrication laboratories (Fab Labs) and one mobile Fab Lab, according to Steve Gallagher, program specialist and Fab Lab manager at FVTC.
The University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley is also targeting the growing need for 3D printing skills and technology with its recent launch of the Center for Device, Design and Development. Officially dubbed “3DC,” it’s been described as “a platform for developing ideas into reality.” 3DC is a private-public venture seeking to connect small businesses and inventors in Wisconsin with the technical expertise and resources necessary to develop their ideas into marketable products.
In return, the inventor provides his or her support and agrees to share royalties with all involved parties.
“We do a good job of preparing our students for the technical skills they need to be successful in industry, but one aspect that could use further development is the ability to take a simple kernel of an idea and turn it into a marketable product,” said Dr. Michael Zampaloni in UWFox’s September announcement of the program. Zampaloni is 3DC’s co-director and professor of mechanical engineering for UW-Platteville. “Through 3DC, students, working with engineers and local small businesses and manufacturers, will gain some of this invaluable experience as part of an entrepreneurial team bringing new products, ideas, and businesses to the Fox Valley area,” he added.
By supporting the Fox Cities and Northeast Wisconsin small businesses, entrepreneurs and engineering students, each product developed has the potential to directly impact the Wisconsin economy through the expansion of existing businesses, and the creation of new businesses, all supporting high-tech jobs in the local area.
“People hold on to great, innovative ideas that are just waiting to become great, innovative solutions. However, individuals may not have the technical resources or even know where to begin. The 3DC is designed to guide these individuals through the entire product development process,” said Dr. Ranen McLanahan in the statement issued by the school. McLanahan is assistant professor of mechanical engineering at UWFox and 3DC co-director.
From jsonline.com: "Mayville Engineering plans to expand, hire 100 workers" -- Mayville Engineering Co. is planning to expand five of its plants in Wisconsin, resulting in 100 new manufacturing jobs, the company said Monday. [...]
From jsonline.com: “Mayville Engineering plans to expand, hire 100 workers” – Mayville Engineering Co. is planning to expand five of its plants in Wisconsin, resulting in 100 new manufacturing jobs, the company said Monday.
The expansion is the result of orders from existing customers as well as new work the company has landed, said Mayville marketing manager Brian Johnson.
Mayville Engineering Co., is an employee-owned firm based in the Dodge County community that shares its name. Mayville is about 55 miles northwest of Milwaukee.
Nationwide, the company employs about 2,000 people and generates more than $300 million in sales.
“We’re putting in some pretty significant equipment and we have to hire a bunch of people, so we’re trying to get the word out,” Johnson said.
“We’ve been successful at getting really good people in here and we’re in one of those situations right now where we need to get some more,” Johnson added. “It’s a good place to be.”
The new jobs will be primarily at the company’s two plants in Mayville, two plants in Beaver Dam and a plant in Wautoma. The company also has two plants in Neillsville in west-central Wisconsin, as well as plants in Michigan, Mississippi, South Carolina and Virginia.
“We have a number of new products that we are launching with some key customers in the agriculture, construction and power sports industries,” Johnson said.
Mayville Engineering specializes in making the parts used to build equipment ranging from large trucks to agricultural equipment to all-terrain vehicles. It does prototyping, production manufacturing, fabricating, tube forming, coating and assembly services in a variety of markets.
“We’re a key supply chain partner for a number of the large original equipment manufacturers,” Johnson said.
Company leaders realize they are hiring in a marketplace where demand is high for skilled labor. “That is something that we hear a lot,” Johnson said. “It’s no small challenge.”
The company’s position as an employee-owned business gives it an advantage when seeking to attract workers, he said.
“When they are looking at opportunities, we find that a lot of people are interested that they have a chance to earn stock in the company,” Johnson said. “That’s kind of a compelling advantage that we have.”
The company also has successfully entered into partnerships and apprenticeship programs with Moraine Park Technical College and Mayville High School.
The company is hiring for skilled manufacturing positions, including robotic and manual welders, laser operators, brake press operators, CNC machinists, punch press operators, tool and die makers, painters and material coordinators.
But the company also wants to hear from folks who might not have significant manufacturing experience. “Even if it’s not a long one, if they have a good work history that they can show us, we’re looking for good people who are going to fit into our culture,” Johnson said.
Growth and expansion at Mayville Engineering is an example of the positive part of what is proving to be an up-and-down performance of manufacturing in recent times. Manufacturing is a key sector of Wisconsin’s economy.
Diversification is key
“The recovery has been so uneven,” said David J. Ward, CEO of NorthStar Consulting Group, a private economic consulting and research firm in Madison. “There’s no pattern.
“We’ve had nothing out there that would say to manufacturers or anybody else, ‘Hey we’re on a roll,’” he said.
An important aspect for manufacturers is to have business across sectors, Ward said.
“Certain sectors are doing OK. Others, they’re not contracting or anything, they’re just kind of bumping along,” he said.
Having a diversity in business is exactly the strategy that Mayville has pursued.
“We really transcend a lot of different markets,” Johnson said. “So, if one market might be having a hard time, we have other markets that are growing.”
Job fair Dec. 7
Mayville Engineering will hold a job fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 7 at its Dodge County headquarters, 715 South St., Mayville, to recruit for manufacturing positions, including robotic and manual welders, laser operators, brake press operators, CNC machinists, punch press operators, tool and die makers, painters, and material coordinators.
From marshfieldnewsherald.com: "Auburndale man receives dislocated worker award" -- WIA Dislocated Worker Program Participant of the Year recipient is James Stanchik of Auburndale. [...]
From marshfieldnewsherald.com: “Auburndale man receives dislocated worker award” – North Central Wisconsin Workforce Development Board selected and announced the 2013 recipients of its first Erhard Huettl Awards of Excellence. Nominees were solicited throughout the Workforce Development Board’s nine-county region, for the following three categories: Workforce Investment Act Youth Program Participant of the Year, Adult Program Participant of the Year and Dislocated Worker Participant of the Year.
WIA Dislocated Worker Program Participant of the Year recipient is James Stanchik of Auburndale. Stanchik is a dislocated worker who lost his job of 22 years at NewPage’s paper mill in Whiting. The unexpected closure and loss of a good-paying job was a huge shock to Stanchik and his wife.
He quickly realized that in order to obtain another good-paying job he would need long-term occupational training in a high-demand career field. He began working with NCWWDB’s WIA Dislocated Worker Program shortly after his layoff. He graduated with distinction, from the Machine Tool Technician Technical Diploma program at Mid-State Technical College in May and started his new, full-time job as a lathe operator at Point Precision in Plover a mere four days after graduating from the program.
WIA Youth Program Participant of the Year recipient is Jacob Neathery of Rhinelander. WIA Adult Program Participant of the Year recipient is Traci Dumpprope of Rhinelander.
From fox11online.com: "New industry trend in forensic science" -- GRAND CHUTE - Many of you have likely seen the hit TV show Bones on FOX. The program illustrates how evidence must be logged and secured to preserve its integrity. [...]
From fox11online.com: “New industry trend in forensic science” – GRAND CHUTE – Many of you have likely seen the hit TV show Bones on FOX.
The program illustrates how evidence must be logged and secured to preserve its integrity.
An increasing interest in forensic science led Fox Valley Technical College to start an associate degree program in 2011.
A soon-to-be graduate, is finding her future with Grand Chute police is part of a new industry trend.
Back in 2011, Holly Schultz was watching FOX 11 when a live report caught her attention.
“They had kind of talked about some of the other trainings and forensic spotlights that they were doing here at the tech at the time, and that kind of sparked some interest with me,” said Schultz.
That segment spurred Schultz to enroll in the tech college’s forensic science program.
“People are more interested in forensics. Victims of crime, and people in the community, expect police officers to be doing more forensic related skills,” said FVTC Forensic Science instructor, Joe LeFevre.
LeFevre says the typical police academy training only provides eight hours of evidence training.
So the college created the degree program to enhance scientific expertise.
“Also seeing the trends utilized on the east and west coasts of going to civilians in the property and evidence room, and even civilians doing crime scene technician work,” LeFevre said.
The Grand Chute Police Department is believed to be the first agency in the state to take the leap in hiring a full-time evidence technician, without the typical police background.
“Holly is our latest hire in the property and evidence area,” said Chief Greg Peterson. “We’ve known that we needed to move in this direction, and hire a full time person probably for a couple of years now.” According to Peterson, “There’s a lot of trust involved because back in this room, you’re in the property room, you know how secluded it is, there are large quantities of cash, there are drugs, there is jewelry.”
Not only will Schultz be responsible for around 10 thousand pieces of physical evidence which have passed through these lockers, she will also be trained as a crime scene technician.
“It’s one of the reasons why the forensic science program at the tech is appealing to us, because that’s the type of training and education that they get. It prepares them for that type of field work,” Peterson said.
Schultz interned at the department before her hire last month, and has already done quite a bit.
“I’ve been to a few, and kind of a variety of scenes. I also help with their property and evidence department, making sure evidence is submitted correctly, that it’s packaged properly, that it’s stored properly,” Schultz said.
That includes evidence from major cases, such as the Road Star Inn homicide last year.
“I have been helping with the discovery process with that, and making sure that evidence for that gets submitted to the lab,” said Schultz.
Peterson says using sworn officers is tradition, but he thinks in time demand will grow for people with specialized skills, like Schultz.
“You’ll see more agencies in the future moving in that direction. But it hasn’t taken off in a grand way yet in this particular area,” Peterson said.
However, LeFevre tells me a number of police chiefs and sheriffs, are exploring the idea of a civilian evidence technician.
“We need somebody in there full time, who that’s their only job and their only mindset. And so it pays a chief to get a civilian in there, so they can get another officer out on the street, and not have them stuck in the basement of the police department,” said LeFevre.
Schultz is just thrilled to have finally landed her dream job.
“I can’t even begin to describe how awesome it is,” said Schultz, who graduates next month.
Fox Valley Technical College says it’s forensic science program is the only one of its kind at the two-year college level in the state.
FVTC responds to IT workforce needs Nov 25 2013
From postcrescent.com: "Streetwise: Oshkosh growing out of Sawdust City image" -- Oshkosh may have a ways to go before it competes with Silicon Valley, but the former center of the logging industry has quietly lumbered into the 21st century. [...]
From postcrescent.com: “Streetwise: Oshkosh growing out of the old Sawdust City image” — By Jeff Bollier - Oshkosh may have a ways to go before it competes with Silicon Valley, but the former center of the logging industry has quietly lumbered into the 21st century.
Companies like DealerFire, Oracular and ImproMed continue to add good-paying jobs while economic development agencies have sought ways to help bolster information technology as an industry in Oshkosh.
Meanwhile, Fox Valley Technical College has recently launched a partnership with Oshkosh North and West high schools that could help build interest — and necessary skill sets — in the IT field.
FVTC, North and West have established help desks staffed by students and monitored by FVTC mentors to help build an understanding of IT careers and the required skills. FVTC also has started to develop curriculum for the high schools that will allow interested students earn college credits while taking early courses vital to IT careers and courses of study.
These activities are the building blocks on which a successful industry can build for years to come. Let’s hope collaboration like this continues into the future and the vision comes to fruition.
• Oshkosh Corp. has been designated a Green Professional under the Wisconsin Sustainable Council’s Green Masters Program. The program recognizes companies that promote sustainability and healthy workplaces. In Oshkosh Corp.’s case, the council applauded the company’s increase in recycled materials, a reduction in items that end up in landfills and its wellness programs.
WITC president listens to public comments Nov 25 2013
From haywardwi.com: "WITC chief get earful on needs here" -- Local residents and businesspeople spoke about what new classes might help them and the local economy at a Nov. 5 community forum conducted by Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College (WITC) President Robert Meyer in Hayward. [...]
From haywardwi.com: “WITC chief gets earful on needs here” – Local residents and businesspeople spoke about what new classes might help them and the local economy at a Nov. 5 community forum conducted by Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College (WITC) President Robert Meyer in Hayward.
Meyer said WITC is developing a strategic plan for 2015-18. Headquartered in Shell Lake, the college has campuses in Ashland, Superior, Rice Lake and New Richmond, and outreach centers in Hayward and Ladysmith.
Meyer noted that “Washington Monthly” magazine has ranked WITC among the top 10 best two-year colleges in the nation in three consecutive studies, most recently fourth best in 2013.
Also, WITC surveys its students every year on topics including their interaction with faculty and opinion of student services, Meyer said. “We use those surveys for continuous improvement. Our staff is dedicated to that and to customer service,” he said.
Hayward resident and WITC adjunct instructor Matt Fitch said “I got a great education through WITC. I did a lot of classes right here in Hayward. I would like to see more blended classes (online, interactive TV and face to face),” he added. We need more staff here, such as teacher’s aides, who can answer questions about the subject matter and the technology in use.”
Meyer responded, “We have to demonstrate the demand for a program. The intent of outreach centers is to provide a place to get started on classes.” He added that WITC covers a large area geographically; on the average, each student travels 37 miles to attend a class.
Craig Faulstich, Hayward assistant police chief, has taught police science classes for WITC. He said he favors in-person, hands-on instruction, especially for inservices for professional personnel, rather than via interactive TV. “It would be nice to have those held locally in Hayward,” he added.
Amanda Fitch, an X-ray technician, said that as a mom with kids at home and with a full-time job, local ITV and night classes are a good fit for her.
Jennifer Moe, assistant director of nursing for Golden Living Center-Valley of Hayward, said, “We have a lot of job openings for nursing assistants.” People take the class, but then have to travel elsewhere to be tested, she said.
Jan McKichan, vice-president of nursing administration for Hayward Area Memorial Hospital, said, “We’re in the same boat. We have an absence of CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) classes in the area.” She said the state stopped registering and certifying CNAs and a company named Promisor has taken over certification — “and that changed everything.
“There is an absence of CNA classes in the area,” McKichan said. They do test for personal care workers here,” she added. She indicated that the hospital is working on a five- to 10-year strategic plan and has identified a need for more therapists.
“WITC grads are probably 90 percent of our staff,” McKichan added. “I would love to see more clinical time (offered by WITC).” A two-year nursing graduate is probably equal to a four-year graduate in many settings, she added. Another big need is for training programs in medical coding and electronic health care records, for which there is an absence of instructors, she indicated.
Meyer responded, “We know that health occupations will explode and that we’re an aging population, so we will lean more on the health care system.”
Bill Johnson of Johnson Timber said he graduated from the Hayward Community Schools and served on the school board for 11 years. “There’s always that push for four year colleges,” he said. “But a lot of kids won’t make it through a four year college. It’s not always a four year program that we want, but skills.”
Meyer said “We need to do a better job of helping the guidance counselors,” adding that “The scope of jobs has exploded; clearly 50 to 70 percent of the jobs will require a two-year degree. The No. 1 influence on kids is the parent, so we need to educate the parent about four-year college graduates versus two-year college graduates. Parents need to look at all the options.”
Meyer cited a 2012 survey of graduates indicating that WITC has a 92 percent job placement rate within six months, with 73 percent of those graduates employed in jobs related to their course of study at an average salary of $33,800. Also, 81 percent of graduates stay and contribute to the state’s economic development, with 69 percent of them staying in the WITC district.
Karen Melasecca, manager of Namekagon Transit, said that “Here in Hayward we need courses to train skilled mechanics and a commercial driver’s license course. We have 29 employees, nine of them working in the office, of whom seven are older than me. They struggle with computer skills,” she said.
Melasecca said it’s not economical for people to drive to Rice Lake to take a course.
From huffingtonpost.com: "College facilities as living laboratories for sustainability" -- College campuses across the country have been expanding their focus on sustainable practices with facilities, operations, and curriculum. These efforts have been bolstered by the efforts of several high-profile national associations such as the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) and Sustainability, Education and Economic Development (SEED). [...]
From huffingtonpost.com: “College Facilities As Living Laboratories for Sustainability” – College campuses across the country have been expanding their focus on sustainable practices with facilities, operations, and curriculum. These efforts have been bolstered by the efforts of several high-profile national associations such as the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) and Sustainability, Education and Economic Development (SEED).
One of the most prominent elements of this trend is that sustainable facilities not only reduce operating costs, but also serve as learning spaces for students … a concept referred to as living laboratories. Sustainable practices can be incorporated into a wide range of programs, from technician training to managing sustainable systems.
In Wisconsin, Western Technical College is extending the concept of facilities as living laboratories with two new initiatives: Passive House Construction and Applied Hydro Technology.
Passive House Construction
Western Technical College has existing associate degree and diploma programs in Building Systems Technology, Wood Technics, Architecture Technician, Landscape and Horticulture Technology and Heating/Ventilation/Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technician. These programs provide a stream of graduates with excellent job placement rates in their respective areas. Though there has been some coordination in curriculum and projects, these programs for the most part are stand alone. That is changing with the faculty-led initiative to develop Passive Houses.
Passive House technology has an established presence in Europe and emerging presence in the United States. Passive houses use ultra insulation and air circulation techniques to reduce energy consumption by at least 80 percent. By adding alternative energy elements such as solar panels, a passive house can exceed 90 percent reduced energy consumption.
In order to provide instruction in passive house technology, the five programs involved in the initiative must integrate their curriculum. And, the ability to construct real homes would be ideal.
The college entered into a community partnership with Hillview Urban Agriculture Center (HUAC) … an organization that promotes locally grown food and healthy eating. HUAC was located in a century old greenhouse located in a residential neighborhood in La Crosse, Wis. The building inefficiency placed a real burden on the operational viability of the organization. Western Technical College partnered with HUAC to relocate the greenhouse to the college campus. In turn, HUAC donated the land (three city lots) from the old greenhouse site to be developed into passive houses. Once the homes are constructed, they will be sold to private owners.
By developing these houses, the five programs will be adding a new dimension … an integrated curriculum in passive house technology. Over the years, the college built more than two dozen traditional homes as part of a neighborhood revitalization program for the City of La Crosse. Now the college looks forward to building energy-efficient, passive-rated homes.
Hydro Technology and the Angelo Dam
Prior to 2013, Western Technical College did not offer a hydro technology program. But as a signatory to the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, the college was seeking opportunities for alternative energy sources. One presented itself when Monroe County decided to sell a dam on the La Crosse River, approximately one-third mile from Western’s public safety facility. The County no longer wished to maintain the dam and in 2011, offered to sell it to the college for $1. An engineering analysis determined that the structure was in excellent shape and could easily accommodate new hydro technology equipment. In September 2013, the college received Federal Energy Regulation Commission (FERC) approval and the hydro equipment is currently being installed. The dam will be powered and generating electricity in December 2013.
The newly powered dam will allow the college to offer a five-course certificate in hydro technology in 2014 … a certificate that is unique in the upper Midwest. The college will also offer a technical seminar on How to Power a Dam. And, since there are more than 600 non-energy producing dams in the state of Wisconsin, there is great potential for influencing increased use of hydro technology as a viable alternative energy source in the upper Midwest.
Back to the Concept of Living Laboratories
So, these are interesting program initiatives in sustainability, but how do they serve as unique examples for living laboratories? First of all, both initiatives literally pay for themselves. The passive houses will be sold one at a time, with the proceeds of the sale being used to build the next house. The Angelo Dam will generate 1.2 million kwh per year with the energy sold to a regional utility. The annual revenue will cover the annual borrowing payments for the hydro equipment. Ultimately, once the equipment is paid for, the energy generated will be equivalent to removing the college’s six satellite locations from the grid. Even a LEED Platinum building has to assume the cost of construction as part of the overall cost.
Western is pleased to see these two new initiatives launched. But beyond their program impact, we also realize that a new door is being opened. On the other side, lies community-based facilities as living laboratories and new educational opportunities for colleges and universities.
From kenoshanews.com: "Albrecht testifies before education committee in Washington" -- A Congressional hearing on technical education included testimony from Gateway Technical College’s president. Bryan Albrecht joined three other speakers at the session, hosted by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, on Wednesday in Washington, D.C. [...]
From kenoshanews.com: “Albrecht testifies before education committee in Washington” – A Congressional hearing on technical education included testimony from Gateway Technical College’s president.
Bryan Albrecht joined three other speakers at the session, hosted by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, on Wednesday in Washington, D.C.
The hearing was titled “Preparing Today’s Students for Tomorrow’s Jobs: Improving the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act.”
The hearing was part of Congressional discussions on renewing the act and its school funding to help with technical and career education.
The committee wanted to explore ways to improve the education programs given that students ages 16 to 19 have a 22 percent unemployment rate nationwide.
Wisconsin’s 16 technical colleges and 423 secondary school districts had to split the roughly $20 million in Perkins funds given to the state for fiscal year 2013, Albrecht told the committee.
He said Gateway has used the funds to speed up help for dislocated workers and employees seeking new skills.
Businesses and schools also must work together to improve career and technical education in and after high school, he added. Gateway has joined with Snap-on Inc. and Trane to develop curriculum, training and industry certifications matching those companies’ skill needs, Albrecht said.
He also mentioned Gateway and SC Johnson have developed curriculum based on industry standards as the basis for the college’s boot camp manufacturing program. The boot camp, started at Gateway in fall 2006, is an accelerated program teaching skills in various fields.
He said Perkins money has been used so Gateway instructors could teach their curriculum in advanced engineering, manufacturing and information technology to LakeView Advanced Technology Academy juniors at that academy in the Kenosha Unified School District. Those students can earn between 18 and 40 college credits, giving them a post-secondary head start.
The college also has credit transfer agreements with the 14 high schools in Gateway’s jurisdiction, he added.
Albrecht said there’s been a decline in manufacturing jobs in southeastern Wisconsin, leading parents to encourage their children to study other fields.
A program called “Dream It. Do It.” attempts to explain modern manufacturing jobs to youngsters, he said.
“Numerical control is not standing in front of a lathe all day,” he said. “We have to use new ways of thinking about manufacturing.”
WITC gets high marks from students Nov 22 2013
From ashlandwi.com: "WITC gets high marks from report" -- Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College’s results from the 2013 Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) indicates that an overwhelming majority of WITC students feel that personal connections they experience at the college are critical to their academic success. [...]
From ashlandwi.com: “WITC gets high marks from report” — Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College’s results from the 2013 Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) indicates that an overwhelming majority of WITC students feel that personal connections they experience at the college are critical to their academic success.
“We participate in CCSSE to continually improve the quality of education we offer our students.” says Bob Meyer, president of WITC. “Quality is about the student experience — about what we do to engage our students, help them achieve their educational goals and ultimately improve the quality of their lives through education.”
CCSSE uses five benchmarks that allow colleges to monitor their performance in areas that are focused on teaching, learning and student success. These benchmarks encompass 38 engagement items on the survey that reflect a variety of aspects of students’ learning experiences.
Among the findings, 96 percent of survey respondents would recommend WITC to a friend or family member and 94 percent of students rated their educational experience at WITC as good or excellent.
“From my perspective of what the results say, WITC isn’t just a place to get a quality education, WITC is the place to be for connecting with fellow students, faculty and staff and provides services that help students accomplish their goals,” said Jennifer Kunselman, research and data coordinator at WITC. “Nearly three-fourths of CCSSE respondents have accomplished their goals at WITC or will return to WITC within the next 12 months.”
The study also found at WITC students report strong relationships; find instructors to be available, helpful and sympathetic; and that staff are helpful, considerate and flexible.
The CCSSE survey — administered directly to community college students at participating colleges —helps participating institutions assess quality in community college education, focus on good educational practice, and identify areas in which they can improve programs and services for students. Washington Monthly, an independent national magazine, utilizes CCSSE and IPEDS data to rank colleges and in 2013 they ranked WITC fourth in their listing of “America’s 50 Best Community Colleges.”
WITC will use the results in many ways, from improving and adding services to assist students, with marketing, to its quality review process, as well as strategic planning for the direction of the college.
Research shows that the more actively engaged students are — with college faculty and staff, with other students, and with the subject matter — the more likely they are to learn and to achieve their academic goals.
“Students that attend WITC build strong relationships with each other and college staff that not only help them succeed while learning, but also face the many challenges along the way,” Kunselman said. “The study shows that a large portion of our students face multiple responsibilities while they are attending WITC. Many have long commutes to the WITC campus they are attending, they have jobs in addition to taking classes and many have families that are dependent on their care. The relationships that students build at WITC help them face these challenges and play a big part in their succeess at WITC.”
MSTC receives E2 Energy to Educate grant Nov 21 2013
From campustechnology.com: "Constellation Awards $310,000 in Energy Education grants" -- Energy company Constellation has selected 10 recipients for its 2013 E2 Energy to Educate grant program. Winning institutions will win a share of $310,000 to fund projects that will affect 21,000 students in grades 6 through college. [...]
From campustechnology.com: “Constellation awards $310,000 in Energy Education grants” – Energy company Constellation has selected 10 recipients for its 2013 E2 Energy to Educate grant program. Winning institutions will win a share of $310,000 to fund projects that will affect 21,000 students in grades 6 through college.
Winners and their projects include:
- The Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, where 180 students will help make a classroom that uses only solar energy;
- One-hundred-twenty Coppin State University students will study new energy technology, such as quantum dot solar cells and nanotechnology;
- More than 1,100 high school and college students will help create “a 200 square-foot energy learning station” and “an energy-efficient architectural design for a new 2500 square-foot Evergreen Energy Education (E3) EHC classroom facility that will provide a functioning example of green energy solutions” at the Evergreen Heritage Foundation, according to information released by Constellation;
- Fairleigh Dickinson University will host a conference on global sustainability and renewable energy for 550 students from various New Jersey high schools;
- Green Street Academy and Living Classrooms Crossroads School will expand their Green Street Racers after school program and competition;
- The “Baltimore-Washington Electric Vehicle Initiative (BEVI) will engage a youth service corps of high school and college students focused on electric vehicle education,” according to information released by Constellation;
- Faculty from Mid-State Technical College will provide curriculum and instruction to help students from four high schools measure the energy efficiency of their school facilities and design a photovoltaic system. The system will then be used as a demonstration unit for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) courses;
- The Rochester Museum will help students learn about energy consumption and production with hands on design and build challenges in a new Inventor Center exhibit;
- Solar One has developed the Green Design Lab, “a hands-on sustainability curriculum aimed at greening urban schools,” according to information released by Constellation; and
- The University of Maryland Baltimore County will host a competition that asks 200 students to design new demand response technology.
“Constellation is proud to support student creativity and innovation through our Energy to Educate program,” said Joseph Nigro, CEO of Constellation, in a prepared statement. “We congratulate this year’s grant recipients for their efforts in developing hands-on projects that explore energy issues.”
More information on the winning projects is available at constellation.com.
From chippewa.com: "Academy graduates ready for law enforcement careers" -- It wasn’t just family tradition that attracted James Jarecki to a career in law enforcement, but he did find inspiration there. [...]
From chippewa.com: “Academy graduates ready for law enforcement careers” – Eau Claire, WI – It wasn’t just family tradition that attracted James Jarecki to a career in law enforcement, but he did find inspiration there.
“It’s in my family. My dad (James, Sr.) worked for Bayfield County as a patrol officer,” Jarekci said.
Now Jarecki is about to follow in his father’s footsteps. On Friday, Nov. 15, he graduated from the Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) Law Enforcement Academy, renewing his certification to work as a law enforcement officer in Wisconsin. He’s been hired as a reserve officer for the Chippewa County Sheriff’s Department and is on the eligibility list for full-time work.
Jarecki, who was elected class leader, had been through the academy once before, but the 2007 Drummond High School graduate was working outside law enforcement for a time, and since he was hired by Chippewa County in January, his certification needed to be renewed. He’s looking forward to getting started in his new career.
“I like patrol,” Jarecki said of his preferred law enforcement job. “You’re not sitting in an office all the time. It’s always something different. You never know what you’re going to get into.”
Being a law enforcement officer in Wisconsin takes a great deal of training. Most of the Law Enforcement Academy graduates, including Jarecki, previously completed CVTC’s two-year Criminal Justice-Law Enforcement program or one at another technical college. Others obtained four-year university degrees before entering the academy.
That provides a good, required foundation, but the 14-week academy program gets down to the practical. Completion of an academy program is required for certification.
Eric Anderson, director of the CVTC Law Enforcement Academy and associate dean of emergency services at CVTC, said the program instructs the recruits in six areas: policing in America, tactical skills, patrol procedures, legal context, relational skills, and investigations.
“The graduates learned to interact with the community as a professional,” Anderson said in his remarks to the graduates and family members at the ceremony. “They learned how to protect themselves. . . they learned how to provide safety and security to all citizens.”
Graduate Christopher Allen, chosen as the student speaker for the ceremony, spoke of the task ahead of the graduates in their careers. “We’ll be given an awesome amount of responsibility. We will be called upon to calm chaos in the most professional manner possible,” Allen said.
“Don’t let it end here,” Judy Anibas, academy faculty member and long-time Eau Claire police officer, told the graduates. “It means a lifelong journey of continuous education and training.”
Anibas called upon the graduates to honor the people they work with, their community, their loved ones and themselves. “And honor the department that hires you. They saw something in you that they thought would enhance their department.”
Of the 22 graduates, four had already secured full-or part-time positions with departments.
From ibmadison.com: "Stoughton Trailers' Wahlin takes the high road through economic challenges" -- For most area businesses, the Great Recession was nothing less than devastating. For Stoughton Trailers, however, it was just one terrifying part of a ferocious three-headed monster. [...]
From ibmadison.com: “Stoughton Trailers’ Wahlin takes the high road through economic challenges” – For most area businesses, the Great Recession was nothing less than devastating. For Stoughton Trailers, however, it was just one terrifying part of a ferocious three-headed monster.
The company was already experiencing a brutal downturn before the recession hit its frightening heights in late 2008, having seen a slackening in demand for its signature dry-van trailers starting in 2006.
Add to that the hollowing out of another once-profitable sector — intermodal equipment — because of Chinese competition, and you had a recipe for disaster.
You could say that’s just what befell Stoughton Trailers as the family-run company approached its 50th anniversary near the close of the last decade, but it has stormed back in the past few years, going from around 1,400 employees before the downturn began, to around 250 when the recession was doing its worst damage, to approximately 1,000 today.
At IB’s next Icons in Business presentation on Dec. 3, Stoughton Trailers President Robert Wahlin will discuss the company’s survival strategies in the wake of the Great Recession and the challenges the company faced in both ramping up and ramping down production in response to global economic forces.
According to Wahlin, it wasn’t just the loss of business that hurt Stoughton Trailers, it was also the hemorrhaging of considerable human capital, which threatened the long-term success of his company.
“When we dropped from around 1,400 to around 250 in basically about a three-year period, at that point, you’re not just cutting to the bone, you’re cutting into the bone,” said Wahlin. “So it was during that time period we lost a lot of good people, a lot of our core talented manufacturing personnel.”
In an era when it’s already difficult to recruit and retain skilled manufacturing workers, losing all that accumulated talent poses a significant problem. Part of Stoughton Trailers’ response was to refocus its remaining workforce on continuing education.
“The people we were able to continue with, we did significant investment in, and what I mean by that is educational investment,” said Wahlin. “So we had shop floor people, we had administrative people, the whole group. … We took people off the floor and put them in the classroom, and we had classes in quality certification, Lean Six Sigma, ergonomics, and just kind of general business classes as well. And we were able to build up and improve our core base of personnel and improve those jobs while pursuing educational opportunities as well.
“We did this through MATC, and it got to the point where some of the classes were so dominated by Stoughton Trailers employees that they actually came and held the classes at our facilities.”
But while the company’s remaining workforce no doubt felt fortunate to be in the factory or in the classroom — anywhere but on the unemployment line — according to Wahlin, keeping them motivated in the face of so much grim news was one of his biggest challenges.
“Yeah, it’s a big challenge to keep them excited about coming to work every day when they see people that they’ve worked with for so many years have to leave or sit on the sidelines,” said Wahlin. “You can easily fall into an, ‘oh, what’s the point?’ type of atmosphere, and especially when you’re taking on improvement projects and educational opportunities, it’s hard for people to see the advantage of that because it’s not an immediate payback. So when you’re doing those types of investments, there’s a sense of urgency to put that education and that investment to good use and to see that payback, but you just have to be very patient and wait for the right time.”
The right time eventually came, but not before the company was forced to retool and allow plenty of good people to move on to other jobs. While much of the company’s resurgence can be attributed to a rebound in demand for its core products and a rosier economic picture overall, Stoughton Trailers also re-evaluated its product line and redoubled its efforts to address the manufacturing skills gap.
In addition to ramping up production to address the pent-up demand for replacement trailers, the company began to diversify.
“During the downturn, we were just into dry-vans,” said Wahlin. “Into the downturn and coming out of it, we started building a grain trailer, so we got into agricultural equipment. … We also have been scratching and clawing to find our way back into intermodal containers and chassis. It went to China, but we redid [our] Evansville plant and significantly changed the product design, trying to find a way where we can be efficient enough to get back into that market.
“We had been, for the last few years, the only North American supplier that’s been trying to get back in, but we’ve been building containers and chassis again, and right now we’re looking and have been doing research into other products such as flatbeds and refrigerated equipment and other things. So yeah, the dry-van market started to increase primarily through equipment replacement demand, and we also diversified our products so we weren’t as susceptible to the downturn and the swings that go with a single product line.”
While slaying the Chinese competition dragon requires a novel, up-to-the-moment strategy — one that Wahlin promises to share at the Icons in Business presentation — an even greater problem for the company, and other U.S. manufacturers, may be the lingering manufacturing skills gap.
While laying off hundreds of employees is devastating on both a personal and professional level, finding enough skilled people to meet new demand can be almost as challenging as winding down production.
Wahlin says the company was able to recall between 300 and 350 of its former employees when it started hiring again, but many had moved on, and the available pool of skilled labor simply isn’t what it used to be.
“We’re in somewhat of a unique situation,” said Wahlin. “Our plants are in Stoughton — so Southern Dane — as well as Rock County in Evansville and Green County in Brodhead. And when GM left Janesville, the whole manufacturing infrastructure just kind of disappeared from the area. There’s not the base of welders and industrial painters and machine operators and press operators. There’s not nearly as much of that skill in the area as there used to be, so you get to a point where you can’t go and rely on hiring those skills.
“We have an in-house welding department where, I would say over 95% of our welders we promote from within and train in-house, and they’ll spend a week or more in our welding training center. … We’ve taken a much different approach and investment to training and education than we had to in the past, when some of those manufacturing skills were more readily available in the market.”
Wahlin says the company has also opened up the company’s facilities to high school kids to show them what manufacturing has to offer and prove to them it’s not the hard, dirty, physical work it was in the old days. Beyond that, however, the urgency of the moment demands that his company act now. It’s a good problem to have — particularly considering the dark days Stoughton Trailers recently emerged from — but that doesn’t make the problem any less real.
“The whole skills gap issue is kind of a nationwide phenomenon, and yeah, I think a lot of programs are getting in place and a greater emphasis is being made in the tech schools to start to rebuild that,” said Wahlin, “but manufacturers today can’t wait for that to happen. They need people today or tomorrow, and they’re left with no other choice but to get them in and train them internally.”
NTC president informs county supervisors Nov 20 2013
From antigodailyjournal.com: "Dr. Lori Weyers, who heads NTC, complimentary in board address" -- The Langlade County Board of Supervisors couldn’t have asked for a more complimentary guest at its November meeting today. [...]
From antigodailyjournal.com: “Dr. Lori Weyers, who heads NTC, complimentary in board address” – The Langlade County Board of Supervisors couldn’t have asked for a more complimentary guest at its November meeting today.
Dr. Lori Weyers, who heads the sprawling Northcentral Technical College, paid a visit and with her staff, explained what is happening at the college, improvements, advances being made and across the system, all with student success in mind.
Targeting the Antigo campus, she explained there are currently 1,700 students enrolled, which is one in every nine people living here. Last year there were 87 graduates, with many students going on to employment but more are continuing their education at campuses across Wisconsin and Michigan to start their university careers as juniors.
“We have partnered,” she said, telling the board that the NTC program has worked with universities to meet requirements for the students from the eight campuses accepted as juniors.
Larry Kind, dean of the campus in Antigo, outlined the gains being made at the local site and the advances that the wood technology facility has brought to the education program. Those changes also include a nursing program.
The NTC representatives who accompanied her explained there are jobs for the graduates of the two-year program, noting the information technology and welding programs as attractive fields for employment.
Weyers said the partnership with NTC and the Langlade County Board on the wood technology center is working well, and established a guideline for programs that have continued.
“You were the first,” she said, noting that the supervisors here worked with the college on construction of the wood technology facilities.
“You were the leader,” she added, “without you we may have not had these other things happen.”
The presentation by Weyers and her staff brought applause from the board.
Madison College VP receives national award Nov 19 2013
From host.madison.com: "MATC's Walleser nabs enrollment award" -- Diane Walleser, vice president of enrollment at Madison Area Technical College, was honored last week by a national association for her work promoting strategic enrollment management. [...]
From host.madison.com: “MATC’s Walleser nabs enrollment award” – Diane Walleser, vice president of enrollment at Madison Area Technical College, was honored last week by a national association for her work promoting strategic enrollment management.
At the ceremony in Chicago, Walleser was touted by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers for leadership that has led to significant growth in student applications and enrollment since she started in 2005. It also noted an 85 percent increase in students in the college’s liberal arts transfer program during her tenure.
“A new academic pathway model was developed to improve retention and completion rates and shorten time-to-completion,” the association noted. “Academic and peer advisors have been hired and orientation services redesigned to intentionally support student retention and success.”
CVTC names center after Caspers Nov 19 2013
From chippewa.com: "CVTC names center after Caspers" -- A conference center at the campus of Chippewa Valley Technical College, 620 W. Clairemont Ave., Eau Claire has been named in honor of William and Gertrude Casper of Chippewa Falls. [...]
From chippewa.com: “CVTC names center after Caspers” – A conference center at the campus of Chippewa Valley Technical College, 620 W. Clairemont Ave., Eau Claire has been named in honor of William and Gertrude Casper of Chippewa Falls.
The Casper Conference Center is in the Business Education Center, and is in the former site of a auditorium. A partition can be used to divide the rooms space, which can seat 298. The new center has six large high-definition projection screens, wireless network capability and a wireless microphone.
Casper Park in Chippewa Falls also bears the name of the Caspers.
William J. Casper was the grandson of the founder of the Leinenkugel Brewing Company, Jacob Leinenkugel. William served as the firm’s president from 1964 until he retired in 1971. He also served as chairman of the company’s board of directions until 1989. That’s when he and his wife, Gertrude, established the Casper Foundation.
That foundation has given CVTC several gifts, allowing the technical college to construct buildings, upgrade equipment and improve programs. Casper Foundation grants have also been given to several students.
The Casper Conference Center is available for public use. For information, go to http://www.cvtc.edu.
From hispanicBusiness.com: "Lakeshore Technical College receives Department of Labor grant to train health care IT workers" -- Lakeshore Technical College (LTC) recently received a grant of $897,039 to enhance and expand career pathways for dislocated workers, veterans, and other adult learners, to build a skilled workforce in the information technology (IT) sector within health care. [...]
From hispanicbusiness.com: “Lakeshore Technical College receives Department of Labor grant to train health care IT workers” – Lakeshore Technical College (LTC) recently received a grant of$897,039 to enhance and expand career pathways for dislocated workers, veterans, and other adult learners, to build a skilled workforce in the information technology (IT) sector within health care. The grant is part of a larger $23.1 millioninvestment by the U.S. Department of Labor to Wisconsin’s 16 technical colleges to address emerging needs in the IT sector.
The announcement was made by LTC President Dr. Michael Lanser to kick off a presentation at LTC’s Cleveland campus onNovember 6 on Health Care and the Health Care Workforce in Wisconsin. LTC plans to use the grant dollars to establish three new programs which will combine health and information technology skills to create more career pathways.
The Health Information Management Program will be accessible completely online. The Health Information Technician Certificate will provide Information Technology students with the knowledge & skills needed to put their IT degree to work in a health care setting, while students pursuing clinical careers will have the opportunity to add an information technology certificate to their education credentials. The grant will also impact future Pharmacy Technician students who will work with a new, state-of-the-art Pharmacy software system. Students in these areas will be immersed in hands-on learning throughout these programs and will be issued a tablet computer for regular and ongoing use throughout their program.
“We are excited about these initiatives and we look forward to ensuring our future students graduate with the most relevant health care education to meet employer needs, ” said Lanser.
Judy Warmuth, Vice President-Workforce Development Wisconsin Hospital Association was the keynote speaker for the event. In her presentation, Warmuth expressed the need for having qualified individuals in these career fields.
“Health care will be a strong employment sector well into the future,” said Warmuth. “There are many, many kinds of jobs in health care and new ones will emerge and jobs in health information technology, care management and population health will be especially strong.”
Wisconsin’s technical colleges received one of the largest single awards from the Department of Labor’s investment, and the collaboration makes the technical college system one of the few applicants to receive back-to-back grants. In the previous round, LTC shared in an $18.3 million grant to expand innovative programs that produce high-skilled workers in advanced manufacturing.
From wisconsinrapidstribune.com: "MSTC Foundation receives $10,000 donation" -- Districts Mutual Insurance, or DMI, a Wisconsin Technical College System, or WTCS, insurance carrier and risk management company, has made a donation of $10,000 to the Mid-State Technical College Foundation. [...]
From wisconsinrapidstribune.com: “MSTC Foundation receives $10,000 donation” — Districts Mutual Insurance, or DMI, a Wisconsin Technical College System, or WTCS, insurance carrier and risk management company, has made a donation of $10,000 to the Mid-State Technical College Foundation.
Mid-State Technical College Vice President of Finance Nelson Dahl, on behalf of DMI executives, presented an oversized check to MSTC Foundation Board President Greg Krings during the Board’s regularly scheduled meeting recently. The funds are unrestricted, meaning the foundation has the ability to designate them to the highest areas of student need.
Each Wisconsin technical college will receive a check in the same amount for a total contribution of $160,000, the company announced at its October quarterly meeting.
“This donation commemorates our 10th year of operations and also serves as a tangible benefit of being a member of DMI — a company whose primary focus is on the needs of its members,” said DMI Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Steven Stoeger-Moore.
MSTC, one of 16 colleges in the WTCS, offers more than 100 associate degrees, technical diplomas and certificates. Student-focused and community-based, MSTC serves a resident population of approximately 165,000 in central Wisconsin with campuses in Marshfield, Stevens Point and Wisconsin Rapids, and a learning center in Adams. Nearly nine in 10 MSTC graduates are employed within six months of graduation.
DMI was established in 2004 to provide a range of commercial insurance coverages to meet the unique needs of the 16 Wisconsin technical college districts. DMI provides a menu of insurance and risk management services and solutions to address the multiple exposures created by the delivery of vocational, technical and adult education.
From starjournalnow.com: "Sixth graders visit Nicolet College for hard and soft rock tour" -- Thirty-two sixth graders from Nativity Catholic School recently had the chance to visit the Nicolet College’s Geology Lab to examine the college’s extensive collection of rocks. [...]
From starjournalnow.com: “Sixth graders visit Nicolet College for hard and soft rock tour” – Thirty-two sixth graders from Nativity Catholic School recently had the chance to visit the Nicolet College’s Geology Lab to examine the college’s extensive collection of rocks.
The igneous and metamorphic rocks a billion years old and more featured in the event are common in this part of the state, Nicolet Geology Instructor Paul Ehlers told the students.
“But in the southern part of the state, rocks that old are virtually non-existent,” Ehlers said. “Right around Wausau, the Canadian shield bedrock ends and you start getting a lot more sedimentary rocks, which aren’t nearly as old.”
During the course of their visit, Ehlers walked the students through the wide variety of rocks that are found in different parts of the state and explained the geologic processes that gave each its unique character.
“The kids were so engaged and interested in what they were looking at,” said Ehlers, who regularly gives presentations at PK-12 schools in the Northwoods.
From beloitdailynews.com: "Technical training key to successful manufacturing careers" -- Good news for people concerned about employment in America today: Well-paying jobs in the manufacturing sector—actually, more than 600,000 of them—are waiting for workers who have been properly trained. [...]
From beloitdailynews.com: “Technical training key to successful manufacturing careers” – Good news for people concerned about employment in America today: Well-paying jobs in the manufacturing sector—actually, more than 600,000 of them—are waiting for workers who have been properly trained.
That’s why now may be the time to take a second look at a career in manufacturing.
Why are so many skilled labor jobs unfilled? Part of it has to do with perception. Many people, especially young people, think a career in manufacturing involves working in noisy, dirty surroundings in a job that gathers little respect and less attention. Those stereotypes may have been more accurate decades ago, but are really not today.
Manufacturing plants and facilities are now highly automated, and it takes a great deal of training and knowledge to operate the machinery and equipment. People can’t simply walk in off the street and get those jobs.
As high school students think about plans following graduation, a career in a skilled labor field isn’t top of mind with most. In fact, a recent poll found that while 70 percent of Americans think manufacturing is the most important industry as far as effect on the national economy goes, only 30 percent say they’d encourage their children to pursue a manufacturing career.
While conventional four-year college programs are a good fit for some, many students would thrive in a technical education program if given the chance. Often in only two years, a young man or woman can get a technical degree, start working a meaningful job that offers career advancement, and make a decent living doing so. The average hourly wage for manufacturing jobs is about $24, according to Businessweek.com.
The private sector is doing its part to encourage manufacturing careers. Many technical schools and community colleges are partnering with Snap-on Incorporated to teach specific disciplines designed to give students added skills to make them more employable. The company is a leading manufacturer of tools, equipment and diagnostics for the transportation, aviation, aerospace and manufacturing sectors, and has developed certification programs for students to receive extra training in certain technical disciplines.
The goal of the Snap-on certifications is not to teach how machinery operates or how an aircraft flies, but rather, to show students the proper and best way to use specific tools and equipment to become more productive in their jobs.
Most Snap-on certification courses comprise 16 hours of instruction and are blended into the school’s existing technical course program. More than 100 technical schools across the country offer certifications as part of their curriculum. To facilitate the certifications in the partnering schools, Snap-on works with the National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3), an organization that validates and oversees the certification assessment standards.
For more information on the certification program or to see a list of participating schools, visit www1.snapon.com/Education.
From wbay.com: "NWTC peer mentoring program aims to boost minority graduate rates" -- Northeast Wisconsin Technical College launches a new peer mentor program. It's aimed to improve the graduation rate for minority students. [...]
From wbay.com: “NWTC mentoring program aims to boost minority graduation rates” – Northeast Wisconsin Technical College launches a new peer mentor program.
It’s aimed to improve the graduation rate for minority students.
It can be difficult for any first year student to navigate the first year of college, but some have a tougher time than others.
“We always hear the achievement gap, minority students are more affected,” said Gema Garcia, the program coordinator.
NWTC is trying to close that gap through a new, peer mentoring program.
A $15,000 grant allowed the tech college to hire ten mentors to work with minority students.
“Helping them advocate for themselves and eliminating some of the barriers they went through will truly impact their continuation of college,” explained Garcia.
“We touch base on how they’re doing in school, if they’re struggling in class. If they are, I would refer them to the resources that are available here,” added La Vue, a mentor.
The mentors meet with their mentee a few times a week based on their schedules.
So far, students say the program is helpful.
“To have someone who is similar in age that can relate to them, someone that can help them out. Someone that is more like a friend, but you have a professional level there instead of always having teachers come down on a student,” explained Esun Hudson, a mentee.
“I’m the oldest in my family, so I don’t really have anyone to advise me or anyone to go to and having someone my age that is willing to help me through the process is pretty encouraging,” added Laura Billagomez, another mentee.
Twenty-four students have applied to be paired with a mentor.
Several spots are still available.
Fox Valley Technical College has a similar program called “Brother to Brother”which is an initiative to increase graduation rates among male African American students.
Holmen parents want more dual credit options Nov 15 2013
From lacrossetribune.com: "Students get a jump on college" -- For today’s high school students, it’s important to have options. [...]
From lacrossetribune.com: “Students get a jump on college” – For today’s high school students, it’s important to have options.
College- and career-bound students alike in Holmen and Onalaska benefit from Youth Options, a program that allows academically motivated students to earn high school and college credit simultaneously by taking classes at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Viterbo University or Western Technical College.
The program was a topic of discussion Monday evening at meetings of the school boards in Holmen and Onalaska.
If a student is accepted, the school districts pay for tuition, class fees and books. Students may take up to 18 credits.
This year, 40 students from Holmen High and 13 from Onalaska High have enrolled in Youth Options, taking a variety of courses that include software design, biology, calculus, physics and accounting.
“These students have kind of maxed out what we can offer (at the high school level),” said Darcy Lindquist, Holmen’s Youth Options coordinator.
Last year, Youth Options courses cost about $18,000 for Onalaska’s 29 participants and $20,000 for Holmen’s 25 participants.
“It’s an expensive requirement the state has for the district, but you can’t argue with the opportunities it gives to the kids in terms of getting postsecondary education.” said Roger Fruit, director of instructional services for the Onalaska district.
Cullin Trivett, Holmen’s student representative on the school board, noted the importance of college-level preparatory courses like those available through Youth Options and advanced placement classes.
Annette Valeo, a Holmen parent, addressed the school board Monday and asked the district to consider expanding dual credit options for students.
From greenbaypressgazette.com: "Colleges look for ways to raise funds, not taxes, tuition" -- College leaders say that today’s economy forces them to think creatively about raising money. [...]
From greenbaypressgazette.com: “Colleges look for ways to raise funds, not taxes, tuition” – College leaders say that today’s economy forces them to think creatively about raising money.
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College’s President Jeff Rafnis is looking for new ways to raise money that do not involve taxes or tuition. The school’s long-range plan, “The Future 2018 Statement of Strategic Directions,” cites a goal to generate $1 million a year.
Other local college administrators say they, too, look for ways to bring dollars that won’t impact students or taxpayers. Rafn said it’s in their best interests.
“The rationality is, as we continue to move forward, the pressure to keep taxes down and not to raise tuition will continue, so we need to look at ways to diversify,” he said. “We need to look for funding wherever we can. The question is, ‘Could we create a revenue stream we haven’t before? Let’s see if we can generate $1 million.’”
That’s about 1 percent of NWTC’s $108 million budget, for 2013-14.
The funding would be separate from money raised through the school’s charitable foundation, Rafn said. It could include things such as marketing curriculum school staff has developed or other intellectual property, he said.
For example, NWTC has created a system to collect information about student progress to help faculty and staff recognize red flags early, and such a system could be sold to other schools, Rafn suggested.
In another example, every Taser device instructor course or re-certification course goes through NWTC — so a police department may have its own trainer, but that trainer is trained through the community college. NWTC could look at selling training products, he said. The school is in the process of securing a patent on such a product staff created in the electromechanical field, which could someday be sold, Rafn said.
School staff also creates curriculum that could be bartered or sold, he said. Administrators need to explore policy and legal implications before moving forward, Rafn said.
“It’s really just a way of starting to look outside of the box,” Rafn said. “The main reason we’re doing all of this is to enhance education. We’re not putting money in anybody’s pocket, it is all to help students.”
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has made similar efforts on a smaller scale, according to Dan McCollum, assistant vice chancellor for academic administration.
Nursing instructors have worked with several nursing groups and associations to create a computer application to replace paper manuals, he said. UW-Green Bay would receive a royalty for its participation.
It also has several programs that are self-supported, including its Environmental Management and Business Institute, which sells services to keep the department going, McCollum said.
St. Norbert College’s revenue enhancement task force meets every other month to discuss ways to raise money, said Amy Sorenson, chief of staff for President Thomas Kunkel.
The four-year private college in De Pere is in the process of trademarking its summer Girls Leadership and Development Camp, and Soreneson said the intention is to offer it to other organizations, especially educational groups.
Most external revenue, which excludes tuition or donations, comes from hosting conferences or special events such as wedding receptions, or renting out facilities, she said.
“I think with the rising cost of tuition, campuses need to look at these possibilities,” Sorenson said. “It’s very much on our radar.”
From chippewa.com: "Latest equipment helps prepare students for job market" -- Instructor assistant Corey Wegner proudly shows off a steel cutout in the shape of an elk, done in such fine detail that the texture of the hairs on the elk’s neck is apparent. The metal was cut on the latest piece of equipment in the welding shop at Chippewa Valley Technical College. [...]
From chippewa.com: “Latest equipment helps prepare students for job market” – Instructor assistant Corey Wegner proudly shows off a steel cutout in the shape of an elk, done in such fine detail that the texture of the hairs on the elk’s neck is apparent. The metal was cut on the latest piece of equipment in the welding shop at Chippewa Valley Technical College.
Amazingly, the metal was cut without applying any heat, and in fact, it is specifically because no heat was used that the detail was so fine.
A Flow waterjet cutter did the job, and students enrolled for the fall term will be learning how to use it. It’s another example of how CVTC continues to stay on the “cutting edge” of manufacturing equipment. It’s rare indeed for the graduate of a CVTC manufacturing program to enter the workforce and be baffled by the technology. The college is generally ahead of the curve.
“We are constantly talking to companies, and they are very good about telling us what the new trends are. The college is very good at keeping up with that,” says Jeff Sullivan, associate dean of manufacturing.
A case in point is the waterjet cutter, which uses a high pressure fine stream of water to cut metal in fine detail.
“It’s cutting using the erosion process instead of heat, so you don’t get the heat-affected areas you do from heat cutting,” says Walter Quaschnick, head of the welding program. Intense heat can affect the properties of the metal being cut.
“And because we use water, we can cut through other things like ceramic, wood and rubber,” Quaschnick continues. “It’s a unique type of cutting process.”
One of the biggest applications is in cutting stainless steel, which is susceptible to rusting if cut with a torch. One local company, Midwest Stainless in Menomonie, uses a waterjet and appreciates that CVTC manufacturing graduates are familiar with this technology.
CVTC’s strategy works two ways. Students are better prepared to enter the workforce by having training on the latest equipment, and the fact that trained workers are available encourages industry to modernize. It’s how education can drive economic development.
Also new at CVTC this year is a Haas VM-2 unit in the machine tool area. Sullivan notes it is capable of a 1,000-rpm spindle speed. “If you make an analogy, it would be like a standard computer compared to a high-speed computer,” Sullivan said.
Examples of such high-technology capability at CVTC’s Manufacturing Education Center area abound:
- The welding program has a computer interface so students can evaluate their techniques with a computer program.
- The machine tool program has the capability of micro-machining.
- The industrial mechanic program has an assembly line simulator in which students can troubleshoot problems.
- The nanoengineering technology program has a Class 100 cleanroom, unique in the state.
CVTC’s manufacturing technology is so sophisticated that the college receives requests from private industry to use it, which is possible through the college’s Equipment Access Program.
Chippewa Valley Technical College campuses are located in Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Menomonie, Neillsville and River Falls. CVTC serves an 11-county area in west-central Wisconsin. It is part of the Wisconsin Technical College System and is one of 16 WTCS colleges located throughout the state.
LTC webcast will focus on Affordable Care Act Nov 14 2013
From iwantthenews.com: "LTC webcast will focus on Affordable Care Act" -- Lakeshore Technical College will host an interactive webcast on Monday, Nov. 18 from 5 to 7 p.m. for anyone interested in learning about the Affordable Health Care Act (ACA), scheduled to go into effect at the beginning of 2014. [...]
From iwantthenews.com: “LTC webcast will focus on the Affordable Care Act” – Lakeshore Technical College will host an interactive webcast on Monday, Nov. 18 from 5 to 7 p.m. for anyone interested in learning about the Affordable Health Care Act (ACA), scheduled to go into effect at the beginning of 2014.
Utilizing the ITV technology that allows LTC to successfully bring learning to students without having to travel, participants can access the interactive webcast from Two Rivers High School, Kiel High School or at the LTC Cleveland campus. The webcast is the kickoff to Wisconsin College ACA Week and is aimed to raise awareness of health care changes through the ACA. It is free and open to the public.
The webcast, also known as a teach-in session, is a general educational forum, meant to be practical, participatory, and oriented toward action. The webcast will cover useful health facts about the new health insurance options as well as the stories of those affected. Speakers will share the unique perspectives of young adults, government officials, academics, and consumer assistance groups. There will be expert panelists who will engage participants in a question and answer session at the end of the webcast and pizza will be served to participants.
The webcast will be held in room L233 in the Lakeshore building at LTC while Two Rivers High School will hold the webcast in room 304. Kiel High School will host the webcast in room 216. The webcast is a collaborative production between the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine & Public Health, the UW Population Health Institute, Covering Kids & Families WI, the Wisconsin Technical College System, UW Colleges, the University of Wisconsin System, and the WI Union Directorate-Society & Politics.
CVTC responds to demand for food science grads Nov 14 2013
From chippewa.com: "Region's colleges prep students for food careers" -- When you chew your food, should you thank higher ed, too? Contributions by higher education to the value-added food sector in the Chippewa Valley are immense, if little noted. [...]
From chippewa.com: “Region’s colleges prep students for food careers” – When you chew your food, should you thank higher ed, too?
Contributions by higher education to the value-added food sector in the Chippewa Valley are immense, if little noted.
Three applied majors — one each at Chippewa Valley Technical College, UW-Eau Claire and UW-Stout — illustrate direct, substantial and ongoing work leading to a supply of trained talent.
The Nestle plant in Eau Claire, for example, has become the largest unit of infant formula production for the firm anywhere. Nestle, a Swiss giant, may be the largest food company in the world. A UW-Eau Claire spokesperson says the plant’s payroll includes perhaps 90 grads doing an array of work, from its labs to supervision to sales.
Three other majors at the same schools are less directly food sector, but hardly less important. Packaging at Stout, chemistry at UWEC and electromechanical technology at CVTC each account for contributions of other talent to the value-added food sector in the Chippewa Valley and beyond. Contributions by the schools, however, are by no means limited to either applied or other majors.
To be clear, value-added food does not include agriculture, the behemoth industry from which it springs. Agriculture and higher education have a long and path-finding history, often dated back to Lincoln, who signed the Morrill Act in 1862 establishing land grant colleges. Most of the colleges of the Big Ten are such.
Agriculture and value-added food in the United States are historic in their successes. U.S. supermarket shelves fairly groan with consumer selection. Items stocked per supermarket tripled from 1980 to 1999, from 15,000 to nearly 50,000. And there’s been an upward spike since. Food exports are the salvation of our trade balance. Starvation from want of calories in North America is rare, even if malnutrition is not.
Oh, there are ills and controversies in the food industry. Forty-two million in the U.S. are on food stamps and excess of the wrong sort of food can be said to be a leading problem with the U.S. diet. There’s endless debate about diet and health, genetically modified organisms, consumer recalls, processed versus organic foods, acidic versus alkaline, additives, herbicides and more.
What cannot be debated is the abundance and safety of the U.S. food supply. It is unprecedented in world history. And it is responsible for Americans spending a smaller share of their income on food than the rest of the world.
A case is easily made that higher education is a leading force for much of the success of a food supply that is not only abundant, but overwhelmingly safe.
Food science at Stout
UW-Stout’s Naveen Chikthimmah provides the clarity of an outside perspective. A native of the Indian subcontinent and holder of a prestigious science Ph.D. from Penn State, Chikthimmah has a perspective on food that he sometimes graphically describes to his students in Menomonie.
He remembers as a boy being asked by an aunt to behead a chicken for a meal, doing so, and feeling the blood of the animal flow warmly from his hand down his arm.
His storytelling aims to provoke thought about food in his young, mostly American students; where it comes from, how it can be produced, prepared and preserved, and how precious it is to many.
The son of a tea buying and processing mother in India, Chikthimmah remembers marveling as a boy at a can of sweetened milk. He was stunned by the can’s ability to seemingly preserve the milk indefinitely. India’s privations left a mark on Naveen the lad, who today is Professor Chikthimmah at an esteemed polytechnic in the heart of the U.S. dairy industry.
He is charged with teaching food science and technology, using microbiology and chemistry to develop new and superior food products. Chikthimmah says not to be lost is the opportunity created for the sons and daughters of the Chippewa Valley and beyond. Impressive careers await graduates of the rigorous program, he emphasizes. The world’s population in his career will expand by billions. The food scientists produced by UW-Stout will certainly be called upon to play ever larger roles.
UWEC targets food safety
The global village impacts Dr. Crispin Pierce’s students no less. His environmental and public health major at UW-Eau Claire has educated about 55 graduates in the last five years and achieved 100-percent placement of those grads.
International trade agreements have done much in just the past 10 years to boost imports of fresh produce to the U.S. and create a demand for more scrutiny of food imports. Frequently there is disparity in foreign and domestic food standards. And while his grads most often serve as public health generalists, with portfolios including responsibilities in everything from immunizations to STDs, safe water and safe food are part of the core of their education.
“Graduates of our program serve the public by providing information and inspection of food establishments, reducing foodborne illness and associated liability,” Pierce says. “Alumni choosing to work in industry are the foundations of health and safety programs to protect workers and facilitate productivity.”
The downside risk of a food recall can send the stock of a publicly-traded food firm plummeting, making for unhappy, even litigious shareholders. Going to work every day to help manage that risk are graduates of Pierce’s program, a major seemingly poised to grow in importance as world trade, travel and communication charge a new era.
CVTC starting food program
Quick to serve the changing workplace, CVTC intends to soon formalize a yet-to-be named food program, designed to give technical college students with a food science interest transferability to a number of universities including UW-Stout, says Jeff Sullivan, a newly installed associate dean.
Dr. John Wagner and Hans Mikelson, known for their nanotechnology instruction, will also teach in the new associate degree food program. Mikelson says the Food Safety Modernization Act is creating demand for the two-year degree.
The Food and Drug Administration calls the act of 2011 “the most sweeping in 70 years,” with an emphasis on the prevention of food borne pathogens and contaminants. Federal regulators in the past have focused on responding to contamination, the FDA says. More food scientists and technicians are certain to be needed.
Discovery Center adds value
Talent is one thing, training another. UW-Stout’s Discovery Center, staffed by Renee Surdik and Randy Hulke, is charged with applying Stout’s considerable fund of industry expertise to the needs of firms. The center has four goals: advance knowledge, enhance student learning, provide solutions to industry, and promote economic development in the region.
Working with Stout’s Manufacturing Outreach Center, the Discovery Center enables project management across disciplines and on site, Hulke says. He emphasizes that the effort is far from an encroachment of the work of private consulting firms, and is first and foremost focused “on adding value to the future of the student.”
All of which includes extensive but not exclusive work for the value-added food sector. Sconnie Foods and Fiberstar are two recent interesting examples, not the least because their chief executives are wed. Brock and Tracy Lundberg (see sidebar) both have offices at CVTC and attribute part of their success to higher ed.
Brock, the CEO of Fiberstar, is a newly minted University of Minnesota Ph.D. He is a food engineer and his R&D firm is now selling in 60 countries. His high surface area orange fiber products are engineered to augment and impart enhanced taste and texture characteristics in food products.
Not too many years ago, Tracy Lundberg noticed a puddling or denaturing of the sauerkraut at a ball game. She complained to Brock and he more offhandedly than seriously told her to start her own sauerkraut firm. She took him up on it and today her product is on a growing number of supermarket shelves with much broader distribution planned. Both have offices and use labs in CVTC’s Applied Technology Center, and both owe much to educators.
CVTC, working with state grants, has trained hundreds of food sector workers recently.
“Over the last two years, CVTC’s Business and Industry Services staff has partnered with regional food service industry businesses to train over 750 incumbent workers in topics including welding, transportation, electromechanical and safety,” says Roxann Vanderwyst, director of Business and Industry Services at the technical college.
All educators interviewed for this article believe a new emphasis should be placed on the food sector’s potential for economic development in the Chippewa Valley. Tempting as it may be to chase high tech, shouldn’t Wisconsin stick to its knitting?
More than 1,000 food firms locate in Wisconsin with a payroll of 63,000, according to the Midwest Food Processors Association. In the U.S. the food sector contributes 20 percent of the gross domestic product. It’s a benevolent sleeping giant often reared by higher education. And no foreign nation with low labor costs can ever seduce the sleeping giant into a foreign fling.
Ag business export training at LTC Nov 13 2013
From wisconsinagconnection.com: "Ag Business Export Training Sessions to be Held" -- Food and agricultural companies can build an export plan in just three months by participating in the ExporTech training program. The course consists of three day-long sessions spaced one month apart, plus individualized assistance to develop a comprehensive export expansion strategy. [...]
From wisconsinagconnection.com: “Ag Business Export Training Sessions to be Held” – Food and agricultural companies can build an export plan in just three months by participating in the ExporTech training program. The course consists of three day-long sessions spaced one month apart, plus individualized assistance to develop a comprehensive export expansion strategy. Since 2010, this program has successfully helped about 75 Wisconsin businesses rapidly grow export revenue.
The sessions will be held at Lakeshore Technical College in Cleveland on November 21, December 12 and January 23. One-on-one coaching will be provided between sessions.
Session outcomes will include development of an executable export strategy, identification and removal of export obstacles, identification of ideal export markets and the creation of a practical international growth plan. Experts will provide insight into potential overseas markets, management of logistics, and how to best meet documentation and certification requirements. At the completion of the ExporTech program, participating companies will have the tools they need to begin or streamline their exporting effort.
ExporTech sessions are geared toward company leaders including owners, CEOs or other executives. Companies producing value-added products, grains, fruits, vegetables, ginseng, livestock genetics, wood products and more should consider attending.
The program is presented by the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.
The cost is $5,000 per company, and scholarships are available to cover half of the cost. For more information, contact the WMEP at 262-442-8279.
From fdlreporter.com: "Moraine Park recognizes Ballweg's efforts to gain more financial aid" -- Moraine Park Technical College recently recognized Wisconsin State Representative Joan Ballweg (R-Markesan) for her leadership efforts to secure an additional $2 million in financial aid funds for the Wisconsin Technical College System. [...]
From fdlreporter.com: “Moraine Park recognizes Ballweg’s efforts to gain additional financial aid” – Moraine Park Technical College recently recognized Wisconsin State Representative Joan Ballweg (R-Markesan) for her leadership efforts to secure an additional $2 million in financial aid funds for the Wisconsin Technical College System.
The funds will come from the Wisconsin Higher Education Grants (WHEG) programs and will be available to students during the 2013-15 school years. The additional funds allocated will help to compensate for the shortfall that left over 50,000 eligible students without financial aid.
“This is a great start, but we have a lot more to do to ensure that financial aid is available to eligible students,” Ballweg said. “I urge others to continue to stress the importance of financial aid and help others realize this is a smart investment.”
During the presentation, Richard Zimman, Moraine Park Technical College District Board chairperson, said that in the next decade 54 percent of Wisconsin’s jobs will require a technical education. “Wisconsin’s technical colleges are an essential asset for our state’s future,” Zimman said. “Moraine Park commends Representative Ballweg for her leadership in preparing our state for the future.”
Moraine Park Technical College was established in 1912 and is one of 16 technical college districts that make up the Wisconsin Technical College System. With campuses in Beaver Dam, Fond du Lac and West Bend, Moraine Park offers more than 100 associate of applied science degrees, technical diplomas, apprenticeships and certificates delivered in a variety of formats – classroom, online and blended.
NWTC’s 4×4 a vehicle for learning Nov 11 2013
From shawanoleader.com: "NWTC's 4x4 a vehicle for learning" -- Northeast Wisconsin Technical College has developed an innovative way to help recent high school graduates transition to college life, and it is doing it one class at a time. [...]
From shwanoleader.com: “NWTC’s 4×4 a vehicle for learning” – Northeast Wisconsin Technical College has developed an innovative way to help recent high school graduates transition to college life, and it is doing it one class at a time.
The Shawano campus is providing students ages 18-23 a different way to take courses. Instead of the traditional juggling of several classes that meet two or three times a week over a four-month period, students can now take courses through the “4X4” system, where they go to one class for four days a week over a four-week period, spending three hours each day learning one general studies subject.
For Dylan Kroening and Hunter Galleske, two of 35 participants in this year’s 4X4 program, the fast pace of the program is a big plus.
Kroening, a graduate of Bonduel High School, said he’s able to better grasp the knowledge in the 4X4 setting than he could dealing with several different subjects simultaneously during the semester.
“I feel like, when you go through a 15-week course, you’re going to get to a point where you’re just sick of it. They don’t want to sit there, week in and week out, and do all this homework,” Kroening said. “It’s nice to do it over those four weeks and be done with it.”
Galleske, a Shawano Community High School graduate, said the faster, more intense pace helps students retain more of the subject matter and develop a closer academic relationship with instructors.
“You kind of bond with the teachers more,” Galleske said. “I feel like that they get a better understanding of us. We know what to prepare for.”
The 4X4 program was piloted locally and at other campuses last year, according to Jeannie Jafolla, manager for the Shawano campus. Besides Shawano, NWTC is utilizing 4X4 in Luxemburg, Niagara, Oconto Falls and Marinette.
“About two years, we heard feedback from the high school counselors that high school grads wanted to be with students their own age,” Jafolla said. “At the time, we had a large population of dislocated workers, so to be with their parents in the classroom, it caused uncomfortableness.”
The pilot program, which had eight participants locally, looked at how focusing on one subject for a shorter period of time impacted learning, according to Jodi Tetting, the local campus 4X4 coordinator.
There have been marked results. The median grade-point average of students participating in 4X4 was 3.2, compared with 2.8 for the typical student in general studies, according to Tetting.
“Probably the biggest transition for them is they’re making the decisions themselves,” Tetting said. “When they hit college, they’re adults. Their parents really aren’t privy to their information; they have to answer questions themselves.”
While the grades are important, Jafolla said the program also focuses on soft skills — showing up to class, being on time and getting along with other people. She noted that local businesses have commented they struggle acquiring younger workers with those abilities.
“Some of these students didn’t even like each other in high school, and now they’re best friends because they have to be together for nine months in college,” Jafolla said, adding that the group in the pilot program still gets together from time to time.
Jen Johnson, a SCHS graduate, took part in last year’s pilot and found the format to be simpler than what she dealt with in high school.
“I took one class (at a time), and it was a done deal,” Johnson said. “It didn’t even feel really hard at all. You go in, you have fun and you learn something. I had trouble in high school, so I liked working on one class.”
The program seems to work better on smaller campuses, Jafolla said. NWTC piloted 4X4 on its main campus in Green Bay first and found it did not work as well there, prompting officials to look at tailoring it for regional learning centers.
“The idea was they would go to school for a year here and then transfer to a four-year university,” Jafolla said. “After a year, about half of them transferred, which is fine. They can either transfer or continue on with their two-year degree here.”
The 4X4 classes generally take place in the morning, which gives students the afternoon and evening to go to a job and/or engage in social activities, Jafolla said. She noted that the students who participate in 4X4 save about $10,000 in tuition, lodging and book fees by getting some of their general studies courses out of the way at NWTC the first year as opposed to enrolling at a four-year school.
Fancy Vele, who graduated from Gresham Community School in May, loves the program and hopes that more students will take advantage of it after high school.
“All the staff and the teachers are really helpful. They know all of our names, and it makes me feel really good that they take the time to say hello to you,” Vele said. “It’s a small facility here, which is really helpful. You’re not wandering around looking for your class and asking a bunch of people.”
Elizabeth Bartz, a psychology instructor for NWTC, said the 4X4 format allows teachers to spend more time on a subject than if the class met once or twice a week.
“We’re seeing each other for four days out of the week, so if something is going on, we can gauge them a little better,” Bartz said. “For four weeks, you’re getting pretty close.”
From chippewa.com: "Real-world scenarios challenge health care students" -- An alarm sounded and the blue light flashed. Paramedics, nurses and a respiratory therapist sprang into action. Each member of the team had a role to play, and they worked together, communicating constantly through each step of the life-saving procedures. [...]
From chippewa.com: “Real-world scenarios challenge health care students” – An alarm sounded and the blue light flashed. Paramedics, nurses and a respiratory therapist sprang into action. Each member of the team had a role to play, and they worked together, communicating constantly through each step of the life-saving procedures.
The scene last week in one of the labs at the Health Education Center at Chippewa Valley Technical College was only a simulation, and the students had worked frequently in the past with the human patient simulators. But there was something vastly different about this exercise.
This time, the students from nursing, respiratory therapy and paramedic technician programs were working with resident physicians from the UW-Health Clinic, all under the observation of professionals and faculty members. And this time simulator patients actually spoke to the students with complaints, questions and realistic reactions through instructors wired to microphones in another room.
Adding a little more flavor to the mix were volunteers playing the parts of family members who provided comfort to their loved ones, but also sometimes got in the way.
The hours-long scene was as close to a real, live critical patient care situation as the students would see prior to their upcoming graduations. In planning the training session, organizers could not find anything similar being done elsewhere.
“This is fairly groundbreaking,” said CVTC respiratory therapist instructor Don Raymond, who helped put together the scenarios. “Multidisciplinary education is becoming more important. It teaches collaborative teamwork, communication, respect across disciplines and professionalism.”
“This is to help all the disciplines understand the roles of team members and the importance of collaboration and communication, with the ultimate goal of improving patient care,” said CVTC associate dean of health Linda Krueger.
Four patient simulators were used, simulating a pediatric patient, a pulmonary embolism, a heart attack, and severe COPD symptoms. Students were used to working with the simulators, but typically they learned to do specific procedures involved in their disciplines, one at a time. The multidisciplinary training involved more than one patient in the unit to care for, with more than one problem, with other health care workers helping, and sometimes with unexpected results.
“Sometimes we operate in separate silos,” said Kim Ernstmeyer, CVTC nursing instructor. “We do our nursing thing, respiratory does its thing … in scenarios like this, we all work together.”
“In true hospital settings, everyone works as a team,” Raymond said.
“This gives them a chance to work together as a team like they will be doing when they graduate,” Krueger said.
Part of the purpose was to get students out of their comfort zones. One scenario involved a “code blue” – a patient going into cardiac arrest. In a fast-paced simulation, a respiratory therapist worked to maintain air flow while a paramedic did chest compressions, and nurses monitored signs and operated the defibrillator. A nurse eventually took over chest compressions for the fatigued paramedic.
The “patient” ultimately died.
“We were really hesitant to have that patient die. We did not want the students to feel they did something wrong or had failed. But sometimes you do everything perfectly and a patient still dies,” Krueger said.
That point was emphasized in a post-exercise debriefing with the students. Ernstmeyer told them that death was decided no matter what they did. Mike Miller, a critical care paramedic with the Eau Claire Fire Department and a CVTC adjunct faculty member, told students dealing with death is part of the job.
“Don’t get down on yourself if someone dies. It happens,” Miller said.
“We want you walking away thinking you did everything you could,” Ernstmeyer added.
Nursing student Sarah Crotty of Alma found herself out of her comfort zone when a person playing a family member tried to wake the deceased person. She had to deliver the news.
“I said, ‘Well, he passed away,’ ” Crotty related. “I’ve never been faced with that before.”
“Acting it out instead of just looking at it in a textbook really puts things into your mind,” said Emily Nelson, a nursing student from Jim Falls. “And not knowing what you are coming into is what is going to happen in the real world.”
The pace of the exercise was new to the students. Respiratory therapy student Kayla Bowe of Bloomer said she learned to “Keep calm, and keep doing what you’re doing.”
All student participants were in their last semester of their CVTC programs.
From journaltimes.com: "Community Newsletter: UW - Parkside" -- With a little more than two months complete in the fall 2013 academic semester, University of Wisconsin-Parkside Chancellor Debbie Ford has been busy creating and strengthening opportunities for student success and community involvement. [...]
From journaltimes.com: “Community Newsletter: University of Wisconsin – Parkside” – With a little more than two months complete in the fall 2013 academic semester, University of Wisconsin-Parkside Chancellor Debbie Ford has been busy creating and strengthening opportunities for student success and community involvement.
In September, Ford and Gateway Technical College President Bryan Albrecht signed seven new transfer 2-plus-2 articulation agreements. Students graduating from Gateway Technical College with degrees in accounting, business management, marketing and supervisory management will have the opportunity to transfer into programs in the UW-Parkside College of Business, Economics, and Computing. Students graduating with a Gateway Technical College degree in graphic communications have the opportunity to transfer into UW-Parkside’s graphic design (art) degree program in the College of Arts and Humanities.
Depending on the degree, Gateway Technical College students will see 54 to 62 of their credits accepted at UW-Parkside. This is considered a true 2-plus-2 agreement, where students transfer into the university with junior standing.
“For decades, Gateway Technical College and the University of Wisconsin-Parkside have worked together to benefit our communities and provide the talent base our businesses and organizations need,” Ford said.
Most Gateway Technical College and UW-Parkside students live and work in southeastern Wisconsin, so the agreement has the ability to greatly impact area students, their families and businesses and organizations in the region.
FVTC hosts tribal police conference Nov 08 2013
From whby.com: "Tribal police gather in G.B." -- Fox Valley Technical College is helping train tribal police officers from across the Midwest this week, at a conference in the Green Bay area. [...]
From whby.com: “Tribal police gather in G.B.area” – Fox Valley Technical College is helping train tribal police officers from across the Midwest this week, at a conference in the Green Bay area.
Brad Russ is the director of the school’s national criminal justice training center. He says it’s the 25th annual event, and they’re focusing on issues like human trafficking and drugs.
Russ says it’s one of the premier tribal training conferences in the country.
The conference runs through Friday, at the Radisson hotel and conference center in the Green Bay area.
Manufacturing a new image Nov 08 2013
From chippewa.com: "Manufacturing a new image" -- Baldwin-Woodville High School student McKenzie Kohls asked Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and a panel of manufacturing experts for some reassurance about the field. [...]
From chippewa.com: “Manufacturing a new image” – Baldwin-Woodville High School student McKenzie Kohls asked Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and a panel of manufacturing experts for some reassurance about the field.
“My grandfather was a welder who came home looking like a coal miner every day,” Kohls said. “How has manufacturing changed?
It was a good time to ask. Dispelling the myths of manufacturing was the theme of panel discussion during a Women in Manufacturing event held at Chippewa Valley Technical College in Eau Claire Tuesday to mark October as national Manufacturing Month. The event, sponsored by Wisconsin Gold Collar Careers Manufacturing Works Group, included a tour of CVTC’s Manufacturing Education Center and a public-private speed networking session.
Students from Eleva-Strum and Baldwin-Woodville schools attended the panel discussion in person, and students in Bloomer, Cumberland, Gilmanton, Pepin, Shell Lake, Turtle Lake, Shell Lake and Webster schools followed via video conferencing.
In answering Kohls’ question, Mary Isbister, president of GenMet, a metal fabricator in Mequon, Wis., dispelled the notion that welding was a dirty job in modern manufacturing.
“You can’t have smoke and dust and dirt in places that have advanced manufacturing equipment,” Isbister said. “The equipment that we use, and the processes that we use, have advanced light years. It doesn’t look like it used to.”
Changing the image
Both manufacturing professionals and educators have been working for years to change the image of the sector.
“We still have people who view manufacturing as a dirty place, with things lying all over,” said Craig Simingson, superintendent of the Eleva-Strum School District, which received much praise at the event for having one of the best manufacturing education programs in the state. “But these are professional places where you’re not going to wear your Metallica t-shirt to work every day.”
Dawn Tabat, COO of Generac Power Systems, a Wisconsin home generator manufacturer with facilities in Whitewater, Waukesha and Eagle, acknowledged there was some truth to manufacturing’s poor image in years past.
“There were a lot of people making good money in manufacturing for what were pretty low-skilled jobs,” Tabat said. “But those unskilled jobs are gone. U.S. manufacturing got smart. These are jobs that are going to require a lot of special skills. There’s a whole new world in manufacturing.”
“These are ‘smart jobs,’” said Kleefisch. “We need your brains. We need your bright ideas in manufacturing.”
“I always use the term ‘advanced manufacturing.’ We won’t hire you unless you go to school after high school,” said Dan Conroy, vice president of human resources at Nexen, a manufacturer of power transmission and other products with a plant in Webster, Wis.
Conroy said about 12 percent of jobs in his company require only a high school education, but those positions are never open. Another 70 percent require a technical college education, and 18 percent require a university degree. Kleefisch added that over the next decade, between 54 and 72 percent of jobs will require more than a high school education, but less than a university degree.
Some of the students present asked questions about job opportunities available and the courses they should be taking to prepare themselves for the jobs available. The panelists explained that there are a wide variety of careers available, from operation of sophisticated equipment, to the design and maintenance of that equipment, improvement of manufacturing processes, and many levels of support positions.
“You can do almost anything within manufacturing, but you have to understand how manufacturing works. Today’s manufacturing operates very complex equipment,” Isbister said. She urged students to have an understanding of mathematics and how it is applied, but a broad education is valuable. “There probably aren’t too many classes that wouldn’t be advantageous to you.”
Women were particularly encouraged to explore careers in what is still a heavily male-dominated field. Tabat shared her story of a 42-year rise from production and secretarial work at Generac Power Systems to human resources and eventually chief operating officer.
“I started out with a small company and the company grew bigger and bigger, and I grew with it,” Tabat said. She added only six percent of her type of position is held by women nationally.
Isbister noted that a woman who started in customer service at GenMet eight years ago, “basically runs the place when I’m not there.”
“There are no other places that have a greater opportunity for women to compete on a level playing field than manufacturing,” Tabat said.
“You can use a laser cutter to break the glass ceiling,” Kleefisch said.
Gold Collar Careers are high tech manufacturing jobs that are pushing the limits of technology by demanding bright individuals who understand and embrace the latest machining, electronic, computer, and other technologies; and creative thinkers with applied/hands-on abilities to solve problems and get things done.
GED changes coming soon Nov 07 2013
From weau.com: "As new GED test rollout approaches, rush is on" -- Americans who want to finish the GED test are at the 11th hour, before a new version rolls out in January. [...]
From weau.com: “As new GED test rollout approaches, rush is on” — Americans who want to finish the GED test are at the 11th hour, before a new version rolls out in January.
The GED tests are changing in January 2014. The new high school equivalency exam will wipe out all incomplete GED test scores from the 2002 version of the exam.
The Chippewa Valley Technical College says if you’ve already passed a portion of the five tests, you must take the writing test by December 5th and everything else by December 13th.
“Any student who hasn’t finished their GED, needs to get into their nearest CVTC Learning Center as soon as possible and complete the remaining tests that they have,” said instructor in Adult Education Services and department chair Jill Mayer.
Mayer said the January 2014 tests are completely different and based on the Common Core Standards. There would be five exams instead of four in the subjects of language arts, social studies, science and math.
“And they’ll be computer based,” said Mayer. “We’ll be dealing with a lot of teaching students computer skills and keyboarding and writing their essays online.”
In the math portion, she said there will be heavier focus on algebra which wasn’t the case before.
The price will also go up.
The current class for the 2002 GED testing series is $90 and that includes all five tests and the credentialing fee,” said Mayer. “And for the 2014 test, it will probably cost about $124.”
Mayer said there are still hundreds of students in the area that have to finish the test. Before the fall semester, she said CVTC had a marketing plan, sending out hundreds of postcards to student who partially took the tests, reminding them to come back and finish it.
And because of the rush, CVTC had to extend hours and double up on instructors for the GED.
One student who wants to beat the deadline is Alan Robertson who wants a change in career.
“I have all of them done except for math and writing, so two left,” said Robertson who began taking the test two years ago. “Earlier this summer I did my science one and the other two was a couple years ago so I procrastinated a little but this year I’m cracking down,” he said.
Robertson said once he gets his GED completed, he wants to continue going to school at CVTC and enroll for classes in welding.
“Something where I don’t have to worry about sitting at a desk all day, kind of a mixture of both, you’re kind of using your head and being physical (as a welder),” said Roberston.
From wsau.com: "Gov. Walker talks about job grants, casinos and more at appearance in Wausau" -- Governor Walker made an appearance in Wausau at Northcentral Technical College today to discuss a new grant project called Wisconsin Fast Forward. [...]
From wsau.com: “Governor Walker talks about jobs grants, casinos and more at appearance in Wausau” – Governor Walker made an appearance in Wausau at Northcentral Technical College today to discuss a new grant project called Wisconsin Fast Forward.
“Workers need to have access to the most up-to-date employment information,” Governor Walker said. “By providing quality worker training and cutting-edge labor market information, our workers will be best equipped to re-enter the workforce in places where opportunities are available.”
The funding will work to create new jobs and training in manufacturing and small manufacturing businesses with 50 or fewer employees, construction, and customer service representatives. Walker says business leaders tell him Wisconsin is a great place to place customer service positions. “It’s easy to understand folks in the Midwest. The people in the Midwest he found to be overwhelmingly pleasant and easy to get along with.”
The state is looking at continued growth in the customer service industry and Walker says they want to help that grow. “The Department of Workforce Development estimates that through 2020 there’s going to be a 15% growth in customer service jobs, and an annual basis, that means 2200 new jobs each year.”
During questions after the speech, Governor Walker says he’s not in a big hurry to make a decision on the casino project in Kenosha. “This project has been before the Bureau of Indian affairs at the federal government for 20 years. And I’ve got considerable time as governor to take this matter up and fully consider the implications on it.”
Walker also said he’d be in favor of tougher OWI laws if they make it to his desk. “Ways we can toughen up, particularly penalties for repeat drunk drivers is something I’ve been in the past supportive of. And presumably, I’d have to look at the individual bills, but would be open to consider.”
He also addressed the continuing issues with the new federal health care law. Walker says the state is stepping up to make sure residents in need will be covered before the enrollment period is up on the Affordable Care Act. “Under our plan, everyone in poverty will covered. In the past, under my predecessor, there was a wait list for some on poverty, going forward everyone will be covered under Medicaid in the state of Wisconsin.” He says state officials are putting together training for insurance agents in Wisconsin in order to help them get people signed up for the exchanges and for insurance before the enrollment period is up.
Governor visits Lakeshore Tech Nov 07 2013
From fox6now.com: "Gov. Scott Walker visits Lakeshore Tech. College on Wednesday" -- Governor Scott Walker toured Lakeshore Technical College on Wednesday, November 6th to learn about their apprenticeship program and mobile training lab. Lakeshore Technical College is hosting a two-week public open house of its facilities and lab to celebrate Manufacturing Month. [...]
From fox6now.com: “Gov. Scott Walker visits Lakeshore Tech. College on Wednesday” – Governor Scott Walker toured Lakeshore Technical College on Wednesday, November 6th to learn about their apprenticeship program and mobile training lab. Lakeshore Technical College is hosting a two-week public open house of its facilities and lab to celebrate Manufacturing Month.
“Lakeshore Technical College is providing critical, high-quality training to students, employees, and high school teachers,” Governor Walker said. “We need partners in the technical college system and business community to make our commitment to worker training a success. Manufacturing Month was about more than just touring technical colleges and manufacturing companies. We wanted to take the opportunity to emphasize how a job in manufacturing is a great family-supporting career and one that is full of highly skilled and innovative workers.”
Lakeshore Technical College offers training to high school students, summer training for high school teachers, and assessments of workers’ skills and competencies.
Their mobile lab allows the college to provide on-site training in industrial maintenance and programmable logic controls.
The lab also helps high school students earn up to five credits in the electro-mechanical technology program; these credits help students enter the workforce quickly after graduation.
The fall legislative agenda includes additional investments in apprenticeship training, incentives for high school students who graduate with job ready credentials, and scholarships for students at technical colleges.
Additionally, the budget provided funding for career planning beginning in 6th grade.
Many times our students do not understand the potential a career in manufacturing can have for them. These investments are part of our commitment to growing the manufacturing industry and ensuring our students are ready for a career as soon as they enter the workforce.
Number of employers up at CVTC job fair Nov 07 2013
From weau.com: "Number of employers up at CVTC job fair" -- Employers and potentialemployees got the chance to connect Wednesday thanks to a career fair held at CVTC. [...]
From weau.com: “Number of employers up at CVTC job fair” – Employers and potential employees got the chance to connect Wednesday thanks to a career fair held at CVTC.
More than 70 employers were on hand for the fair that was held for CVTC students and alumni. The technical college says the number of employers at the fair has increased from past years pointing to more growth in the number of jobs available in the Chippewa Valley.
Manager of Student Services Grants & Operations Natti Marlaire told us they’re “up 16 employers more than we’ve had in the past, which shows that the economy is bouncing back. Employers are specifically looking for CVTC grads, looking for the skilled worker, and it’s a great opportunity to match our business industry needs by matching them up with students who will be graduating. “
CVTC says 87% of its graduates find jobs related to their field after graduation.
NTC announces articulation agreement Nov 05 2013
From marshfieldnewsherald.com: "NTC announces agreement" -- Northcentral Technical College in Wausau and Ashford University in Clinton, Iowa, have announced a new articulation agreement for the NTC Early Childhood Education associate degree program. [...]
From marshfieldnewsherald.com: “NTC announces agreement” – WAUSAU – Northcentral Technical College in Wausau and Ashford University in Clinton, Iowa, have announced a new articulation agreement for the NTC Early Childhood Education associate degree program. Students graduating from this program at NTC will be able to seamlessly enter the Early Childhood Education Bachelor Degree program at Ashford University with junior status. The Early Childhood Education Bachelor Degree program is offered both online and face-to-face in Clinton, Iowa. For more information regarding transfer opportunities and to view the transfer guides, visit www.ntc.edu/transfer.
From fox11online.com: "Grants will helps fill in-demand jobs" -- Some local colleges are working together to addressed the supposed manufacturing skills gap. Thanks to a grant, three new engineering technology degrees will help train students to fill in-demand jobs. [...]
From fox11online.com: “Grants will help fill in-demand jobs” – OSHKOSH – Some local colleges are working together to addressed the supposed manufacturing skills gap.
Thanks to a grant, three new engineering technology degrees will help train students to fill in-demand jobs.
Educating engineers of the future is the goal behind three new engineering technology programs.
“This was brought to the universities to fill a need to have bachelor prepared engineering technologists,” said John Koker, UW-Oshkosh.
In a program that could start as early as the spring of 2014, students would enroll in one of three new technology degree programs in electrical, environmental and mechanical engineering. Students could do the first two years of the four-year program at any of the four Northeast Wisconsin technical colleges, seven UW System schools or the College of the Menominee Nation. The students would then have to enroll at UW-Oshkosh or UW-Green Bay for the final two years of the program.
“This is something we really want to provide for our students and we want to provide it in a convenient way, a really high quality program,” said Koker.
The collaboration between schools in Northeast Wisconsin began more than three years ago. The programs will bring students and employers together to work side by side in training the next generation of engineers. A $2 million grant from the UW System will help hire the faculty and provide the equipment and facilities.
“This individual can solve problems, help transform industries and create new opportunities to innovate. So it’s a very much hands-on, high-demand, high-quality degree here,” said Linda Bartelt, executive director at Northeast Wisconsin Educational Resource Alliance.
“Then they take that broad based skill that they have learned at the university and they go to a company and they can be trained and learn the specific needs of that individual company,” said Koker.
To fill high tech jobs in in-demand fields.
The programs have been approved by the University of Wisconsin System and are expected to receive accreditation status in the next few weeks.
From thecountrytoday.com: "Agreements brings high-tech equipment to CVTC fields" -- When students in Chippewa Valley Technical College’s agriscience technician program classes take to the fields, they enjoy the use of some of the best high-technology equipment in use in agriculture today. [...]
From thecountrytoday.com: “Agreements bring high-tech equipment to CVTC fields” – EAU CLAIRE — When students in Chippewa Valley Technical College’s agriscience technician program classes take to the fields, they enjoy the use of some of the best high-technology equipment in use in agriculture today.
Use of the latest in tractors, sprayers, planting equipment, combines and other field equipment is made possible by agreements CVTC has with major farm equipment manufacturers and local dealers. A 10-year agreement with Case IH and Value Implement of Menomonie signed in 2011 has already brought $2.2 million worth of equipment to the College. Last year, CVTC entered into an agreement with another well-known name in agriculture. John Deere now provides top-of-the-line equipment to CVTC’s program as well. The equipment comes through Tractor Central, a major John Deere dealer in west central Wisconsin.
Forming partnerships with educational institutions is not new for John Deere. However, the agreement with CVTC marked the first time John Deere and Tractor Central made such an agreement involving large field equipment. The agreements benefit all parties.
“Instructors incorporate the technology that John Deere and Case IH have integrated in their equipment into the program curriculum. The students gain hands-on experience with the technology they will use in their employment and on their own farms,” said Aliesha Crowe, dean of industry, agriculture and energy at CVTC.
Value Implement and Tractor Central will still be able to sell the equipment, rotating it out of the program and replacing it with new models, before the loaned equipment depreciates due to use.
Crowe explained that such partnerships allow CVTC to continue doing what it does best, providing students with hands-on education in conditions they will see in real-world situations.
“Students enrolled in our Managed Agronomy Precision Systems courses are each assigned their own plat of land. They prepare it, plant it, manage it and harvest it,” Crowe said.
And they do so by following principles of precision agriculture.
“The goal of precision agriculture is to optimize returns while preserving resources,” Crowe said.
NWTC architecture challenge gives back Nov 04 2013
From fox11.com: "NWTC architecture challenge gives back" -- Students at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College are making a difference in an unusual way. Call it food by design. [...]
From fox11online.com: “NWTC architecture challenge gives back” – GREEN BAY – Students at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College are making a difference in an unusual way. Call it food by design.
They took on a challenge, to be architects with the food items to be donated later to a campus food pantry.
The five teams, made up of architectural club members, had 24 hours to build their structures. They only saw their building materials right before the competition started.
Professional architects judged the masterpieces and the top three were awarded with a plaque that will hang in the school.
After the awards were given, the nonperishable food items were packed up and donated to Shared Harvest Food Cupboard.
“The biggest thing is that it’s a big contribution giving back to our community, giving back to people that are less fortunate than we are,” said Steve Gussert, president of the NWTC Architectural Club.
The pantry is for students that don’t have enough money to buy food.