December 2, 2013
From marshfieldnewsherald.com: “Capitalizing on collaboration through grants” – By Sue Budjac, president Mid-State Technical College - Grant applications are often highly competitive, so a grant award is acknowledgment of the high value and impact of Mid-State Technical College, or MSTC, programs and services.
Grants allow us to capitalize on existing assets, people and sources to improve the quality of an MSTC education. They are also a tribute to the innovative thinking and determined efforts of our employees.
This past year, our college was awarded a total of $1,005,047 in grants, an increase from the $858,788 received during the previous fiscal year and $777,596 three years ago.
Collaboration is an important aspect of the grant process and MSTC’s culture. For example, in partnership with Incourage Community Foundation and our K-12 partners, MSTC recently received one of only 10 national grants from Constellation, a national energy company. This $45,000 award enables MSTC Renewable Energy program faculty to help nearly 200 students from four local high schools to measure the energy efficiency of their school facilities and design a photovoltaic system to be used as a demonstration unit in future classes.
We also regularly collaborate with other Wisconsin technical colleges. The U.S. Department of Labor recently awarded a $23.1 million grant to Wisconsin’s 16 technical colleges to address emerging needs in the Information Technology sector, from which MSTC received nearly $900,000 to create an Automation Specialist Advanced Technical Certificate. A similar grant last year provided MSTC with close to $600,000 for a Stainless Steel Welding program at Marshfield Campus.
These cooperative efforts allowed us to leverage $1.5 million to proactively respond to emerging workforce needs.
Grants often enrich the way we maximize our college and community strengths and resources. For instance, the Constellation grant utilizes existing high school facilities as laboratories for hands-on training. As a result, students learn in a real-world environment, fostering a positive learning experience and familiarizing them with the benefits and rigor of higher education.
Each grant is unique in its composition and benefits. Nonetheless, there are many common themes. Our strategy is to acquire grants that are meaningful for the work we do in the region. Grants enable us to stretch our resources and reduce pressure on our operational budget while enhancing the quality of an MSTC education, ultimately reinforcing student success.
I want to acknowledge the continuing efforts of MSTC employees and our local partners who bring grants to the college and central Wisconsin. These grants are an affirmation of our ability to creatively engage local school districts, community organizations and businesses in meaningful partnerships. They also complement our unwavering effort to innovate while making the most of our strengths and opportunities. And, when coupled with our operational resources, they enhance the delivery of in-demand learning experiences and valued student services, increasing the positive impact we have on students.
November 26, 2013
From marshfieldnewsherald.com: “Auburndale man receives dislocated worker award” – North Central Wisconsin Workforce Development Board selected and announced the 2013 recipients of its first Erhard Huettl Awards of Excellence. Nominees were solicited throughout the Workforce Development Board’s nine-county region, for the following three categories: Workforce Investment Act Youth Program Participant of the Year, Adult Program Participant of the Year and Dislocated Worker Participant of the Year.
WIA Dislocated Worker Program Participant of the Year recipient is James Stanchik of Auburndale. Stanchik is a dislocated worker who lost his job of 22 years at NewPage’s paper mill in Whiting. The unexpected closure and loss of a good-paying job was a huge shock to Stanchik and his wife.
He quickly realized that in order to obtain another good-paying job he would need long-term occupational training in a high-demand career field. He began working with NCWWDB’s WIA Dislocated Worker Program shortly after his layoff. He graduated with distinction, from the Machine Tool Technician Technical Diploma program at Mid-State Technical College in May and started his new, full-time job as a lathe operator at Point Precision in Plover a mere four days after graduating from the program.
WIA Youth Program Participant of the Year recipient is Jacob Neathery of Rhinelander. WIA Adult Program Participant of the Year recipient is Traci Dumpprope of Rhinelander.
November 21, 2013
From campustechnology.com: “Constellation awards $310,000 in Energy Education grants” – Energy company Constellation has selected 10 recipients for its 2013 E2 Energy to Educate grant program. Winning institutions will win a share of $310,000 to fund projects that will affect 21,000 students in grades 6 through college.
Winners and their projects include:
- The Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, where 180 students will help make a classroom that uses only solar energy;
- One-hundred-twenty Coppin State University students will study new energy technology, such as quantum dot solar cells and nanotechnology;
- More than 1,100 high school and college students will help create “a 200 square-foot energy learning station” and “an energy-efficient architectural design for a new 2500 square-foot Evergreen Energy Education (E3) EHC classroom facility that will provide a functioning example of green energy solutions” at the Evergreen Heritage Foundation, according to information released by Constellation;
- Fairleigh Dickinson University will host a conference on global sustainability and renewable energy for 550 students from various New Jersey high schools;
- Green Street Academy and Living Classrooms Crossroads School will expand their Green Street Racers after school program and competition;
- The “Baltimore-Washington Electric Vehicle Initiative (BEVI) will engage a youth service corps of high school and college students focused on electric vehicle education,” according to information released by Constellation;
- Faculty from Mid-State Technical College will provide curriculum and instruction to help students from four high schools measure the energy efficiency of their school facilities and design a photovoltaic system. The system will then be used as a demonstration unit for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) courses;
- The Rochester Museum will help students learn about energy consumption and production with hands on design and build challenges in a new Inventor Center exhibit;
- Solar One has developed the Green Design Lab, “a hands-on sustainability curriculum aimed at greening urban schools,” according to information released by Constellation; and
- The University of Maryland Baltimore County will host a competition that asks 200 students to design new demand response technology.
“Constellation is proud to support student creativity and innovation through our Energy to Educate program,” said Joseph Nigro, CEO of Constellation, in a prepared statement. “We congratulate this year’s grant recipients for their efforts in developing hands-on projects that explore energy issues.”
More information on the winning projects is available at constellation.com.
November 19, 2013
From wisconsinrapidstribune.com: “MSTC Foundation receives $10,000 donation” — Districts Mutual Insurance, or DMI, a Wisconsin Technical College System, or WTCS, insurance carrier and risk management company, has made a donation of $10,000 to the Mid-State Technical College Foundation.
Mid-State Technical College Vice President of Finance Nelson Dahl, on behalf of DMI executives, presented an oversized check to MSTC Foundation Board President Greg Krings during the Board’s regularly scheduled meeting recently. The funds are unrestricted, meaning the foundation has the ability to designate them to the highest areas of student need.
Each Wisconsin technical college will receive a check in the same amount for a total contribution of $160,000, the company announced at its October quarterly meeting.
“This donation commemorates our 10th year of operations and also serves as a tangible benefit of being a member of DMI — a company whose primary focus is on the needs of its members,” said DMI Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Steven Stoeger-Moore.
MSTC, one of 16 colleges in the WTCS, offers more than 100 associate degrees, technical diplomas and certificates. Student-focused and community-based, MSTC serves a resident population of approximately 165,000 in central Wisconsin with campuses in Marshfield, Stevens Point and Wisconsin Rapids, and a learning center in Adams. Nearly nine in 10 MSTC graduates are employed within six months of graduation.
DMI was established in 2004 to provide a range of commercial insurance coverages to meet the unique needs of the 16 Wisconsin technical college districts. DMI provides a menu of insurance and risk management services and solutions to address the multiple exposures created by the delivery of vocational, technical and adult education.
November 4, 2013
From stevenspointjournal.com: “MSTC students teach public about computers” – While Lori Skerven has a Facebook page, she admits she still has some learning to do when it comes to social media.
On Friday, Skerven, 62, attended the Mid-State Tech Expo, an annual free event held at the Lincoln Center, hoping to learn more about Facebook and computers in general. Information technology students from the college’s Stevens Point campus taught visitors a variety of things, from how to create a password that can help protect against identity theft to how to transfer pictures from a camera to a computer.
Skerven, who said she primarily uses Facebook to see what friends and family members are doing, learned Friday how to comment on Facebook posts by other people.
“I didn’t know it had switched from a button to hitting the return key for posting something,” said Skerven of Mosinee. “My mom is in her 80s and she seems to know more than I do, so I figured I should start learning a little more about it.”
Kathryn Doar, an IT instructor on the MSTC Stevens Point Campus, said, the event typically attracts about 100 people each year. About 28 students from the IT Customer Support Class, which is required for the college’s IT-network specialist and IT-software developer two-year degrees, were on hand to work with expo visitors.
“The students enjoy being a part of this experience because they have the opportunity to come out and work with people, which is going to be a part of their careers going forward,” Doar said.
Rebecca Brubaker, a second-year IT-network specialist student at MSTC, said most people who attend the expo are looking for help on how to get started or how to get past a problem.
“A lot of people who came to talk to me wanted to know how to change their profile picture or post something (on Facebook),” said Brubaker, 28, of Marshfield. “It’s a good experience, and I think it’s good we do it in our second year because you feel a lot more comfortable about what you’re learning, and also being able to explain it to someone else.”
October 17, 2013
From marshfieldnewsherald.com: “MSTC celebrating centennial Tuesday” – MARSHFIELD – Mid-State Technical College is celebrating its centennial from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Marshfield Campus, 2600 W. Fifth St.
MSTC is a leading provider of higher education and training in central Wisconsin. Smaller beginnings 100 years ago have evolved into a network of educational opportunities throughout what is now known as the Mid-State Technical College District, according to a MSTC press release.
Today, the college provides more than 100 associate degrees, technical diplomas, and certificates, including 10 Wisconsin Technical College System programs you will only find at MSTC, according to the release.
In celebration of the centennial, people throughout the college district are invited to attend centennial celebrations at each of MSTC’s four locations.
The MSTC Foundation kicked off the year’s celebration Sept. 14 by hosting a Centennial Bike Ride & Walk. This non-competitive event which included 100K, 50K, and 10K bike routes and a 10K walk option drew 150 bikers, walkers, and volunteers. Over $8,000 was raised with all event proceeds going to student scholarships. About 80 percent of all MSTC students receive some kind of financial assistance.
MSTC, one of 16 colleges in the Wisconsin Technical College System, serves a resident population of approximately 165,000 in central Wisconsin with campuses in Marshfield, Stevens Point and Wisconsin Rapids, and a learning center in Adams.
For more information about these centennial events or to learn more about MSTC’s history, visit www.mstc.edu.
October 8, 2013
From marshfieldnews.com: “MSTC centennial events scheduled central Wisconsin campuses” - WISCONSIN RAPIDS — Mid-State Technical College is celebrating its centennial as a leading provider of higher education and training in central Wisconsin.
Smaller beginnings 100 years ago have evolved into a network of educational opportunities throughout what is now known as the Mid-State Technical College District. Today, the college provides more than 100 associate degrees, technical diplomas, and certificates, including 10 Wisconsin Technical College System programs you will only find at MSTC.
In celebration of the centennial, people throughout the college district are invited to attend centennial celebrations at each of MSTC’s four locations.
The first of the four centennial celebrations will be held from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday at the Wisconsin Rapids Campus, 500 32nd St. N., Grand Rapids. A re-dedication ceremony will take place at 4 p.m. in rooms L133/L134, followed immediately by a commemorative outdoor photo.
Visitors can experience hands-on demonstrations, visit high-tech labs and classrooms, explore career programs and certificates, discover new learning technologies, and meet faculty, staff, students, and college leaders, according to Centennial organizers. Approximately 600 to 650 high school students also are expected to be on campus that same morning for centennial themed events.
A similar celebrations also is scheduled from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 22 at Marshfield Campus, 2600 W. Fifth St., Marshfield.
Each celebration event is open to the community and honors MSTC’s past while celebrating its future. Attendees can enjoy a traveling historical display and a local flavor of snacks and refreshments from businesses throughout the college district. The Stevens Point Campus Centennial Celebration will be held on the new Stevens Point Campus and coincide with the grand opening and ribbon cutting.
The MSTC Foundation kicked off the year’s celebration by hosting a Centennial Bike Ride & Walk on Sept. 14. This non-competitive event which included 100K, 50K, and 10K bike routes and a 10K walk option drew 150 bikers, walkers and volunteers. More than $8,000 was raised with all event proceeds going to student scholarships. About 80 percent of all MSTC students receive some kind of financial assistance.
MSTC, one of 16 colleges in the Wisconsin Technical College System, serves a resident population of approximately 165,000 in central Wisconsin with campuses in Marshfield, Stevens Point and Wisconsin Rapids, and a learning center in Adams. MSTC students often save money and graduate with less debt than their four-year institution counterparts—a big reason why 95 percent of MSTC graduates say they are satisfied with their MSTC education. Instructors are industry experts who are passionate about sharing their skills and insights. Smaller classes and flexible scheduling foster student success. Students gain the real-world skills and experience employers seek, contributing to the fact that nearly 9 out of ten MSTC graduates are employed within six months of graduation.
Go to www.mstc.edu for more information about these centennial events or to learn more about MSTC’s history.
October 1, 2013
From wisconsinrapidstribune.com: “Column: MSTC – 100 years in the making” – By Sue Budjac, president MSTC - Mid-State Technical College is celebrating 100 years as a leading provider of higher education in central Wisconsin.
Last month, I spoke of my forthcoming participation in the Sept. 14 MSTC Centennial Bike Ride & Walk. I completed the 100K and learned a lot from other riders. Nearly 150 riders, walkers and volunteers were on hand for a fun and beautiful day.
This event was a tremendous success and is an example of MSTC and the community coming together to create a remarkable result. The event raised more than $8,000, with all proceeds going to student scholarships, reducing barriers for our students. Thank you to all of the participants, volunteers, individuals who pledged and numerous sponsors of the event.
A glimpse into the history books provides a vivid image of what life was like 100 years ago. For example, the big news in 1913 was the grand opening of New York City’s Grand Central Station. Henry Ford unveiled the first assembly line. Thomas Edison introduced an updated Kinetophone, or “talking pictures.” And in a true feat of innovation, machines that make their own ice, called “refrigerators,” became available in Europe. Only one year earlier, the world mourned the loss of the Titanic.
It is incredible that MSTC first opened its doors in similar times. In 1919, adult enrollment was just 200; now, nearly 9,000 people attend MSTC every year. The Wisconsin Valley Leader newspaper reported in 1916 that 52 people graduated from what was then called the Wood County Training School; today, 1,000 students graduate from MSTC each year.
Our academic programs have evolved through the years to adapt to changing industry and workforce needs. In 1947, MSTC organized fur farming and commercial cranberry growing programs. The first two-year program, marketing, was added 15 years later. Today, MSTC offers more than 100 career programs and certificates, with 10 innovative career programs found nowhere else in the Wisconsin Technical College System.
MSTC services and programs are a reflection of the communities we serve. I invite you to visit one of our college locations and experience present-day MSTC. Each location is hosting a centennial celebration to honor our past and celebrate our future. During these celebrations you will experience hands-on demonstrations, visit high-tech labs and classrooms, explore career programs and certificates, discover new learning technologies, and meet faculty, staff, students and college leaders. All events are free and open to anyone who would like to attend.
• Wisconsin Rapids Campus Centennial Celebration, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 10.
• Marshfield Campus Centennial Celebration, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 22.
• Adams County Center Centennial Celebration, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 5.
• Stevens Point Campus Centennial Celebration (and grand opening at our new downtown location), 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. June 4.
Thank you to individuals and organizations throughout central Wisconsin for your many contributions to, and ongoing support of, MSTC’s 100 years of success. Visit www.mstc.edu to learn more about MSTC centennial celebrations, as well as our many career programs and student services.
September 27, 2013
From waow.com: “Job fair in Wisconsin Rapids full of employers” – Hundreds of job seekers headed to Mid State Technical College in Wisconsin Rapids.
The school held its annual job fair Thursday and coordinators say the turnout was better than expected.
According to the latest jobs report, businesses across the country continued to hire new workers in August.
Employers from all over Wisconsin attended the job fair.
From Madison to Green Bay, employers were looking for workers.
The job seekers included students and people of all ages.
57 employers set up booths in the gymnasium on Mid State Tech’s campus.
Organizers tell Newsline 9 that it’s the most booths they’ve had for the fall fair in several years.
“This past spring we had 58, this time we have 57, which is very encouraging and I’ve done this for a number of years and in the fall it’s usually pretty small, but this is our best fall in over seven years,” said Stephany Hartman, Career Services employee with Mid State Technical College.
Mid State Technical College holds two job fairs per year.
School leaders say the next one is in April of 2014.
September 25, 2013
From wisconsinrapidstribune.com: “New MSTC fire tower a safe way for emergency service personnel to learn” — By Karen Madden - GRAND RAPIDS — A new training tool at Mid-State Technical College will allow firefighters to practice basic to complex skills in a safe environment, according to officials.
Members of both career and volunteer fire departments helped design the campus’s new fire tower, said Barb Jascor, MSTC associate dean and fire training coordinator. It was important to the school to get input from fire departments in designing the new tower to make sure it met the needs of all central Wisconsin fire departments, as well as the needs of students.
On Monday, Wisconsin Rapids firefighters trained in the new tower for the first time. Until MSTC built its fire tower, Wisconsin Rapids firefighters traveled to Rome to train on the Rome Fire Department’s tower, Wisconsin Rapids Fire Department Captain Chuck Peters said.
“To be able to have this in our city is such an asset, not only to our department, but to Mid-State, as well,” Peters said.
The caliber of the new tower’s equipment rivals any that Peters has seen. Not only firefighters, but emergency medical technicians and law enforcement officers, will be able to use the tower to practice realistic scenarios in a safe environment, he said.
Rescuers can practice getting a patient down from the building’s third floor, Peters said. A basic medical issue can become much more difficult when EMTs have to get a patient down stairs, he said.
The tower contains two rooms where firefighters can practice putting out live fires, Jascor said. One is larger and can be used to simulate a living room or other large-room fire. A smaller room would be similar to a fire in a bedroom, Jascor said.
The second floor of the tower contains walls that can be moved to create different layouts. The ability to change the floor plan will keep firefighters from getting too accustomed to what they’ll find when they enter the tower for a training exercise, Jascor said.
The three-story tower has multiple doors in each room, window openings and both an inside and outside staircase, allowing many different types of training scenarios, Jascor said. An enclosed ladder on one side of the building is meant to simulate what firefighters would encounter in a silo or some factories.
Pittsville Fire Chief Jerry Minor said his department encounters situations such as the enclosed ladder frequently. Minor, who was a member of the committee that planned the tower, said the ladder is one of the things he asked to be included in the training structure.
“There are a lot of different options with this building,” Minor said. “I think we looked at about every conceivable option we could think of.”
Committee members toured many fire tours, Jascor said. They talked to fire departments and schools about what worked and what didn’t work, she said.
“The project was truly a collaborative effort,” Jascor said.
September 24, 2013
From marshfieldnewsherald.com: “Column: MSTC centennial celebration in October” – As I wrote last month, Mid-State Technical College celebrates its centennial birthday this year. We are 100 years old! It will be a celebration that lasts all year, and we hope you will participate in many events to celebrate this milestone in our history.
We are making plans for our Centennial Celebration at Marshfield Campus, and we can’t imagine celebrating this milestone without you. Please consider this your official invitation to join us at Marshfield Campus from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 22. Help us treasure our past and celebrate our future.
You will experience hands-on demonstrations in many of our program areas. For example, the emergency medical services, nursing, respiratory therapy and surgical technologist programs will offer interactive simulated activities. The welding area will feature stainless steel welding techniques in our recently renovated lab. Urban forestry students will be here to demonstrate their skills. Business and information technology programs will also have interesting hands-on activities for you to enjoy.
We hope you will attend our celebration to experience our specialized lab facilities and interactive demonstrations. Our positive environment is focused on student learning and the services needed to support learning. The use of technology is a significant component of a technical college education. Our specialized labs attempt to replicate the settings and equipment in which our graduates will work.
The programs that we offer at each of our campus locations are designed to meet the needs of employers in our communities. Each program is advised by a committee of employees and employers in the field. These advisory committees keep us well connected with the employers in our district. Each committee includes employees who work in the position for which we are training as well as individuals who supervise these employees. They provide up-to-date information on skills, techniques, and equipment that needs to be included in the curriculum.
If you are unable to attend our Marshfield Campus celebration, please consider attending one at another of our campus locations. These events will be Oct. 10 in Wisconsin Rapids, Nov. 5 in Adams and June 4 in Stevens Point. On these days, we will showcase our programs for high school students in the morning and celebrate with the community in a variety of afternoon and evening activities. Visit our website at www.mstc.edu/100years to learn details about each event.
September 16, 2013
A new degree program at Mid-State Technical College, or MSTC, is designed to address the need to provide services for an aging population in central Wisconsin.
The college has begun offering a two-year associate degree program in gerontology, the study of the physical, mental and social changes in seniors as they age. The program is available only at the Stevens Point campus.
Beth Smith, associate dean of MSTC’s Service and Health Division, said the program was in development for a few years before receiving final approval by the Wisconsin Technical College System board back in March; it is only one of two in the state. Smith said MSTC was a good choice for the program because of the demographics of the region.
The U.S. Bureau of the Census estimates that around 17.7 percent of the population in Wood County was 65 years old and over in 2012; 15 percent were older than 65 in Marathon County and 13.7 percent in Portage County.
“We had to show that a program like this would have strong enough interest here, and that there would be jobs in the community for our graduates,” Smith said. “The population is aging, particularly at the local level, and that population will need people who can provide services to them.”
Smith said graduates from the program could serve as activity directors at senior living centers, as lobbyists or advocates for the elderly or could work at aging and disability resource centers. The Wisconsin Technical College System estimates the annual salary for a graduate of the gerontology program at $27,940.
Sarah Gray is one of three activities directors at Harmony of Stevens Point, an assisted living facility at 1800 Bluebell Lane. After being laid off from Sentry Insurance about five years ago, Gray opted to go back to school and get into the health care industry. After earning a degree in business administration from MSTC, she worked for Aurora Community Services for two years, managing an adult family home, before joining Harmony a year ago.
“I was one of those people who never thought I would be working at a place like this, that I was happy behind a desk,” said Gray, 26, of Stevens Point. “After I got laid off, when I looked at what was out there, this profession was a great option. There were a lot of jobs out there, and I found that I enjoyed working with people.”
Smith said the program now has 11 students, and around 27 students are taking general education courses and will be able to enroll at a later date.
“That’s definitely a stronger number than we were expecting, but I think it shows the interest there is in this field,” Smith said.
Sheila Bluhm is the primary instructor for the gerontology program, and helped Smith in getting it approved. Bluhm is teaching the first course in the program, introduction to social gerontology, which will cover several issues related to aging — family relationships, social support, retirement, poverty and politics.
“It’s meant to provide a foundation that we can build on throughout the program,” Bluhm said. “It was exciting to get this program put together, because we feel like this will have a real impact locally.”
September 11, 2013
From stevenspointjournal.com: “Event inspires administrators to go two-wheelin’” – GRAND RAPIDS — These days, Sue Budjac, of Rome, and Connie Willfahrt, of the town of Arpin, might consider riding their bikes to their Wisconsin Rapids campus office as a simple jaunt.
That might not have been the case last spring, when Budjac, Mid-State Technical College president, and Willfahrt, vice president of student affairs and information technology, decided to participate in Saturday’s centennial bike ride, a kickoff event to the college’s 100th anniversary celebration.
The ride will highlight the employee wellness program and offers a ride — or walk — at three levels: a 100K and 50K bike ride and 10K ride or walk, Budjac said.
“It (also) allows us to extend an invitation to community members throughout our district in hopes of engaging them in our celebration,” Budjac said.
The noncompetitive event benefits the college’s scholarship program.
“In addition to celebrating the college’s 100 years, it’s also an opportunity to celebrate and help reduce barriers for our students, because the funds that, either through donations that have been made or through registration fees, those funds are going to go to assist students through emergency loans and scholarships,” Budjac said.
More than 80 percent of the college’s almost 9,000 students at its four campuses get some type of financial assistance. The average age for students is about 28, and many are working and have families, Budjac said.
“They struggle every day to achieve their education goal, and a scholarship makes a huge difference in them being able to continue with school,” she said.
It might have been easy for the administrators to sit back and be content to help facilitate and support the event from a bystander aspect. But these two women decided to lead by example. They bought bikes, helmets — even bike wear.
“If I were a designer, I would design much more complimentary bike shorts,” quipped Budjac.
“It’s not about fashion; it’s about comfort,” she said.
“What really motivated me was the excitement that has been brewing throughout the weeks and months of planning and wanting to jump in and be part of that,” Willfahrt said.
It’s been a work in progress, but both could be considered accomplished bikers. Willfahrt participated in her first official event, a 70-mile ride in Door County, which she proudly finished in just more than five hours.
Budjac’s practice route was a 60-mile trek around Lake Petenwell.
“That’s a lot of butt-to-seat time,” Budjac said, regarding the length of the rides.
Both said they have relished the training journey and look forward to Saturday’s ride. They’ll both participate in the 100K ride — just more than 62 miles.
“I’m thoroughly enjoying this, so I anticipate participating in an event at least once or twice a year,” Willfahrt said.
Budjac is along for the ride, but more as a recreational biker.
“I don’t see another 100K in my future, but I’ll keep riding,” Budjac said.
September 10, 2013
From wisconsinrapidstribune.com: “Central Wisconsin lawmakers support workforce grants” – A proposed state grant program would allow Wisconsin Technical College System schools to obtain funding to work with businesses and economic development agencies to help address documented skills gaps or high workforce shortages in their regions.
Introduced and cosponsored by state Sen. Julie Lassa, D-Stevens Point, and Rep. Scott Krug, R-Rome, the Workforce Growth Program would allocate $10 million to the Technical College System to offer rapids response grants for job training scholarships; building or infrastructure construction; equipment and material purchases; faculty hiring; curriculum development; or student career support services, according to the Legislative Reference Bureau.
“What we’ve been hearing from local businesses all across the state is that there really is a skills gap, and they’re having difficulty finding workers with the right skills,” Lassa said in a Central Wisconsin Sunday interview. “The workforce growth plan is designed to be flexible to address those needs.
“It really has a holistic approach, and it builds off the model of the successful (Workforce Advancement Training) program, which is wildly popular all across the state.”
For organizations such as the North Central Workforce Development Board, which serves nine counties in central and northern Wisconsin, the grant program would make more resources available to help potential workers gain skills employers are looking for in applicants, said Jane Spencer, workforce services director for the Stevens Point-based organization, which is one of 11 such boards throughout the state that closely partners with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development and local technical colleges.
“We have good working relationships with them,” Spencer said. “All those partners are coming to the table to determine what is best and how we can deliver (worker training) in a flexible way.”
A grant program would allow all entities involved to refine their efforts even more on individuals who need it the most, she said.
Mid-State Technical College is among local post-secondary institutions the board has worked with to create several training programs, including a food science certificate, a machine tool training program and others, said Ann Krause-Hanson, vice president of academic affairs for the college, which has campuses in Wisconsin Rapids, Marshfield and Stevens Point, as well as a learning center in the city of Adams.
“Any opportunity or any support that we can have for doing customized training or training for business and industry is totally appreciated,” she said. “We do a lot of customized training for business and industry already, so we have a good reputation.”
August 20, 2013
From wisconsinrapidstribune.com: “MSTC celebrates centennial with ride/walk” – In celebration of 100 years of central Wisconsin education and training in what is now known as the Mid-State Technical College, or MSTC, District, the MSTC Foundation is hosting a Centennial Bike Ride & Walk on Sept. 14. This non-competitive event includes 100K, 50K and 10K bike routes and a 10K walk option. All routes begin and end at MSTC’s Wisconsin Rapids Campus.
The 50K and 100K bike routes meander throughout north Wood County. The 10K bike and walk routes go around Lake Wazeecha in South Wood County Park. Beverage and snack stations will be provided for participants along each course.
Registration costs $25 per person and includes opportunities for prizes. Children 12 and younger are free and must be accompanied by an adult. An event T-shirt will be provided to all participants who register by Aug. 21. All biking participants must wear helmets.
Proceeds of this event support the educational programs of the college through educator and student grants and scholarships. Contributions are tax-deductible.
MSTC’s Centennial Celebration includes a total of five events during the 2013-14 school year. In addition to the Bike Ride & Walk, people throughout the college district are invited to attend centennial celebrations at each of MSTC’s four locations: Wisconsin Rapids Campus on Oct. 10, Marshfield Campus on Oct. 22, Adams County Center on Nov. 5, and Stevens Point Campus on June 4, 2014. Each celebration event honors MSTC’s past and celebrates its future. Centennial organizers say visitors of the final four events will have the opportunity to learn about new technologies, view fascinating hands-on demonstrations, tour facilities, and explore MSTC student services and academic programs.
MSTC, one of 16 colleges in the Wisconsin Technical College System, is a leading provider of higher education offering more than 100 associate degrees, technical diplomas and certificates, including 10 Wisconsin Technical College System programs you will only find at MSTC. Student-focused and community-based, MSTC serves a resident population of approximately 165,000 in central Wisconsin with campuses in Marshfield, Stevens Point and Wisconsin Rapids, and a learning center in Adams. Smaller classes, flexible scheduling, and instructor involvement all foster student success and contribute to the fact that nearly 9 out of ten MSTC graduates are employed within six months of graduation.
August 14, 2013
From wsaw.com: “National Tour Sparking Students Interests” – A national program made a stop in our area to capture the interests of young students. The Sparkfun National Tour is working to put kids in the classroom and qualified adults in a technological setting to beat a shortage inside the profession.
Mark Swanson, owner of Swanson Labs was a sponsor of the tour, helping bring it to Mid State Technical College in Wisconsin Rapids.
He says the shortage in the field can be fixed by giving people exposure to different parts in the technological profession.
Swanson told us, “Shortage in our area of technology students enrolled in universities and tech schools. Employees have more jobs than they do qualified employees, so part of the local event is to focus on exposure to our kids.”
The Sparkfun tour offered the one day seminar to 25 different students and teachers from local high schools for no charge.
The curriculum and equipment made today will stay in Wood County and will be used by educators and area leaders, promoting students to participate.
August 6, 2013
From wisconsinrapidstribune.com: “Column: New programs coming to MSTC” — By Dr. Sue Budjac, president of Midstate Technical College
August marks the start of Mid-State Technical College’s fall semester. Our hallways, classrooms and labs soon will be full of students eager to develop the skills they need to succeed in the local workforce. I extend an enthusiastic welcome to all of our new and returning students.
MSTC continuously evaluates our range of career programs and certificates to ensure our college is meeting the demands of local business and industry. This proactive approach provides MSTC with the necessary information to make changes and add new offerings as emerging workforce needs are identified.
Before a program is approved, MSTC interviews a variety of stakeholders to establish essential skills and knowledge. We also confirm the readiness of local employers to hire our graduates. Additionally, each MSTC program taps into industry experts through an advisory committee of local employers and employees; their valued feedback is one of many catalysts that sustain high quality and innovation.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of social/human service assistants is expected to grow 28 percent from 2010-20, faster than average for all occupations. MSTC addressed this rapidly growing need with a new Gerontology Associate Degree at our Stevens Point Campus that provides students with the theoretical knowledge and practical experience necessary to enter the job market or enhance their existing careers.
MSTC also will offer three new technical diplomas and certificates this year. The Stainless Steel Welding Basics, or GTAW, Certificate is offered at our Marshfield Campus in a new state-of-the-art stainless steel welding lab. The Taxation Accounting Certificate helps students become familiar with rules and law and experience practical application through hands-on learning, and will be available at all MSTC locations. Barber Technologist Technical Diploma classes are offered two nights a week at our Wisconsin Rapids Campus with supplemental work online. Students perfect their skills in our on-campus salon that is open to the public.
Our responsiveness to industry needs ensures that our career programs and certificates remain relevant to changing workforce needs. Constant assessment through advisory committees ensures that curriculum remains up to date and our classes and programs produce the hands-on skills and real-world knowledge employers desire in the people they hire. Our graduates subsequently have the tools they need to succeed.
With more than 100 associate degrees, technical diplomas and certificates to choose from, MSTC has something for nearly every career passion and unique interest. Simply visitwww.mstc.edu/application to apply or pick up an application at your nearest MSTC campus office. Fall semester starts Aug. 19, and there is still time to register. For more information, call us at 888-575-MSTC or stop by the MSTC location nearest you.
From wisconsinrapidstribune.com: “WRPS implements new programs to help promote manufacturing” – A grass-roots group of local business leaders and school officials has worked to help incite change in the Wisconsin Rapids School District — all in the name of helping to improve the job climate in south Wood County.
The Business-Education Partnership Committee, which formed nearly a year ago and consists of representatives from five south Wood County school systems — Wisconsin Rapids, Nekoosa, Port Edwards, Assumption Catholic and Immanuel Lutheran — and is facilitated by Incourage Community Foundation, has met monthly to figure out how to address what local workforce and economic development leaders call a widening skills gap when it comes to manufacturing.
As a result, the Wisconsin Rapids School District has enacted several new programs and initiatives to help address the issue, said Kathi Stebbins-Hintz, the district’s director of curriculum and instruction.
“It’s been really a great partnership, and we’ve been able to better understand each other,” Stebbins-Hintz said.
Through a connection at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Engineering Department, the district has been able to facilitate trips for members of the Wisconsin Rapids Area Middle School and East Junior High School engineering clubs to visit the department and learn more about the field, Stebbins-Hintz said. In addition, the district has created more required courses that deal with science, technology, engineering and math topics at the seventh- and eighth-grade levels, and it recently began offering a science credit to high school students who take animal science and principles of engineering courses.
More than 200 Wisconsin Rapids School District students also have earned more than 700 college credits through a partnership with Mid-State Technical College, which also has partnered with local schools and the Heart of Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce to launch the Heavy Metal Bus Tour, she said. The semi-annual event gives middle school students the opportunity to tour various local manufacturers to learn about their role in the local economy.
n addition, this fall the district plans to send two elementary teachers and one high school science teacher to Engineering is Elementary training through the Milwaukee School of Engineering, Stebbins-Hintz said.
School Board President John Krings praised the district’s involvement in the partnership and its efforts to promote manufacturing to younger students.
“Manufacturing doesn’t seem to be a very sexy job anymore,” said Krings, who works in the paper industry, within which companies are seeking workers but are unable to find individuals who are qualified enough to fill the positions. “It’s sad; these are really good jobs.”
As an increasing number of workers approach retirement, the number of available jobs will only increase, creating a so-called “silver tsunami,” said Jennifer Riggenbach, chief collaboration officer for Incourage.
It is vital for workforce and economic development leaders to continue to work together with school officials to address the issue before it’s too late, Krings said.
“We’re going to be losing a lot of people,” he said. “We need these people ready today. … We don’t have time wait.”
July 10, 2013
From wsau.com: “Student housing project in Marshfield moving forward” – Students attending U.W. and Mid-State Tech. in Marshfield should soon have more student housing choices.
Steve Barg is Marshfield city administrator and says a proposed “students-only” apartment complex is moving forward after partial funding for the demolition of an old student apartment building was approved Tuesday night by the Common Council. According to Barg, “There has been talk for many years about getting campus student housing for U.W. students and possibly Mid State students; as opposed to a building that has students but has other people in it and is just a normal multi-family type property.”
Since the property is currently co-owned by the city of Marshfield and Wood County, each entity will pay 50% of the demolition and asbestos removal costs up to $30,000 each. Once the old housing unit is demolished, the U.W. Foundation has tentative plans to work with a developer from the Quad Cities to build the new apartments, which would house 96 students. The demolition is planned for this summer, with construction on the new housing unit to start by this fall and be completed over winter.
July 1, 2013
From voiceofwr.com: “Centennial celebration planned for MSTC” — By Sue Budjac, president of MSTC - Warm summer days and the presence of students heading to summer classes remind me that a new academic year is right around the corner. Yet this Fall Semester will be a little different. While every year is important, this one has special meaning because Mid-State Technical College (MSTC) celebrates its centennial in 2013-14.
MSTC’s Centennial Celebration is an opportunity to honor and treasure our past and celebrate our exciting future. I can’t imagine commemorating this milestone without our former and current students, retirees and current employees, board members, and many business and community partners. MSTC’s 100th birthday illustrates the value and significance of the training and services that MSTC provides to Central Wisconsin.
Each of MSTC’s four locations will host a centennial celebration during the upcoming academic year. These free events offer fascinating, interactive, hands-on demonstrations and display new learning technologies and facilities. Wisconsin Rapids Campus will lead off the festivities on October 10 with a program showcase for middle and high school students/staff in the morning and a variety of afternoon and early evening activities for members of the community.
Marshfield Campus and Adams County Center will host similar events on October 22 and November 5, respectively. Stevens Point will close out the festivities in the New Year with the grand opening of the new Stevens Point Campus (1001 Centerpoint Drive), tentatively scheduled for January 30, 2014. Bookmark www.mstc.edu/100years to learn more about MSTC’s Centennial Celebration as details become available.
Future students will have many opportunities to explore MSTC’s 100+ career programs and certificates to determine which one right for them. Former students can also reconnect through MSTC’s new alumni association; visit www.mstc.edu/alumni to sign up!
You are also invited to attend this summer’s Centennial Bike Ride & Walk Event on September 14. This event includes 100K, 50K, and 10K biking routes and a 10K walk option, with all routes beginning and ending at MSTC’s Wisconsin Rapids Campus. The cost is $25 per person and proceeds benefit student scholarships/grants and college educational programs. Contact the MSTC Foundation Office at 715-422-5322 or visit www.mstc.edu/foundation for additional information and registration.
As I pause to reflect on 99 years of MSTC education and job training, I am humbled by the quantity and quality of talent that has passed through our hallways over the years. A century of experience has refined our ability to maintain a vibrant selection of programs and respond quickly to changing employer needs. This is a key reason why 85% of MSTC graduates are employed within six months of graduation and 95% of employers believe an MSTC education meets or exceeds their expectations. If you are seeking a new job or career and want to get back into the workforce quickly, consider an affordable education 100 years in the making. Call Mid-State Technical College at 1-888-575-MSTC, visit www.mstc.edu, or stop by the MSTC location nearest you. Fall Semester begins August 19.
June 25, 2013
From marshfieldnewsherald.com: “Former school now home to teachers, students” – After graduation, most students are happy to leave their school building and never return. And although young children often think so, teachers do not live in their classrooms.
But in Marshfield, however, some students are living where they learned and some teachers where they taught.
For decades, the historic Purdy Building nestled in Marshfield historic downtown district, served as the city’s junior high and vocational school.
Named after Marshfield’s World War I war hero, the Willard D. Purdy Junior High and Vocational School began holding classes in fall 1920. After McKinley High School burned in 1936, the Purdy School served as both junior and senior high, and in 1971, after the completion of Marshfield’s new high school, Mid-State Technical College moved into Purdy.
Throughout the years, many students and teachers passed through the hallways of the Purdy Building, and some of these academics are back because of the site’s transformation into a retirement community. Maintaining many of its original features and its unique collegiate gothic style, Purdy was transformed into the Aster Retirement Community of Marshfield in 1996.
Don Erpenbach, a Neillsville native, taught psychology at the Purdy Building when it was Mid-State Technical College. Today, he enjoys his meals near his former classroom.
“We had classrooms, and now we have apartments,” he said. Aster hosts 53 apartments, and living in one of them brings back memories of Erpenbach’s teaching days.
Another former teacher, Joey Mulholland, also resides at Aster. Although she taught at Columbus Catholic High School, her four children attended school in the Purdy Building and she took MSTC courses. Her decision to live in a former school was purely coincidental.
“There’s no rhyme or reason,” she said. “I like the location and I like what (Aster) offers, and the staff is wonderful.”
Tenants often casually remark how this room used to be their home economics classroom or that room used to be the gym, and it is these stories that Activities Director Janice Christiansen enjoys.
“It’s kind of neat how much history is in this building, and it’s interesting that you get to hear about it every day from the residents, to learn what it was like back then,” she said. “It’s surprising that we have several teachers that live here. One is even 100 years old. It’s the full circle of life, where they were teaching here and now they are living here.
“Many residents here were students, too,” she added. “I think it gives them a sense of home.”
Reunions between students and teachers also have occurred within the walls of this former school building. Before one memorable performance, local musician Mike Holubets, who often donates his talents to entertain the residents at Aster, recognized the familiar face of Bob Campbell, his childhood music teacher and career inspiration.
“It think it’s so cool,” said Christiansen. “A former student took and went into music, and here his teacher is listening to him.”
Campbell passed away earlier this year, but his wife, Janet, continues to marvel at the unexpected reunion between teacher and student. “It’s interesting how people connect,” she said. “It isn’t very often that you find someone that lives in the same place he taught.”
Whether residing at Aster Retirement Community by choice or karma, former teachers and students living in the historic Purdy Building definitely feel at home in a classroom.
June 20, 2013
From wsaw.com: “Mid-State Tech College Sets Opening Date” – New size, access and ownership are three reasons Mid-State Technical College in Stevens Point is moving to its new multi-million dollar home downtown.
“We’ll be able to look at the region and serve it in a much better way,” Mid-State Campus Dean Steve Smith said. “We’ll be at the cornerstone of downtown Stevens Point so we’re very excited about that.”
With more than 2,800 students attending the technical college, smith said the reason for the move was obvious.
“There was a critical need,” Smith said. “If we were going to continue to grow and serve the region, there was a critical need to expand facilities. We’ve been looking for five to 10 years since it has been a problem for us.”
Planners have worked on the move since May 2010. The old building is 36,000 sq. feet, and the new home will be 54,000.
The new school will be built in place of the old Center Point Mall.
“We are standing in what will be our main entrance,” Smith said. “The JC Penny is directly west of us, and what was the center point mall is directly east of us.”
One of the main new features of the building will provide students a quiet place to study.
Other changes include adding a special lab for Emergency Medical Services, where before they only had a couple closets designated for the school’s program and classes.
As for what will be put in place of the old building, Smith said they are not sure who will move into it.
“I do know there has been conversation between the Boys and Girls Club of Portage county and the city,” Smith said. “There is another organization that has also expressed interest in the facility.”
Students will begin to get used to the new space in February 2014 for the first day of classes.
June 18, 2013
From voiceofwr.com: “MSTC Budget Calls for Flat Taxes” – GRAND RAPIDS — Mid-State Technical College Board of Directors adopted June 17 a budget $700,000 less than in 2012, according to a press release from the college.
The reduction will allow property taxes for the college to remain flat because of a projected 1 percent drop in equalized value of the district.
The budget, which takes effect July 1, for the technical college is $28.8 million and reflects financial challenges that are an issue across the county, said Nelson Dahl, vice president of finance, in the release.
“We once again trimmed operational costs and reduced positions in a manner that sustains the necessary environment for student success,” he said.
The budget allows the college to invest in a few areas that benefit students, enrich communities, and enhance local business and industry. These operational and capital investments include additional high-demand course sections, relocation to a new Stevens Point Campus, a new Gerontology program, a fire training facility in Wisconsin Rapids, and a stainless steel welding lab in Marshfield.
The college’s mill rate is projected to remain at $1.74 per $1000 of equalized valuation. MSTC’s budget calls for a $170,591 reduction in property taxes in 2013-14.
“The proposed budget’s real dollar impact on area taxpayers is expected to be $173.76 on a $100,000 home, a slight increase of just 30 cents,” Dahl said.
Dahl added that MSTC still poses a considerably lower impact than other taxing authorities because the college serves a broad tax base of 97 municipalities in all or parts of Adams, Clark, Jackson, Juneau, Marathon, Portage, Waushara and Wood Counties.
He also noted that the college has adopted three key results—student success, organizational effectiveness, and employee engagement—that are designed to set clear direction for the college. The budget process also aligns with the Board of Director’s strategic directions, administration goals, and college unit objectives.
“The college’s new key results help establish our work priorities and were consequently useful in shaping the 2013-14 operational budget,” Dahl said.
From wisconsinrapidstribune.com: “Summer at MSTC help engage students in science, technology fields” – GRAND RAPIDS — Fresh off the end of the school year, some students in central Wisconsin just couldn’t stop themselves from taking an opportunity to learn.
Jacob Millner and Jake Zeman, both students at the Wisconsin Rapids Area Middle School, said their passion for engineering is what led them to participate in the VEX Robotics Camp this week at Mid-State Technical College’s Wisconsin Rapids campus. The three-day event was one of two such camps the college held throughout the week for middle- and high-school students.
“I was in the WRAMS Engineering Club, so I was like, ‘Oh, well, this kind of goes with engineering, so I might as well try it,’” said Zeman, 12, of Wisconsin Rapids. “I also had some previous experience with (building) robots.”
The Race Engineering Camp provided high school students the opportunity to build their own race cars. Participants of both activities got the chance to exhibit their creations Thursday afternoon as part of end-of-camp competitions.
Aidan Cramer and Nick Hackman, both students at Washington Elementary School in Marshfield, won first place during the VEX Robotics competition.
“I thought that we were going to lose on the first challenge, so I was shocked when we made it, and I just kept my spirits up,” said Cramer, 11, of Marshfield. “If you like engineering, building stuff, then I would recommend it.”
With state and local work force development leaders seeing an increase in the need for science and technical jobs, organizers said this week’s events provided industry leaders with an opportunity to get the attention of students at an earlier age, said Richard Breen, who helped organize the camp.
“In the area, (business leaders) have been telling us … that they need more qualified people in the areas of science, technology and mathematics,” Breen said, noting many students don’t realize they need upper-level mathematics classes in order to become engineers. By getting them engaged in various aspects of the field and helping them understand the education and training that’s required at an earlier age, hopefully they will be able to better prepare, he said.
“It’s student-motivation based, not just opening up their minds and dumping it inside,” Breen said.
June 12, 2013
From wsaw.com: “College Camp prepares middle schoolers for future” – School is out for summer, but more than 200 middle school students were back in class today at Mid-State Technical College where they spent the day exploring the careers and skills of tomorrow.
This was the 23rd year MSTC hosted the College Camp. Students picked four different career sessions to attend throughout the day, with fields ranging from firefighting and EMS to cosmetology. It was just a small sampling of the more than 50 programs Mid-State Technical College offers.
“The kids can really get an exposure to different career options helping them to make informed decisions for their post secondary education and future career,” New Student Specialists at MSTC Betsy Feaster explains.
Feaster says it’s especially important to expose them to their options now.
“Really in these grades they’re starting to formulate those ideas, taking general education classes or electives in junior high and high school it helps them get that broader knowledge for future decision making.”
Coordinators say college camp fills up fast every year. If your child wants to attend next year’s camp you are asked to contact the college.