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Tax cuts could change tech college funding Mar 07 2014
From weau.com: "Tax cuts could change tech school funding" -- A proposed tax cut could affect the way area technical colleges are funded. [...]
From weau.com: “Tax cuts could change tech school funding” – A proposed tax cut could affect the way area technical colleges are funded.
Earlier this week, the state senate approved Governor Scott Walker’s plan to use the state surplus to cover $504-million in tax cuts.
Under the changes technical colleges would get more than $400-million from the state’s budget surplus- meaning homeowners would pay less toward funding schools like Chippewa Valley Technical College.
“From our point of view as a system it really brings us some balance in the system in terms of where our funds come from,” Wisconsin Technical College System President Morna Foy said.
Foy says the changes to buy down homeowners property taxes using the state’s surplus would mean more balance when it comes to funding schools.
“With this change happening in 2015 we would go back we would have greater balance state aid would account for 45-percent of our operating costs as opposed to 10-percent,” Foy explained.
What the cuts would mean for the average home owner and tax payers is more money in their pocket.
“For a typical working family in the state it means their property taxes will be down more than 100 dollars and it means there withholding the amount they see in their paycheck will actually go up by over 500 dollars through the end of the year,” Governor Scott Walker said.
Governor Walker says in addition to the shift in funding due to the budget surplus, the state will also give a one-time payment of $35-million to technical colleges to help cut down on the amount of time it takes to enroll in classes.
“There was $35-million available in the Wisconsin Economic Development budget and we shifted that into helping our technical colleges buying down our wait list,” Walker said.
Despite the increased money to technical colleges, area Democrats say it still doesn’t make up for the deep cuts that were made in the past year.
“It doesn’t address a few things. The first is it doesn’t address the fact that there was $72-million cut last year,” State Representative Dana Wachs said.
The tax cut bill now heads to the state assembly for a vote on March 18th. If approved it would head to the governor’s desk for his signature.
From beloitdailynews.com: "Police recruits aim to improve community relations" -- The most recent recruits of Blackhawk Technical College's Police Recruit Academy are stretching their legs and building some bridges. [...]
From beloitdailynews.com: “Police recruits aim to improve community relations” – By Geoff Bruce – The most recent recruits of Blackhawk Technical College’s Police Recruit Academy are stretching their legs and building some bridges.
The first ever “Miles for a Message” campaign is the brainchild of the most recently graduated class of academy recruits, Class 13-64.
“The recruits decided that they wanted to do something. These people want to become law enforcement officers, not just study about it,” Blackhawk Technical College Recruit Academy Coordinator Doug Anderson said.
Miles for a Message will take place April 5 and consist of two halves. The first will be a relay run beginning at 8 a.m. consisting of many runners teaming up to conquer the 26.2-mile course. The morning jaunt will start from Blackhawk Technical College’s Central Campus, 6004 S. County Road G, between Beloit and Janesville, and will head south to Beloit before winding through the city to pass by nearly all of its schools. The run will conclude at the Rotary River Center in Riverside Park in Beloit.
Following the morning run will be an afternoon organization fair. The fair will run from approximately 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Rotary River Center. The purpose of the fair is to introduce citizens to all of the organizations in the area that may be able to help in difficult times. Police academy graduate Bryanne Tudor says that one ultimate goal of the event is to promote good relations between citizens and law enforcement.
“(My class) all talked about it and we realized a lot of underprivileged people don’t really know the resources available to them,” Tudor said. “As law enforcement, it’s important to us for people to know their resources.”
There is no charge for organizations wishing to take part in the event. For more information on either portion of the event, interested parties can contact Tudor at 608-436-6869.
So far, a handful of organizations have signed up to participate in the organization fair following the run including the City of Beloit, Town of Beloit, and Town of Turtle Police Departments, as well as the Rock County Sheriff’s Department.
“I think that each generation of police officers will see this grow in importance. There can no longer be that disconnection of guys just riding around in squad cars and only connecting when someone’s in need or in trouble,” Anderson said. “We need to get officers out of the car and taking the time to interact with people.”
The event’s first half will also raise money for two Stateline Area organizations via pledges. Runners who sign up to run a leg of the 26.2-mile relay will collect at least $75 in pledges and will be able to sign up to run as much, or as little, as they want.
Benefiting from the funds raised by the pledges will be Project 16:49 and the Merrill Community Center.
“Project 16:49 has really taken off, especially with the opening of their new house. I think that they tackle an issue we all need to be aware of,” Tudor said. “As for Merrill, it’s just been a great organization for so long and we really wanted to show support for it.”
Project 16:49 opened its first house to provide long-term residence for homeless teens last month. Executive Director Tammy DeGarmo says that things with the Robin House are going well so far.
“We’ve had almost everything we need for the house donated to us. We’ve had so many people want to volunteer and help out,” DeGarmo said. “We’re excited for this because it’s not easy to take the time to organize an event and right now we’re very busy with the Robin House and helping our other kids. So to have them put this on for us is wonderful.”
Merrill Community Center Executive Director Regina Dunkin recently participated in a panel at Beloit College regarding the incarceration problem in Wisconsin. Prior to that forum, she made points echoing Tudor’s desires to build bridges between law enforcement and citizens. She stood by those remarks Monday.
“I think it’s another opportunity to show the humanity of police officers,” Dunkin said. “Often we hear from kids that they have negative ideas about police because they’ve gotten in trouble or their parents have gotten in trouble. This is a way to change that perception and show that police officers are people too.”
Like DeGarmo, Dunkin was flattered by the decision by the recruits’ to make Merrill Community Center one of the beneficiaries.
“It’s just wonderful. We don’t always have people in the community willing to take the initiative on things like this for us,” Dunkin said. “It’s really going to help us in continuing to serve the children and families of the center.”
Participants who wish to have a running buddy can sign up together. Runners are not responsible for finding and fielding an entire team to run the 26.2 miles.
“Once we have all the sign-ups, we’ll sort people into teams to make sure that the distances that people want to run add up to 26.2 miles,” Tudor said. “If you have someone you want to run with you can write that down and we’ll make sure you get to.”
The run will pass by over a dozen schools in the Beloit area including Turner High School, Rock County Christian High School, and Beloit Memorial High School.
Throughout the morning, teams will go over the Rock River a couple of times. But whether it be at White, Henry, or Grand Avenue, if Tudor and her colleagues have their way, there will be plenty more crossings on a lot more bridges in the days to come.
Governor visits CVTC manufacturing event Mar 07 2014
From weau.com: "Walker attends Manufacturing Show at Chippewa Valley Technical College" -- How technology is used in manufacturing was the major focus of a show at CVTC Thursday. [...]
From weau.com: “Walker attends Manufacturing Show at Chippewa Valley Technical College” – How technology is used in manufacturing was the major focus of a show at CVTC Thursday.
The manufacturing show featured more than 20 companies and a number of programs at the college. It also included a junkyard battle competition where area high school students showcased their talents.
Governor Scott Walker was at the event to see all the college had to offer. He said it’s great to have the connection between the technical college and area high schools to show younger students the opportunities available after graduation.
“It’s amazing to see the things they make, really incredible work, and its great to see all the high schoolers coming by to see the oppourtunities in manufacturing,” said Governor Scott Walker.
More than 40 regional manufacturing businesses were also at the event to talk to guests about career opportunities.
Student success part of the culture at NWTC Mar 06 2014
From cctimes.com: "Making success part of the college culture" -- At Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC), student success is more than a concept – it’s a part of the culture. The college’s Dream...Learn It. Live It initiative ensures that student success is woven into every facet of the student experience. [...]
From ccdaily.com: “Making success part of college culture” – Editor’s note: This article continues a series profiling nominees of the American Association of Community Colleges’ (AACC) 2014 Awards of Excellence. Featured this week are the four finalists in the category of student success. Winners in each of the six categories will be announced at the AACC Annual Convention next month.
At Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC), student success is more than a concept – it’s a part of the culture. The college’s Dream…Learn It. Live It initiative ensures that student success is woven into every facet of the student experience.
Every employee at NWTC is responsible for finding ways to help students master their courses, remain in college and complete some kind of credential.
“For people who are willing to work and earn that credential, helping them succeed is both a smart policy and the right choice,” said NWTC President H. Jeffrey Rafn.
Program advisors work with students from application through graduation. Four-week courses allow students to concentrate on one subject at a time while maintaining full-time status. Supplemental learning with academic coaches and tutors is available for the most difficult courses. Struggling students are identified earlier and directed to the appropriate student services.
To help students struggling financially, college employees created a food pantry, a second-hand clothing store and an employee giving campaign on campus.
What the data show
The college also improved the quality of its data, allowing for more informed decision-making.
This transformation at NWTC wasn’t always easy or comfortable — systems and assumptions had to be changed — but college leaders, faculty and staff have found ways to turn challenges into triumphs.
“The business intelligence available to us has been significantly redesigned so that we can see what helps students succeed and where they may fall through the cracks,” said Matthew Petersen, associate dean for general studies at the college.
Southwest Tech health clinic opens in Fennimore Mar 06 2014
From lacrossetribune.com: "Southwest Tech, PdC Memorial open Fennimore clinic" -- Prairie du Chien Memorial Health Clinic-Fennimore opened Monday in the Southwest Wisconsin Technical College campus' Health Sciences building. [...]
From lacrosstribune.com: “Southwest Tech, PdC Memorial open Fennimore Clinic” – Prairie du Chien Memorial Health Clinic-Fennimore opened Monday in the Southwest Wisconsin Technical College campus’ Health Sciences building.
Nurse practitioner Peggy Barton will serve as the clinic’s primary provider. Barton has worked 32 years in nursing and has 19 years of experience as a nurse practitioner, certified in women’s health and family care, with an interest in diabetes.
Primary care services offered at the new clinic include annual health and wellness visits, health promotion and maintenance, disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment, general consultation and referral.
Dental services and behavioral health services will be added later this year.
FVTC transportation center opens Mar 06 2014
From postcrescent.com: "Fox Valley Tech opens expanded transportation center to fill industry need" -- Automotive students at Fox Valley Technical College have made themselves at home in the newly expanded J. J. Keller Transportation Center. [...]
From postcrescent.com: “Fox Valley Tech opens expanded transportation center to fill industry need” — GRAND CHUTE — Automotive students at Fox Valley Technical College have made themselves at home in the newly expanded J. J. Keller Transportation Center.
With the goal of helping to meet a growing demand for automotive careers, the school enlarged the facility by more than 20,000 square feet. The $6.2 million addition created 10 learning bays for automotive programs; three drive-through learning bays for diesel programs; classrooms; an instruction bay for the school’s truck driving program; and a learning bay for a trailer technician program.
The bigger transportation center is the third of five major building projects completed at FVTC so far since 2012, when voters approved $66.5 million in spending.
Aric Van Ess, a second-year diesel technology student from Cedar Grove, likes having more room and using new tools.
“There’s a lot more activities you can work on,” Van Ess said. “You’re not all bunched up working on a truck.”
Van Ess works part-time in the industry, and he sees the same things in the classroom that he does on the job. Students work on trucks that are driven on roads, so the problems they fix in school are the same ones they would see in the real world.
Van Ess plans to take courses in the new transport trailer service technician program after he completes the diesel technology area.
The new program is possible because of the extra square footage added to the facility and was started at the request of local industries, said Dan Poeschel, associate dean at FVTC.
The referendum allowed the automotive program to double in size, accommodating every student who enrolls. In the past, officials had to put students on waiting lists because there wasn’t enough room.
Most students will have jobs lined up immediately after graduation. FVTC automotive students who graduated last year have a combined job placement rate of 98 percent, according to figures provided by the college.
Poeschel said graduates can earn starting wages of $15 per hour or higher.
“[The addition] provides education and good jobs to students coming in who can really have a lifelong career in this industry,” he said.
Gateway president speaks to U.N. conference Mar 05 2014
From journaltimes.com: "Gateway president showcases programs at U.N. conference" -- Gateway Technical College President Bryan Albrecht spoke alongside Chelsea Clinton and Melanne Verveer, former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, at a United Nations-sponsored conference in New York City on Tuesday about how to expand women’s access to education. [...]
From journaltimes.com: “Gateway president showcases programs at U.S. conference” – By Aaron Knapp – RACINE — Gateway Technical College President Bryan Albrecht spoke alongside Chelsea Clinton and Melanne Verveer, former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, at a United Nations-sponsored conference in New York City on Tuesday about how to expand women’s access to education.
In this and another conference on Monday, Albrecht discussed Gateway’s programs and efforts to get women educated for careers, especially in fields typically dominated by men.
“I was proud to be able to showcase some of our programs and at least acknowledge the fact that in any community around the world, whether it’s right here in Racine or if it’s overseas somewhere, there’s more that we can do to help young girls find opportunities and create greater points of access,” he said in a phone interview Tuesday evening.
Albrecht was the primary speaker in the IDEAGEN Summit on Monday and led a discussion of about 60 industry CEOs on broadening opportunities for women to be educated.
The U.N. summit on Tuesday, “Turning Inspiration into Action: Next Steps for the Private Sector to Empower Women Globally,” gathered political, business and educational leaders to discuss how to give women greater access to eduction around the world, said
Albrecht, who represented the American Association of Community Colleges.
Although Gateway has more women enrolled than men, Albrecht said school programs are focused on getting women into historically masculine career fields.
“Recognition by being invited to different events like this one I think help validate that we’re doing some positive things for our community and for our students,” he said.
Governor’s tax cut proposal would benefit WTCS Mar 05 2014
From jsonline.com: "Scott Walker's tax cut plan passes Senate, likely to become law" -- Senate Republicans Tuesday narrowly passed Gov. Scott Walker's $541 million tax cut proposal in a vote that guaranteed the cuts will become law. [...]
From jsonline.com: “Scott Walker’s tax cut plan passes Senate, likely to become law” –Madison — Senate Republicans Tuesday narrowly passed Gov. Scott Walker’s $541 million tax cut proposal in a vote that guaranteed the cuts will become law.
The tax decreases — the third round of cuts by Republicans in less than a year — passed 17-15 with GOP Sen. Dale Schultz of Richland Center joining all Democrats in voting against the proposal. The proposal now goes to the Assembly, which passed a different version of the tax cuts last month with two Democrats joining all Republicans in supporting it.
With growing tax collections now expected to give the state a $1billion budget surplus in June 2015, Walker’s bill will cut property and income taxes for families and businesses, and zero out all income taxes for manufacturers in the state.
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) said his party was delivering on a promise to hold down taxes for the people of the state.
“The bottom line is what a great day for the state of Wisconsin — to finally be out of what was a dark time for Wisconsin,” Fitzgerald said, referring to the recent recession.
GOP lawmakers and Walker will use the unexpected windfall for the state as an occasion to trim overall state spending slightly for the next three years rather than increase it.
The votes on the tax cuts, which have split almost entirely along partisan lines in the Legislature, highlight the growing split between the two parties’ visions for the state.
Walker’s initial tax cut proposal would have drawn down the expected surplus and left the state budget in somewhat worse financial position in the future as measured by one commonly used method. To win over a holdout GOP senator concerned about the state’s finances, Walker agreed last month to cut state spending by $38 million to help offset the tax cuts.
Also Tuesday, the Senate voted unanimously to pass a second bill to increase spending on worker training by $35.4 million through June 2015.
Walker’s plan for the surplus prioritizes the tax cuts and a roughly $320 million overhaul of income tax withholding over calls from Democrats to decrease more than $1 billion in borrowing, strengthen the state budget and offset past cuts to schools. Democrats said that was a better approach to running state government and boosting the state’s economy.
“The property tax burden absolutely weighs down the citizens of our state,” Sen. Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) said. “But you know what else weighs down the citizens of this state? Not having a job.”
Under Walker’s bill, the average income tax filer would receive a tax cut of $46 in April 2015 and the typical homeowner would save $131 over the existing law on this December’s bills, according to the Legislature’s nonpartisan budget office.
Also, the governor has separately had his administration alter income tax withholding rates so workers have less taken out of each paycheck — about $520 a year for a married couple making a total of $80,000 a year — starting in April.
“The more money that we give back to the taxpayers, the more money they can spend or save as they wish and the more our economy will grow,” said Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills), co-chairwoman of the Legislature’s budget committee.
The bill would also lower income taxes for factory and farm owners by $36.8 million over the current two-year budget and $91.3 million over the following two years.
GOP supporters of this manufacturing tax cut in the bill see it as fuel for one of the state’s main economic engines.
Democratic opponents see it as a giveaway with a dubious payback to some of the richest people in the state, averaging about $800 for roughly 30,000 tax filers in 2015.
The deal between Walker and GOP senators would also use what is essentially an accounting maneuver to keep a chunk of the surplus — more than $100 million — in the state’s main account rather than shifting it to a rainy day fund.
Mary Burke, a former state commerce secretary and bicycle company executive running against Walker, has said the state should use about half of the surplus to set aside more money in the rainy day fund and reduce the state’s $2billion in new borrowing through June 2015. She would use the remainder for property tax relief and worker training programs.
Burke’s plan for property tax relief and separate plans put forward by Assembly and Senate Democrats would all funnel more money toward a state credit for parcels with a home or business on them. That would ensure low- and middle-income homeowners see bigger tax cuts than they would under Walker’s plan.
Republicans have said this so-called first dollar tax credit provides no relief to those who own undeveloped land and could draw a legal challenge to the credit if it is increased again.
Senate Democrats Tuesday offered their own plan for the budget surplus that would:
■ Provide a one-time property tax cut of $500 million through the first dollar credit. That means homeowners wouldn’t get the tax decrease in future years.
■ Double the transfer of money to the state’s rainy day fund by adding $228.7 million.
■ Provide $100 million more to the Wisconsin Technical College System and additional funding for rural K-12 schools and special needs students to offset past cuts to those areas.
■ Not provide the tax cut to manufacturers and not cut down on the amount of extra income taxes that the state is withholding.
The proposal would cut the state’s budget deficit in the next two-year budget to zero, according to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau.
“It’s hard to look past the next election toward the long-term interests of the state,” Senate Minority Leader Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee) said. “Let’s transcend the politics.”
Apprenticeship helps grow new farmers Mar 05 2014
From wisfarmer.com: "Elkhorn farmer outlines opportunities for new farmers" -- For a German city boy who wanted to farm, the yearning was fed by internships in Germany, Canada and Wisconsin. The dream of farming came true for Altfrid Krusenbaum, who now has his own grass-based dairy farm near Elkhorn. [...]
From wisfarmer.com: “Elkhorn farmer outlines opportunities for new farmers” – For a German city boy who wanted to farm, the yearning was fed by internships in Germany, Canada and Wisconsin.
The dream of farming came true for Altfrid Krusenbaum, who now has his own grass-based dairy farm near Elkhorn. He’s been in Wisconsin for 28 years. Today, one of his passions is helping other people who have that same passion to farm.
His 300-acre farm includes a herd of 140 dairy cows that calve seasonally in the spring so they can go out on the grass. He also grass-finishes 35 dairy steers for beef.
Krusenbaum, who spoke at a recent Columbia/Dodge winter grazing conference in Randolph, has been active in supporting the Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers at the University of Wisconsin and the state’s Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship program.
But he’s begun his own approach to fostering the next generation of dairy farmers — share milking. It’s a way for young couples to get into farming if they are willing to learn and work on another’s dairy farm.
Krusenbaum stresses that these share milkers should be couples because he feels there’s just too much work for one person alone.
More and more entrants, in the many programs to help beginning farmers in the state, are from non-farm backgrounds and need to acquire hands-on skills, he said.
Many young people don’t have the capital to begin farming, they’re bound in a traditional outlook on farming or they lack a positive outlook. He sees the state’s programs, including his own share milking program, as a way to potentially cure some of those ills.
The UW’s School for Beginning Dairy Farmers (before the “Livestock” was added) was begun by grass-based dairy farmers who saw the need for a formalized program to get new farmers started in the state. They approached the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems (CIAS) to get it started.
The first students were from the UW Farm and Industry Short Course as well as students from the four-year farming programs at the university.
“This is really the only thing like it offered anywhere in the nation,” he said.
The course is expanding from its Madison location via the use of distance learning where students can follow seminars live on the internet and interact with the moderator.
Krusenbaum said that the students in Madison right now range in age from 19-55 years old. They study a winter curriculum, go on farm tours, attend conferences and can take advantage of internships. Their course of study includes business planning and all are encouraged to write a formal plan for their future farm so they can set and achieve goals into the future.
Speakers and mentors include successful farmers, UW specialists, ag lenders, veterinarians and successful business leaders.
The program has been going for 19 years and 440 students have gone through it. “More than three-quarters of them are farming and 50 percent of those have their own farms.”
The school has been supported by cooperatives and association who see the need to add new farmers to the agricultural economy in Wisconsin. Grass-based livestock production methods were chosen because the need for capital is less with these kinds of systems.
With the UW program up and running, many in the industry felt that there was a need for an accredited career path for the people who wanted to get their own farm started. Grassworks, a state grazing organization helped create the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship program to help create a pathway to farm ownership for these future farmers.
The program includes 4,000 hours of paid training over two years — 3,712 hours of on-the-job training and instruction by the master grazer as well as 288 hours of related classroom instruction in collaboration with the state’s Technical College System.
Randy Zogbaum, the agriculture instructor with Madison Area Technical College noted that it is the first registered farm apprenticeship program in the United States. “It’s a huge accomplishment.”
The program allows the beginning farmer to develop skills and network with the dairy industry in the state.
For the master grazer, the program provides a “quality, ambitious, driven individual” who becomes a skilled worker by the end of two years, says Krusenbaum. The program also opens up the potential for a farm transfer from the mentor to the beginning farmer.
There are currently 28 approved Master Grazers who can take apprentices — but he says the program always needs more. The program has generated seven graduates. Three of them have their own farms, three are in equity-earning positions and one is a farm manager.
Over 60 candidates are waiting placement.
The program is helpful, says Krusenbaum, for traditional entrants who need management skills and for non-traditional entrants who need experience.
What students in so many of these programs have in common, he said, is the “dream to farm.”
New Zealand model
Krusenbaum has trained interns on his farm for 20 years but was really dissatisfied with how many ended up on working farms. They were lacking in business skills and had no equity.
In 1996 he learned of the share milking model in New Zealand, a country where milking cows is the number-one desired job among its citizens.
“With share milking they earn equity and hone their management skills. At the end they have a profitable tax record and equity. The risk is taken away from them.”
Krusenbaum has created a share milking program on his own farm because he feels it’s a great opportunity to pass on knowledge, assets and a legacy to a new generation.
For the mentor, it’s also a way to slow down a bit while still earning income from the farm. “There’s a great satisfaction to getting another farmer started.”
Like any social contract there has to be negotiation between the two parties. Share milkers provide most of the labor and management related to livestock and pastures.
The farm business owner provides all the forage that can be produced in an average year, an existing land base and all the necessary machinery and facilities.
At his farm Krusenbaum uses a three-year contract with the first six months being probationary.
The share milker gets 18 percent of the milk (they get their own Organic Valley producer number) and 18 percent of all the steers sold. In addition the share milker gets every fifth heifer calf born alive from March through May.
Income and animals
The beginning farmers also get the ability to raise their heifers on the farm and Krusenbaum provides them with the farm house to live in.
He said in general this provides about $45,000 in net farm income for the share milking couple and about 55 head of cattle after three years.
In New Zealand, he said, these kinds of arrangements have evolved into strictly cash models but he wanted to incorporate cattle ownership into the program because he felt it would give the beginning farmer more “buy-in” and get them involved on a higher level.
In addition to the income stream, share milkers are responsible for 18 percent of most variable expenses and the utilities at the house, he said.
Krusenbaum has been using this model since 2006 and admits it has had its ups and downs. “The biggest drawback is that very few people want to do it. It’s amazing how few applicants we get. I don’t know why it’s not more attractive to more people.”
For this kind of program to work, he said it is important to have on-farm housing for the share milking couple. “I really feel it’s important for the share milker to live on the farm.”
He recommends a trial period so both parties can feel comfortable with each other and the arrangement. “Anything can be fixed unless the personalities don’t work out.”
Krusenbaum feels that beginning farmers need a firm foundation under them, like the one they could gain from share milking or the apprenticeship program. He noted that of the dairy herds being sold through the Richland Center sale barn this year, one-third are those that started up in the last three years.
The state’s programs are a way for new dairy farmers to forge a career path.
Krusenbaum urged his grazing listeners to apply to become master grazers in the apprenticeship program and to consider share milking as an option.
For share milking, the farm needs to be a certain size and the farm needs to be a mature operation. “It needs to have low debt and the farm paid for. It can’t be something that started in the last few years.”
For more on Krusenbaum’s farm: http://www.KrusenGrassFarms.com
Other programs: http://www.Grassworks.org
Dairy grazing apprenticeship: http://www.Dairygrazingapprenticeship.org
From northlandsnewscenter.com: "Businesses in Wis. eligible for $15 million in grants to close skills gap" -- Wisconsin businesses are now eligible to apply for a grant to help close the workforce skills gap. [...]
From northlandsnewscenter.com: “Businesses in Wis. eligible for $15 million in grants to close skills gap” – Wisconsin businesses are now eligible to apply for a grant to help close the workforce skills gap.
The Fast Forward worker training grant program is providing $15 million worth of funding to help businesses address the need for skilled workers.
On Tuesday, Shelly Harkins from the State Department of Workforce Development spoke about the program at Wisconsin Indian Head Technical College in Superior.
The grants enable businesses to deliver customized training to workers and local job seekers.
Bob Meyer, president of WITC, says this new program will help address the shortage of skilled labor which many businesses in the state are facing.
“It has been estimated that if we can match the right skills and talent with vacant jobs, we can actually reduce unemployment by 2.5 percent in the Minnesota, Wisconsin region,” said Meyer.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed the program into law last March.
Walker is proposing to add another $34 million to the program.
So far, two rounds of grants have been given out.
In round one, $2.6 million was awarded to 32 grantees in the targeted training sector.
Almost half of the grants partnered with a technical college to provide training in their area.
In round two, $7.5 million will be awarded to seven areas of Wisconsin.
From greenbaypressgazette.com: "Walker checks out manufacturing program at Green Bay West" -- A future Green Bay West High School program expected to give students a hands-on look at a career in manufacturing is one of the ways public and private partnerships are helping support the state’s manufacturing sector, Gov. Scott Walker said Monday. [...]
From greenbaypressgazette.com: “Walker checks out manufacturing program at Green Bay West” — A future Green Bay West High School program expected to give students a hands-on look at a career in manufacturing is one of the ways public and private partnerships are helping support the state’s manufacturing sector, Gov. Scott Walker said Monday.
Walker said the Bay Link Manufacturing program, and its partnership with Northeast Wisconsin Technical College and the Northeastern Wisconsin Manufacturing Alliance, offers a unique, real-world, teaching opportunity to help fill future job positions.
“We’re making it relevant and we’re making a real-world connection to the valuable careers in manufacturing. Our hope is that more young people see this and want to pursue those careers,” Walker said Monday. This “will not only help us fill the jobs that are open today, but … help employers and manufacturers here, and across the state, open the door to creating more jobs in the future.”
Bay Link Manufacturing is being set up at West High School to give students real-world manufacturing experience. That includes hard skills such as welding and fabricating parts for area businesses to “soft” skills like interviewing for a job, sales, and communication with co-workers, said Andy Belongia, the Bay Link Manufacturing instructor.
The program is expected to launch this fall. Twelve to 15 students will apply for class as they would for a job and will have job reviews, Belongia said.
Profits will go back to the program and potentially to scholarships for students.
This is the second stop for Walker in the Green Bay area in a matter of days. Both stops have focused on a manufacturing in the region and state and the need to build on the existing workforce. Last week the governor was at MetalStorm, a De Pere metal fabricator.
“I repeatedly hear from manufacturers not only the need to fill existing potions, but if they could fill those on a consistent basis they’d take on more work … and that would help us put more people to work,” Walker said.
The state Senate is scheduled to vote today on Walker’s proposed property and income tax cut plan.
The tax cut bill and one that makes $35 million available for a variety of worker training initiatives are the only proposals before the Senate today.
Walker’s proposal would reduce property taxes for the owner of a median-valued home by $131 on the bill mailed in December. The income tax cut would reduce the lowest bracket from 4.4 percent to 4 percent, saving the typical taxpayer $46.
Democratic critics have argued that the tax cuts need to be more narrowly focused to benefit the middle class, increase spending on worker training programs, reduce debt and address projected shortfalls in Medicaid and transportation funding.
From starjournalnow.com: "Nicolet College students participate in state legislative seminar" -- Nicolet College student Ryan Raschke saw it as his personal responsibility to travel to the Wisconsin State Capitol to advocate for the students and the colleges in the Wisconsin Technical College System. [...]
From starjournalnow.com: “Nicolet College students participate in state legislative seminar” — Nicolet College student Ryan Raschke saw it as his personal responsibility to travel to the Wisconsin State Capitol to advocate for the students and the colleges in the Wisconsin Technical College System.
“It’s all about being an engaged citizen,” Raschke said. “It’s important to stand up for the great education we have in Wisconsin. For me, I wanted to do my part, to talk to legislators, to make sure the technical college system remains strong and intact so future students can benefit from it as much as I have.”
Raschke, who is studying natural resources in Nicolet’s University Transfer program, was joined by Nicolet Accounting student Craig Collins on the recent trip to Madison to participate in the Wisconsin Student Government Legislative Seminar. The annual event brings together student leaders from across the technical college system to learn first-hand about the legislative process and how to advocate for issues they deem important.
During their time at the three-day legislative seminar, the two attended numerous workshops and presentations that covered proposed legislation affecting the WTCS, tips for meeting with legislators, strategic partnerships and external relations, along with other topics.
Raschke and Collins were joined on their trip to Madison by six other Nicolet students who participated in a companion event, the student showcase. Held in the Capitol Rotunda, the showcase spotlighted service learning and classroom projects. The six who participated in the student showcase included:
- Business Management student LaceyLyn Statezny on a project her class completed to generate awareness and raise funds for multiple sclerosis;
- Graphic Design students Karli Radeka, Charolette Fohner and Ashley Pieper on their efforts to inspire high school juniors and seniors to pursue the arts;
- and Culinary Arts students Sean Craven and Kenneth Golden on their capstone class project where they catered an employee appreciation day event at a local business.
In all, more than 130 student leaders from all 16 state technical colleges participated in the legislative seminar and student showcase.
From wxpr.com: "Governor: Tech schools to benefit from surplus" -- he state's budget surplus is likely to be used to help reduce local property taxes by more fully funding Wisconsin's Technical College system. [...]
From wxpr.com: “Governor: Tech schools to benefit from surplus” – The state’s budget surplus is likely to be used to help reduce local property taxes by more fully funding Wisconsin’s Technical College system.
During a stop Friday in Rhinelander, Governor Scott Walker says the plan would give direct property tax relief by picking up the majority of technical college costs from the local levy. Walker says the action would not affect local governance. “So it leaves governance up to the way it is so locally it’s determined but we have four school districts where the (levy) will be completely gone…Nicolet(Area Technical College in Rhinelander), Indianhead, Northeast, and Waukesha County Technical. We think that’s a good thing.”
Walker says the most rural technical colleges have unique concerns. “We look to the future, not only to invest in our technical schools to draw down the levy, we’ll be doing more for our schools in rural and high expansion and low density population district to try and of set property taxes as well.”
Officials say the average savings will be around $100 for a home worth $100,000.
Manufacturing in the spotlight at CVTC Mar 03 2014
From leadertelegram.com: "Manufacturing in the spotlight" -- A group of high school students stood wide-eyed as a Chippewa Valley Technical College student dropped a metal ball that seemed to defy gravity as it fell through a simple copper tube. It fell slowly through the tube as if moving in molasses, never touching the sides. [...]
From leadertelegram.com: “Manufacturing in the spotlight” — A group of high school students stood wide-eyed as a Chippewa Valley Technical College student dropped a metal ball that seemed to defy gravity as it fell through a simple copper tube. It fell slowly through the tube as if moving in molasses, never touching the sides.
The demonstration of electromagnetic forces took place in the Nano Engineering Technology area of CVTC’s Manufacturing Education Center last March at the annual Manufacturing Show, which returns for a third year Thursday.
That simple ball-and-tube trick will have to take a distant back seat to other high-end demonstrations this year. For instance, CVTC now has equipment that uses streams of water under extremely high pressure to cut metal in precise detail, without the harmful effects heat-based metal cutting can leave behind.
Manufacturing Show demonstrations also will include a three-dimensional printer that doesn’t use ink. Instead, it produces, layer after layer, at high speed, a 3-D plastic model of items drawn up with paper and numbers.
“It gives us an ability to replicate a concept or design, showing the working parts,” said CVTC Associate Dean of Manufacturing Jeff Sullivan. “The printers are being used a lot in the medical field.”
New machine tool program equipment that will be on display is capable of speeds up to 12,000 rpm. “The purpose of the high speed is higher accuracy and tighter tolerances,” Sullivan said.
And the purpose of students working on such a machine is to prepare them for the kind of equipment being used in the industry today, important given the prevalence of the machine tool industry in the Eau Claire area.
Welcome to the world of modern manufacturing. People who still picture manufacturing as taking place in dark, dingy places with low-skilled workers doing simple repetitive work will have their minds changed by attending the show, people affiliated with the event said.
“The entire show will present a good overview of manufacturing careers in western Wisconsin,” said Roger Stanford, CVTC vice president of instruction. “We have a great diversity of manufacturing companies in this area, many of them producing products that are getting attention worldwide. Attendees can learn more about these companies at the Manufacturing Show and how CVTC prepares workers for lucrative careers in manufacturing.”
About 20 manufacturing companies will have displays about their role in their industries and in the Chippewa Valley economy. They will use the show to recruit new workers as well.
Joining those companies will be representatives of CVTC’s manufacturing programs: electromechanical technology, industrial mechanic, industrial mechanical technician, machine tooling technics, welding and welding fabrication. Some of the physical science programs, such as nano engineering technology, manufacturing engineering technologist and industrial engineering technician also will be involved.
Students play a vital role in the show. As part of regular course work, they have constructed and programmed robotic equipment that performs such tasks as playing a guitar, making a golf putt or resetting bowling pins.
Area high school students also will be heavily involved in this year’s show. Back again will be the Junkyard Battle, in which high school welding students will compete with their creations made of scrap metal. Last year the contest featured student-made sculptures of their school mascots. This year’s show will feature several more competitions.
Machine tool students will compete in the Amazing Maze event, creating complicated mazes in competition for the best design. Engineering students will use computer-aided design programs to draw up plans for devices. The top design will be reproduced on the 3D printer.
In the electromechanical area, students will create robots that work through a maze without human intervention. The industrial mechanics program is working on a competition involving development of miniature cannons.
“We are reaching out to our K-12 school district partners to develop agreements and programs that expose younger students to manufacturing and prepare high school students for entry into CVTC’s manufacturing programs,” Sullivan said.
The event has been well-attended by the general public since its inception, and area school districts take advantage by using it as an educational experience for students. Some parents bring their children who are starting to think about careers.
The show offers plenty for attendees to do, such as trying out simulators, watching robotic welders, learning what local manufacturers are producing and witnessing student creativity.
WCTC helps Racine County become more efficient Mar 03 2014
From journaltimes.com: "County hires help to trim expenses" -- For any organization that’s been around a while, it can be difficult to change its way of doing things, no matter how burdensome or tedious its operations become. [...]
From journaltimes.com: “County hires help to trim expenses” — RACINE COUNTY — For any organization that’s been around a while, it can be difficult to change its way of doing things, no matter how burdensome or tedious its operations become.
Racine County government is no different. Only in its case, outdated and time-consuming processes can mean wasting public money or government employees’ time.
About two years ago, Racine County Executive Jim Ladwig created a “lean government” initiative to trim waste out of county government. The effort isn’t about reducing the workforce, he said, but delivering services in a better way and possibly saving money along the way.
Now, the county is ramping up its efforts. About 50 staffers and department heads packed a courthouse conference room last week to hear from Pat Dolan, a Waukesha County Technical College instructor who works with governments across the state on making operations more efficient.
A smaller group of about 20 employees will get more extensive training from WCTC to facilitate projects throughout county government. The county is paying WCTC just less than $11,000 out of its training budget.
“What I love about it is it’s not a top-down type system,” Ladwig said. “We have people on the front line, we have supervisors, we have department heads. All of them are involved in this … we have a ton of talent throughout the county and they have a lot of good ideas. It’s important that we cultivate that.”
Principles of WCTC’s “lean” instruction originated in Toyota’s manufacturing operations and have been applied to workplaces of all kinds, Dolan said.
His goal is to train employees to develop a “set of glasses” that will help them identify and get rid of waste. Ideally, it’s a mindset that becomes part of the job and not extra work, Dolan said.
The county has already benefited, Ladwig said. Its biggest success was a project that reduced employees’ purchasing requests by 3,500 and saved the county between $50,000 and $100,000, Ladwig said.
Other projects, like improving the laundry process and supply room at Ridgewood Care Center, are smaller. But even those types of changes free up employees’ time and make them more productive, Ladwig said.
That reflects the incentive employees have to buy into the initiative — it’s designed to make their lives easier. Lean government isn’t solely about cost savings, Ladwig said.
“It’s really just about improving the process and improving the service we provide,” Ladwig said. “It’s empowering (employees) to change the way we do business.”
Employers do their part in apprenticeships Mar 03 2014
From wausaudailyherald.com: "Employers do their part in apprenticeships" -- Many local employers are actively working to develop our future workforce by participating in Wisconsin’s Youth Apprenticeship, or YA, program. [...]
From wausaudailyherald.com: “Employers do their part in apprenticeships” — By Donna Schultz, regional coordinator for the Youth Apprenticeship Program at Northcentral Technical College in Wausau –Many local employers are actively working to develop our future workforce by participating in Wisconsin’s Youth Apprenticeship, or YA, program.
YA allows high school juniors and seniors to work part-time in a career field they are considering for their future, while taking courses that support that career direction. Students learn from experts in the field and gain skills necessary for success in the world of work. The employers who hire these students benefit because they get direct access to a pipeline of motivated workers interested in building a career in their industry.
Several employers in our area who support YA agreed to share their thoughts on the program:
“It is our pleasure at Bell Tower Residence to work in partnership with the Merrill Senior High School’s Apprenticeship Program,” said Sister Mary Anne Rose, director of resident services. “Mentoring the youth has been a win-win process for Bell Tower Residence and our residents for many years. Many students are interested in pursuing some type of career in health care. Getting experience working at an assisted living community helps the students make some important decisions regarding their future.
“The program helps youths develop people skills, responsibility and dependability. Witnessing the students become members of the Bell Tower team is very rewarding. Our residents enjoy meeting the students and often get to know them very well.
“It has been a learning experience for the youths in the program as well as for the Bell Tower employees who mentor and minister with them. These students are our future caregivers. It is a privilege to observe the growth in the students as they participate in the program,” Sister Mary Ann said.
“Peoples State Bank has mentored over 20 YA students in the past six years. Six students are working as apprentices currently, and four students who successfully completed the program continue to be employed at Peoples,” reported Dawn Borchardt, Operations/CSR Systems specialist. “Peoples is a community-owned bank that strongly believes in giving back to the community that has helped make us successful. In 2013, Peoples and its employees supported 400-plus organizations in north-central Wisconsin with over 6,900 volunteer hours and monetary donations exceeding $100,000. Our belief in seeing the potential also extends to the Youth Apprenticeship program. (It) is a fantastic way to help our youth discover a career path that is right for them, while giving them hands-on training, support, and tools they can take with them as they develop into young professionals.”
Mona Kraft, director of human resources at AROW Global Corporation in Mosinee agrees. “We’ve had great success with the youth apprentice program here at AROW Global in Mosinee for two years now. The students who work here seamlessly keep pace with their peers. They do equal work for equal pay, and it’s a great introduction into the workforce. AROW’s vice president and general manager, Scott Firer, understands that not all graduates have the option or desire to go on to college. He feels that working at AROW is an excellent alternative to learn a trade in a clean, fun environment that offers a competitive wage and benefit package.
“AROW Global is the leading manufacturer of windows for the North American transportation market. The students who work here are coming in at an exciting time as AROW’s present and future growth means nothing but opportunity for them. It’s a win-win situation for both the company and the students. As an employer, AROW benefits from hiring bright, engaged apprentices, and the students gain work experience along with obtaining school credit.
“When asked what our Mosinee students like about the program, Clinton Goethlich said he appreciates the ‘real world experience, and the way that the program allows us to tap into and broaden our interests.’ Jacob Schildt was most appreciative of the employer interest and involvement, stating, ‘It’s not every company that will go ahead and hire a bunch of kids.’ That’s true Jacob, but here at AROW, we think they should,” Kraft said.
The YA program covers a variety of areas from agriculture to welding. Employers interested in connecting with a student looking for an apprenticeship or learning more about the YA program, should contact their local high school YA coordinator or Donna Schulz at Northcentral Technical College in Wausau.
From thedailypage.com: "Madison College and the Literacy Network team up to help a wide range of students with ESL" -- They are Syrian immigrants and Bhutanese refugees. Spouses of visiting professors from Pakistan and au pairs from Ecuador. Studious mothers of 12 from Somalia whose turn it is, finally, to attend class. [...]
From thedailypage.com: “Madison College and the Literacy Network team up to help a wide range of students with ESL” — They are Syrian immigrants and Bhutanese refugees. Spouses of visiting professors from Pakistan and au pairs from Ecuador. Studious mothers of 12 from Somalia whose turn it is, finally, to attend class.
Some, highly educated in their home country, arrive with advanced degrees. Others have never set foot inside a school and struggle to read and write in their native language.
Step into an English as a Second Language classroom at Madison College’s downtown campus, and you’ll find learners from 10 or 15 countries, and as many stations in life, practicing together.
“The clock is on the wall.” “Epiphane is Akugbe’s brother.” Or in higher levels, “Had I known you like reggae, I would have invited you.”
One of these students is Gilson Batista, who in just over a year has progressed from ESL level 1 to 5 (out of 6). Batista is here thanks to his wife, Sara, who found out about Madison College’s tuition-free, non-credit ESL courses and suggested he attend.
The two met in Batista’s hometown of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, four years ago. A longtime Madison resident, Sara was there studying Capoeira and improving her Portuguese. He had just begun studying philosophy at universidade and was working as a book binder and Capoeira teacher.
After marrying, the young couple settled in Madison. It was Batista’s first time in the U.S. He spoke a little English and Spanish, having taken several semesters of each in middle and high school, but not enough to resume life where he had left off.
Madison College’s School of Academic Advancement, where a third of the course offerings are ESL classes (others cater to GED/HSED students), is a major resource for new residents like Batista.
Another is the Literacy Network of Dane County, which provides small-group and one-on-one support to adult learners working toward their literacy goals.
For some, the goal is understanding their child’s teacher or pediatrician. Others want to find work to feed their families. Many just want to shake the paralyzing feeling of isolation and be a part of a community again. And then there are learners like Batista, who long to go back to school and earn a degree.
A partnership arose between the two agencies in 2011. In the pilot program, Literacy Network placed a tutor in the ESL classes of two Madison College instructors, Judy Emmrich and Ryan Roling.
The idea was for the classroom tutors, or CRTs as they are known, to play the role of teacher’s aide, giving learners the kind of individualized attention not usually available in most technical college settings. They might lead half the class in a speaking exercise, float the room to field questions, or give feedback to each student on completed homework.
Emmrich and Roling became strong advocates for the Classroom Tutor Program, and it quickly expanded. In its second year, 50 volunteers served 911 hours.
Emmrich, a teacher here for 12 years, praises the individual attention that students gain. “The tutoring has increased the retention in my classes and has helped to strengthen the strong sense of community.” Further, she notes, the CRTs “bring many rich and varied experiences into the room.”
Last year, 27 tutors from Literacy Network served 1,112 hours in Madison College’s ESL classes. Many are UW-Madison students, who find they get as much out of the experience by learning about other cultures and developing skills for their future.
Amy Krill, an AmeriCorps member and former classroom tutor who works with both agencies, manages the program. Literacy Network supports her in tutor recruitment, training and coordination. Both agencies provide office space, phones and supplies.
While Madison College would like to see more ESL students advance into credit courses, national statistics show the odds are against them. According to the Community College Consortium for Immigrant Education, only about 10% of non-credit ESL students make the transition to credit ESL and even fewer continue on to vocational or academic programs.
But to gauge the success of an ESL program by looking solely at college engagement would be a mistake, says Chris Vandall, dean of the School of Academic Advancement.
“You have to look at the goal of the student,” he says. It may not be to get into an occupational program or earn a degree. Even if it were, for many that’s impossible financially.
“We lose a lot of our students because they have to go and get a job just to pay the bills,” says Vandall.
But then there are more resource-rich students like Batista, who have a fighting chance of college success. Now that he is in ESL 5, Batista is eligible to take the COMPASS, the college entrance exam used by Madison College to test readiness.
Eventually, he’d like to take credit courses through Madison College, then transfer to a UW-Madison humanities program. He’s nothing if not motivated, taking summer courses, showing up before class for help and practicing conversation in the downtown campus’ Learning Center. Batista takes basic reading, writing and math classes here too, also offered tuition-free.
“You have to work hard,” he says, but if you do, “you get what you want to get.”
Or, as an adage often recited in language classes goes, “One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.”
FVTC Kitchen and Bath Design program accredited Feb 28 2014
From woodworkingnetwork.com: "Fox Valley Technical College Approved as NKBA Accredited Provider" -- The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) recently announced that Fox Valley Technical College has met all requirements to become an NKBA Accredited Program provider of AAS Interior Design – Kitchen and Bath Design, and Kitchen and Bath Certificate. [...]
From woodworkingnetwork.com: “Fox Valley Technical College Approved as NKBA Accredited Provider“– The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) recently announced that Fox Valley Technical College has met all requirements to become an NKBA Accredited Program provider of AAS Interior Design – Kitchen and Bath Design, and Kitchen and Bath Certificate.
NKBA Accreditation serves the professional needs of the industry and ensures consistent, quality education for students who want to become kitchen or bathroom design professionals. The NKBA currently recognizes over 40 schools in North America whose kitchen and bath curriculum meet the educational standards established by the association.
These established standards include the knowledge and skills necessary for competent practice in the profession, divided into four categories: Planning and Design, Construction/Mechanical Systems, Business Management, and Products/Materials. Each school seeking accreditation must adequately meet stringent NKBA standards in each of these areas.
These schools submit a self-study and an analysis of competencies as related to these areas of study. An onsite evaluation is conducted, consisting of classroom observations; a curriculum-review meeting with faculty; a presentation of projects; and interviews with students, faculty and administration. The educational institution must have accreditation recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or a provincial ministry of education in Canada.
NKBA Accredited Programs are evaluated with respect to mission, administration, curriculum, faculty, and resources to determine eligibility and the students’ aptitude toward fulfilling the Association’s required competencies. Industry professionals evaluate student work samples as a subjective measure of the program. Programs that meet the qualifications for accreditation or a preliminary status of supported are published in print and on the NKBA website.
Each year, the Association monitors the progress of these schools with the submission of student work samples, based on the NKBA Student Design Competition. This process provides an outcome-based assessment to the schools. Accredited Programs have a reevaluation period of seven years.
Fox Valley Technical College earned NKBA Accreditation by demonstrating that it meets these requirements, which represent the basis of a program the NKBA considers essential for quality education. Each student must complete classroom work as well as internships that enhance and extend the classroom experiences. These internships are monitored by the educational institution, which makes certain that they meet the NKBA’s required student competencies. Programs accredited by the National Kitchen & Bath Association must have an NKBA Certified advisor or faculty member.
From antigodailyjournal.com: "Antigo area residents getting a jump on four-year education at NTC here" -- Antigo area residents are getting a jump on a four-year college degree—and saving some big cash in the process—at Northcentral Technical College. [...]
From antigodailyjournal.com: “Antigo area residents getting a jump on four-year education at NTC here” – Antigo area residents are getting a jump on a four-year college degree—and saving some big cash in the process—at Northcentral Technical College.
Next fall, three students from Antigo will become the first to take advantage of an agreement between NTC and Michigan Technological University that will not only help them earn their bachelor’s degrees in two years, but will save them more than $100,000 each in the process.
Ted Wierzba is one of the students transferring to Michigan Tech in the fall to receive his bachelor of science in electrical engineering. He says with the reputation of the engineering program at Michigan Tech he saw no reason to look anywhere else, plus he says, “The cost savings is crazy!”
Wierzba, Chris Lord and Loryn Becker are all transferring their electromechanical technology associate degree from NTC into the electrical engineering program at Michigan Tech as juniors.
Antigo campus dean Larry Kind said that NTC’s one-year industrial electrical maintenance program serves as the first year of the associate degree electromechanical program.
An additional agreement offers eligible NTC students scholarships that equals the difference between non-resident and resident tuition, saving them $100,280 by starting locally.
“The best part is being able to further my education without taking any steps back from what I’ve already done at NTC,” Lord said. “I didn’t think it would be this easy.”
All three men say with the help of NTC’s Transfer & Placement Office this has been a very simple step for them.
“They walked us through the whole thing. It was so easy,” Becker, who hopes to specialize in robotics and someday work for NASA, said. “It flowed perfectly.”
According to Jeffrey Chamberlin, who instructs the industrial maintenance classes at NTC in Antigo, the one-year program in Antigo allows students to gauge their interest in the career.
“It’s a nice step process,” Chamberlin said. “They can see how they like it, plus they can do it right here at home.”
Greg Neuman, who is currently enrolled in the one-year program in Antigo, said he is considering more training.
“I’ve thought about it,” he said. “I’m not quite that far along yet.”
Brandon Ingram, also enrolled at Antigo, agreed that studying here is a big money-saver.
The electromechanical technology associate degree program is just one of four programs with transfer agreements to Michigan Tech. NTC’s architectural design and technology associate degree transfers into the bachelor of science in construction management at Michigan Tech while the IT – network specialist associate degree transfers into the bachelor of science in computer network and system administration program.
Finally, NTC’s mechanical design engineering technology associate degree transfers to the bachelor of science in mechanical engineering technology at Michigan Tech.
NTC has a series of articulation agreements with public and private universities, allowing students to complete much of their education locally, at a far lower cost.
Examples include accounting, applied engineering, business management, criminal justice, human services, machine tool, marketing, nursing, sustainable architecture and woods.
Agreements are in place across the University of Wisconsin system as well as schools such as Minnesota State, Northland College, Viterbo University and others.
From news8000.com: "Could be a shortage of manufacturing jobs in Wis." -- Skilled workers may be hard to come by in the state of Wisconsin over the next 20 years. The Wisconsin Manufacturing Commerce Foundation was in La Crosse Tuesday to highlight its 20-year plan to combat the issue. [...]
From news8000.com: “Could be a shortage of manufacturing workers in Wisconsin” — Skilled workers may be hard to come by in the state of Wisconsin over the next 20 years. The Wisconsin Manufacturing Commerce Foundation was in La Crosse Tuesday to highlight its 20-year plan to combat the issue.
Western Technical College is one of 16 stops the Manufacturing Commerce Foundation is making in Wisconsin. Technical colleges play a big role in giving students the education needed to become skilled employees in manufacturing.
With the baby-boomer generation coming to retirement age, there could be a higher number of job openings in Wisconsin.
“Well this is an aging state. We expect about 800,000 additional people in this state over the next 30 years but 95 percent of those are going to be over the age of 65,” Wisconsin Manufacturing Commerce Foundation President, Jim Morgan said.
According to the Wisconsin Manufacturing Commerce Foundation, skilled laborers are a dying breed.
“We’ve got some challenges coming down the road around talent attraction, around business competitiveness, that we’ve really got to start that conversation right now,” Morgan said.
The WMC Foundation wants to establish a 20-year plan called Future Wisconsin.
“The things that were outlined here today are trying to get people to think more about manufacturing careers as viable options,” Western Technical College President Lee Rasch said.
Schools like Western Technical College are big contributors to the plan.
“We’re key players because we do a couple things. We work very closely with area manufacturers, we have an existing network, we provide a lot of education and training for the next generation of the workforce in manufacturing and we also represent this region,” Rasch said.
Training the next generation may be tough. The WMC Foundation says keeping that age group in Wisconsin is not easy.
“Unless we do something to keep our young people here and figure out a way to attract more people here we’re not going to have the people available for the jobs that we’re going to have,” Morgan said.
The president of Western said he was glad that the foundation stopped in La Crosse. It allowed for more of the manufacturers in our area to take part in the discussion.
The Wisconsin Manufacturing Commerce Foundation will be working with colleges and universities throughout the year.
From wausaudailyherald.com: "Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, other state leaders visit Wausau West student inventors" -- A Wausau West High School student project to build a remote-controlled snowblower has drawn attention from state officials who are promoting technical education and related careers. [...]
From wausaudailyherald.com: “Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, other state leaders visit Wausau West student inventors” –WAUSAU — A Wausau West High School student project to build a remote-controlled snowblower has drawn attention from state officials who are promoting technical education and related careers.
Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, Workforce Development Secretary Reggie Newson and Wisconsin Technical College System President Morna Foy met the Wausau West students Wednesday during a tour to mark Career and Technical Education Month.
“Their enthusiasm for learning is evident as soon as you enter their lab,” Kleefisch said in a statement released afterward. “These students were so engaged in the project that they worked on it until 9 p.m. one night. Their teacher had to send them home. They built what we all hope will be a winner when they and teams from schools across the country travel to Boston in June for an invention expo.”
Wausau West is one of 15 schools nationally to receive $10,000 grants from the Lemelson-MIT Program in Boston. Teams can use the money to tackle real-world problems with technology and invent solutions; in Wausau West’s case, it’s the “Autonomous snow removal device.”
Kleefisch, Newson and Foy also stopped at CTECH Manufacturing in Weston to learn about its youth apprentice partnership with Wausau West. The state last year awarded $1.86 million in Youth Apprenticeship grants, including $225,599 to the North Central Wisconsin School-to-Career Partnership, a consortium that includes the Wausau School District.
From wxow.com: "WMC Foundation looks into 20-year strategic plan for Wisconsin" -- With the baby boomers retiring, Wisconsin will soon lose it's largest group of workers. The Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce Foundation is looking for ways to replace them. [...]
From wxow.com: “WMC Foundation looks into 20-year strategic plan for Wis.” – LA CROSSE – With the baby boomers retiring, Wisconsin will soon lose it’s largest group of workers.
The Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce Foundation is looking for ways to replace them.
WMC Foundation President Jim Morgan traveled to Western Technical College Tuesday to find out where there is a job shortage in La Crosse, and discuss ways to train students to fill those positions.
The foundation will use that information to create a 20-year strategic plan for the state, called “Future Wisconsin.”
“And we’re trying to look at a couple of key areas like talent attraction, business competitiveness, globalization, entrepreneurship. The types of things that I think if we’re going to be successful in 20 years, we’ve got to start planning for now,” Morgan said.
There’s already a need for welders and machinists, he added.
The WMC Foundation will be meeting with 16 technical colleges, along with other schools, businesses and commerce associations for input.
From fox6now.com: "Increasing demand for apprenticeships as aging workers retire" -- Want to get paid to go to school? With an apprenticeship — you can do just that! Through an apprenticeship, an individual has access to on-the-job training and related classroom instruction. [...]
From fox6now.com: “Increasing demand for apprenticeships as aging workers retire” – Want to get paid to go to school? With an apprenticeship — you can do just that! Through an apprenticeship, an individual has access to on-the-job training and related classroom instruction. A participating employer teaches the skills of the trade on the job. The classroom instruction is theoretical and practical knowledge pertaining to the given trade. It’s an option more and more students in Wisconsin are taking — with the growing need for skilled manufacturing workers in the state.
“The student works 32 hours a week and goes to class eight hours a week, but they’re paid for 40 hours a week,” Debbie Davidson with Gateway Technical College said.
In a nutshell, that’s how an apprenticeship works. Students get hands-on and in-classroom training in a service, construction or industrial field. Typically, the programs run anywhere from three to five years.
“Apprenticeship is really unique in that you start with an employer with a need and match them with an individual to go through the training,” Davidson said.
Officials with Gateway Technical College say the demand for apprenticeship opportunities has grown, as has the number of students enrolling in programs at the school.
“In 2012, we had a total of 49 apprentices. Then, a year later, we had 80 apprentices. Now we have 140,” Davidson said.
“We’ve already started plans on four brand new programs coming up and we know that we’re going to be doubling our numbers within a very short time,” Wisconsin Apprentice Training Representative Sandy Briezman said.
So what’s driving the renewed interest in apprenticeships? We’re told it’s a skills gap, fueled at least in part by soon-to-retire workers.
“The skills gap that we’re seeing now is what was projected even before the downturn in 2009 because people were planning to retire at that point. They stayed a little bit longer, but they kept aging, so now we’re seeing people are actually at that point of retirement and companies are seeing that we need to fill that gap — and before our people leave and retire how can we utilize them to train that next generation of worker?” Davidson said.
Davidson says the late 90s were really kind of the high point for apprenticeship programs.
The Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards says statewide, there were more than 15,000 apprentices in 2001. By 2012, they had dropped to about 9,700.
From wnflam.com: "Shortage of qualified manufacturing, construction workers" -- As the economy improves, many parts of Wisconsin are in need of qualified builders and skilled manufacturing employees. [...]
From wnflam.com: “Shortage of qualified manufacturing, construction workers” – As the economy improves, many parts of Wisconsin are in need of qualified builders and skilled manufacturing employees. Those companies often look to the state’s apprenticeship program to fill their needs — but the apprenticeship pool has gotten smaller. State officials said there were almost 9,800 apprenticeships in the various building trades last year — down from almost 16,000 in 2001.
The Wisconsin State Journal said it has become more of a challenge to get young people to consider apprenticeships, despite the need for skilled workers. Madison electrical contractor Mike Pohlman said his company does a lot of outreach to schools — and some schools don’t seem to want to direct students to the building trades. Madison College apprenticeship manager Jim Cook the situation has improved in Dane County because of a recent construction boom. He says the demand for apprentice services has not been this strong since World War Two.
As temperatures drop, solar energy heats up Feb 25 2014
From wisconsinrapidstribune.com: "As temperatures drop, solar energy heats up" -- Reports of recent propane shortages have made front page headlines across North America, especially in the Midwest, central Canada and California. [...]
From wisconsinrapidstribune.com: “As temperatures drop, solar energy heats up” – GRAND RAPIDS — Reports of recent propane shortages have made front page headlines across North America, especially in the Midwest, central Canada and California.
For much of January and early February, propane suppliers had difficulty finding the product, and residential customers were paying significantly higher prices. Propane rates are beginning to fall in some places, but this winter’s shortage has been an eye opener for many who depend on propane.
Propane, a byproduct of natural gas processing and petroleum refining, is commonly used for residential heating. Pipeline outages, depleted inventories and a winter with below-average temperatures have increased demand for the fossil fuel. This three-legged onslaught on the supply of propane became a recipe for skyrocketing energy bills; prices doubled or even tripled in many areas.
This sharp increase in utility bills has forced some to pursue other energy options. Mid-State Technical College instructor Ben Nusz points to renewable energy options as a reasonable solution.
“Solar heating is one effective alternative to propane and natural gas,” Nusz said. “A one-time investment in solar brings a lifetime of free energy.”
Nusz teaches for the Renewable Thermal Energy Technician program at MSTC, where he has had the opportunity to use cutting edge energy technology and teach its features and benefits to his students. Equipment in the industry is becoming smaller, more efficient, and, best of all, increasingly affordable by small businesses and homeowners.
Students in these MSTC career programs acquire the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in a burgeoning industry from faculty who have real-world experience. Through this hands-on education, students often have opportunities to leave campus to work with local companies and organizations on real, renewable energy projects. In fact, MSTC even has offered some of its own facilities as hands-on laboratories. Nusz says that arrangement has been a win for all involved.
“MSTC renewable energy program students are receiving a comprehensive education without having to travel far from the classroom,” Nusz said.
Nusz spoke of several student projects that are already up and running. For example, a solar water heating system was installed by students in the Center for Sustainable Energy Technology, a state-of-the-art facility where many MSTC renewable energy classes and labs are held.
Students also have installed a solar air heating system in the Automotive Technician program lab to counteract the high costs of heating a space with numerous doors and bays. This spring students will install a solar heating system that will help heat the greenhouse used in the Urban Forestry Technician program, and plans already are in place for a solar water heating system to heat the cosmetology program’s salon and to provide space heating on the newly remodeled Stevens Point Campus.
“Each of these projects is the result of what the students learned in the classroom and labs,” Nusz said. “Future students will benefit from the effort these students are putting in today.”
While students do not currently log data for the new systems, it is safe to say that these student projects are also saving the college money.
“The icing on the cake is that MSTC facilities are receiving important long-term money-saving and eco-friendly upgrades at a fraction of the normal installation cost,” Nusz said.
Nusz also has good news for people looking to get into an exciting, up-and-coming field. A trend toward increased adoption of renewable energy technology raises the need for skilled people to install and service that equipment.
“There are not enough skilled workers in renewable energy to handle the anticipated growth of the field in coming years,” Nusz said.
MSTC offers four career programs in the field of renewable energy, none of which are available anywhere else in the 16-college Wisconsin Technical College System: Process & Biorefinery Technology, Renewable Energy Specialist, Renewable Electricity Technician, and Renewable Thermal Energy Technician. The latter two programs are undergoing some changes to accommodate local workforce needs and will have new names later this year. All four programs are available at MSTC’s Wisconsin Rapids Campus in Grand Rapids.
From marchfieldnewsherald.com: "Column: Local feedback is essential to providing relevant MSTC programming" -- Collaboration with local employers and community partners is critical to achieving the Mid-State Technical College mission. [...]
From marshfieldnewsherald.com: “Column: Local employer feedback is essential to providing relevant MSTC programming” – Collaboration with local employers and community partners is critical to achieving the Mid-State Technical College mission.
MSTC works closely with these stakeholders through membership on program advisory committees and participation in focus groups. This collaboration enables our college to understand the current and emerging skills needed by the workforce and provide the training employers need and seek.
We rely heavily on this information in order to keep our offerings up-to-date. This critical information is used to plan and develop curriculum, determine the length of training and establish certificate or degree requirements. It is also a resource to learn which technical skills are necessary in various sectors of the local workforce, which seem to change every year. In fact, many of these skills were unheard of just a generation ago.
At times, this valuable input might point to workforce needs for a new program offering.
A recent example of employer collaboration is the development of a new Stainless Steel Welding certificate. MSTC was fortunate to receive a federal grant through the Department of Labor that permitted us to remodel and retool the Marshfield Campus welding shop. This process was aided by a meeting of stainless steel fabrication employers last year that verified the skills entry-level stainless steel welders needed for local employment.
Employers also provided input into welding lab equipment selections, course content and the structure of training. The outcome, the new Stainless Steel Welding certificate, runs year round. New students can start any month and can work at their own pace and ability.
Beginning in August, MSTC will offer a new Health and Wellness Promotion associate degree. Health care providers and educators, along with several community agencies, came together to advise MSTC on this emerging field. This associate degree will prepare students with knowledge of health and wellness concepts, as well as program development and promotion skills. We plan to deliver this coursework in a flexible format, mostly online.
Local, regional and national trend data from the Department of Workforce Development, or DWD, help us determine emerging and growing workforce training needs, yet local employer feedback is essential when investigating a new offering. By staying in contact with employers and employees in the industry, the DWD, and many other sources, MSTC is able to offer relevant, in-demand, and up-to-date education and training.
For more information about these or any of the exciting educational opportunities available at MSTC, go to www.mstc.edu or visit your local technical college campus.
From postbulletin.com: "U of M, ISU students on top team at Midwest Dairy Challenge" -- Iowa State University and the University of Minnesota students were among the first place finishers in the Midwest Dairy Challenge. [...]
From postbulletin.com: “U of M, ISU students on top team at Midwest Dairy Challenge” — APPLETON, Wis. — Iowa State University and the University of Minnesota students were among the first place finishers in the Midwest Dairy Challenge.
The 10th annual Midwest Dairy Challenge attracted nearly 60 students from 13 college dairy programs to the event hosted by Fox Valley Technical College.
This is the first time Fox Valley Technical College hosted the event, which has been in Wisconsin three other times.
“The Dairy Challenge is such a positive experience for the college students involved, in developing analytical, teamwork, communication and dairy management skills,” said Kevin Rauchholz, event co-chairman and ag instructor at Fox Valley Technical College. “Students learn how to tie farm management decisions with economics, and it’s important to get students and industry together. Students make many good connections through Dairy Challenge.”
Dairy Challenge students work in teams to evaluate and provide recommendations for an operating dairy farm. Participants worked in mixed-university teams of four or five students and assessed all farm operations, including facilities, nutrition, financials, reproduction and animal health. Students collaborated on a 20-minute team presentation that detailed observations and suggestions to a panel of judges.
Host farms were Sugar Creek Farms, New London, and Country Aire Dairy of Greenleaf.
Participating universities and technical schools included Dordt College, Fox Valley Technical College, Iowa State University, Kansas State University, Lakeshore Technical College, University of Minnesota, Ohio State University, Purdue University, South Dakota State University, Southwest Technical College, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Wisconsin-Platteville and University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
Wisconsin dairy professionals presented educational seminars to help students prepare for their Dairy Challenge task and gain more real-world experience. Sessions were presented by:
Judges selected two teams as first place winners.
On Farm 1, team Cooperative Resources International was awarded first place. Team members were Jessie Hammerand, ISU; Jamie Pfaff, UW-River Falls; Andrew Plumski, University of Minnesota; Ryan Pralle, UW-Madison; and Heather Smith, Purdue.
On Farm 2, judges selected team Renaissance Nutrition for the top award. Individuals included Kristopher Boucher of Kansas State; Veronica Hilton, Purdue; Kristin Leiteritz, Lakeshore Technical College; Max Luchterhand, UW-Madison; and Kara Uhlenhake, Ohio State.
A complete list of Midwest Regional Dairy Challenge contest participants and their placing can be found at www.dairychallenge.org/mw_event.php.
From newnorthb2b.com: "Masters of Green: Local employers excel in statewide program that sets the green standard for sustainable practices" -- Being a good corporate citizen and natural-resources steward is something any responsible business should strive for, and that in itself is its own reward. A yardstick by which to compare one’s progress among other companies can be useful, however, and a little kudos for a job well done is always welcome. [...]
From newnorthb2b.com: “Masters of Green” – by Robin Bruecker – Being a good corporate citizen and natural-resources steward is something any responsible business should strive for, and that in itself is its own reward.
A yardstick by which to compare one’s progress among other companies can be useful, however, and a little kudos for a job well done is always welcome.
Enter the Green Masters, a program of the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council, an entity established through the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business.
The no-cost program allows businesses an opportunity to earn credentials for its sustainability practices in regard to energy and water conservation, waste management and outreach efforts.
“Businesses from every corner of the state, of every size and from almost every sector” have taken part in Green Masters, noted Thomas Eggert, executive director of the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council. The program doesn’t provide training or guidance and instead gives rewards and recognition, although, Eggert said, “we have heard from many companies that our application is frequently downloaded as a template for what companies could be doing in the sustainability area.”
That application is about to be re-opened with a few tweaks for the 2014 year. Eggert noted that Green Masters has grown by 50 percent annually, with the current number of participants at 167.
Why should businesses be interested in adopting sustainability practices and enrolling in Green Masters?
“First, I’d tell them that interest in the program should come from within the business,” said Eggert. “My bet is that they have customers, investors, employees, future employees or their supply chain that is interested in what they are doing from a sustainability perspective.
“Second, I’d tell them that virtually every business gets into sustainability because of the cost savings opportunities,” he went on. “Cutting energy use certainly reduces the environmental footprint of an organization, but it also reduces their energy bill. Reducing the percent of raw materials that becomes waste and is sent to a landfill saves on the cost of landfilling material, but also ensures a greater percentage of raw materials are turned into finished product.”
Among those businesses who apply to participate in the Green Masters program each year, the top 20 percent are awarded the designation of Green Masters. Participating companies are assessed on an objective point system which evaluates sustainability efforts.
Why sustainability matters
A handful of northeast Wisconsin employers are among those designated Green Masters by the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council.
Appleton-based ThedaCare acknowledges sustainability as one of its core values, said Paul Linzmeyer, sustainability leader for the health care provider.
“Businesses and organizations must begin to understand the compelling business case for triple bottom line sustainable practices, and the Green Masters program helps make that case more visible by recognizing successful work and outcomes,” said Linzmeyer.
Another Green Master, contract furniture manufacturer KI in Green Bay, recognizes the value of incorporating sustainability practices into manufacturing and doing business.
“Sustainability principles are an integral part of our core business strategy, products and services, and brand propositions, and, as such, all of our employees are engaged in sustainability,” explained Lisa Evenson, sustainability manager for KI.
Sustainability practices also make a favorable impression with customers, as such practices demonstrate innovation – such as material choice and product redesign – social responsibility, and environmental stewardship, Evenson noted.
Appvion Inc. – formerly known to many as Appleton Papers – was among the businesses that expressed interest in developing sustainability criteria back in 2008. The company’s chief environmental and regulatory counsel, Pam Barker, serves on the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council Advisory Board.
“Appvion takes seriously its responsibility to use water, energy, fiber and chemicals wisely, which includes continuously seeking ways to reduce consumption and recycle,” said Bill Van Den Brandt, senior manager of corporate communications. “Although our company has a long tradition of environmental stewardship, our efforts became more focused and strategic since we developed a detailed sustainability plan in mid-2008.”
Schneider National of Green Bay regularly submits its sustainability efforts to Green Masters. In the heavy fuel consumption industry of transportation and logistics, Schneider has been committed to energy efficiency for three decades.
“We are very proud to call Wisconsin home. We are equally proud to be one of the most energy-efficient fleets in the transportation industry. The chance to earn a sustainability distinction honoring Wisconsin companies was extremely appealing to our company,” said Steve Matheys, Schneider’s chief administrative officer, who oversees the sustainability team.
Green practices & the bottom line
ThedaCare has numerous sustainability projects taking place at its facilities. Linzmeyer gave a few examples.
“We have been re-purposing single-use medical devices, which saved us almost $800,000 in 2013. We have been diverting almost 100 tons of operating-room waste from the landfill through our recycling efforts. The last several construction projects have diverted almost 70 percent of waste from landfills to recycling.”
The recycling means lower tipping fees for ThedaCare, while the energy-conservation projects have a one- to three-year return on investment, Linzmeyer noted.
Another sustainability project involves increasing the use of locally grown food at ThedaCare facilities. ThedaCare donated funds to Riverview Gardens in Appleton for the construction of five hoop houses, with the intent for the gardens to be one of the food suppliers for ThedaCare hospitals.
“We feel that if we can build a local food hub with an innovative, high-technology information and distribution system, that we can bring down the cost of the local food options and make them competitive with more traditional options,” explained Linzmeyer. “Our mission is to build healthy communities and if we are going to succeed, we must include building healthy, accessible, nutritious and affordable food systems.”
In 2012 alone, KI had 35 material-reduction and recycled-content improvement projects.
Examples included re-designing a table-folding mechanism to reduce the amount of material used; switching from paper-based MSDS, drawings, price lists and work instructions to digital versions; recycling scrap wood for boiler fuel instead of landfilling it; and reclaiming black powder used in powder coating.
The company also incorporates recycled, recyclable and renewable materials into its products, such as bio-based foam or recycled aluminum and steel, Evenson noted. Additionally, KI also has set reduction goals for greenhouse-gas emissions, water use and energy use at all of its North American facilities.
“In 2012, KI Wisconsin facilities saw a 6.2 percent reduction in materials, diverted 500,179 pounds from landfills, and achieved a cost savings equating to $507,201,” Evenson said.
In the paper industry, Appvion was among the first to measure and work to reduce its carbon footprint.
“We have introduced new or redesigned products and design platforms that help make product development ‘greener’ by streamlining product designs to use fewer chemicals, increasing design efficiency to use smaller quantities of chemicals, and substituting ingredients that reduce the impact on the environment,” said Van Den Brandt. For its efforts, Appvion was among the first Wisconsin firms in 2010 to receive the Green Masters designation. It’s earned the Green Masters credential each year since.
Making a case for sustainability
In 2013, marine engine manufacturer Mercury Marine in Fond du Lac also earned a Green Master designation. Since 2011, the company’s Fond du Lac operations have conserved energy in the form of 14 billion British thermal units (BTUs) of building heat. Water conservation equaled 250,000 gallons.
Its products are greener, too. Emissions from Mercury’s outboard engines have been reduced and fuel economy has been improved over the years. A new paint system installed in the Fond du Lac plant in 2011 resulted in a 50 percent reduction in volatile organic compound air emissions and a 50 percent reduction in paint-related hazardous wastes. Almost all of the aluminum used to make engines comes from recycled material.
“We have historically made sustainable activities an integral part of our core business practices, and we began formulizing them under company-wide policies in 2011 to ensure measurement and achievement,” said Mark Schwabero, Mercury president.
Schneider National’s ongoing efforts in fuel efficiency conserve more than 26 million gallons of fuel and reduce more than 300,000 tons of carbon byproducts annually, Matheys noted. For example, Schneider spent $19.8 million in 2012 on incentives that reward drivers for practicing fuel management techniques. The company has been testing natural gas-fueled tractors within its fleet and plans to expand the number of trucks this year.
The insurance industry can go through a lot of office products like paper, electronics and furniture. Appleton-based Secura Insurance, which is new to Green Masters, set up a green committee in 2010 to manage resources and reduce environmental impact.
Numerous recycling efforts at Secura include paper and cardboard, batteries, office electronics, and even employees’ electronics from home, as well as food composting. Printer and copier use is monitored and minimized, with printers on the duplex setting.
Green Bay-based Northeast Wisconsin Technical College created a sustainability team this past year involving faculty and students. Onsite changes to its campus include water filling stations, low-energy restroom remodels, and a building addition that uses advanced energy monitoring software, light tubes and a green roof, according to Amy Kox, associate dean for the energy and sustainability programs.
“The instructor and students in the Energy Management program have completed numerous energy audits for the college and local businesses as part of service learning,” said Kox. “The Solar Energy (program) students submitted grant applications to Focus on Energy for three solar installations on the Green Bay campus and were awarded these grants.”
Sustainable Food & Agriculture Systems program students have a campus organic garden and raised money for a student scholarship by selling community-supported agriculture shares and produce.
“We believe that these programs will provide the educated graduates ready to work, manage and operate green businesses of the future,” said Kox. “We believe we, as an organization, need to live what we teach.”
The right thing to do
For some businesses, sustainability efforts may be made even when they create costs instead of savings.
“Our sustainability plan has a triple bottom line to balance our environmental, economic and social impacts,” said Appvion’s Van Den Brandt. “We consider sustainability in everything we do. In many cases being a good environmental steward provides economic benefits; in some instances sustainability may create additional costs for our company.”
NWTC’s Energy Management team measures the amount of time required to pay back the initial investment in an energy savings project, Kox said, but “payback is not all that is considered.”
“There are some projects that we have done that have a longer payback. We do these projects because they are important to us in terms of how we live our sustainability values and how the project may be useful for our students in terms of exposure to new technologies.”
As KI CEO Dick Resch put it, “Sustainability is about striving for continual improvement every step of the way. To us, sustainability isn’t just about ‘going green.’ It’s a fundamental way of doing business – one that conserves natural resources and reduces waste, consumption and operating costs.”
WITC students can live in UW-Superior dorms Feb 24 2014
From uwsuper.edu: "WITC and LSC students find home at UW-Superior" -- The residence halls at UW-Superior aren't just a home for UW-Superior students. Students from Lake Superior College and Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College also call Crownhart, Curran-McNeill-Ostrander, and Ross/Hawkes Halls their "home away from home." [...]
From uwsuper.edu: “WITC and LSC students find home at UW-Superior” — The residence halls at UW-Superior aren’t just a home for UW-Superior students. Students from Lake Superior College and Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College also call Crownhart, Curran-McNeill-Ostrander, and Ross/Hawkes Halls their “home away from home.”
“I chose to live in the res halls because I feel it is a cost effective way for college students to live,” says Cole Oksa, a LSC student living in Ostrander Hall. “You have a meal plan, a place to sleep, and in the time that you are here you make many new friends.”
Just down the street from the UW-Superior campus is Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College campus for Superior. Many WITC students chose to live on the UW-Superior campus due to the proximity to their college. “The residence halls are where I’ve met all of my friends since attending WITC,” says Garret Hodd, resident of Hawkes Hall.
In addition to having rooms, meal plans, and friends just like any other student, non-UWS students are also able to work out at the Marcovich Wellness Center and participate in intramural sports, just like any other resident.
“We build in the cost of the MWC membership into the non-UWS student rates in the halls so they, too, can workout and play at the MWC,” says Mickey Fitch, Assistant Director of Residence Life. “We want these students to be active residence hall students as well, and heard the feedback from other non-UWS students a few years ago that they wanted access to their resource, so we made it happen.”
For more information about living on campus, contact Residence Life. All housing contracts go through Live@UWS, an online contracting, roommate matching and room selection service directed by the student. Consult room rates online through the UW-Superior Residence Life webpage. Students can find more information on the Residence Life Facebook page as well.
As trades rebound, demand for apprentices grows Feb 24 2014
From madison.com: "As trades rebound, demand for apprentices grows" -- If Donald Trump hosted “Apprentice Wisconsin,” he’d have to change his catchphrase from “You’re fired” to “You’re hired.” [...]
From madison.com: “As trades rebound, demand for apprentices grows” — By Dennis Punzel – If Donald Trump hosted “Apprentice Wisconsin,” he’d have to change his catchphrase from “You’re fired” to “You’re hired.”
As the economy slowly pulls out of its funk, the dormant construction industry is starting to experience a revival. And as construction cranes sprout up in the skyline, the demand for skilled workers across the spectrum of construction trades also is ascending.
“The problem the last several years has been a shortage of work for contractors in the construction industry,” said Wayne Belanger of the Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin. “Now, it’s a shortage of workers. It’s critical.”
And when construction companies need skilled workers, they turn to the state’s venerable apprenticeship program to fill the void.
Wisconsin’s apprenticeship program, founded in 1911, was the first of its kind in the nation and led to the creation of the state’s technical school system.
“Wisconsin apprenticeship is still considered the leading model in the country,” said Jim Cook, apprenticeship manager at Madison Area Technical College. “In Wisconsin, everybody is at the table — employers, colleges, state government, labor organizations, employer associations.
“Apprenticeship here has survived all the economic and social upheavals of the last century. And because it’s done that, it’s going to survive for a long time.”
The most recent economic downturn, however, did take a toll on the system. As construction projects dried up, many firms had trouble finding jobs for their established journeyman workers and had no need to take on apprentices.
ABC’s apprentice numbers around the state plummeted from around 1,200 in 2006 to just a few hundred. The group sponsors apprenticeships in 12 trades, including electrical, carpentry, plumbing and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning).
“I don’t want to even think about how low it was,” Belanger said. “We’re back to 850 now. We’re on the rebound. It seems like there’s a pent-up demand, and people are putting projects together again.
“The trouble is that a lot of people in the trades have either retired or gone on to something else, and they’re not coming back. That leaves a huge void pretty much at all levels because they haven’t hired new people in the last five years.”
Statewide, the number of apprentices in all trades has dropped from 15,767 in 2001 to 9,793 in 2013, according to the state Department of Workforce Development Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards (DWD-BAS). In the construction trades, the numbers have fallen from 8,890 in 2001 to 4,843 last year.
Belanger said the recovery has yet to hit many parts of the state, but that Madison is booming and the Fox Valley and Milwaukee are showing signs of life.
“In Dane County, there’s going to be a construction boom this year,” said Cook, noting that apprenticeships are up about 10 percent with 600 in the program at MATC. “The drive right now for economic development is fever pitch. The only other time we’ve seen this was around World War II, where you had this incredible need and a skilled worker shortage.”
One of the biggest challenges is convincing young people to look into apprenticeships after being pointed toward the four-year college route most of their lives.
“We do a lot of outreach to schools around the area and have more success at some than others,” said Mike Pohlman, president of Nickles Electric. “Some schools don’t seem to want to point kids to the trades.
“We certainly don’t dissuade kids from going to college. We always tell them the trades are another option after you graduate. We’re open to getting a kid into our program that has a four-year college degree.”
One who took that route is Pohlman’s son, Kaleb. After graduating from Marshall High School, he studied electrical engineering at UW-Milwaukee for two years before transferring to UW-Madison, where he earned a degree in civil engineering in 2009.
But with the job market dried up, he decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and pursue an electrical apprenticeship. He’s finishing up the fifth year of the program and just took the state exam with the hope of gaining journeyman status.
“They’re both gratifying,” Kaleb Pohlman, 28, said of his dual accomplishments. “When I got done with college I was like, ‘Wow, I did it.’ It was a long time and a lot of hard work and when I got done I felt great. Learning this and getting through this apprenticeship is just as much, if not more gratifying.
“I feel like I can do almost anything in the electrical trade. I can bend that conduit, I can run that wire, I can put that piece of switch gear up. You start feeling like you can do anything.”
Kaleb Pohlman’s goal is to use both parts of his education by working about five years in the field and then moving into project management.
“I went to school for a reason, and I did this for a reason,” he said. “I’ve put myself in a pretty unique situation that I think makes me a little more valuable.
“There’s a need for people who can do this stuff. In the next couple years as the baby boomers start retiring, the workforce is going to drop like crazy. There’s not as many people who do trades. That should bode well for people of my generation. If people want to do this, there should be a future in it.”
Apprenticeships, of course, are nothing new, as they date back to the middle ages. Ben Franklin was a printing apprentice; Henry Ford a machinist apprentice.
The state program offers apprenticeships in three broadly defined areas — construction trades, industrial/manufacturing trades and service trades.
Unlike their college-bound brethren, who frequently build up huge debts going to school, apprentices earn while they learn. Employer sponsors are required to pay their apprentices, starting at half the journeyman worker rate for that trade, with scheduled raises as they continue through the program.
Apprenticeships last three to five years with apprentices spending about 90 percent of the time on the job and 10 percent in the classroom. In addition to paying apprentices, many sponsors will also pick up all or part of the costs of tuition and books for the classroom part of the deal.
Upon completion of the apprenticeship and any licensing requirements, the apprentice receives a state certificate and a journeyman license and goes to work for the sponsoring firm. The construction trades tend to pay the highest, with the base pay for a construction worker at just under $33 per hour.
“It’s a great program,” said Greg Jones, CEO of Dave Jones Inc. “As a plumber, after a five-year program you can be making $70,000 a year with no student debt.”
Jones, 32, completed his apprenticeship in 2004. His father, Dave Jones, also went through the apprenticeship program and founded the company in 1977. The company now has 220 employees and 34 apprentices.
Phil Klahn, 23, got a head start on the five-year apprenticeship he is now finishing up when he started working at Dave Jones Plumbing part-time through a school-work program at Oregon High School.
“The trades were something I was always looking into,” Klahn said. “I wanted to work with my hands. I didn’t really think I could sit behind a desk my entire life.”
Klahn said that, like most high school graduates, he felt the pressure to go to college, but the work-study program opened his eyes to other options. And unlike many of his former classmates, he’s finishing his education with no student loans.
“I was lucky because I knew right away this was what I wanted to do,” said Klahn, who hopes to someday become a project manager or field superintendent. “Everybody thinks that plumbing is backed-up sewers and leaky faucets and leaky pipes. There is a service end to it, but right now I’m working on a 12-story apartment building in downtown Madison. There’s a lot more to it than people understand.”
Klahn’s advice to young people pondering their future?
“I just say keep your mind open to the apprenticeship program,” he said. “It might not be for everybody, but I tell people to at least look into it.”
Mike Pohlman of Nickles Electric thinks that message is spreading, and he emphasizes that the trades are actively recruiting a diverse workforce.
“This whole industry is changing,” said Pohlman, who began his apprenticeship in 1979 and rose through the ranks to become company president. “People are understanding that the trades are a pretty good option these days.
“Our city’s going to keep growing, and we’re going to need people to build it.”
CVTC simulation lab brings medical reality Feb 24 2014
From riverfallsjournal.com: "For tech college students simulation lab brings medical reality" -- When nursing students at Chippewa Valley Technical College in River Falls work on a training scenario with one of the school’s high-tech simulation mannequins, they can rely only on their own knowledge and instincts. [...]
From riverfallsjournal.com: “For tech college students, simulation lab brings medical reality” – When nursing students at Chippewa Valley Technical College in River Falls work on a training scenario with one of the school’s high-tech simulation mannequins, they can rely only on their own knowledge and instincts.
There’s no glancing over at an instructor in search of a nod of approval for a chosen course of action.
The instructor watches from a separate room, behind glass that students cannot see through. She listens, observes, and controls the simulator to react accordingly to what the students do — good or bad.
“This is more realistic than it was before,” said student Anna Hinde, originally from Barron. “We are able to have some hands-on, real-life experiences.”
Added Colin McConville of Hudson: “We have a lot more space, there are more mannequins, and we’ve got a new teaching lab.”
Use of computerized simulation mannequins — that breathe, react, and have vital signs like real patients — have been part of the CVTC Nursing program at River Falls for years. However, the new simulation lab, which opened in January, seems to be a vast improvement.
“Our environment here is more representative of an actual hospital room,” said Simulation Technician Cynthia Anderson, registered nurse. “The old lab was about half the size of one room in the new lab, and had a noisy air compressor in the room to run the mannequins. Our air compressor is now in another room.”
The mannequins were used to be placed on something like old hospital gurneys. Now there are real hospital beds for the mannequins and sometimes live people playing patients.
“We’re not tripping on cords anymore,” said Bethany Geske, a nursing student who lives in Menomonie, in reference to power cords to the equipment that used to be taped down but are now under the floor.
The lighting is far better, and includes a large window to provide natural light, but set high enough to prevent outside distractions and watchers.
Even small details, like the addition of an in-lab telephone, are important. Students sometimes have to call a doctor or pharmacist (played by an instructor) from the simulator bedside.
“They get the experience of calling the physician, and learning how to speak with the physician,” said Anderson, a registered nurse since 1990 with years of experience at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minn.
An adjacent Learning Resource Center (LRC) for the nursing program is also an important addition.
The center is equipped with smaller artificial body parts like arms, hands and heads. Students practice skills such as making injections and inserting intravenous needles.
For CVTC Nursing students, doing homework involves more than reading a textbook.
“I’ve used it on occasion to practice skills like suctions and inserting catheters,” McConville said.
Another major addition to the program this term is “Noel,” a birth mother simulator. The mannequin actually simulates the birth of a little rubber baby newborn, with realistic vital signs and potential problems for the mother.
“The baby can be born breach, with a stuck shoulder, or with respiratory difficulty,” Anderson said, mentioning a few of the complications.
A newborn infant simulator, separate from the rubber birth baby, is also new. It shows vital signs and reacts like the adult models.
A newborn baby can have a bluish hue, which is normal and soon fades. The simulator is sophisticated enough for instructors to prolong the bluish tint and observe when students notice it as a matter of concern.
“We didn’t have the baby mannequin before this year,” said Natalie Miranda, a student from Lakeland, Minn. “We would have to drive to Eau Claire to do that.”
From thenorthwestern.com: "FVTC E-Seed entrepreneurship program gains national attention" -- Fox Valley Technical College’s Venture Center has taken a bit of its own advice when it comes to helping entrepreneurs get started. [...]
From thenorthwestern.com: “FVTC E-Seed entrepreneurship program gains national attention” – Fox Valley Technical College’s Venture Center has taken a bit of its own advice when it comes to helping entrepreneurs get started.
The Venture Center’s E-Seed course has helped entrepreneurs like Josh Beck get the business training and support they needed to turn their ideas into viable, growing enterprises.
Beck, who founded his 3-D printing business Beck Prototypes in May, said E-Seed’s 12-week entrepreneurship course has already helped him plan for slow, measured growth and careful planning as he gets started.
“I’m starting nice and slow, I’m getting some customers now and I’m going through the motions. Now, it’s about time to start some marketing and start trying to generate more revenue,” Beck said. “I wouldn’t have done this without E-Seed. E-Seed gives you the tools and shows you the door, but you have to learn from what they show you and walk through those doors when the opportunity arises.”
In the 13-plus years since it was founded, the Venture Center’s entrepreneur-education programs like E-Seed and, its bigger sister, the Pro-Seed business-model development program for established businesses, have helped entrepreneurs start 320 businesses that presently employ between 1,500 and 2,000 people throughout Northeast Wisconsin.
The success of courses like E-Seed and Pro-Seed have also earned the Venture Center one of seven $20,000 grants from Sam’s Club and the National Association of Community College Entrepreneurship to help small, Main Street businesses reach the next level of sales.
Now, E-Seed itself has become the brand with an opportunity to grow and the Venture Center is the entrepreneur.
Amy Pietsch, the center’s director, said it has started to license the E-Seed curriculum and program to other community colleges, technical colleges and economic development agencies around the country as a way to foster more entrepreneurship and generate revenue for the center, which does not receive taxpayer dollars from FVTC.
Organizations can buy a license to offer the 12-week course to local business owners and entrepreneurs, but Pietsch said those groups are encouraged to share anuy improvements and innovations they make so as to improve the product.
“The one thing we knew about the entrepreneurship environment was we would be the little player in a big space. We had to be open to a lot of people coming back to us with ideas to make it better,” Pietsch said. “We do apply what we learn and teach here. We’re not making it up.”
The early response has been good. To date, FVTC spokesman Chris Jossart said, three community colleges in the Midwest and one entrepreneurial hub have already bought licenses to use E-Seed.
“It’s developed into such a proven product that’s simple yet personal,” Jossart said. “It’s always fresh, it’s always real and it makes very complex issues very simple.”
In addition, FVTC has reduced the cost of E-Seed by almost 50 percent, to $750, to make it more affordable for entrepreneurs to enroll.
Tina Schuelke said E-Seed has remained a key component in her small-business support network since she founded Change Management Communications Center last year. The training she got through E-Seed and the support of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh’s Small Business Development Center recently helped her win a $5,000 prize in the Northeast Wisconsin Business Plan Competition.
“Once I got started with E-Seed, I realized all my attempts at business plans — and I thought I had a good one going into it — were weak. This gave me a really strong start,” Schuelke said. “This is my first business launch. Now that I have those courses as a foundation, I’m already thinking about other businesses I want to start or become a part of.”
From postcrescent.com: "Algoma Wolf Tech takes real life to the classroom" -- Manufacturing has a home in Algoma. Precision Machine, Olson Fabrication, Algoma Hardwoods and WS Packaging Group are among companies that make things in the Kewaunee County community. [...]
From postcrescent.com: “Algoma Wolf Tech takes real life into the classroom” – ALGOMA — Manufacturing has a home in Algoma. Precision Machine, Olson Fabrication, Algoma Hardwoods and WS Packaging Group are among companies that make things in the Kewaunee County community.
So, too, is Algoma Wolf Tech, a relatively new manufacturing company housed in the tech ed classrooms of Algoma High School.
“I pretty strongly believe that kids have to make something of substance to understand the process that goes into things,” said Nick Cochart, principal of the school since 2011 and godfather of Wolf Tech.
Eleva-Strum School District’s Cardinal Manufacturing south of Eau Claire, which started in 2007, established the model for in-school manufacturing. Wolf Tech followed suit, and Bay Link Manufacturing, a creation of the Green Bay School District, will launch in the fall.
Other schools are considering similar programs, said Mark Weber, dean of Trades & Engineering Technologies at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, which is assisting many schools in establishing manufacturing-related programs.
Wolf Tech is not a seat-of-the-pants, we’ve got a saw and a few welders affair. Its equipment includes two CNC milling machines, a CNC wood router, state-of-the-art table saws and, later this month, a CNC lathe.
“We are not making widgets. We are making stuff in industry that people are using every day,” Cochart said.
Algoma School District invested more than $250,000 in Wolf Tech and tech ed, but it’s not alone in supporting the program. The CNC metal lathe is courtesy of NWTC. Algoma, which is a certified Haas Automation Inc. technical training center, will provide its facilities for public classes in CNC training and in return get the $70,000 lathe free of charge.
“Those machines have opened the door to so many things,” Cochart said.
Working with their hands
Sophomore Austin Stoller, 15, is hoping the lathe will open the door to a career as a gunsmith. He’s also fond of welding.
“I like working with my hands and making stuff. I don’t like sitting in a classroom all day,” Stoller said. “It’s just not my thing.”
Stoller is the kind of student that the Northeast Wisconsin Manufacturing Alliance and, increasingly, educators are trying to accommodate by providing options to a four-year college degree.
“There are so many opportunities for kids now,” Cochart said. “If they just follow their passion, there’s not just good jobs, there’s great jobs.”
Tech ed instructors Matt Abel and Russ Nockerts can teach students how to operate the machines, but that’s not really the point.
“I try to teach kids useful employability skills,” Abel said. “It’s not running a machine. It’s how is this going to affect the consumer? How’s this going to affect people down the chain?”
That’s an approach seconded and abetted by Jamie Spitzer, owner of Precision Machine, to say nothing of most manufacturing employers. It’s the so-called soft skills — problem solving, communications, teamwork, high-quality work — that employers are looking for.
“We are actually asking you to contribute. We are asking you to use your mind more and your back less,” Spitzer said. “It’s crazy how you can hire someone for their hard skills, but most likely fire them for their soft skills.”
Algoma High School and Precision Machine were each honored last fall during N.E.W. Manufacturing Alliance’s Excellence in Manufacturing/K-12 Partnership Awards. The school and the company work closely. The goal is to produce employable manufacturing workers, of course, but it’s also about students’ aspirations.
“I was one of those kids at one time,” Spitzer said. “Not everyone wants to go to a four-year school and it’s a great thing when kids can do things with their hands.”
Work has to be perfect
Precision Machine serves clients in the aerospace and timber industries, among others, and has contracted Wolf Tech for parts. They are basic pieces, but require a professional level of quality. If the product doesn’t measure up, someone from Precision Machine makes the trek around the block to the high school to explain why.
“It’s got to be perfect,” Nockerts said.
The students have to deal directly with customers, which Cochart said provides a learning moment, again, focused on those soft skills.
Abel and Nockerts are nontraditional teachers in that they have business backgrounds. Able has a degree in construction management from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.
“They have to have skills sets that can cut across multiple disciplines,” Cochart said. “I think they have some of the most engaging classroom activities.”
About 70 of Algoma’s 250 students are in tech ed classes. Of those, 15 are in Wolf Tech, which requires after-school participation.
“My core group are sophomores right now. From that group, it’s grown,” Able said. “They talk to their friends; ‘Hey, this is cool stuff.’ I have kids who just want to be down here. They don’t even have a class.”
Students ‘actually learning’
Cochart said what they are doing requires a different approach to teaching. Abel said it may seem like chaos at times, though it’s not.
“Each student is on a different path,” Abel said. “Everybody is working at their own speed, trying something out and actually learning.”
Other teachers are getting involved as well, Abel said.
“Our core teachers are realizing how it relates and, for example, bringing the math into here,” he said. “In machining, we use a lot of trigonometry and some students can’t even pass algebra. They don’t even know they are doing it.”
Wolf Tech is one or two customers away from being self-sustaining, Cochart said.
Among its customers is Algoma Long-Term Care nursing home, for which it is providing new cabinets. Junior Kevin Sperber, 17, designed them and CTI Hospitality of Algoma manufactured the pieces.
“This is actually going to be used by people every day,” Sperber said, explaining what sets the project apart from traditional “shop.”
Sperber is interested in design or engineering as a career. He expects to attend NWTC, but is undecided about whether to get a four-year degree.
“I was a little interested my freshman year. I had no idea what I was going to go into, then I got interested in all of this,” he said.
There are immediate benefits, including college credits while still in high school.
“For the past two years, Precision Machine pretty much offered jobs to anyone on the machining side,” Able said.
The goal is for Wolf Tech to be a completely student-run business, from front office to factory floor. Getting students to run the machines has been the easy part, so far, but manufacturing includes jobs well beyond the factory floor. Abel said Wolf Tech needs accountants, salespeople and more.
“When we started this, I said we are four years out from hitting full stride,” Cochart said. “Some of our most talented kids are freshmen and sophomores. I’d love to see a kid start his own business within a business. I think it’s right there.”
MSTC responds to employer training needs Feb 17 2014
From stevenspointjournal.com: "Central Wisconsin prepares for baby boomer retirements" -- As the first baby boomers begin to retire, central Wisconsin health care providers, employers and educators are bracing for what some have termed the “silver tsunami.” [...]
From stevenspointjournal.com: “Central Wisconsin prepares for baby boomer retirements” – As the first baby boomers begin to retire, central Wisconsin health care providers, employers and educators are bracing for what some have termed the “silver tsunami.”
Wisconsin is expected to face worker shortages during the next 20 years as birth rates drop and older adults retire, according to a news release issued Thursday by the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance.
Statewide, 14.4 percent of the population is older than 65, compared to 13.7 percent of the national population, according to U.S. Census Bureau data from 2012. By 2030, 24 percent of the state’s population will be older than 65, said Tom Walsh, state Department of Workforce Development labor market economist for north central Wisconsin.
Currently in Wood, Portage and Marathon counties, 52 percent of the population is working age, defined as 25 to 54 years old by WISTAX, but that number will drop to 44.4 percent by 2030, Walsh said. He said central Wisconsin has a slightly older population than the rest of the state, but he expected local workforce trends to closely follow state trends.
“One of the big sectors that will be impacted is health care,” Walsh said. Not only will many health care workers be retiring, but retirees also will require more health care services as they continue to age, he said.
“Certainly, throughout our service area, we have fewer workers for every person moving into Medicare,” said Dr. Brian Ewert, Marshfield Clinic president.
“It’s a very transformative time in medicine compared to the 1950s, where … more people (were) getting insured under their employers, and there were more workers and a very small group of retirees,” he said.
Ewert said retirees will consume more health care resources in the coming years, while at the same time, providers are being charged with reducing health care costs.
One model that health care providers have found that benefits patients and saves resources is the patient-centered medical home, in which patients are assigned a primary care team consisting of a physician, nurse practitioner, registered nurse and medical assistant.
The patient-centered medical home, along with other nurse-coordinated services like nurse lines, reduce hospital admissions and re-admissions and allow physicians to spend more time on tasks that require a higher level of licensure, Ewert said.
The model of care allows hospitals to do more with fewer resources, a trend Walsh said he has seen in many other industries.
To address possible physician shortages, Marshfield Clinic has partnered with the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine to offer the Wisconsin Academy for Rural Medicine program, or WARM, which allows third- and fourth-year medical students to complete their clinical training at Marshfield Clinic sites with the goal of encouraging students to practice medicine in rural areas of the state.
The WARM program last year included six medical students, two of whom chose to complete their medical training at Marshfield Clinic residency programs. This year, 10 students are participating in the WARM program, Ewert said.
Connie Willfahrt, vice president of academic affairs at Mid-State Technical College in Wisconsin Rapids, said employers in the manufacturing, transportation and information technology industries have expressed a need for more skilled workers and fear of worker shortages in the future, due in part to the number of expected retirements.
Willfahrt said representatives from the college share information about employer needs at community job fairs, but students are encouraged to develop skills and knowledge in their areas of interest that will allow them to be competitive in the workforce.
Still, MSTC has added sections and expanded its automotive technician, diesel mechanic and welding programs due to employer demand.
“Our mission is to work closely with the employers we serve … to really understand what current and future training looks like to them and how we can align our programs and coursework to prepare graduates to be ready for those occupations,” she said.
“We can’t afford to let high school graduates languish without workforce training or higher education,” WISTAX president Todd Berry said in Thursday’s news release.
Besides training workers to fill open positions, MSTC trains individuals already in the workforce so they’re prepared for promotions or new responsibilities in their existing roles.
“We’re really looking to plant the seed of lifelong learning,” Willfahrt said. “You’re probably not going to have the same position for the rest of your life, and if you are, it’s going to be using different tools and different technology.”
From starjournalnow.com: "Nicolet College, Rhinelander Fire Department relish training relationship" -- An employee at the Experia Paper Mill in Rhinelander crawls through the small opening barely large enough to fit one person and enters one of the massive boilers at the mill for routine maintenance. [...]
From starjournalnow.com: “Nicolet College, Rhinelander Fire Department relish training relationship” – An employee at the Experia Paper Mill in Rhinelander crawls through the small opening barely large enough to fit one person and enters one of the massive boilers at the mill for routine maintenance.
But it turns out to be anything but routine as due to the unequal footing of tons of ash and debris, his foot slips and he breaks his leg.
Those on the outside are unable to reach the man in the dusty, poorly ventilated space so the call goes out for help. The Mill’s Rapid Response Team is on the scene and the Rhinelander Fire Department is on the way. In minutes, the man is being looked after by emergency personnel and not long after the call went out, he is in a Rhinelander Fire Department transport on his way to the hospital.
And all along, Mark England is standing by making notes, watching the whole thing unfold.
That was the scenario for a recent joint training between Experia, the Rhinelander Fire Department and Nicolet College, where England works as a safety and health specialist and conducts these types of trainings around the college’s district.
“We do these trainings all over the northern part of the state,” England said. “We go everywhere in the Nicolet College district.”
England said there is more involved than just the hands on experience to these training runs.
“What we typically do is take a look at the regulations, do a refresher course and a PowerPoint,” he said. “It is about 16 hours of training and classroom time.”
While the training may be lengthy, to be able to rely on the college to aid in training is something valuable to Rhinelaner Fire Chief Terry Williams.
“It’s a great partnership to have,” Williams said. “They help us out tremendously. “Without their help we could not make our training budget stretch as far as we do.”
And that budget is under a lot of pressure as a fire department like Rhinelander’s has to undergo a lot of training during the course of the year.
“We have guys doing something every month,” Williams said. “We try to do the training on shift if possible. But some guys have to go to training on their own and then come back and teach the rest of us.”
Williams said they have five certified instructors on staff and five certified EMT instructors.
But it is trainings like the one recently at Experia where the partnership with Nicolet comes into play and Williams said having different eyes on a situation helps the learning process.
“There are always different ways to do things,” he said. “Hopefully they get easier over time. We definitely want to keep updating our skills.”
For England and the college, working with a professional fire fighting crew in Rhinelander helps their program as well.
“We are always learning new things when we go through a training,” England said. “I am relatively new to this position to listen to these guys with so much experience and to listen to what they are seeing as they go through the training is valuable.”
Fox Valley Tech, NWTC host job fairs this week Feb 17 2014
From greenbaypressgazette.com: "Many manufacturing jobs on display this week in Wisconsin" -- My centerpiece story on this page talks about attracting and training manufacturing workers, who are in demand throughout Northeastern Wisconsin. [...]
From greenbaypressgazette.com: “Column: Many manufacturing jobs on display this week in Wisconsin” – My centerpiece story on this page talks about attracting and training manufacturing workers, who are in demand throughout Northeastern Wisconsin.
As evidence of the demand, Fox Valley Technical College and the North Coast Marine Manufacturing Alliance are hosting job fairs this week seeking hundreds of workers.
Fox Valley Tech’s Manufacturing Job Fair on Tuesday had no trouble filling its available space with employers, and then some. About 70 companies, including a number from the Green Bay area, signed up for the event to recruit workers in applied engineering, electro-mechanical technology, machine tools, industrial welding, wind-energy technology, wood manufacturing technology and many more. After filling its allotted space, the college designated hallways for additional employer booths.
The event will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday on the FVTC campus at 1825 N. Bluemound Drive, Grand Chute.
The marine alliance has fewer companies, but is recruiting for more than 300 positions during its fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday in the Corporate Conference Center at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in Green Bay.
Bay Shipbuilding of Sturgeon Bay, Marinette Marine, Marquis Yachts of Pulaski and Palmer Johnson Yachts of Sturgeon Bay will be offering jobs in quality control, naval architecture, drafting, electrical, engineering, pipefitting, machining, welding and more.
In each case, potential applicants should bring a resume if they have one and some identification.
From jsonline.com: "Home improvement show serves as teaching tool" -- For the 8th consecutive year, the Interior Design Contest between students from local colleges is a prominent feature of the Milwaukee/NARI Home Improvement Show. [...]
From jsonline.com: “Home improvement show serves as teaching tool” –For the 8th consecutive year, the Interior Design Contest between students from local colleges is a prominent feature of the Milwaukee/NARI Home Improvement Show.
Sponsored by Nehmey Construction, the contest pits students from Gateway Technical College, Milwaukee Area Technical College, Mount Mary University and Waukesha County Technical College in a competition to design and construct a 12-foot-by-12-foot room display with a 2014 theme of “Bring the Outside In.”
The participating schools, who will each receive $1,000 for the school’s interior design program from the Milwaukee/NARI Foundation, created and built the following designs:
- Gateway Technical College: A dining room uses elements inspired by the outdoors with warm, neutral tones and earthy prints that creates a classic and informal space. A unique room selection is a dining table created from a reclaimed section of fence that was painted and distressed. The walls have salvaged window shutters, exterior lanterns and a mirrored window, while birdcages function as artistic light fixtures.
- Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC): A child’s playroom has an urban concept of the outdoors, utilizing bold colors and kid-friendly furniture selections.
- Mount Mary University: A rustic and feminine-style home den includes natural wood textures combined with light and airy colors. This design also focuses on the use of sustainable and reclaimed products.
- Waukesha County Technical College (WCTC): A pergola includes rockers, a table and chairs, a screen door and siding.
Gateway, participating for the 4th consecutive year and the 2013 contest winner, has six students that are part of its team. “Students in last fall’s Residential Design Studio course competed against each other to determine the space design,” said Rita Serpe, interior design instructor at Gateway. “Once design was selected, the Commercial Design Studio students work together to install and complete the display.”
MATC returned to the competition after a one-year absence, as six student members of the American Society of Interior Design were actively involved in the design process, with several other students assisting in the procurement of materials and products plus construction. “The work, from concept development through build out and show staffing, is accomplished on a volunteer basis,” said Mary Walgren, MATC interior design instructor. “Students are able to use classroom facilities, equipment, and resources to plan and meet on the design. In addition, any open lab time can be used toward their work on the project.”
At Mount Mary, the 14 students that are part of the competition are from two classes. “The freshmen class focused on project design and development, while the sophomore/junior class worked on project management skills and mentored the freshmen in the design development process,” said Leona Knobloch-Nelson, associate professor and Interior Design Student Chapter faculty advisor. “The students learn collaboration and team participation.”
WCTC has been part of the contest since its inception. This year, eight students that are members of the school’s Interior Design Club have worked on the plan. “Typically we meet over the holiday break to come up with the final plan and start working on construction,” said Brooks Eberlein, WCTC interior design instructor and club advisor. “The week prior to the show is a hustle to get everything ready for a smooth installation, and the week of the show are long hours of prepping the space and getting everything in its proper place.”
The instructors see a variety of benefits for the students, including the opportunity to network with other students, connecting with the business community for resources, and project and time management skills.
“This type of hands-on projects gives students a practical experience that simply cannot be found in a textbook or a classroom,” Walgren said. “They get real-world exposure to deadlines and are able to grow their network of professionals and vendors as they work through the product procurement process. Time management, collaborative design and team projects are standard practice for our industry and this experience exposes students to those concepts.”
“The students have fun because they get the gratification of seeing the completion of their design,” Knobloch-Nelson said.
Serpe explained that students benefit from multitasking schoolwork along with a real-world project. “Plus, they need to be creative working with a small budget,” she said.
“For many, this is a first-time hands-on experience that involves carpentry and construction,” Eberlein said. “These experiences enrich learning and also give students inside knowledge that they may share with clients at a later time. Not only do students get hands-on experience, they take great pride in their efforts. Students have also been able to network with NARI exhibitors. In some cases, this networking has led to internships and jobs. The overall experience is win-win.”
Show attendees have had the opportunity to vote on their favorite room design. The winning school will be announced after votes are tabulated at the conclusion of the show, and the school will receive a plaque.
Milwaukee/NARI Home Improvement Show hours are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16. Admission is $8 at the door. Tickets for those 60 and older are $5. Children 16 and younger and all military personnel with a military photo ID card are admitted free.
Candidate tours Chippewa Valley Tech College Feb 14 2014
From leadertelegram.com: "Candidate tours tech: Democrat running for governor discusses worker education, jobs" -- Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke said Thursday she supports a proposal by her opponent, Gov. Scott Walker, to spend $35 million to help the state’s technical colleges provide additional training for high-demand jobs. [...]
From leadertelegram.com: “Candidate tours tech: Democrat running for governor discusses worker education, jobs” – By Joe Knight Leader-Telegram staff – Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke said Thursday she supports a proposal by her opponent, Gov. Scott Walker, to spend $35 million to help the state’s technical colleges provide additional training for high-demand jobs.
She also supports the governor’s initiative to find work for people with developmental disabilities.
However, Burke said the proposal would require future funding for technical colleges to keep those efforts ongoing.
Burke spoke briefly with reporters during a tour of high-tech industrial programs at Chippewa Valley Technical College’s Gateway Campus. She criticized Walker for cutting $71 million from technical colleges in the first budget he oversaw as governor “just at the time when our technical colleges needed a boost.”
At the time Walker said budget cuts were needed because of a $3 billion state budget shortfall.
Burke said the types of high-tech manufacturing skills being taught at CVTC would help the middle class and would help grow the state’s economy. She spent time speaking with CVTC students, asking them about their career aspirations.
Jamie Rasmussen, a 35-year-old CVTC welding student, said more funding for CVTC programs will help more of them receive the training they need to find jobs.
Asked whether the process she observed Thursday could help build bicycles, Burke, a former Trek Bicycle executive and a former commerce secretary under Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle, said she wasn’t sure but noted Trek works closely with technical colleges in southern Wisconsin.
From tomahjournal.com: "The School Bell: Filling the skills gap--a Tomah tradition" -- February is Career and Technical Education Month, and we have been hearing a consistent message from many important individuals about the value of career and technical education for our students, the future workforce, and our economy. [...]
From tomahjournal.com: “The School Bell: Filling the skills gap — a Tomah tradition” –February is Career and Technical Education Month, and we have been hearing a consistent message from many important individuals about the value of career and technical education for our students, the future workforce, and our economy.
In Gov. Walker’s State of the State address he talked about the skills gap which exists in Wisconsin and the employment needs which exist in skilled trades, manufacturing, and construction. Governor Walker acknowledged that “we need enough skilled workers ready to fill jobs open today — as well as those that will be open tomorrow, and in the days to come.”
President Obama, in his State of the Union address, also commented on the need for real-world education and hands-on training that can lead directly to a job and career. While in Wisconsin visiting a General Electric engine factory near Milwaukee, President Obama stressed the importance of having job-training programs that work. He also recognized that a four-year degree is not needed for all good jobs today, but those good jobs do require specialized training.
Our State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Dr. Tony Evers, has also stressed the importance of preparing our students to be “college and career ready” through his Agenda 2017. The Department of Public Instruction has been working to advance education reforms to ensure every child graduates ready for further education and the workplace. It appears this is common ground on which we all agree — it is important for our young people to develop skills while still in high school which will allow them to either enter the workforce after their graduation or continue with their schooling.
The Tomah School District has a strong tradition of providing instruction to interested high school students in the area of construction, engineering, and industrial technology. As a matter of fact, Evers, purchased and lived in a house that was built by high school students in the building trades class when he was the Tomah High School principal.
During the THS Success Showcase held on Jan. 16, I spent time in the “shop” classrooms to see the work in which students were engaged. Students were welding, cutting and bending metal, programming a plasma cutter and practicing skills needed in the construction trades. The Technology Education Department at THS provides opportunities for students to gain real-world hands-on experience. Students can learn about engineering robots and mapping digital electronic circuits through Project Lead the Way classes. Through industrial technology classes, they can become competent with power tools, experienced in rough and finished interior and exterior carpentry and trained in advanced machine tool skills, oxyacetylene welding and horizontal and vertical over-head welding.
We also value the partnerships developed with the Construction Professionals Association and AGC of Wisconsin, both of which have provided financial resources and materials for our programs at THS.
All of our Career and Technical Education areas, which include business, family and consumer science, agriculture and technology and engineering education, provide meaningful school-to-work opportunities for our students. Strong articulation exists between Tomah High School, Western Technical College and the Milwaukee School of Engineering in our CTE subject areas. Students enrolled in these courses have opportunities to earn college credit while at Tomah High School. This creates a seamless transition from high school to the post-secondary educational level and into the workplace. We are working on having these instructional experiences enable our students to receive state-approved skill certificates so that our local businesses and industry will have qualified entry-level employees. In recent years advisory councils have been developed in which our local construction, engineering, agriculture, and business leaders meet with school personnel to share their expertise and to provide insights into program improvements. Students at THS have the ability to develop specialized skills that will make them employable in a number of businesses/industries, as well as prepared for pursuing post-secondary education. Options exist, opportunities await and openings in the workplace can be filled by Tomah High School graduates. Filling the skills gap is a Tomah tradition.
If you have any questions or comments about the information and opinions expressed in this edition of The School Bell, please contact Cindy Zahrte, District Administrator, at email@example.com or 374-7002.
Cindy Zahrte is superintendent of the Tomah School District.
From jsonline.com: "Eaton expanding, upgrading its Cooper Power Systems plants in Waukesha" -- Every time someone turns on a light or fires up their office computer, there's a good chance that a Cooper Power Systems electrical transformer or another of the company's products was part of the process. [...]
From jsonline.com: “Eaton expanding, upgrading its Cooper Power Systems plants in Waukesha” — Every time someone turns on a light or fires up their office computer, there’s a good chance that a Cooper Power Systems electrical transformer or another of the company’s products was part of the process.
Since 2012, Cooper has been part of Eaton Corp., a power management company with $22 billion in sales in 2013.
Eaton, based in Dublin, Ireland, has 102,000 employees and sells products in more than 175 countries. This week, the company said it was expanding and upgrading its Cooper Power Systems plants in Waukesha that make electrical equipment including power transformers and voltage regulators.
The $54 million project will create up to 200 jobs over the next two years, according to Eaton, as the company expands its Badger Drive plant and upgrades its North St. and Lincoln Ave. plants.
“The reason we are investing in the expansion in our facilities is to help meet the growing demand we are seeing, not only from our utility customers, but also from the commercial and industrial customer base,” said Clayton Tychkowsky, president of the Cooper Power Systems division.
Eaton has a wide range of products including truck transmissions, aircraft fuel systems and electrical systems.
Last week, the company said its fourth-quarter revenue rose 28%, boosted by higher demand for electrical products and systems.
Electrical product sales jumped 57% to $1.8 billion in the recent quarter ended Dec. 31.
Demand picked up in multiple areas including data processing centers, commercial construction and the oil and gas industry.
“One thing all those fields have in common is they require products to help transmit power to a usable point in their electrical system,” Tychkowsky said.
Eaton also stands to benefit from an increase in residential construction because the utility companies that provide power to homes use Cooper products.
“We see long-term potential growth for the products we manufacture here, which is why we feel this is a good investment,” Tychkowsky said about the plant expansion and upgrades.
Last April, Eaton announced it was cutting nearly two-thirds of its 260 jobs in Pewaukee.
The reductions included 130 production and 33 salaried positions as the company said it was moving molded rubber manufacturing from Pewaukee to a plant in Querétaro, Mexico, this year.
The job cuts were unrelated to the Waukesha plants, and the Pewaukee employees will get first preference in the Waukesha hiring, according to Eaton.
As part of the hiring, the company has partnered with Waukesha County Technical College to provide job training.
“We are taking a proactive approach as opposed to sitting back and waiting for talent to be available for us,” Tychkowsky said.
The expansion on Badger Drive will include 55,000 square feet of new manufacturing space.
Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. is providing up to $1.36 million in tax credits for the expansion and plant upgrades, which are tied to the new jobs.
“Retention of sound businesses like this is something we all need to pay attention to. There are other opportunities in the nation for a company like Eaton to move out of state,” said Reed Hall, WEDC secretary and chief executive officer.
Wisconsin also benefits from the electrical products, according to Hall.
“Safe, reliable electrical power is critical to growth. It’s like broadband. There are a couple of things businesses absolutely have to have to consider expanding in our state,” Hall said.
New CVTC simulation lab boosts medial realism Feb 12 2014
From chippewa.com: "CVTC working with line workers on safety" -- When nursing students at Chippewa Valley Technical College’s (CVTC’s) River Falls campus are working on a training scenario with one of the college’s high-tech simulation mannequins, they can rely only on their own knowledge and instincts. [...]
From chippewa.com: “New CVTC simulation lab boosts medical realism” — When nursing students at Chippewa Valley Technical College’s (CVTC’s) River Falls campus are working on a training scenario with one of the college’s high-tech simulation mannequins, they can rely only on their own knowledge and instincts. There’s no glancing over at an instructor in search of a nod of approval for a chosen course of action.
The instructor is watching from a separate room, behind glass that students cannot see through. She listens, observes and controls the simulator to react accordingly to what the students do — good or bad.
“This is more realistic than it was before,” said student Anna Hinde, originally from Barron. “We are able to have some hands-on, real-life experiences.”
“We have a lot more space, there are more mannequins, and we’ve got a new teaching lab,” added Colin McConville of Hudson.
Use of computerized simulation mannequins — which breathe, react, and have vital signs like real patients — has been part of the CVTC Nursing program at River Falls for years. However, the new simulation lab that opened in January is a vast improvement over the previous facility.
“Our environment here is more representative of an actual hospital room,” said Simulation Technician Cynthia Anderson, R.N. “The old lab was about half the size of one room in the new lab and had a noisy air compressor in the room to run the mannequins. Our air compressor is now in another room.”
The mannequins were previously placed on something like old hospital gurneys. Now there are real hospital beds for the mannequins and sometimes live people playing patients.
“We’re not tripping on cords anymore,” said Bethany Geske, a Nursing student who lives in Menomonie, in reference to the power cords to the equipment that used to be taped down and are now under the floor.
The lighting is far better and includes a large window to provide natural light, but set high enough to prevent outside distractions and watchers.
Even small details, like the addition of an in-lab telephone, are important. Students sometimes have to call a doctor or pharmacist (played by an instructor) from the simulator bedside. “They get the experience of calling the physician, and learning how to speak with the physician,” said Anderson, an RN since 1990 with years of experience at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minn.
An adjacent Learning Resource Center (LRC) for the Nursing program is also an important addition. The center is equipped with smaller artificial body parts like arms, hands and heads. Students practice skills such as making injections and inserting intravenous needles. For CVTC Nursing students, doing homework involves more reading a textbook.
“I’ve used it on occasion to practice skills like suctions and inserting catheters,” McConville said.
Mother and child
Another major addition to the program this term is “Noel,” a birth mother simulator. The mannequin actually simulates the birth of a little rubber baby newborn, with realistic vital signs and potential problems for the mother.
“The baby can be born breach, with a stuck shoulder, or with respiratory difficulty,” Anderson said, mentioning just some of the complications.
A newborn infant simulator, separate from the rubber birth baby, is also new. It shows vital signs and reacts like the adult models. A newborn baby can have a bluish hue, which is normal and soon fades. The simulator is sophisticated enough for instructors to prolong the bluish tint and observe when students notice it as a matter of concern.
“We didn’t have the baby mannequin before this year,” said Natalie Miranda, a student from Lakeland, Minn. “We would have to drive to Eau Claire to do that.”
Sometimes a birth mother and baby were brought from Eau Claire, but transportation and set-up are cumbersome, Anderson said.
Nursing students go out into the field to do “clinical” studies at hospitals, clinics and nursing homes, but the simulation lab work is an essential part of the training.
“It allows them to experience things differently,” said Jennifer Buekema, a CVTC Nursing instructor. “In a clinical situation, we of course don’t let students harm patients. Here, we can let the students make mistakes in the lab.”
“They set up scenarios that we may not see in the real-life clinical settings, but can see later in our professional lives,” said Miranda.
The instructor from the observation room can demonstrate with the mannequin the consequences, through a sudden change in vital signs, evidence of pain, and even a “code blue” cardiac arrest.
“A couple of weeks ago, we were in a code blue, when we had to do CPR,” Geske said.
The students say this kind of hands-on experience is one of the reasons they chose to attend CVTC. It allows them to be ready to enter the workforce right away, even if their plans include further education.
Geske, McConville and Hinde plan on getting nursing jobs after their May graduation, but going back to school to seek four-year or advanced degrees gaining experience as they complete their education.
From chippewa.com: "CVTC hosts financial aid application assistance session" -- Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) will be hosting a College Goal Wisconsin event Sunday, Feb. 23, to assist students with financial aid for enrollment in any two-or four-year college in the next academic year. [...]
From chippewa.com: “CVTC hosts financial aid application assistance session” — Eau Claire – Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) will be hosting a College Goal Wisconsin event Sunday, Feb. 23, to assist students with financial aid for enrollment in any two-or four-year college in the next academic year. The event will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Casper Conference Center in the Business Education Center, 620 W. Clairemont Ave., Eau Claire. Students who attend have a chance to win scholarships.
College Goal Wisconsin is a national event that provides free information and assistance to families who are filling out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), the federally required form for students seeking financial aid, such as grants and loans. Completing the FAFSA is the first and most important step in qualifying for aid.
Volunteers from area colleges and universities will help students complete the application process. In addition to staff from CVTC, volunteers from UW-Eau Claire, UW-Stout, Globe University, and the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) will assist.
Students should attend with a parent or guardian, if possible. A list of materials, including tax returns and financial records, that families should bring can be found at http://www.collegegoalwi.org. Independent students need only bring their own financial information.
The CVTC College Goal Wisconsin event is one of 29 to be held throughout the state Feb. 22-23 and Feb. 26. Students who submit or save a FAFSA and complete a survey at the event will be entered into a statewide drawing for scholarships ranging from $250 to $1,000.
FVTC hosts Midwest Dairy Challenge Feb 10 2014
From postcrescent.com: "FVTC hosts Midwest Dairy Challenge" -- The temperature hovered just below zero Thursday morning as two buses of students from colleges and technical schools in Kansas, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin filed into a barn at Sugar Creek Farm. [...]
From postcrescent.com: “FVTC hosts Midwest Dairy Challenge for college and technical school students” – NEW LONDON — The temperature hovered just below zero Thursday morning as two buses of students from colleges and technical schools in Kansas, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin filed into a barn at Sugar Creek Farm.
They were there for the Midwest Dairy Challenge, a competition featuring teams of students who conduct a detailed analysis of farming operations, said Kevin Rauchholz, an instructor at Fox Valley Technical College.
Students walk through dairy farms, examining everything from cow comfort, feed quality and ventilation to milking parlor management. With their observations and the farm’s financial information, the teams put together a presentation on what the farm is doing well, and areas where it could improve.
FVTC hosted the challenge this year, ushering students to Sugar Creek Farm and Country Aire Acres in Greenleaf.
At Sugar Creek Farm — an operation with 1,200 cows — students walked through the foggy barns, picking up feed and sifting through it. They counted how many cows were in a given space, and measured how wide the lanes were for the cows to walk through.
Outside, they examined feed storage before moving inside to the milking parlor. Cows stood above the students in the parlor waiting to be milked. Walls of 20 automatic milking machines on the right and left made way for a lane in between, where two workers cleaned the cows’ udders and attached the milkers.
Students milled down the gangway, watching how the udders were prepped and timing how long it took a group of cows to finish milking.
Matthew Bull competed in the challenge four years ago. Now he works for Cargill, and returned to the contest this year as a volunteer.
Bull said the experience gives students an opportunity to apply what they’ve learned and make connections with potential employers.
“Here with the students today are a host of industry professionals representing different companies … so that exposure with the students is really beneficial for them as they enter their junior and senior years in college and some into the workforce later on this year,” Bull said.
John Schmidt, another Cargill representative, said the challenge showcases various career paths in agriculture, which helps students determine what they’re interested in.
In potential employees, Schmidt said he looks for students who are inquisitive, professional and confident.
“We want people who have confidence in what they know, but not so much that they’re afraid to ask questions if they don’t know something,” Schmidt said.
After two hours on the farm, students spent the rest of the day working on their projects. They presented them Friday.
No matter who won, the students walked away with appreciation for the event.
“Today was a great learning experience,” said Darcy Steffes, a student at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. “It’s nice to go to different farms and get a look at what you can help them with so they can be more profitable in the future.”
WITC ranks among top community colleges Feb 10 2014
From northlandsnewscenter.com: "WITC ranks among top 150 community colleges" -- Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College is among 150 community colleges eligible to compete for the 2015 Aspen Prize for Community Excellence and one million dollars in prize funds. [...]
From northlandsnewscenter.com: “WITC ranks among top 150 community colleges” — Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College is among 150 community colleges eligible to compete for the 2015 Aspen Prize for Community Excellence and one million dollars in prize funds.
WITC was chosen from more than one thousand community colleges across the nation.
WITC President Bob Meyer says, “this ranking recognizes the dedicated efforts of WITC’s entire staff and its continued focus on excellence.”
From chippewa.com: "Dental pros, students work to 'Give Kids a Smile'" -- Alyxandria Lunemann clutched her stuffed animals tight and opened her mouth. The 6-year-old girl was nervous about having cavities filled, her mother, Janice Lunemann, said. Dr. Walter Turner’s chairside manner put her at ease, though. [...]
From chippewa.com: “Dental pros, students, work to ‘Give Kids a Smile’” –EAU CLAIRE — Alyxandria Lunemann clutched her stuffed animals tight and opened her mouth. The 6-year-old girl was nervous about having cavities filled, her mother, Janice Lunemann, said. Dr. Walter Turner’s chairside manner put her at ease, though.
Janice was happy to bring Alyxandria to Chippewa Valley Technical College from their New Auburn home on Friday for the Give Kids a Smile event at the CVTC Dental Clinic. The cavities had been diagnosed previously, but she was having trouble getting Alyxandria in to see a dentist to have them filled.
That’s what Give Kids a Smile is for. Sponsored nationwide by the American Dental Association and locally by the Chippewa Valley Dental Society and the Wisconsin Dental Association, the event offers free dental care to children ages 2-13. This is CVTC’s ninth year hosting the event locally.
The event is particularly helpful for families who lack dental insurance and can’t afford to pay for dental care on their own.
“There is an access-to-care issue,” said Pam Entorf, CVTC dental program instructor. “There is a shortage of dentists who are able to take patients who don’t have insurance or can’t pay. For many of these kids, this is the only time they get any sort of dental treatment. That’s why this event is so important.”
Helping at the event were the CVTC dental hygienist program students and instructors, professional dentists from around the Chippewa Valley, and hygienists and assistants from their staffs. The stars of the show, though, are the young patients.
“I’m pretty happy to be here,” said Janice Lunemann. “Alyxandria had gummy snacks when she was younger and it created some issues with her teeth, but she flosses well.”
Brian Insteness of Lake Hallie brought his 11-year-old daughter, Brooklyn, who had an x-ray taken by Joe Granica, a hygienist with North Lakes Dental in Hayward.
“We don’t have dental insurance, so we take advantage of this,” Insteness said. “She’s getting her check-up and we’ll go from there.”
The kids treated leave with more than healthier teeth. They also take home information and advice. The day is also about education — for children and for the next generation of dental care professionals.
“Childhood dental decay is a communicable, infectious disease,” said Entorf, pointing out that if one child in a family has decay, the bacteria that causes it could spread to other children. “It’s important to teach children as young as possible about how to take care of their teeth so they don’t have problems as they get older.”
The student hygienists work on patients in regular clinic settings as well, but the Give Kids a Smile event is a much busier day, and teaches them that giving back to the community is part of all health care professions.
“A lot of the students who were graduates of the program here come back to volunteer. It’s like a class reunion,” Entorf said.
Turner, of Turner Pediatric Dentisty in Eau Claire, has been giving back through participation in Give Kids a Smile for 25 years.
“The technical college does a very good service for people and kids, and this facility is large enough to handle it,” he said. “I love doing it, and they like my service for the kids. I want to get them off to a right start.”
CVTC working with line workers on safety Feb 10 2014
From leadertelegram.com: "CVTC working with line workers on safety" -- Bandi Henke understands the difficulty in convincing electric power distribution line workers to use fall prevention equipment. He had plenty of training and experience in the field before becoming an instructor at Chippewa Valley Technical College and knows how fast and seemingly easy it is to for workers to "free climb" a wooden power pole. [...]
From leadertelegram.com: “CVTC working with line workers on safety” –Bandi Henke understands the difficulty in convincing electric power distribution line workers to use fall prevention equipment. He had plenty of training and experience in the field before becoming an instructor at Chippewa Valley Technical College and knows how fast and seemingly easy it is to for workers to “free climb” a wooden power pole.
But falls and injuries are still too common in a trade in which there is an increasing emphasis on use of safety equipment. That’s why Henke had excellent attendance at sessions called Fall-Arrest Fundamentals during CVTC’s Line worker U Feb. 4-5 at the Plaza Hotel and Conference Center in Eau Claire.
More than 80 line workers from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois and Michigan attended the event, which featured 18 break-out sessions on topics ranging from updates on the latest in industry equipment to a review of code changes.
“It’s to update your skills and learn new things you don’t see every day,” said Beau Blade, a line worker with Eau Claire Energy Cooperative for the past 14 years. “The technology is new because everything’s computerized.”
While sessions on new technology and equipment were well-attended, sessions dealing directly with the health and safety of line workers were particularly popular among the workers from electric power cooperatives, municipal utilities and power companies.
Henke said line workers not currently using fall prevention equipment will do so soon.
“The power line industry is not letting people free climb as much as they used to. They are going to some form of fall protection,” Henke said.
In the session, Henke held up an early device commonly called a “Buck Squeeze” and found a few line workers are still using them. “It’s not user-friendly,” Henke remarked. “But it’s better than dying.”
He then showed the updated version of the device, calling it “180 percent better.” He also showed a number of similar devices from various manufacturers and demonstrated their use on an eight-foot wooden practice pole.
Attendees then donned their own climbing gear and tried out the devices for themselves.
“I’ve never used one before, but they say it’s going to be coming to the industry,” said Scott Devoe of Barron Electric Cooperative. “They will take a lot of getting used to. There are so many different adjustments.”
CVTC Electrician apprenticeship instructor Randy Larson, who led the team organizing Line worker U, said another popular session was conducted by Dr. Kevin Schultz of Hallie Chiropractic on reducing risk of musculoskeletal injuries.
“Fifteen years ago, he never would’ve had anyone attend his session,” Larson said. “But people are much more concerned about their health than before. The guys are interested in how to stay healthy and live longer.
“Dr. Schultz must have had 30 guys in there. When he got done, people didn’t want to leave. He was in there for two hours answering questions,” Larson continued.
It’s not just their own health and safety that concern line workers.
“We did an emergency response training on what to do on the job if someone is injured and what procedures to use,” said Steve White, a line worker with Rock Energy headquartered in Janesville. “Sometimes we’re out in the middle of nowhere and it could take a while to get response.”
Larson said Line worker U had been a dream of his for 15 years, and now that it’s off the ground, he’s considering how to make it better and expand the offerings.
From wisconsinrapidstribune.com: "Scholarships available for blind, visually impaired" -- The Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired will award 13 $1,500 scholarships this year for full and part-time, blind or visually impaired post-secondary students enrolled or accepted in college and vocational/community school programs, according to a news release from the council. [...]
From wisconsinrapidstribune.com: “Scholarships available for blind, visually impaired” – The Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired will award 13 $1,500 scholarships this year for full and part-time, blind or visually impaired post-secondary students enrolled or accepted in college and vocational/community school programs, according to a news release from the council.
Applicants must be high school graduates or returning students, carrying a full load of classes as defined by the institution they will attend, and have an accumulated GPA of at least 2.5; part-time students must verify their courses and schedules, according to the release. All applicants must have identified goals for the future, including eventual employment, and they must meet other scholarship requirements.
Go to www.wcblind.org for guidelines and an application. Submission deadline is is March 28; recipients will be notified by April 21, and scholarships will be presented at a Council event on May 10 in Madison.
Walker plan for worker training gets support Feb 05 2014
From channel3000.com: "Walker plan for worker training gets support" -- Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to spend $35 million to help technical colleges train people for high demand jobs is finding support at a legislative hearing. [...]
From channel3000.com: “Walker plan for worker training gets support” — Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to spend $35 million to help technical colleges train people for high demand jobs is finding support at a legislative hearing.
Backers of Walker’s proposal testified Tuesday before the Assembly’s Committee on Workforce Development. The full Assembly was expected to vote on the plan next week.
Walker wants to spend $35 million to eliminate waiting lists for high demand fields at technical colleges, help high school students get trained for high-demand jobs through dual enrollment programs and support programs that help people with disabilities find work.
Wisconsin technical college system president Morna Foy says she is “stoked” about the possibility of the funding being approved. She says it would definitely result in more people getting trained for jobs in high-demand areas.
Youth Apprenticeship leads to technical college Feb 04 2014
From thenorthwestern.com: "Oshkosh schools working to build apprenticeship program" -- After years of lagging behind other districts, the Youth Apprenticeship program in Oshkosh is getting a push from the school district and chamber of commerce to offer high school students work experience in a variety of careers. [...]
From thenorthwestern.com: “Oshkosh schools working to build apprenticeship” – After years of lagging behind other districts, the Youth Apprenticeship program in Oshkosh is getting a push from the school district and chamber of commerce to offer high school students work experience in a variety of careers.
The Oshkosh Area School District hasn’t historically had a strong apprenticeship program, because the curriculum wasn’t developed enough to meet their requirements or there weren’t employers to sponsor them.
Still, businesses in Oshkosh have consistently been involved in employing students through cooperative education programs, or co-ops, Julie Mosher, OASD director of curriculum and assessment, said. The youth apprenticeship program asks them to take that partnership to the next level.
Wisconsin’s YA program is part of a statewide school-to-work initiative and integrates school-based and work-based learning. Students are simultaneously enrolled in academic classes and employed locally under the supervision of a skilled, worksite mentor.
Oshkosh’s effort to expand apprenticeships comes at the same time that Gov. Scott Walker is pushing to increase funding for the programs. Walker announced in January that Wisconsin’s Youth Apprenticeship, or YA, program would receive additional grants totaling more than $226,000, and Cooperative Educational Services Agency 6 in Oshkosh received $18,747 of those funds.
CESA 6 serves 42 schools in seven counties to coordinate programs and services between schools, districts and the state.
Tania Kilpatrick, CESA 6 career and technical education coordinator, said YA is an important opportunity for students to test drive a career.
“When you’re looking at a workforce, economics, building the pipeline of future employees,” she said. “Any opportunity that you can give kids options for education I think is important.”
Changes to the requirements for apprenticeship programs have changed, while the district’s strategic plan has an increased focus on ensuring students are college, career and community ready.
“With the new checklist and the new requirements that matched our curriculum and matched our philosophy a lot better,” Mosher said. “We felt that we could possibly start getting employers to match up with it.”
With that in mind, the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce stepped in to help create partnerships with local businesses.
Two apprenticeships were recently secured with Bergstrom Automotive.
Marc Stanga, a senior at Oshkosh West, is an apprentice at the Bergstrom GM division in Oshkosh. He works for a few hours each day after school and on Saturdays, where he’s learning alongside a mentor to become a GM-certified auto technician.
So far the 17-year-old has learned how to do oil and headlight changes, check fluids and more.
“It’s teaching me the basics of being an auto mechanic,” Stanga said, adding the mentor has been a key part to what he’s learning.
Stanga plans to attend Fox Valley Technical College, where he’s enrolled in the GM program.
“My whole life I’ve wanted to be an auto mechanic,” he said. He thinks the youth apprenticeship will be a big help to getting a job in the future and hopes to receive a scholarship from the program as well.
Stanga said he’s loving his apprenticeship because it’s really hands on.
“It’s like a paid internship,” he said. “You really can see if you really like to do what you were planning on doing.”
Stanga is also working on live cars in a lab at West for the curriculum part of his apprenticeship.
The college-level learning uses standards for 11 different areas that are put out from the national Automotive Service Excellence Certification, Mark Boushele, transportation technology instructor at West, said.
“The homework is all right in front of you,” he said. “So you actually see … the progress that you’re doing and working with.”
Apprenticeships have benefits for both students and employers.
Students gain a valuable, real-world connections between the curriculum and work. There’s no bad internship experience because of the skills one learns during it, Mosher and Patti Andresen-Shew, Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce education and workforce coordinator, said.
Even if students end up not wanting to go into the career, it teaches the importance of showing up on time, flexibility and adaptability, as well as how to work under pressures and stress, Mosher said. Plus, learning they don’t like something can be just as important.
A long-term investment
YA is a heavier load for both students and employers than co-ops because of the mentorship requirement and need to complete a checklist of requirements laid out by the state. Many different scheduling factors have to line up in order for it to work, Mosher said, which is why co-ops have worked out better in Oshkosh in the past.
Juniors and seniors have to apply for the program, and then they have to nail an interview with the employer to get the position. The courses for the program have to fit with the high schools’ schedules, and that has to line up with lab, clinical or work schedules. Students also need to complete a certain amount of hours working on the job.
“All these stars have to align,” Mosher said.
Though it’s a commitment for employers to train, mentor and pay the students, in many cases it’s a long-term investment.
The State Department of Workforce Development said 85 percent of YA students are offered jobs at the end of apprenticeships, which can be more effective than finding workers through recruiters or advertising. Employers have said it also inspires current employees to be even better workers.
“We like to hire locally and have had great success hiring people early in their work life, who can then learn and become a part of our culture and grow with our company over the course of their career,” Tim Bergstrom, President and COO of Bergstrom Automotive, said in a statement.
“The Chamber and our local school system have come together to provide us with a unique opportunity to find just this type of candidate to become a potential long-term team member,” Bergstrom said.
YA is not limited to any one kind of career or student, Mosher said. There’s room for all Oshkosh students, whether they go on to a two or four-year school, into the military or directly into the workforce.
Mosher and Shew would like to see the program expand to include more career paths. Agriculture, communications, tourism, and information technology are just some of the possible programs listed on the Department of Workforce Development website.
Shew and Mosher are actively looking for more employers to participate in YA, as well as students who want to explore their interests in an apprenticeship setting.
Career exploration is the most important aspect of YA, they said.
“We want our students to explore their career options and have a plan,” she said. “That plan may change, but at least they have a plan and they’ve done some thinking behind it.”
From hngnews.com: "Workforce Paradox conference comes to Madison March 27" -- The WMC Foundation, in partnership with the Wisconsin Technical College System and all 16 Technical Colleges, is proud to highlight current workplace solutions and an early preview of a new initiative to establish a 20-year strategic plan for the state called – The Future Wisconsin Project. [...]
From hngnews.com: “Workforce Paradox conference comes to Madison march 27″ — Wisconsin continues to battle the workforce paradox – high unemployment, yet employers desperately seeking qualified workers.
The WMC Foundation, in partnership with the Wisconsin Technical College System and all 16 Technical Colleges, is proud to highlight current workplace solutions and an early preview of a new initiative to establish a 20-year strategic plan for the state called – The Future Wisconsin Project.
Each session will include a panel presentation on innovative practices in K-12, college programming, and customized business solutions followed by discussion. There will be an optional college tour at some sites immediately following the program.
February 17 – Gateway Technical College, Kenosha.
February 19 – Fox Valley Technical College, Appleton.
February 21 – Blackhawk Technical College, Janesville.
February 25 – Western Technical College, La Crosse.
February 26 – Milwaukee Area Technical College.
March 3 – Northcentral Technical College, Wausau.
March 4 – Waukesha County Technical College.
March 6 – Chippewa Valley Technical College, Eau Claire.
March 7 – Indianhead Technical College, Rice Lake.
March 11 – Nicolet Technical College, Rhinelander.
March 13 – Mid-State Technical College, Wisconsin Rapids.
March 14 – Lakeshore Technical College, Cleveland.
March 17 – Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Green Bay.
March 18 – Moraine Park Technical College, Fond du Lac.
March 21 – Southwest Technical College, Fennimore.
March 27 – Madison College.
The cost to attend is $30/person; $20/person for WMC and/or local chamber members.
To register or for more information call 608.258.3400 or visit www.wmc.org.