November 27, 2013
From wausaudailyherald.com: “Youth Apprenticeship builds workforce of the future” – Mosinee High School has participated in Wisconsin’s Youth Apprenticeship, or YA, program since 1995. During that time, over 350 students participated in this unique work-based learning program. YA allows juniors and seniors to work part-time in a field they are considering for their future, while taking high school courses that support that career direction.
As the School to Career coordinator, one of my responsibilities is to supervise students in this program. From my perspective, this program has literally changed the lives of some of our students. They have learned to “walk the walk” and gain those skills necessary for success in the world of work while finding out if that career direction is right for them. I asked students to share their thoughts on participating in this program.
“I applied for youth apprenticeship so I could gain work experience in a professional environment. What I like most about my position is the face-to-face contact I have with customers. I learned I am very interested in the business field and would enjoy a career in it. After high school, I will be attending UW-Whitewater for business management with a minor in finance/insurance.”
— Kevin Zimmerman, BMO Harris Bank, Mosinee
“I work at the desk taking calls, doing health history updates and confirming appointments. I also help clean work stations, assist with sterilization, X-rays, charting, restocking and sealants. I applied for an apprenticeship because I was thinking about going into dental hygiene. I like that I am learning more about the field, and I like working with people. I’ve learned I can work really hard if I put my all into it, and that I work really well with people and as a team. After graduation, I plan to attend NTC to become a dental hygienist.”
— Rachel Schulte, Family Dental, Mosinee
“I help manage the school’s website and assist with technology problems throughout the district. I applied for YA so I could work in the field I want, as well as for the recognition that comes with YA. I enjoy working in a field that I am very knowledgeable about, and I can use my knowledge to efficiently do whatever task is at hand. I’ve learned how to manage and handle multiple projects at once, completing them efficiently and to the best of my ability. After high school, I plan to attend college for a degree in computer science.”
— Noah Warren, Mosinee High School
“I am a CNA on the Surgical/Orthopedics floor. I was interested in a job in healthcare and thought work experience now would help me gain an insight into what my future career might entail. At Saint Clare’s, witnessing the strength of people pushing through less-than-desirable circumstances to overcome obstacles has become the most inspirational thing in my life. I enjoy the interactions I have with people much more than I ever dreamed possible. I proved to myself that my communication skills are critical in the medical field. I plan to attend UW-Madison to pursue a degree in genetics and continue on to medical school with my ultimate goal to become a physician.”
— Halee Nieuwenhuis, Saint Clare’s Hospital, Weston
“I help design processing systems for many big name companies. I applied for YA because I wanted to learn first-hand what the work environment would be like in my selected field. My favorite aspect of my job is working with Auto-Cad. The most important thing I’ve learned during my YA experience is that I insist on being perfect at a lot of what I do. Once I graduate from high school, I plan on going to a four-year college to become a mechanical engineer.”
— Andrew Hilgemann, A&B Process Systems, Stratford
“I help prep food on Saturdays, and during the week I work up front helping customers. I applied for YA because I thought it would be a good experience, and it looks good on college and job applications. I like working with people and working “hands on” rather than just sitting behind a desk. I’ve learned that I work well with others in stressful times and what teamwork really is. After high school I plan on working until I find out what I would like to do with my life.”
— Morgan Plautz, Culver’s, Cedar Creek, Rothschild
As you can see, Youth Apprenticeship provides students with experiences that will benefit them throughout their lives, but YA also benefits every business involved with the program. Employers get direct access to a pipeline of motivated workers interested in building a career in their industry, and they have the opportunity to shape their future workforce. YA covers a variety of areas from agriculture to welding.
Employers interested in connecting with a student looking for an apprenticeship should contact their local high school YA coordinator or Donna Schulz at Northcentral Technical College in Wausau.
November 26, 2013
From jsonline.com: “Mayville Engineering plans to expand, hire 100 workers” – Mayville Engineering Co. is planning to expand five of its plants in Wisconsin, resulting in 100 new manufacturing jobs, the company said Monday.
The expansion is the result of orders from existing customers as well as new work the company has landed, said Mayville marketing manager Brian Johnson.
Mayville Engineering Co., is an employee-owned firm based in the Dodge County community that shares its name. Mayville is about 55 miles northwest of Milwaukee.
Nationwide, the company employs about 2,000 people and generates more than $300 million in sales.
“We’re putting in some pretty significant equipment and we have to hire a bunch of people, so we’re trying to get the word out,” Johnson said.
“We’ve been successful at getting really good people in here and we’re in one of those situations right now where we need to get some more,” Johnson added. “It’s a good place to be.”
The new jobs will be primarily at the company’s two plants in Mayville, two plants in Beaver Dam and a plant in Wautoma. The company also has two plants in Neillsville in west-central Wisconsin, as well as plants in Michigan, Mississippi, South Carolina and Virginia.
“We have a number of new products that we are launching with some key customers in the agriculture, construction and power sports industries,” Johnson said.
Mayville Engineering specializes in making the parts used to build equipment ranging from large trucks to agricultural equipment to all-terrain vehicles. It does prototyping, production manufacturing, fabricating, tube forming, coating and assembly services in a variety of markets.
“We’re a key supply chain partner for a number of the large original equipment manufacturers,” Johnson said.
Company leaders realize they are hiring in a marketplace where demand is high for skilled labor. “That is something that we hear a lot,” Johnson said. “It’s no small challenge.”
The company’s position as an employee-owned business gives it an advantage when seeking to attract workers, he said.
“When they are looking at opportunities, we find that a lot of people are interested that they have a chance to earn stock in the company,” Johnson said. “That’s kind of a compelling advantage that we have.”
The company also has successfully entered into partnerships and apprenticeship programs with Moraine Park Technical College and Mayville High School.
The company is hiring for skilled manufacturing positions, including robotic and manual welders, laser operators, brake press operators, CNC machinists, punch press operators, tool and die makers, painters and material coordinators.
But the company also wants to hear from folks who might not have significant manufacturing experience. “Even if it’s not a long one, if they have a good work history that they can show us, we’re looking for good people who are going to fit into our culture,” Johnson said.
Growth and expansion at Mayville Engineering is an example of the positive part of what is proving to be an up-and-down performance of manufacturing in recent times. Manufacturing is a key sector of Wisconsin’s economy.
Diversification is key
“The recovery has been so uneven,” said David J. Ward, CEO of NorthStar Consulting Group, a private economic consulting and research firm in Madison. “There’s no pattern.
“We’ve had nothing out there that would say to manufacturers or anybody else, ‘Hey we’re on a roll,’” he said.
An important aspect for manufacturers is to have business across sectors, Ward said.
“Certain sectors are doing OK. Others, they’re not contracting or anything, they’re just kind of bumping along,” he said.
Having a diversity in business is exactly the strategy that Mayville has pursued.
“We really transcend a lot of different markets,” Johnson said. “So, if one market might be having a hard time, we have other markets that are growing.”
Job fair Dec. 7
Mayville Engineering will hold a job fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 7 at its Dodge County headquarters, 715 South St., Mayville, to recruit for manufacturing positions, including robotic and manual welders, laser operators, brake press operators, CNC machinists, punch press operators, tool and die makers, painters, and material coordinators.
October 18, 2013
From canadianmanufacturing.com: “Bridging the Skills Gap” – New Richmond, WI—A new partnership has been forged between industry and education, with Bosch Packaging Technology, Inc., and Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College (WITC), both in New Richmond, Wisconsin forming a joint apprenticeship venture.
“We’ve been working together on this project since last spring,” says Nancy Cerritos, WITC academic dean of trade and technology. “Bosch is very proactive and realizes it will lose a significant portion of its skilled work force in New Richmond and Shell Lake over the next five to seven years. They wanted to create apprenticeships – which we have available and can develop — to create a better skilled work force for the future.”
Adds Mark Hanson, manager, continuous improvement coordination and technical functions at Bosch Packaging Technology: “We tried to hire local workers, but it’s not a densely populated area, and we have a need for highly skilled workers, so we had to come up with a new approach.
“By utilizing our strong relationship with WITC and the state we were able to custom-design a program that gives us the skilled workers we need.”
The program includes electro-mechanical technician and machinist apprentices. The electro-mechanic apprenticeship—the combination of an electrician and mechanic—is the first of its kind in the state and is now considered a new trade in Wisconsin.
Two WITC programs participate in this flagship effort: the Automated Packaging Systems program and theMachine Tooling Technics program, as these two WITC programs are best represented in the work at Packaging Technology.
The opportunity to become an apprentice was opened to Bosch employees, and four stepped up. Machinist apprentices are Josh Marquand and Brant Couch. Electro mechanical technician apprentices enrolled in the Automated Packaging Systems program are Philip Taylor and Paul Petty. These four apprentices will complete their respective program over a four or five year time span, while also working at Bosch.
What makes the program unique is what the participant receives at the completion of the apprenticeship – five years for an electro-mechanical technician and four years for a machinist – an Associate’s degree in technical studies, a technical diploma and a State of Wisconsin Certificate of Apprenticeship, commonly known as a journeyman card. A traditional apprenticeship usually results in only the journeyman card.
Upon acceptance in the program, the apprentice signs a contract with the State of Wisconsin that they will meet the obligations required for a journeyman card. During the apprenticeship, Bosch is responsible for ensuring the apprentices meet the minimum requirements, as well as assigning a shop-floor trainer and mentor to each apprentice.
The apprenticeship program works very closely with Wisconsin’s Workforce Development Department through Travis Ludvigson, Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards, who produced the contract the apprentices signed. At WITC, Randy Deli, divisional dean of trade and technology, coordinates the college’s apprenticeship opportunities.
Once accepted in the program, apprentices receive a salary and benefits for their 40-hour-a-week schedule, during which they split time between on-the-job-training and classroom work. In addition, the program covers the cost for tuition and tools needed for coursework. Outside of the program, the normal curriculum requires classroom attendance for 30 hours a week, leaving little time for job training.
“This was a great opportunity for me,” says Taylor, one of the new apprentices. “It’s a perfect scenario, I get to continue working at Bosch, and in five years I’ll have a degree, diploma and journeyman card that will benefit my career and family.”
October 17, 2013
From iwantthenews.com: “Amerequip earns regional youth award” — Amerequip, a manufacturer of custom equipment for the lawn, landscape, agricultural and construction markets, will receive the Northeast Wisconsin Manufacturing Alliance’s Youth Apprenticeship Award at the Excellence in Manufacturing Partnership Awards on Wednesday, Oct. 30 at the KI Convention Center in Green Bay.
The award is one of several to be given out at the event, which will spotlight best practices of manufacturing/education partnerships throughout the New North region.
Amerequip has a long standing commitment to ongoing educational programs. in particular, Amerequip has been an active participant in several innovative internship and apprenticeship programs offered through the State of Wisconsin and several of Wisconsin’s technical colleges.
Lakeshore Technical College nominated Amerequip for the award for its partnershp with the Sheboygan Youth Apprenticeship program, which provides training and job skills while students are in high school. The firm currently has five high school apprentice students training with them in the areas of welding, quality assurance, engineering, assembly and machining, with the goal of growing the program to 10 students annually going through the Amerequip program. As a result of Amerequip’s lead in the YA program, other small local manufacturers have joined the effort, with 65 students now participating in the program.
October 4, 2013
From bizjournals.com: “New MATC scholarship targets construction trades apprentices” – Great Lakes Higher Education Corp. is investing $200,000 over 10 years in scholarships for Milwaukee Area Technical College apprenticeships in the construction trades, according to a Thursday press release.
The “Jim Elliott Apprentice Scholarship for the Construction Trades” will award an initial group of 20 MATC apprenticeship students with up to $1,000 to help cover expenses for equipment, clothes and tools.
The scholarship honors Jim Elliott for his service to the construction trades in Milwaukee and to the Wisconsin Technical College System and the Great Lakes Higher Education Corp. & Affiliates board of directors.
“Wisconsin has a long and proud history of valuing apprenticeships,” said Richard George, Great Lakes Higher Education’s president and CEO. “By helping hard-working students complete an apprenticeship, this scholarship will help them build good careers for themselves and their families, and stronger communities for us all.”
Applications will be provided to eligible MATC students and are due Dec. 2.
“Construction apprenticeships are a valuable opportunity for those seeking to improve their skills and have a great career,” said WTCS president Morna Foy. “We appreciate the ongoing partnership with Great Lakes that makes this sort of opportunity possible for our students.”
September 18, 2013
From WSAU.com: “Northcentral Technical College expands Dairy Science programs” – WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) – This year marks the second anniversary of the Northcentral Technical College Agricultural School of Excellence, and the program is running stronger than ever.
Students are starting to graduate from the program after doing training at the Center, and NTC VP of learning Shelley Mondeik says they’ve been placing all their graduates. “At this point, the students that we’ve surveyed have had 100 percent employment, so we’re very excited.” Students have been getting jobs working in cattle sales and trading, running farms, and working as farm hands while they continue their training.
The dairy sciences program at NTC has been expanding as well, and Mondeik says they’ve got more to offer students. “When we started we only had the one dairy science degree. As of today we’ve got three associate’s degrees, one technical diploma and an apprenticeship, so it’s just more and more offerings for the students.”
Mondeik says that apprenticeship program is really helping retain farmers and keep the dairy tradition alive. The program pairs students with a master grazer who works with the school, and they go through about 4000 hours of training over the course of the program. “Once that person achieves those hours, they have the potential to be an expert in dairy grazing.”
If you’re interested in the dairy sciences program, contact NTC through their website at http://www.NTC.edu or call the college at 715-675-3331.
August 29, 2013
From jsonline.com: “MPS takes a look at intensive technical training proposal” – What has proven to be one effective way to get Wisconsin high school students at risk of dropping out to earn their diploma and reinvest themselves in their future?
Pay them to do it.
That’s what the rapidly expanding GPS Education Partners, formerly the Second Chance Partners for Education, has been doing for more than 10 years in the state.
But these students aren’t just taking handouts. They’re earning their pay by working nearly full time in various businesses — primarily within manufacturing and similar technical fields — while also taking classes toward their diploma year-round on-site.
This fall, the group, which boasts a 90% high school graduation rate and 203 graduates to date, is seeking to expand into Milwaukee Public Schools and serve eight to 10 students across the city in its first year.
The group’s contract goes before the School Board for approval Thursday night, and the administration backs the approval of the program, according to MPS spokesman Tony Tagliavia.
The city would be the 16th site in Wisconsin for GPS Education Partners. If the contract is approved, the group would have 215 students enrolled in the 21-month program, which relies on partnerships with businesses and school districts to function.
In Milwaukee, students would likely be selected from interested applicants at Bradley Tech High School, James Madison High School and the School of Career and Technical Education, formerly known as Custer High School, according to Tagliavia.
Those students would spend time working at Strattec Security Corp., Monarch LLC, Brady Corp. and others, according to an announcement from the education nonprofit earlier this summer.
The selected students typically are chosen because they have struggled or have become disengaged in a traditional high school setting and are interested in pursuing a technical career after high school. During the program, the students rotate between two to three different businesses and learn six to 10 different manufacturing jobs over the 21 months. Students typically begin the program in their junior year.
For six hours a day, students work alongside an adult mentor in manufacturing plants or warehouses and learn different skills, from welding to skills with technology and heavy machinery. For two hours a day, the students converge in a classroom on-site at one of the businesses and are taught traditional academic material by a state certified teacher.
In addition to a diploma from their original high school and graduating with their class, the students earn a two-year Youth Apprenticeship Certificate from the state Department of Workforce Development and earn advanced standing in the Wisconsin Technical College System. They also become a certified production technician though the Manufacturing Skills Standard Council.
Both Tagliavia and MPS’ Career and Technical Education coordinator Eric Radomski said the program fits into MPS’ mission because it provides another pathway that could contribute to success for the students involved.
“Our goal is that students graduate with the skill set necessary to succeed in whichever path they’re interested,” Tagliavia says.
Tagliavia says the program’s successful track record makes him optimistic that the program will succeed in the city. The organization has worked in surrounding suburbs as well as cities such as Green Bay and Appleton, but MPS will be the first time GPS has operated in a completely urban setting.
GPS President Stephanie Borowski says she is confident the model will translate effectively into the city, saying there is a high level of flexibility within the classrooms because of the low student-to-teacher ratio, which consistently hovers around 8-to-1.
While MPS has many other programs that are geared toward introducing students to technical fields and preparing those interested in the field for that pursuit, GPS Education Partners would be the most intense technical program within the district.
While other programs offer students the opportunity to work in such a setting, none goes as far as educating the students on-site in a classroom at one of the businesses.
Garrett Crish graduated, by virtue of the program, from Menomonee Falls High School in 2009.
To this day, Crish, who now works in a New Berlin warehouse, credits the organization with turning his life around.
“I can honestly say that the Second Chance Program changed my life. I was on the fast track to nowhere, and at the time I couldn’t have cared less,” Crish says. “Working in real warehouses with real hardworking people was the strong kick in the butt I needed as a 17-year-old.”
Crish, 23, said that while the program did not directly land him a job upon graduation, it gave him the tools and work ethic he needed to impress during a seasonal job at a warehouse that eventually landed him a full-time job at the New Berlin distribution center.
David Mitchell, president and CEO of Monarch LLC, which has worked with the group since 2010 and typically brings in two students each year through the program, will add one MPS student this year if the contract is approved Thursday, he said.
The company, which specializes in the fabrication of heavy equipment, allows the students to develop welding skills.
Mitchell says one student excelled during his time with the company and was in turn hired on upon his graduation as a welder.
Borowski says 60% of past students have gone on to immediately seek work after the program, 35% have continued on with their education beyond high school and 5% join the military.
For the business, the cost is “relatively low,” Mitchell says, though Monarch does not break even on the program. He says he looks at it as giving back to the community as well as preparing the next generation of the workforce.
GPS Educational Partners maintains its financing through donations as well as shared per-pupil allotments from the state with participating districts and contributions from participating businesses.
HOW IT WORKS
■ Students rotate among two to three businesses and learn six to 10 manufacturing jobs over 21 months.
■ For six hours a day, students work alongside an adult mentor in manufacturing plants or warehouses.
■ For two hours a day, students converge in a classroom on-site at one of the businesses and are taught traditional academic material by a state certified teacher.
August 26, 2013
From beloitdailynews.com: “Employers, educators discuss student preparation for work” — By Hillary Gavan - Representatives from business and education joined together to discuss new ways to get students trained for the workforce at the 7th Annual Business Education Summit held Thursday at the Eclipse Center in Beloit.
Sponsored by the Greater Beloit Economic Development Corporation, Greater Beloit Chamber of Commerce, School District of Beloit and Beloit College, the day’s theme was “Workforce Development – Are You Ready?”
At the event the 2nd Annual Business/Education Partnership Award for the business sector went to Blackhawk Bank accepted by CEO Rick Bastian. The award for the education sector went to the School District of Beloit, accepted by Superintendent Steve McNeal.
Beloit City Manager Larry Arft and McNeal welcomed crowds, and McNeal said it was a blessing to have forward thinking people to move the school district ahead.
McNeal noted there is non-referendum money being put into the Beloit Memorial High School’s new Technical Education Programming Space demonstrating the district’s commitment to getting kids into jobs. The School District of Beloit and City of Beloit, he said, are undergoing joint efforts to train kids for the workforce which rival any in the state.
After the Vice President of ManpowerGroup’s Global Strategic Workforce Consulting Practice Rebekah Kowalkski gave her keynote address, Economic Development Director for the Rock County Development Alliance James Otterstein gave a presentation on Inspire Rock County, a web-based career readiness platform which connects students with businesses and mentors and other resources to investigate careers and apply for jobs.
Susan Dantuma, from Blackhawk Technical College, talked about the college’s youth apprenticeship programs and Bob Borremans, from the Southern Wisconsin Workforce Development, spoke about the Work Today Program where employers in the program pay to have workers trained for job openings at their companies.
Business/Education Partnership Committee Co-Chair Jim Agate said he was pleased with the roundtable discussions which returned this year so educators and the business community could brainstorm together. In the past he said takeaways from the discussions included ideas which were implemented such as mock interviews and the lunch and learn program.
Agate said after Thursday’s events new plans would begin forming.
“We will put all our notes together and move forward,” he said.
Business/Education Partnership Committee Co-Chair Rick Barder said all of those on the Business/Education Partnership Committee put together a program and agenda that was relevant in today’s world with many takeaways for both the businesses and the education community.
Beloit City Manager Larry Arft said the event was a unique opportunity for educators and business as well as government leaders in the community to interact and to share perspectives regarding the needs of public education.
August 14, 2013
From bizjournals.com: “Wisconsin manufacturing apprentices increase” — By Jeff Engel - A wide-ranging marketing campaign by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development aimed at drumming up interest in manufacturing apprenticeships has apparently shown results.
In April, DWD began promoting apprenticeships through billboards, public service announcements on TV, videos on its website, flyers and brochures for workers and advertisements on the Packers Radio Network, the state agency said. It worked with ad agency Laughlin Constable to develop the outreach effort.
Through the first half of the year, new apprentices increased 30 percent year-over-year to 1,383, according to the DWD Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards. From April 1 through June 30, the number of manufacturers participating in the state program increased by 67 companies compared with the same period last year, DWD said.
One of those additions to the program is Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc., now a registered apprenticeship employer. DWD Secretary Reggie Newson visited Ocean Spray’s Kenosha plant on Monday.
With the agreement, Ocean Spray will start by sponsoring three apprentices in maintenance technician apprenticeship training. The Lakeville-Middleboro, Mass.-based company produces canned and bottled juices and juice drinks.
“Ocean Spray’s ability to expand our markets and products is directly tied to our ability to find employees with the right skills,” said Tim Peoples, Ocean Spray’s Kenosha plant director. “We chose to start an apprenticeship program at our Kenosha plant to develop our work force while providing growth opportunities.”
The program combines on-the-job training with a journey worker and classroom learning, often at a technical college. Apprentices are enrolled for four to five years, with wages increasing along the way. They graduate from the program with a nationally recognized certification.
The average annual wage in manufacturing is about $51,400, more than $10,000 above the average annual wage for all occupations in Wisconsin, DWD said.
August 12, 2013
From postcrescent.com: “Former FVTC student earns honor” – Ryan Huss, Appleton, journeyman electrician with Faith Technologies Inc., earned the 2013 Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin Apprentice of the Year award and was recognized for his exemplary performance in apprenticeship training during the organization’s annual recognition banquet in Wisconsin Dells. Huss, a military veteran with two tours of duty, completed his ABC of Wisconsin electrical construction apprenticeship training at Fox Valley Technical College this past May.
FVTC is the state’s largest provider of apprenticeship training. The award is one of three annual forms of recognition on behalf of ABC of Wisconsin made to individuals who demonstrate a high-level commitment to continuous education through apprenticeship.
July 29, 2013
From bizjournals.com: “MPS, GPS Education Partners receive Wisconsin youth apprenticeship grants” – Gov. Scott Walker on Friday announced $1.86 million in Wisconsin Youth Apprenticeship grant awards to train high school juniors and seniors in the upcoming school year, including students across the Milwaukee area.
The North Central WI School-to-Career Partnership received the largest grant: $225,599. Grants also include $139,871 for Waukesha County STW Partnership, $132,351 for GPS Education Partners and $40,608 for Milwaukee Public Schools.
Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development administered $1.6 million in grants last year for the skills training program, which trained about 1,900 students at more than 1,300 employers. More than 75 percent of those who finished a two-year youth apprenticeship scored a job with the employer that provided their training, Walker’s office said.
“Wisconsin Youth Apprenticeship helps students train for in-demand careers,” Walker said. “The program is a key part of our goal to equip workers with the skills employers need and to help workers succeed in those jobs. I am pleased that we will build on the success of this program by serving hundreds of additional students this year through strengthened collaborations and innovation among local partners.”
This year’s grants will go to 31 regional consortia across Wisconsin. The number of student participants is still being finalized.
Those groups include school districts and alternative education programs, such as GPS Education Partners, formerly known as Second Chance Partners for Education, which has been rapidly expanding.
Wisconsin’s Youth Apprenticeship program began in 1991 and includes 40 occupations. Students complete on-the-job training with the employer and receive technical college-level instruction at their local high schools. At the end, they have earned a program completion certificate, potential technical college credit and the skills necessary to be hired into an entry-level job.
July 26, 2013
From postcrescent.com: “FVTC students learn tools of trade” — By Larry Avila - GRAND CHUTE — Mark Gedamke left his mark on Fox Valley Technical College.
When he was enrolled in the college’s apprenticeship program, he and some of his classmates assembled a working cascading timer circuit, which is used as a hands-on learning tool and resembles a device used for controlling industrial machinery.
“It was an opportunity to make something that other people could use and get some hands-on learning,” said Gedamke of Waupun, an industrial electrician at International Paper in Fond du Lac. He and his classmates were inspired to make the device when other students suggested it would be helpful to learn how to use and troubleshoot problems on real-world equipment if they had a functioning learning tool.
Apprenticeship programs in Wisconsin received $1.8 million in funds after the Gov. Scott Walker signed the 2013-15 budget into law. The programs have been used by people through the years to learn an assortment of skilled trades from construction to manufacturing, an effort the state wants to continue, said Reggie Newson, secretary of the state Department of Workforce Development, who visited FVTC on Thursday and toured the college’s apprenticeship training areas.
“When we looked at options and policies to train workers in Wisconsin, apprenticeships were one of those tools we wanted to focus on,” Newson said. “It’s a tried and true training program to get on-the-job practical experience and help employers get the workers with the skills they need.”
Newson said the state’s apprenticeship programs had received federal funding, but those dollars were dwindling, which is why the state devoted funds to it.
There are more than 7,000 active apprentices in the state now, including 3,545 in construction and 1,286 in manufacturing. Newson said partnerships between businesses and technical colleges make those programs effective.
“It’s a great way to earn while you learn,” he said. “Apprentices are learning in the classroom but getting real-world experience at the same time.”
Gedamke said his apprenticeship lasted four years but it was time well spent.
“The time was well worth it because I learned so many things through it that I use in my daily work,” he said.
Mike Cattelino, associate dean of FVTC’s manufacturing division, said apprentices spend about 10 percent of their time in the classroom and 90 percent in the field.
That relationship is helpful so the college can adjust training programs based on input from students and employers to ensure skills needed are taught.
“We just play a part in this cycle,” Cattelino said. “As apprentices spend time in the field, it helps us (shape) our education here.”
June 14, 2013
From weau.com: “Wisconsin’s first Diesel Technician intern” – With summer vacation finally upon us, some local students are looking to work rather than relax in the sun.
The Youth Apprenticeship program has run through the Department of Workforce Development to help Eau Claire Area School District students for a little more than a decade. But one local high school student at North High School is getting an opportunity that no one else in Wisconsin can say they’ve done.
“I rather be doing this then something else, better than sitting at home,” said Kohl Lamke, North High School student.
Getting dirty and working on heavy equipment is what Kohl Lamke calls summer vacation.
“Grew up liking trucks and anything that can move dirt worked for a couple farms, just wanted to work on something I like to do,” said Lamke.
Now Kohl can say he’s the only one in the state working as a Diesel Technician as a high school student.
“I was surprised when they told me that I was the first one to go through because I thought more people would be into this,” Lamke.
“He himself made the first contact out here at Nortrax,” said Kristan Motszko, ECASD School to Careers Coordinator.
Eric Hutchins the Service Manager at Nortrax in Chippewa Falls says he wishes he had this opportunity because his first semester in college he worked toward being a teacher.
“Give them an opportunity if that’s something they want to do, versus going to school spending the money, getting into the mainstream and deciding it isn’t what they wanted to do,” said Hutchins.
Kohl even gets the chance to work on equipment like a 70,000 pound articulated dump truck during his year long internship.
Kristan says each student completes around 450 hours of hands on experience over the course of a year.
“He’ll do coursework. He’ll do hands on work. He’ll travel with a field technician out to job sites. He’ll work with skilled people, anything from cleaning to services to adjustments on equipment,” said Hutchins.
It’s more than just work that students like Kohl get to learn.
“Showing up on time, doing what you’re asked, taking initiative to do something. Don’t just stand around and wait to be told what to do,” said Motszko.
“Industry wide has a shortage of people and to have students and people interested in the career is exciting,” said Hutchins.
“You just gotta try it, if you don’t like it you’ll find out right away nothing hurts to try it,” said Lamke.
June 6, 2013
From agriview.com: “Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship: Multiple possibilities” – The Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship is an opportunity for beginning farmers to “earn while they learn.” It’s the first legally recognized, fully accredited apprenticeship for farming in the U.S. This GrassWorks initiative provides a “guided pathway” to independent farm ownership, or as an alternative, a management post on a grass-based dairy.
Aspiring and/or current beginning graziers (i.e. Apprentices) are linked to veteran “Master” graziers for on-farm training/employment, while Apprentices also go through formal classroom schooling. The aim is to transfer dairy farms, equip new dairy producers to establish operations of their own, or provide the industry with highly skilled dairy-farm managers.
Joe Tomandl III, a Medford dairy grazier featured this week on Agri-View’s front page, is program director for the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship, and administered through the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (similar to development of Master plumbers, electricians or other skilled trades). A Journey Dairy Grazier is the credentialed equivalent of a technical school degree, says Tomandl.
DGA is comprised of 4,000 paid hours of on-farm training over two years (the equivalent of a full-time job). An Apprentice is getting paid by the Mentor Dairy Grazier, Tomandl explains. Most of those hours are on-farm experience under the guidance of an approved Master Dairy Grazier, who is aided in transferring knowledge and grazing prowess by following a job book for competencies provided by DGA. The Master Dairy Grazier pays the Apprentice on a pay scale established by the program.
The remaining 288 hours are paid related instruction, which include courses through the Wisconsin Technical College System and University of Wisconsin as well as participation in pasture walks, farming conferences and peer-to-peer discussion groups.
Tomandl says it’s required that Apprentices attend the UW School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers’s grazing seminar, broadcast remotely throughout the state during the winter months. They also take an on-line soils class offered by Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in Green Bay and three seminar-style classes from Northcentral Technical College at Wausau on topics like dairy health and milk quality. Apprentices are even reimbursed for time spent in class.
Participants become Dairy Grazing Apprentices, Journey Dairy Graziers, and finally Master Dairy Graziers. DGA also provides Apprentices and Masters financial planning services through Cadwallader Consulting, LLC, and is developing models of equity building, farm start-up, and farm transfer.
DGA, which will be two years old in July, has “graduated” Journey Dairy Graziers. Tomandl says three now have their own farms, and one is managing a farm. Nine Apprentices are placed on farms at present (seven in Wisconsin and two in Minnesota).
Tomandl says there’s a sizeable candidate list – everyone from high school grads to mid-lifers looking for a second career. Applicants, who must be 18, fill out a profile on the DGA website (www.dairygrazingapprenticeship.org) which only approved Master Dairy Graziers can access. Potential Master Dairy Graziers (i.e. mentor/employers) also fill out applications on this website, to be approved by an oversight committee. Tomandl says a Master must have five years experience minimum in managed grazing and be “serious about mentoring.” They undergo an interview and farm visit (by Tomandl).
DGA then “back away” and lets the Master Dairy Graziers (of which there are 23 at this time) peruse the candidates to find someone they feel would be suitable to mentor/employ on their farm.
DGA is funded by a federal grant from the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture within USDA. Tomandl notes that Wisconsin’s program may serve as a “national template,” for expansion nationwide.
Tomandl says there’s a need for Master Dairy Graziers. Why become one? In part, to shape the future of Wisconsin’s dairy industry by sharing and transferring knowledge to a next-generation grazier. Master Dairy Graziers also gain a motivated Apprentice who will be an asset to their operation during the learning process. The established farmer also receives assistance in exploring new models of farm investment and expansion, equity building and possible farm transfer. Not only is this a way to pass a grass-based dairy farm to a beginning farmer but it might also be a way for an existing operator to expand, by perhaps investing in a second farm or satellite operation, which a graduated Journey grazier manages and/or eventually buys into.
Tomandl sees DGA eventually going a step farther with investment by agribusiness and others with an interest in seeing stable-to-increasing dairy farm numbers in Wisconsin. Perhaps, he muses, “Joe Farmer” is ready to sell his farm, but doesn’t want to do a land contract with a beginning grazier – specifically, a Journey Dairy Grazier. Still, he’d really like his farm to remain as a viable, independent operation n the future. Tomandl is hopeful that eventually DGA could help secure capital that could help establish that Journey Dairy Grazier on Joe Farmer’s farm, instead of Joe Farmer selling off his herd and the land swallowed up by cash-cropping or converted to some other use.
Tomandl stresses that DGA is looking for industry support and will be rolling out an industry-sponsorship campaign in the near future.
Just because grazing is DGA’s chosen method of establishing new dairy farmers in the business doesn’t mean the model can’t work for that producer who, let’s say, has a 55-cow conventional dairy, Tomandl points out. While that operation might not cash flow for a young farmer to farm it conventionally, it could be transitioned to grazing relatively easily, with a bare-bones parlor, fencing and lanes, so that next generation might take the cow herd up to 150 and cash flow the enterprise. He foresees both outside investors of various sorts and even farmers looking to reinvest in the future of agriculture purchasing even a conventional dairy farm, putting the “best of the best” on it to manage it as a grass-based dairy.
That Journey Dairy Grazier might secure a Farm Service Agency beginning farmer loan, purchase cattle and equipment, and lease that farm for five years or so, and then start buying in. No matter the “pathway,” the ultimate goal is that a farm be transferred to a young farmer, Tomandl stresses.
This producer thinks Wisconsin agriculture needs creative solutions. With the average age of a farmer in the mid-to-late 50s, in the next two decades, he says this country will see a “huge land transition.” Wisconsin agriculture has an opportunity to “sculpt what agriculture looks like” down the road. He thinks that a conventional 55-cow dairy can easily be made-over into 120 to 150-cow grazing operation that’s financially viable for a well-trained beginning farmer to operate and expand.
Tomandl believes grazing as a tool for transitioning farms is “smart business” for the dairy industry, and it makes good environmental sense, too. He encourages industry, farmers near retirement and/or those looking to creatively expand their operation, as well as, of course, people looking at making dairy farming their career to visit DGA’s website or email email@example.com or call Tomandl at 715-560-0389.
June 4, 2013
From htrnews.com: “Lakeshore Technical College honors apprentices” – Thirty apprentices were honored recently at Lakeshore Technical College’s annual Apprenticeship Completion Banquet at Millhome Supper Club in Kiel.
The banquet recognized the completion of the paid-related classroom instruction for individuals in LTC’s apprenticeship programs, according to a news release. In those programs, workers earn while they learn the practical and theoretical aspects of highly skilled occupations. LTC’s registered apprentices are sponsored by employers and paid hourly wages to attend LTC in their specific trades.
Keynote speaker Reggie Newson, secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, recognized the apprenticeship completers and relayed his own personal experience as his mother works as a machinist and his father as a welder.
“Without apprentices, we wouldn’t have many of the modern conveniences we have today,” Newson said. “Apprentices have made things simple, convenient and have been driving innovation for years.”
Apprentices from Manitowoc County who were recognized at the banquet, including their apprenticeship area and sponsoring employer, are:
Francis Creek – Marshall Marquardt, carpenter (construction), Hamann Construction Co.;
Manitowoc – Russell Buretta, tool and die maker, LDI Industries; Eric Chase, machinist, KNM; Jason Hastreiter, machinist, HG Weber & Co.; Bruce Heimerman, maintenance mechanic, Federal Mogul Corp.; Matthew Heinzen, tool and die maker, Manitowoc Tool & Manufacturing; Brian Hetue, maintenance mechanic, PolyOne Corp.; Adam Korte, industrial electrician, Parker Hannifin Corp.; Daniel Luckow, machinist, Stecker Machine Co.; Jarek Ordiway, machinist, LDI Industries; Hayden Schmidt, machinist, Jagemann Stamping Co.; Paul Senn, maintenance mechanic, LDI Industries; Ryan Tollefson, sheet metal worker, Aldag Honold Mechanical; and
Whitelaw – Dennis Bratz, maintenance mechanic, Nemak.
May 9, 2013
From lacrossetribune.com: “State officials pitch apprenticeship program” – What do you want to be when you grow up? It’s a question asked of every child, and the answers aren’t encouraging for manufacturers.
“Wisconsin is facing a skilled workers gap,” said Jonathan Barry, deputy secretary of the state Department of Workforce Development. “We constantly run into business owners that are having trouble filling skilled positions.”
Barry visited Trane’s Engineering Technology Center in La Crosse on Wednesday to promote the state’s apprenticeship program, a state-school-employer partnership that aims to increase the pool of skilled workers.
“Employers want to hire people who have experience,” Western Technical College President Lee Rasch said, which leaves applicants wondering, “If you don’t have experience, how do you get experience?”
The apprenticeship program allows employers to target promising candidates and offer their own on-the-job training combined with classroom study. Workers get trained while earning wages; the average apprentice made $161,000 during their tenure, which lasts between two and six years.
Here’s how the program works:
The DWD lays out core training and job experience standards for several industries and then customizes the process for each employer. Employees spend about 80 percent of their time on the job and 20 percent in theoretical classroom training, usually provided by the Wisconsin Technical College System.
But sometimes there’s just not interest.
“There’s a mantra that manufacturing is dumb, dirty,” Barry said. “It’s simply not the case. It’s not just bending metal all the time.”
Begun in 1911, the program is nothing new in Wisconsin, but it’s taking on new urgency as more companies lament a skilled worker shortage.
Enrollment dipped by about a third, down to about 10,000, in the past decade, a slide that mirrored general economic trends.
A Georgetown University study found that the skills gap will leave almost a million jobs vacant, most of which already exist and would need refilling after retirements.
A recent La Crosse School District survey cited by Rasch found that only 2 percent of students planned to pursue manufacturing careers.
“Everyone has a dream of going to college,” the district’s Career and Technical Education Coordinator Annette O’Hern said. “And when you have a dream of going to college you don’t think about manufacturing.”
Much of Wednesday’s event focused on finding ways to introduce manufacturing to students in middle school and high school.
“I really believe that’s where it’s at,” Trane’s La Crosse plant manager Brad Tacheny said.
Barry emphasized that the program isn’t trying to squelch four-year colleges but offer a realistic, necessary alternative to the “college paradigm.”
“We need to expose young people to the full range of their choices as early as possible,” he said.
The La Crosse School District is hoping to ramp up that exposure. They plan to introduce an Engineering Academy — also covering manufacturing and architecture — next year. The academy will partner with Trane to provide real-life context and expose kids to manufacturing plants.
The district already offers classes in welding and manufacturing, but they’re not always popular.
“We can’t always get a lot of students interested,” O’Hern said. “We’d like that number to be bigger.”
Parents worry about job security and have encouraged children to pursue white-collar studies and a traditional four-year education.
Karen Morgan, director of the Bureau of Apprentice Standards, called on businesses to take initiative.
“We don’t have enough employers that are actually using the apprenticeship programs to train,” she said.
Barry said schools and state programs shouldn’t be the only ones reaching out to students.
“We in the business community need to be doing some of that,” he said.
The apprenticeship program isn’t just for manufacturing. It offers three trade sectors — construction, industrial/manufacturing, and service, which cover careers from plumbing to cosmetology.
The continuing education helps reinforce that such careers have advancement options, Morgan said.
“It’s only the beginning of their career,” she said. “It’s not a dead end.”
April 11, 2013
From waow.com: “Secretary of Workforce Development calls for more state businesses to partner with schools” – WAUSAU - Department of Workforce Development Secretary Reggie Newson traveled to Wausau’s North Central Technical College. Newson called on more state businesses to get involved in apprenticeship programs to bridge a skills gap and meet employers needs.
Wisconsin was the first state in the nation to have an apprenticeship program. It dates back to 1911. As the business climate has changed, Newson says business and schools must partner to meet changing workforce needs.
He says technical schools provide the training programs business leaders need and employers can provide high paying jobs that can move workers into the middle class.
February 5, 2013
From biztimes.com: “Apprentices begin new manufacturing program” – Students at Milwaukee Area Technical College in Oak Creek begin the first apprenticeships today in the new Industrial Manufacturing Technician program.
There are seven students enrolled in the course from a range of area manufacturing companies. They will receive intensive instruction in the apprenticeship, which was added to help train workers for jobs with area manufacturers who need industrial manufacturing technicians.
It was developed by the DWD’s Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards and MATC, and is partially funded by a federal Sectors Alliance for the Green Economy grant.
February 4, 2013
From wiscnews.com: “PHS gets it in gear: Automotive training program one of 14 in state honored” – The automotive training program at Portage High School has a reason to honk its horn. It is one of 14 high school programs in the state to earn recognition from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence and the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation.
“I was a little nervous because it’s a certification I put a lot of time into, getting organized, knowing what they were looking for,” said Troy Kumm, automotive technology instructor at PHS.
In November, the program underwent rigorous evaluation from a NATEF representative who oversaw every aspect of the class from curriculum to equipment. Three ASE master-certified technicians from Hill Automotive, Trecek Automotive and Blystone Towing assisted in the evaluation.
“They were here for a whole day watching me teach, interact with students, checked over my curriculum, equipment and facilities as well,” Kumm said.
There are about 100 students in the program, he said, and the national accreditation needs to be renewed every five years.
Upon completion of the evaluation, NATEF recommended that Portage High School be accredited by ASE. It is a national nonprofit organization that tests and certifies repair technicians, in addition to accrediting automotive training programs, according to the organization.
In December, Kumm received word and a plaque that placed PHS in line with the high industry standards. The program also received a Portage School Board commendation for its accreditation in brakes, electrical/electronic systems, engine performance, suspension and steering.
Some of the students are working toward a career in the field and several of them apprentice and work in area automotive businesses, Kumm said.
Through an articulation agreement with Madison Area Technical College, students can be exempt from taking certain courses if they’ve met certain graduating criteria from the program. Further, PHS instructors are seeking dual credit opportunities through Madison College, which would get students ahead of the curriculum and save some money on classes.
Overall, the national accreditation gives students better standing when they enter the work force or Madison College, Kumm said. Five to 10 graduates of the PHS program go to the college for an automotive speciality, he said.
Because of the certification met by the program, Kumm said, he’s able to get donated up-to-date cars for students to work on.
For more information about the program or to donate equipment, contact Kumm at 742-8545.
January 24, 2013
From bizjournals.com: “Second Chance Partners launch advanced manufacturing pilot program” – Second Chance Partners for Education on Tuesday launched a new advanced manufacturing certificate pilot program in partnership with the Kettle Moraine School District, Waukesha County Technical College, General Electric Co.’s Waukesha gas engines business and Generac Power Systems Inc.
The program is designed to provide high school students who have an interest in technical careers with the ability to earn hands-on work experience and credits at post-secondary schools.
“This pilot exposes students to career pathways inherent in manufacturing, including interests such as welding, fabrication and manufacturing processes to advanced degree fields such as mechanical and electrical engineering,” said Pat Deklotz, Kettle Moraine School District superintendent.
The pilot program will initially serve seven juniors and five seniors from the Kettle Moraine School District. It will be housed at Generac’s facility in Eagle and GE’s Waukesha gas engines facility.
Classroom work will focus on communications, math, applied sciences, social sciences and technical coursework.
Students will also participate in the Youth Apprenticeship Program, where they work four hours a day for the partner companies. They will earn an hourly wage and have the opportunity for raises that can be banked for use as a future college scholarship.
At the end of the program, students will have a portfolio of applied learning experiences and transcripted credits issued by Waukesha County Technical College that count toward an associate’s degree and are stackable and transferable to other Wisconsin technical colleges.
Second Chance Partners for Education, founded in 2000, has primarily focused on serving academically disengaged students with mechanical aptitude and an interest in manufacturing. This pilot program is open to any student with an interest in a technical career related to manufacturing, said Christopher Kent, marketing communications coordinator.
Other differences with the pilot include a more traditional semester model, rather than the 21 consecutive months in current Second Chance programs, Kent said.
Kent said the pilot is an extension of what the organization currently does.
“This pilot allows us to explore ways that we can leverage our model to help more students and be a greater asset for the industry and regions we serve,” said Second Chance Partners for Education president Stephanie Borowski.
December 10, 2012
From htrnews.com: “Getting a jump on college” – MISHICOT — When Gabriella Cisneros, a junior at Mishicot High School, found out she could earn college credit in the pre-calculus class she already was taking at the high school, she decided to pay the reduced tuition and take advantage of that opportunity.
“It’s a lot cheaper than if I waited until college,” said Cisneros, who is earning three college credits for $300.
“You’re almost killing two birds with one stone ’cause you get college and high school credit for it,” said Quenten Haack, also a junior in the pre-calculus class.
They are among numerous students earning college credits as part of a dual enrollment program in place at Mishicot High School.
Dual enrollment is different than other programs that allow students to earn college credit in high school, such as Youth Options and Youth Apprenticeship. With Youth Options, students apply to the school board to have the district pay for a college class that is not available at the high school, and Youth Apprenticeship involves coursework at a technical college and work experience at a participating business.
The dual enrollment program offers the opportunity to earn college credit by taking high school classes – at the high school, taught by high school teachers. It differs from the traditional Advanced Placement program in that students taking AP high school classes have to achieve a designated score on the AP exam in that subject in order to receive college credit. The rest of the work they do in the class doesn’t count for college purposes, and in fact, students can take the exam without even taking the class.
While Mishicot High School has offered a couple of dual enrollment courses through Silver Lake College for many years, the program has expanded dramatically in recent years. The number of dual enrollment classes available at Mishicot High School has increased from four classes that could be taken for a total of 12 college credits in 2010-11 to 10 classes for 33 credits this year, according to Marci Waldron-Kuhn, academic adviser and psychology teacher. Another three credits will be added for 2013-14.
Students who enroll in the classes can take them just for high school credit but most opt to pay tuition and earn college credit as well. They pay around $400 or less for each three-credit course, as opposed to about $1,000 if they took it at college, she said.
Mishicot has agreements with four four-year colleges. The school is offering Advanced Chemistry and Honors English through an agreement with Silver Lake College; business management and AP Psychology through UW-Green Bay; pre-calculus and AP Calculus through Lakeland College; and Spanish and sociology through UW-Oshkosh. The credits transfer to other colleges, but whether they transfer and how they transfer – in that subject or just as an elective – varies among the institutions so students are advised to check with the school they’re planning to attend.
Mishicot High School also has arrangements with Lakeshore Technical College whereby students can earn LTC credits without paying tuition. Two classes – marketing and medical terminology – are available at MHS as transcripted courses. Students who earn at least a C in the class receive LTC credits, and the course and grade are recorded on a transcript at LTC. The credits can be transferred to other technical colleges and four-year universities that choose to accept them.
Advanced Standing courses allow students who earn at least a B to avoid taking the same class at LTC, but the classes aren’t recorded on an official LTC transcript. Other technical colleges may accept the classes, but four-year colleges do not. Mishicot offers 11 Advanced Standing classes through LTC.
Glimpse of college
Senior Shelby DeRoche is paying $700 to earn six credits through Silver Lake College for Honors English. She’s planning to attend Madison Area Technical College so she’s not saving as much as students going to a four-year school, but “it’s easier just to get it done right away,” she said.
Her classmate, senior Dalton Derenne, said he would have to pay $1,800 to get the same six credits at UW-Whitewater. And there’s a benefit beyond the cost savings, according to Derenne.
“They try and prepare you the best they can for college,” he said, referring to the high school, “and offering these college courses really gives you a perspective of what it’s going to be like.”
“It gives the kids a glance at the curriculum that they will see in college so it prepares them for that,” said Honors English teacher Jessica Brossard.
The amount of content differs slightly from the equivalent class at Silver Lake College because of time constraints with Mishicot’s block schedule, but “the skills are essentially the same,” she said. “The curriculum keeps changing to keep up with Silver Lake.”
The students “definitely take it more seriously” because they know they need to get at least a C in order to earn college credit, Brossard said. “And they know that it’s the same work that’s being done in college so they know it’s going to be much more rigorous, so they go into it with that mindset and that prepares them then to be successful.”
And there’s another advantage: “I’m in communication with the colleges so I know what my students need,” Brossard said.
Each post-secondary institution has its own criteria for approving teachers to instruct dual enrollment classes, according to Waldron-Kuhn. For instance, UW-Green Bay requires all teachers to have a master’s degree in the subject they’re teaching or in a related field.
Preparing for college
About half of the dual enrollment classes are taught in a blended format, meaning they include an online component along with traditional instruction, Waldron-Kuhn said. When students get to college, they’re going to have online assignments, such as class discussions on message boards.
“We want to expose our kids to that before they get to the university level,” she said.
Expanding the opportunities for earning college credit while in high school is one piece of the puzzle when it comes to Mishicot’s efforts to prepare students for life beyond high school, according to Waldron-Kuhn. Other initiatives in recent years are group advisement sessions, requiring students to complete a career portfolio to be used when applying for college or jobs, and an increase in credits needed for graduation.
December 3, 2012
From wausaudailyherald.com: “Student learns multiple job skills in YA program” – More than 60 Merrill High School juniors and seniors are currently working in the community as youth apprentices in a variety of program areas, including agriculture, finance, health, hospitality, lodging and tourism, information technology, manufacturing, and transportation, distribution and logistics.
One of those students, Allison Sabatke, agreed to share her thoughts about her YA experience for this article. Ali, a senior at Merrill High School, is the daughter of Mark and Becky Sabatke. She has been working at Allied Health Silverman Chiropractic in Merrill since June 2011.
“Joining the youth apprenticeship program was one of the best decisions I made in high school. I actually got the job my junior year before I learned about the program, but going through the apprenticeship program I get credits and an awesome work experience. I work at Allied Health Silverman Chiropractic here in Merrill. Besides the fact that I do get out of school early, get paid for my time at work, and get credits at school, I’ve learned so much at the office.
“First of all, I used to be a very shy person, and working at the chiropractor sort of brought me out of my shell because I had to answer the phones, and I had to interact with the patients who came into the office. I’ve learned how to manage my time as well because it’s very important to keep Dr. Silverman on his schedule and to keep the patients happy, too. Multi-tasking is also another big thing at work. There’s always something to be doing, whether it’s filing, scheduling, preparing for the next day, answering phones, or even cleaning: It all has to be done. My multi-tasking skills have, without doubt, improved since I’ve been working at Silverman’s.
“My parents love the fact that I joined the youth apprenticeship program. They think it’s a great opportunity and that the program teaches great responsibility to the students who are in it. My mom thinks that the program is as awesome as do I. I would definitely recommend this program to other students. It’s more than just having a job; it teaches and helps improve students’ everyday skills such as priorities and time management.
“After graduation, which is creeping up on me, I want to go to Northcentral Technical College in the radiography associates degree program offered there. There are just so many opportunities in this field that would be really cool to learn about. X-rays can show so much; I even get to see them at work every now and again.”
If you are interested in learning more about the Youth Apprenticeship program, contact Marla Konkol at Merrill High School at 715-536-4594, ext. 18037, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
November 15, 2012
From biztimes.com: “Teachable fit: Generation Y” — By Aleta Norris of Impact Consulting Group – Jeff Karlson, a supervisor at Allis-Roller in Franklin, had much to share about his two-and-a-half-year timeframe with the company when we spoke recently. A member of Generation Y, Jeff is an exciting representation of what we see in so many organizations – members of the emerging workforce who are on fire for what they do.
As I talked with Jeff about his role – overseeing a team of employees in a newly-added location for the company – he was clearly excited about what he is doing. Contributing to his excitement? He has been selected as the candidate from his organization to begin an 18-month manufacturing apprenticeship program at MATC in January.
As a part of this program, Jeff will attend a weekly one-day class at MATC (for one year) and then receive significant guidance and mentorship back at his work environment. The program, designed through a collaborative effort involving educators and industry leaders (and provided through a partnership of the state Department of Workforce Development and MATC), is designed to last 18 months and provides a framework for participating companies to support the process.
“We need more interest from companies in our business community to support programs like this one,” said Dave Dull, president of Allis-Roller. Both Dave and Julie Zaja, manufacturing manager at Allis-Roller, spoke enthusiastically about their commitment to doing their part to help close the skills gap. Along with their support of MATCs new Manufacturing Apprenticeship Program, they have been involved in and exploring additional avenues to recruit young machinists and welders, then investing in their development and success.
“We are fully aware that young workers today are looking for an advancement pathway,” said Julie Zaja. “They are interested in variety and change. We all need workers, and we’ve decided we’re better off looking for the type of person we want … then grooming them and supporting them. We need an education component right in the workplace.”
Julie went on to share that one of the things that has supported Jeff’s success, as well as the success of other employees at Allis-Roller, is the commitment of their key supervisors.
“Jeff’s supervisor gets along really well with people and wants to help them,” she said.
This is critical. I’ve said this before – employees join companies and leave bosses. Part of Jeff’s success is the availability of his leadership.
“One of my biggest challenges coming into the company was that I knew nothing about steel or welding,” Karlson said. “I just kept going to the proper people who could answer my questions. My supervisors spent a lot of time with me to train me.”
Before I continue, let me reiterate, as I have before, that while I am a fierce advocate of Generation Y, I am not advocating that organizations have the sole responsibility of catering to the preferences of the Gen Y workforce, the answer will lie in the middle.
So, what IS the compromise? The leaders of Allis-Roller have sent a clear message to Jeff Karlson: “You make a difference.” That is, without question, contributing to his passion for what he does and his productivity.
According to Julie, however, he brought a bunch to the table.
“Jeff is quality minded, conscientious, gives suggestions, is leadership minded and is responding well to the added responsibility we’ve given him,” she said.
Organizations today, more and more, are beginning to build their models and approaches around their need to attract and, more importantly, retain talent. As Julie mentioned, Allis-Roller has tried to be in tune with what young people are looking for. Along these same lines, I had an opportunity to talk with Kathleen Hohl, director of communications and events at Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC).
Reinforcing the same type of interest in understanding the emerging workforce, Kathleen said, “As we try to recruit emerging workers to our manufacturing apprenticeship program, we know there has to be some kind of cool factor. We’re focused on how we can make manufacturing look cool, because young people, in particular, are swept up by what’s new and viral. We’re also focusing on renewable and sustainable, because we see young people focusing on Earth-friendly habits. We know we have to tap into where they are if we want to capture their attention.”
Yes, to a large degree today, the individual rules. It’s great to see organizations stepping back to explore their part in the equation. It inspires the Jeff Karlsons of the world to step forward and do theirs.
October 24, 2012
From wxow.com: “Western to receive grant money for plumbing program” – Western Technical College is receiving $11,800 for its plumbing training program.
The money comes from a Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development grant.
The program provides funds to apprenticeship training for “green” occupations and building alternative energy trade skills.
Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Secretary Reggie Newson announced more than $150,000 in grants to fund programs for five technical colleges and three labor organizations.
“The funding is the latest example of our continuing efforts to align workforce training opportunities and bring about good jobs for Wisconsin residents,” said Secretary Newson. “Under Governor Scott Walker, DWD is developing a number of mechanisms that will enable private-sector employers to access the training resources that they need to hire skilled and trained workers.”
The grants were awarded as a part of a $6 million Sector Alliance for the Green Economy grant DWD previously received from the U.S. Department of Labor to support training programs in “green” energy occupations. With the funding, the technical colleges and on-the-job training providers can offer courses that supplement traditional apprenticeship instruction, providing more opportunities for training in cutting-edge technologies.
September 4, 2012
From matc.edu: “MATC and Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Introduce Industrial Manufacturing Technician Apprenticeship” – OAK CREEK – Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) and the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) introduced a new entry-level Industrial Manufacturing Technician (IMT) Apprenticeship to help address the skills gap in Wisconsin’s vital manufacturing sector today.
“Manufacturing is leading Wisconsin’s economic recovery, adding more than 12,000 jobs in the past year,” said Lisa Boyd, Administrator of the DWD Division of Employment and Training. “The new apprenticeship training program will help this sector expand further by providing manufacturers the skilled workers they need. Nowhere is the need more critical than in the Milwaukee area, long considered the machine shop of the world. IMT Apprenticeship training offers a new pathway to family-supporting jobs with Milwaukee area manufacturers.”
Administrator Boyd said the program provides entry-level workers an overview of manufacturing, from operating equipment to participating in continuous improvement and understanding industry trends. As entry-level workers, the IMT apprentices begin a career pathway to other industrial skilled trades, such as Machinist and Industrial Electrician. The average annual wage in manufacturing is more than $51,000 compared to approximately $40,600 for all occupations.
The IMT Apprenticeship is the first developed in partnership with MATC and the fifth under the federal Sector Alliance for the Green Economy (SAGE) grant. WRTP/BIG STEP also was involved in developing the comprehensive apprenticeship program to meet the production worker needs of all manufacturers, but metal and plastic manufacturers and food processors in particular. It follows a hybrid model in which apprentices are assessed on-the-job using a combination of time and competencies. The program is structured for 18 months, or 3,000 hours, including 2,736 hours on-the-job learning and 264 hours of related instruction.
“Milwaukee Area Technical College is looking forward to offering the new Industrial Manufacturing Technician Apprenticeship,” said Nick Triscari, Apprenticeship Coordinator for MATC. “This eighteen month apprenticeship provides entry level manufacturing skills using nationally recognized credentials in the related classroom instruction. We believe this training will ease the skills gap reported by many employers in the industrial and manufacturing sectors.”
The IMT program is the fifth of six new apprenticeship programs to be developed through the $6 million SAGE project grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. SAGE’s purpose is to employ short and long-term strategies critical to the greening of Wisconsin’s workforce by forming partnerships with businesses, educators and other stakeholders to identify and address labor force needs specific to “green” or clean energy jobs in construction, manufacturing and utility industries.