May 28, 2013
From Gazettextra.com: “Blackhawk Tech faculty establish scholarship fund” — The union representing Blackhawk Technical College faculty announced a new scholarship program aimed at students struggling to stay in school because of a lack of money. The Blackhawk Technical Faculty Federation recently unveiled a $20,000 scholarship pool that will begin helping students in 2014. The fund is for full- and part-time students carrying a minimum 2.5 grade-point average.
The scholarships are expected to run between $500 and $750 each, depending on financial need. At least two scholarships per semester are expected to be available. The fund received an additional contribution of $500 from Douglas Tabbutt, a computer information systems instructor, during last Friday night’s graduation rehearsal program. BTC faculty and staff will be able to contribute to the fund through payroll deductions.
Faculty members have noticed too many students withdrawing from school because of a lack of money, according to a college news release. The BTC Foundation will administer the scholarship. The foundation committee reviews all applications and scores them on financial need, family circumstances, grades, neatness and completeness of the application and potential. Applications for the first scholarship award are due Oct. 1. Scholarship recipients will be notified in November and the funds will be applied to the semester beginning in January 2014.
May 6, 2013
From newrichmondnews.com: “WITC president honored by group” – Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College President Bob Meyer was recently selected to receive a Wisconsin Association for Career and Technical Education’s 2013 President’s Award. This award is presented each year to outstanding professionals in career and technical education.
“I’m humbled and appreciative to have received this recognition because of the high regard I have for the Wisconsin Association of Career and Technical Education,” Meyer said.
The Wisconsin Association of Career and Technical Education combines the efforts of more than 800 professionals from all levels of education in Wisconsin, as well as business and industry partners, to promote Career and Technical Education. WACTE’s focus is on professional development of its members and development of CTE leadership statewide.
“As we consider the vital role CTE plays in our economy preparing ‘job ready’ individuals, I am grateful for WACTE’s role in advocating for the importance of CTE across Wisconsin,” Meyer said.
“Bob set aside funding for WITC employees to attend CTE events at a time of unprecedented budget cuts,” said Leslie Bleskachek, WACTE’s president, who also serves as WITC academic dean, Business Division. “He also attended and participated in many of the organized events during the year. The fact that he set aside time in his very busy calendar demonstrates his commitment to CTE, its stakeholders and students. In addition, he clearly places a priority on these supportive events, which serves a model for our other members, who might claim it is difficult to find time in their schedules for CTE support. If a president can find the time and resources, others can as well.”
Meyer received his award April 11 during the annual Professional Development Conference in Middleton, Wis.
Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College serves the educational and career needs of more than 25,000 residents.
April 11, 2013
From northlandnewscenter.com: “Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College puts students to work” – Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College is saying “Let’s Get to Work!”
Companies from throughout Twin Ports visited the college to collect resumes and give advice to eager students.
With graduation just around the corner, the college held a job fair to help students transition into the real world.
“They’re starting to think about how to land that first job…we have a number of workshops on how to tie a tie, how to do an interview, and a whole bunch of other topics,” says Bob Meyer, President of WITC.
“It helps me a lot because in my profession cosmetology you want to always look your best, look professional,” says Chenoa Quam, student at WITC.
Meyer says the high demand for skilled workers in Northland states was one of the major reasons “Let’s Get to Work” was created.
“There’s a high demand for skilled workers in Wisconsin and in Minnesota even in the Dakotas with all the drilling for natural gas and oil out there…huge demand for welders, machinists, and of course with the baby boomers retiring there’s also a lot of demand in health occupations,” Meyer adds.
Employers have seen the benefits of attending the fair by finding their next crop of workers.
“We have about a 91 percent placement rate. It’s been pretty much at that level all through the recession,” says Meyer.
And with such a high success rate, businesses like this one, keep coming back.
“Oh we’ve been attending this for a number of years,” says Sandi Wade, a nurse at Interim Healthcare.
And with good reason. Interim Health Care has experienced the advantages of the attending the fair, first hand.
“What’s nice about coming here is they have a nursing program so the nurses that are graduating may apply with us and…we have had students in past years that have applied for us and are still working with us, “Wade continues.
WITC filled the students with career guided information then filled their stomachs with a spaghetti lunch.
The final event showcased a panel of HR employees giving tips on how to make a lasting impression.
42 Twin Ports companies attended the fair.
March 21, 2013
From wsaw.com: “8 Wis. Technical Colleges awarded funds for laser equipment” – Department of Workforce Development Secretary Reggie Newson says eight Wisconsin Technical College System schools will be awarded nearly $105,000 to to purchase precision laser alignment tools to help train apprentices in manufacturing and address the skills gap.
“The funding is another example of our continuing efforts to equip workers with the latest skills, empowering them for employment in family supporting jobs,” Secretary Newson said. “With the grants, our workforce partners in the technical colleges can purchase high tech, laser equipment to train apprentices for good jobs in the skilled trades.”
Grants of $13,100 each are being awarded to Gateway Technical College in Kenosha, Lakeshore Technical College in Cleveland, Mid-State Technical College in Wisconsin Rapids, North Central Technical College in Wausau, Western Technical College in La Crosse, Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College, Waukesha Technical College, and Milwaukee Area Technical College.
The U.S. Department of Labor funds will go to purchase precision laser alignment tools for rotating machinery. Precision laser alignment is a common testing procedure in maintaining manufacturing equipment and ensuring production efficiency. The colleges will use the equipment to train apprentices in training for occupations as machine repairer, maintenance mechanic, millwright and pipefitter.
March 20, 2013
From northlandsnewscenter.com: “Kestrel shows off air craft” – Duluth has Cirrus Aircraft and now Superior will have Kestrel.
Tonight the CEO for Kestrel spoke with people about his company and even let them have a peek inside one of the planes.
The company is collaborating with WITC to give workers the necessary skills to build these air crafts.
WITC applied and received a 600 thousand dollar grant to start working with the company to produce the planes.
“What they also explained was that they would also be needing a number of composite technology technicians, people who can layer upon layer of carbon fiber and infuse resions and hardners create that and create the parts necessary to do this,” said Dr. Charlie Glazman Associate Dean in continuing Education at WITC.
This will be the first program like it in the state of Wisconsin which is set to take off this fall.
March 15, 2013
From wdio.com: “Empowering high school girls with welding” – While the students of Wisconsin’s Indianhead Technical College are on Spring Break, some high school girls are taking over their welding shop.
The high school students are from Denfeld High and are in the “Girls Restorative Program,” which is ultimately part of “Men as Peacekeepers.” The after-school program is about building resiliency and fostering community among young women.
As part of their program, the girls are learning the basics of welding at WITC in Superior. Holding a torch to steel isn’t something any of the girls thought they’d ever do.
“At first I didn’t want to do it because I thought it was too boyish,” said Donisha, a sophomore at Denfeld High.
But after learning the basics, the girls said they loved the process of getting their hands dirty.
“We’re strong!” said Cynthia, also a sophomore at Denfeld High.
The “Girls Restorative Program” aims to empower young women. Elena Bantle, the program’s coordinator, said working with fire and cutting apart steel is the ultimate form of female empowerment.
Bantle added that welding opens the high school girls’ eyes to a field many people consider a male-dominated skill.
“In a tangible way, you can make a lot of money welding,” said Bantle.
The girls all created their own designs of what it means to be a woman.
“I chose Lady Liberty because I think she is a person for girls to stand up for,” said Donisha.
They will then cut out their designs and weld all of their pieces together to make a large piece of artwork.
No matter the end product, Bantle said there is just one goal.
“I hope they can themselves as strong women who can do anything,” said Bantle.
February 20, 2013
From superiortelegram.com: “Busting manufacturing myths” – From robots to equations, high school students stepped behind the scenes to view manufacturing in Superior last week. “Mythbusting Manufacturing” sent 35 students on a fact-gathering expedition. They toured four Superior businesses — Genesis, Field Logic, Charter Films and Superior Lidgerwod-Mundy — and looked in on manufacturing-related classes at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College in Superior.
“The tour’s goal is to help break myths about manufacturing and expose youth to manufacturing career opportunities in the region,” said Suzannah Crandall, youth services specialist with Northwest CEP. “What better way to interest youth in future career opportunities than to get them a first-hand look at the options that exist?”
The Genesis tour group got to see two robotic welders on the job, creating pieces to be assembled into massive shears, pulverizers and grapples for heavy machinery. Northwestern High School junior Jeff Priem said they were the coolest things he saw at Genesis. The controls for the high-tech machines were built around the gamers of today, according to Tom Cavallin, operations manager at the Genesis plant on Connors Point.
“It turns out video games might help them out,” Crandall said. She was quick to ask Cavallin to repeat himself when he mentioned that Genesis has a hard time finding skilled workers. Three years ago, he told the students, the company interviewed 120 people for jobs. Only 15 passed the welding test and were hired. He outlined the different positions at the business as well as pay scales.
“I didn’t know they had that many jobs open,” Priem said.
Another set of students toured Field Logic, which specializes in archery targets.
“Field Logic was, it was different from what I thought it was going to be,” said Nate Van Ert, a junior from Superior High School. “Because there are way more departments and categories instead of just making targets.”
As they toured the machine tool, industrial maintenance, welding and Heat, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) classes, high school students solved an equation for electrical resistance and met students who were passionate about their career paths.
“I absolutely love welding,” said Ashley McDonald, a 2012 graduate of the welding program. “I was hooked the first time I struck an arc.”
She’s part of a local union and said the field is ripe with job opportunities.
“If you want work, overnight you have it,” McDonald said, so long as you’re serious about it and not afraid to work hard. The program has had a 100 percent placement rate for the past five years, according to welding instructor John Palmer.
WITC will be launching a second session of welding classes this fall, funded through a federal Trades Adjustment Act grant. The program will include career pathways to get students working sooner, according to Diane Vertin, campus administrator. This new evening session of welding classes is aimed at retraining displaced workers for high-demand, high-wage jobs. Another part of the funding will be used to expand, bringing WITC’s mechanical design technology program to the Superior campus.
Along with Superior and Maple, students from Solon Springs and Hayward high schools also participated. Dale Van Ert, curriculum pathways coordinator for the Superior School District, said more such events are needed.
“Manufacturing jobs are in our community and there are going to be many more,” he said. The key is to provide local people to fill them.
“Jobs in manufacturing range from basic line-workers to advanced positions as CNC machinists and mechanical engineers,” Crandall said. “It’s an industry where everyone is a fit.”
February 13, 2013
From wdio.com: “Kestrel and WITC partner for new avionics training” – Kestrel Aircraft needs skilled workers to build their new plane and the Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College is stepping in to train them.
Carbon fiber, a high-tech material of cloth and resin, will make up the body of Kestrel’s new plane. The company’s CEO Alan Klapmeier is teaming up with WITC to train students on how to mold it.
“The new program that was announced today is a composites technician program, which is the heart of what we’ll be doing here in building the airplane,” Klapmeier said.
He said the plane will be produced for years to come, and that means long-term jobs in Superior.
“And we want to see that flow of new people going through education, joining the company and continuing to grow with the company,” Klapmeier said.
The new training classes will start in August with 20 students, but the school has long been grooming students for other local jobs like supplying businesses with skilled welders and mechanics.
Superior Mayor Bruce Hagen said WITC’s cooperation with business is invaluable to the city.
“They work closely in partnership with the industries and businesses in town,” Hagen said. “It’s a big attraction for businesses that are here and it’s also a big attraction for businesses that are thinking about coming here.”
Hagen said the program will keep the college and its students up to speed with local business, and maybe even a step ahead.
“They’re ahead of our needs right now; we’re the ones behind. Yeah, they’re keeping up and have just been great partners,” Klapmeier said.
A grant made the program possible for WITC, and school officials said they recently hired their first instructors. The college plans to start training a second group of students in January.
January 15, 2013
From leadertelegram.com: “Technical colleges help area paramedics meet regulations” – A cooperative program between two area technical colleges is keeping emergency medical response workers up to date on what they need to know to transport critically ill patients.
A critical care transport class offered by Chippewa Valley Technical College – in cooperation with Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College in Rice Lake – was created with the help of a government grant to respond to the needs of ambulance services in rural areas.
A patient in transport needing a unit of blood might expect that EMTs or paramedics on board the ambulance could simply take care of that procedure. However, it is not that simple.
The medical procedures emergency medical services personnel are able to do, and what they are prohibited from doing, are tightly regulated. Delivering a unit of blood, for example, requires training in critical care transport because of new regulations.
Some ambulance services, particularly those that serve rural areas, were in danger of losing their certification to transport patients with particular needs. To address that need, CVTC offered a class and partnered with WITC to offer the class in its neighboring district, where there was great demand.
“We identified a need for critical care transport in the St Croix County area, which represents the west side of both (CVTC and WITC) districts,” says Terry Gonderzik, advanced life support program director at CVTC.
“And Sen. Sheila Harsdorf’s office had numerous requests for such training. We wrote a grant and were given the funding for four classes in this area.”
“Without this training we would not have been able to do the inter-facility transfers to the level we had been,” said Jeff Rixmann, director of the River Falls Ambulance Service who was one of 11 members of the River Falls Ambulance Service to receive the training.
Many different medical emergencies or concerns can arise during transport, Rixmann said. For example, some patients may require multiple medications, a ventilator, have arterial lines in place or need special monitoring. With the higher level of training, emergency medical personnel can better evaluate patient status and provide more treatments if necessary.
“It gives us the capability of doing inter-facility transfers with a lot more advanced equipment,” said Matt Simpson, a paramedic with the Ellsworth Area Ambulance Service who received the training.
To receive the training, students must have advanced life support education and be graduates from a paramedic program or be a licensed health care provider, such as a registered nurse or respiratory therapist, said Greg Carlson, WITC emergency medical services instructor. They also must have experience in their respective fields.
The course involved attending class two evenings a week, online learning and 12 hours of clinical education. Successful course completion enables Wisconsin paramedics to add the critical care endorsement certification and meets Wisconsin’s EMT-Paramedic to Paramedic transition requirements.
Classes already have been held in Eau Claire, River Falls and New Richmond.
November 26, 2012
From twoharborsmn.com: “Scholarship for motor-minded Two Harbors High School senior” – Russell Nelson missed his lunch hour on Thursday. Instead, the Two Harbors High School senior spent those 40 minutes checking out AMSOIL’s latest snocross racing technology, on display behind the mechanics shop at the high school.
There was pizza available, but he was too busy hobnobbing with the AMSOIL snocross team’s owner Steve Scheuring, mechanic Tony Clement and Air Force Staff Sergeant Dave Overstreet to grab a bite. He finally slipped away to have a snack but returned quickly for the grand finale of the afternoon–receiving a $200 scholarship from the AMSOIL team.
“I chose him based on the fact that he’s a good student and a good worker,” said Mike Fitzpatrick, who made the call as to which of his students would receive the scholarship.
Nelson plans to attend Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College for mechanics and says he hopes to be a millwright after graduation.
“He has a plan and we want to support him. We’re all about success,” said Staff Sgt. Overstreet. The Air Force is a sponsor of the AMSOIL team and part of their outreach work is getting kids excited about science, technology, engineering and mathematics—STEM subjects. They’ve found that showing off the snocross machines at high schools is an effective way of doing so.
Nelson has already proved his dedication to technology and engineering. He spent most of his high school career in the shop classrooms at the high school, evidenced by the impressive number of advanced mechanics classes he has under his belt. In fact, he’s taken many of the classes twice; not because he failed them, but because he enjoys spending his days in the shop, he said.
“I just always knew I wanted to work with my hands,” he said.
Overstreet said Nelson is exactly the type of student they’re looking to support. Although Overstreet is a recruiter and Nelson isn’t joining the Air Force, he’s still impressed with Nelson’s drive and focus on the future.
“Our country needs guys that are thinking ahead,” he said, whether they are in the armed forces or not. Nelson fit the bill.
November 15, 2012
From witc.edu: “Veterans enter workforce with help from Wisconsin’s technical colleges” – After nearly five years in the Army and three tours in Iraq, Brent Rapos found educational and career success at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College. Rapos chose accounting because he always liked numbers.
“It had been a number of years since I had been in school and when I started taking classes, I wasn’t sure I could switch careers,” Rapos said. He enrolled in online classes through WITC so he could continue to work and support his family.
Slowly, his comfort level with the college grew and so did his confidence. Rapos completed his associate degree and is working toward an online bachelor’s degree. He also started a tax return preparation business. That confidence was the key.
The former sergeant credits Cheryl Pich, financial aid advisor at the WITC Rice Lake campus, with helping him access the Wisconsin GI Bill benefits available to him.
“She is so helpful with what benefits are best for you and all the different paperwork required. Cheryl was very proactive, getting the information needed before the deadlines,” he said. “I also felt she really appreciated my service.”
Veterans who faced challenges during their service return to Wisconsin with leadership skills that can be a great match for the education and training available through the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS). By accessing the WTCS, veterans contribute to their college community, which only enhances their value to Wisconsin business and industry.
According to the American Council on Education (ACE), more than 2 million soldiers are transitioning to civilian life after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. The number of students using their Wisconsin GI Bill benefits in the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) has increased dramatically since these new state education benefits became available during the 2005-06 school year, when about 1,000 eligible veterans or the eligible spouses or dependents first used the program. During the 2011-12 academic year, almost 4,500 Wisconsin veterans or spouses or dependents used the Wisconsin GI Bill in the WTCS.
“We help vets in any way we can,” says Terry Klein, the director of financial aid for WITC. “We will answer any questions via phone, e-mail, or in person and we try to meet with each veteran in person to explain the process and gather the information we need to process their benefits,” Klein says. “We keep up to date on any changes to educational benefits so that we can pass this information on to our veteran students. We also work to resolve any problems that might come up in regards to their benefits.”
Once enrolled in classes at WITC, the college has another form of assistance for veterans. Organizations for veterans exist or are quickly being added at WITC’s four main campuses to help provide useful information and resources to veterans throughout the school year.
One such group at WITC’s Rice Lake campus offers support to veterans for academic success. It also provides a place and time for veterans to gather, network, and support one another, and helps to identify unmet needs unique to veterans.
“WITC works hard to identify the needs of veterans and how to best help veterans and their families succeed,” said WITC President Bob Meyer. “Veterans bring a wealth of experience and add tremendously to our college communities and we are honored to help them succeed.”
November 5, 2012
From newrichmond-news.com: “Solar panel grant presented to WITC” – New Richmond Utilities and WPPI Energy recently presented Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College-New Richmond with a check for more than $16,000 to virtually pay for the 16-panel PV (photovoltaic) solar system installed this summer on the east lawn.
“New Richmond Utilities recognizes our shared responsibility to help protect the environment for future generations. Supporting local efforts such as the WITC solar project is one way we’re working to do our part,” says Mike Darrow, New Richmond city administrator and utility manager.
“With the generous financial support through this grant from New Richmond Utilities and WPPI Energy, we were able to have this PV system installed at our New Richmond campus – a fine model of collaboration with our local utility,” says Ted May, Ph.D., academic dean of General Studies, Renewable Energy and Sustainability.
The solar panel offers hands-on experience for students, too. WITC students in the Industrial Automation and Controls Networking program will work with and learn from the PV system’s monitoring software. A solar or wind electricity certificate, which electricians may pursue to enhance their knowledge and skills for installing renewable electricity systems, is available at the college’s Ashland campus.
October 31, 2012
From ashlandwi.com: “WITC points workers toward their goals” – In a tough economy, finding a good job probably ranks higher than gathering free advice, but if the latter leads to the former it’s all good.
And that’s why the free career seminar from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6, at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College-Ashland (WITC) might be a good way to spend a couple of hours for anyone interested in selecting the right field, as well as the appropriate educational options.
Dan Miller, WITC’s career specialist, will facilitate the seminar, which is designed to be fun as well as informative. The seminar will focus on the broad spectrum of the workforce, including recent high school graduates considering choices for a first career, those thinking of changing careers, and those who want to get ahead in their present working environment.
“In health careers, there are so many openings right now with the growth due to the Baby Boomers,” Miller said of one prime career opportunity. “But you still want to match them up, you just don’t want to force them into something they don’t like.”
The free career seminars have been an ongoing feature at WITC for three years, Miller said, held on the first Tuesday of each month in Room 208 at WITC-Ashland, 2100 Beaser Ave.
To help match people with the proper career, Miller said he opens the seminars with personality and career assessments.
“We try to find something that matches up with what they like to do and what their talents and strengths are,” said Miller, who has been with WITC for 18 months. “I even talk about things they were interested in when they were a child and they kind of forgot about.”
A priority, Miller said, is finding careers for people that will allow them to remain in the Chequamegon Bay area.
“Without a doubt,” Miller said. “But it depends on the person. A lot of people do not want to move, or have a family or are working right now and they either want to enhance what they have or are changing careers with the loss of a job.”
Miller said medical careers, thanks to Memorial Medical Center, nursing homes and other health care facilities, provide many jobs for those wishing to remain in the area.
“Health sciences right now is booming,” Miller said. “The Baby Boomers, we call them ‘Golden Boomers,’ their health care needs are huge. And there is a shortage of nurses right now. It’s just amazing. The growth there is hard to comprehend. There is a gap we’re tying to fill.”
Miller said there are also careers linked to the health-care industry, such as information technology, coding and business management and administration.
He said there is also a pressing need for tool and die makers and welders.
“There is definitely a gap that needs to be filled in the manufacturing industry,” Miller said. “The industry is screaming for skilled laborers right now. So we’re trying to bridge that gap from the high schools to the tech colleges because there is such a high demand for it.”
For those already employed and looking to enhance their current positions and pay, Miller said WITC has classes and technical degrees to help reach those goals.
“When we add programs to our college we don’t just do it based on what we think.” Miller said. “We do a lot of research with area employers. They’re on our panel. So we kind of see what’s out there and what the demand is.”
Miller said the seminars have room for 12 people, but have been averaging about five for each session.
“It depends on the weather, to be honest with you,” Miller said. “Sometimes it’s intimidating for middle-aged people walking into any college. What’s nice about getting them in the door here is to feel how comfortable it is.”
Miller said after a career seminar he often will meet one-on-one with the attendees to determine the pros and cons of pursuing a chosen field of endeavor.
“When people leave a seminar they have a different outlook,” Miller said. “And it’s real positive. There’s nothing better than actually finding something that matches up with them and actually seeing them enroll to one of those programs. So it’s pretty neat to see.”
October 1, 2012
From pricecountydaily.com: “Technology is our friend in the great state of Wisconsin: Celebrating 20 years of video distance learning” – Merging education with the most current technology is now an everyday practice; however, 20 years ago it was a new adventure for both students and instructors. The members of the Northern Wisconsin Educational Communications System (NWECS) Consortium have been using video distance learning to educate students of all ages since it began providing two-way video communication using fiber optic telephone lines back in October of 1992.
Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College (WITC) in Rice Lake, Wisconsin, assumed the management roll of NWECS in July of 1992. The original 13 members are as follows: WITC Rice Lake, WITC Shell Lake, WITC Superior, WITC New Richmond, WITC Shell Lake, CESA 12, Bayfield High School, Washburn High School, South Shore High School, Ashland High School, Superior High School, Drummond High School and UW-Superior. Today, NWECS boasts a membership of 40 K-12 and higher education sites, running Interactive Television classes day and night on the State’s BadgerNet Converged Network (BCN). For a full listing of NWECS sites, please go to www.nwecs.net
Hours of network usage in 2003 totaled 2,184 compared to over 20,000 hours of network usage during this past school year. Traditional and non-traditional students within NWECS use video distance learning to earn credits from the ease of their school’s ITV room, eliminating travel and providing opportunities for class offerings not available on site. High school students can also graduate with a number of transferable general education credits before attending college.
This school year, the NWECS Consortium is running 67 credit classes over the network, serving 46 different high school districts in Wisconsin. Class offerings range from a host of Advanced Placement courses to four different foreign languages to healthcare career courses. NWECS members use both their ITV room and/or mobile cart units to participate in classes via video, connecting student to teacher. New member, Rice Lake School District, will be using a fleet of cart units for instruction in their upcoming Northern Lakes Regional Academy.
The next step in the world of ITV is upgrading from standard definition (SD) to high definition (HD), with a host of useful technology enhancements, like digital recording of classes and participation from desktop and hand-held devices. NWECS school districts of Phillips, Florence, Crandon, Wabeno, Pembine, Laona, Goodman and White Lake have already completed the upgrade. WITC will soon have a total of 12 HD rooms and UW Superior has HD ready rooms awaiting the final conversion.
September 18, 2012
From superiortelegram.com: “State allocates tax credits for Kestrel development” – Gov. Scott Walker announced Tuesday that Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority and Wisconsin Community Development Legacy Fund have completed a $30 million allocation of federal New Markets Tax Credits to the Kestrel Aircraft Co.
Established in 2010, Kestrel moved its design operations from Duluth to Superior; plans include constructing two facilities in Superior to manufacture its single-engine turboprop aircraft for production. A composites plant will be constructed in the Winter Street Industrial Park, and the assembly plant is slated for construction next year on the northeastern corner of the fairgrounds on Tower Avenue, near the Bong Airport.
“Attracting this visionary entrepreneur to relocate with the potential to create 600 new jobs is incredible news for the city of Superior and the entire state of Wisconsin,” Walker said in a prepared statement. “In putting together an aggressive package, Wisconsin has decisively demonstrated its commitment to job creation and boosting our state economy.”
WHEDA’s New Markets Tax Credit program promotes economic development in low-income communities. WHEDA is a part of the nonprofit WCDLF that is responsible for allocating federal New Market Tax Credits in Wisconsin. Kestrel qualifies for the credits as an eligible business seeking to make an investment in a federally designated qualified low-income area.
“I am thrilled that WHEDA is able to utilize its economic development and job creation tools to help Kestrel revolutionize aviation right here in Wisconsin,” said WHEDA Executive Director Wyman Winston. “Kestrel recognizes Wisconsin’s know-how and talent and WHEDA is committed to helping Kestrel develop the next generation of commercial aircraft in our great state.”
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation has created an Enterprise Zone in Superior to provide $18 million in tax credits, and has provided a $2 million loan to the company.
“This is a significant step and valuable economic development tool in supporting Kestrel Aircraft’s move to establish its manufacturing and headquarters in Superior,” said Paul Jadin, chief executive officer of Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.
The city of Superior has provided a $2.4 million loan in addition to providing two parcels of land for development, and $1.125 million in tax incremental financing (TIF).
“The decision of Kestrel Aircraft to locate in Superior is a high level addition to our corporate base, which will benefit the entire region and the State of Wisconsin,” said Superior Mayor Bruce Hagen. “We thank all of the private/public partnerships that reached out on all levels and depth to solidify and welcome Kestrel as our newest corporate citizen. The economic ripple effect will be very promising in growing the community, along with the introduction of complementary businesses and industries. We all owe a debt of gratitude to Kestrel President Alan Klapmeier and the Kestrel team.”
Douglas County has provided $800,000 in loans.
“Douglas County is pleased that one of the final steps in the financing of Kestrel Aircraft has been approved,” said Douglas County Board Chairman Douglas Finn. “This has been an exciting project for all of the residents of the area with the potential for several hundred jobs along with spin-off opportunities. We would not be at this point without a great partnership between Kestrel Aircraft, the state of Wisconsin, the city of Superior, Douglas County and all the other agencies involved along with the Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College.
“These are exciting times for our community and this is just one of many great opportunities if we continue to work together.”
July 30, 2012
From newrichmond-news.com: “WITC awarded major workforce grant” – The Wisconsin Covenant Foundation, Inc., recently announced that Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College is one of five Wisconsin technical colleges that will share $3.8 million as recipients of its Wisconsin Workforce Partnership Grants.
These colleges will use the grants to provide the specific training necessary to help fill available jobs at partner businesses with advanced manufacturing needs. Through real-world training, students will earn a meaningful degree, diploma, or certificate, leading to job placement in family-sustaining occupations.
“We feel honored to be recognized by the Wisconsin Covenant Foundation as one of six projects being grant funded to address the skills gap for local employers,” said Charlie Glazman, WITC associate dean of continuing education. “The Associate Degree Program in Composite Technology Technician that WITC is proposing with this grant will be the first in the State of Wisconsin.”
WITC’s $602,400 grant will be used in a partnership with Kestrel Aircraft to create a first-of-its-kind training program in Wisconsin. The associate degree in composite technology program will address the need for qualified aircraft fabrication workers.
Each program represents a partnership between the technical college and one or more Wisconsin businesses for the joint development or expansion of an advanced manufacturing degree or certification program. Funds will be used to support the significant investment in equipment, supplies, and specialized instruction that colleges must make to provide training in this area. These grants allow the colleges to make those investments, informed by partner businesses that will take a hands-on role in the development of program design and curricula. Through these collaborations, students will benefit most — earning an education that they can not only use at a partner business, but take with them into their future.
The Wisconsin Covenant Foundation, a private, non-profit organization, created this pilot grant to address the gap between Wisconsin’s workforce needs and its available workers.
“The Wisconsin Covenant Foundation is committed to ensuring that postsecondary education prepares students for immediate employment, while creating a stronger connection between that education and employers,” said Foundation Chair Richard D. George. “When capacity to provide the right skillset to workers is increased at the technical college level, the result is more well-trained workers prepared for on-the-job success. It’s a win-win for Wisconsin — our families and our workforce.”
The number of program completers and resulting job placements achieved during the three-year grant period will be used to determine the impact of fostering mutually-beneficial relationships between higher education and private industry, to better understand what makes a partnership successful.
Other Wisconsin technical colleges awarded grants includes Gateway Technical College, Moraine Park Technical College, Nicolet Area Technical College and Southwest Wisconsin Technical College.
From superiortelegram.com: “WTC System honors Charter Films with ‘Futuremakers’ award” – A major manufacturer in Superior is the latest recipient of the “Futuremakers Partner Award” from the Wisconsin Technical College System board.
Charter Films Inc. was recognized with the award at this month’s board meeting at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College- Superior.
The award was presented to Chris Trapp, chief executive officer of Charter Films Inc.
“The Futuremakers Partner Award was created to celebrate the impact of college and employer collaboration in helping hundreds of thousands of students set a direction for their future,” said Dan Clancy, president of the system. “Through these partnerships, we are able to build a highly-skilled workforce and strong communities.”
Charter Films Inc. is the leader in engineering, extruding and manufacturing plastic films for a wide variety of industries. The company works with WITC to create and grow their own training program, Charter University. This computer-based education program allows employees to receive instruction, giving them new skills and increased income. WITC also has collaborated with Charter Films to get Workforce Advancement Training grants for the program.
“This award recognizes our partnership with WITC and exemplifies our commitment to training and education of our employees. It also recognizes the importance of cooperation between business and educational institutions,” said Trapp. “We have worked together for many years to help align our job skill needs with the education curriculum at the technical college.”
In addition, Charter Films has worked with WITC and the technical college system to promote manufacturing careers to high school students. The company is one of the major manufacturing employers in Superior and Douglas County. Charter Films also ships products using local trucking firms and rail, and purchases supplies from local companies in the region.
“This company has a significant impact on the local economy and is an asset to the community and the state of Wisconsin,” Clancy said. “The board is very pleased to recognize Charter Films as a WTCS Futuremaker partner and a key economic development driver in northwest Wisconsin.”
From whattheythink.com: “WTCS honors Charter Films with “Futuremakers Partner Award” – A major manufacturer in the Superior area is the latest recipient of the “Futuremakers Partner Award” from the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) Board. Charter Films, Inc. accepted the award at this week’s WTCS Board Meeting at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College (WITC) Superior campus.
Dan Clancy, president of the WTCS, presented the award to Chris Trapp, CEO of Charter Films, Inc. “The Futuremakers Partner award celebrates the impact of college and employer collaboration in helping hundreds of thousands of students set a direction for their future,” Clancy explained. “Through these partnerships, we are building a highly-skilled workforce and strong communities.”
Charter Films, Inc. is the leader in engineering, extruding and manufacturing plastic films for a wide variety of industries. The company has partnered with WITC to create and grow their own training program, Charter University. This computer-based education program allows employees to gain new skills and boost income potential. WITC and Charter Films also worked together to secure Workforce Advancement Training grants for the program.
“This award recognizes our partnership with WITC and exemplifies our commitment to training and education of our employees. It also recognizes the importance of cooperation between business and educational institutions,” said Trapp. “We have worked together for many years to help align our job skill needs with the education curriculum at the technical college,” Trapp added.
Charter Films is one of the major manufacturing employers in Superior and Douglas County. They ship products using local trucking firms and rail, and purchase supplies from local companies in the region. “This company has a significant impact on the local economy and is an asset to the community and the state of Wisconsin,” Clancy said. “The Board is very pleased to recognize Charter Films as a WTCS Futuremaker partner and a key economic development driver in northwest Wisconsin.” In addition, Charter Films has partnered with WITC and WTCS to promote manufacturing careers to high school students.
July 20, 2012
From witc.edu: “Solar energy now helps WITC-New Richmond” –
Though not uncommon, the sight of solar panels soaking up the sun still seems out of the ordinary – especially on a college campus. But thanks to the participation of New Richmond Utilities and WPPI Energy, a 16-panel PV (photovoltaic) solar system was recently installed on the east lawn at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College-New Richmond.
“With the generous financial support through a grant from New Richmond Utilities and WPPI Energy, we were able to have this PV system installed at our New Richmond campus – a fine model of collaboration with our local utility,” says Ted May, Ph.D., Academic Dean – General Studies, Renewable Energy and Sustainability.
“This project demonstrates how using energy from a renewable resource like the sun can benefit our community and our environment,” says Mike Darrow, New Richmond City Administrator / Utility Manager. “New Richmond Utilities recognizes our shared responsibility to help protect the environment for future generations. Supporting local efforts such as the WITC solar project is one way we’re working to do our part.”
“This 4 kilowatt system is significantly larger than those at our other campuses. It allows us to continue our ongoing efforts to reduce energy costs for college operations, while providing educational opportunities for our students,” May explains.
This New Richmond PV system also increases education potential since the students in the Industrial Automation and Controls Networking program will work with and learn from its monitoring software. WITC-Ashland also offers a solar or wind electricity certificate, which electricians may pursue to enhance their knowledge and skills for installing renewable electricity systems.
In theory, the process is basic: The panels capture solar power and convert it to direct current (DC). The power is channeled into WITC’s existing electrical system or power grid. It’s estimated the solar PV system-produced electricity will save approximately $650 per year.
The PV system is mounted on a pole for clear access to the sun and is tilted as the seasons change. The system will produce power on cloudy days and can handle up to one-inch hailstones and winds of 90 mph.
Installation of this PV system on the New Richmond campus is a very visible sign of WITC’s ongoing dedication to sustainability. Across the 11-county district, WITC has worked to reduce energy consumption and invest moderately in renewable energy projects.
The Ashland and Superior campuses have PV systems installed, and the Ashland campus also installed a small (3 kilowatt) wind turbine. Among the many investments in sustainability in operations, the Ashland and Rice Lake campuses have installed rain gardens; and the Rice Lake campus has an electric car for its conference center.
New Richmond Utilities is a local, municipally owned and operated electric utility. WPPI Energy is the nonprofit power supplier for New Richmond Utilities and 50 other consumer-owned electric utilities. Through WPPI Energy, these public power utilities share resources and own generation facilities to provide reliable, affordable electricity to more than 195,000 homes and businesses in Wisconsin, Upper Michigan and Iowa.
For more information about WITC’s Renewable Energy and Sustainability efforts, visit www.witc.edu/sustainability/index.htm. The PV-produced electricity will be monitored and a link provided on this site to see results.
July 19, 2012
From northlandsnewscenter.com: “WITC awarded Workforce Partnership Grant” – Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College will be one of five technical colleges in the state that will share almost $4 million as recipients of its Wisconsin Workforce Partnership Grants.
The colleges will use the grants to provide training to help fill available jobs at partner businesses with manufacturing needs.
The Wisconsin Covenant Foundation, Inc. announced that the college will receive $602,400 to be used in partnership with Kestrel Aircraft to create a training program.
The associate degree in the composite technology program will address the need for qualified aircraft fabrication workers.
Students can earn a degree, diploma, or certificate, leading to job placement in family-sustaining occupations.
“We feel honored to be recognized by the Wisconsin Covenant Foundation as one of six projects being grant funded to address the skills gap for local employers,” said Charlie Glazman, WITC associate dean of continuing education. “The Associate Degree Program in Composite Technology Technician that WITC is proposing with this grant will be the first in the state of Wisconsin.”
Each program represents a partnership between the technical college and one or more Wisconsin businesses for the combined development of a manufacturing degree.
Funds will be used to support the investment in equipment, supplies, and specialized instruction that colleges must make to provide training in this area.
The grants allow the colleges to make those investments.
Other Wisconsin technical colleges awarded grants includes Gateway Technical College, Moraine Park Technical College, Nicolet Area Technical College and Southwest Wisconsin Technical College.
July 12, 2012
From JSOnline: “Tyler to continue as head of technical college board” — The Wisconsin Technical College System Board elected its officers today during a meeting in Superior.
Mark Tyler will continue to serve as president of the Wisconsin Technical College System Board after being elected to a second term. Tyler is founder and president of OEM Fabricators in western Wisconsin. He was first appointed to the board in 2007.
Drew Petersen was elected as vice president of the board. He was appointed to the board in January 2012. Petersen is vice president-external affairs and corporate communications for TDS Telecommunication Corp.
John Schwantes will serve as secretary of the board. He was first appointed in December 2011. He is director – plant member services at Johnsonville Sausage.
From wdio.com: “Area Technical College Celebrates Centennial” – A Northland technical college celebrated a big milestone Tuesday, 100 years of education. Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College has been around for a century.
In 1912 when WITC was established Superior became the second city in the state to have a vocational school. Since then the school has grown. It now has four campuses across the state with more than 24,000 students. In Superior this school is a staple the community couldn’t live without.
The superior based school threw a huge bash to celebrate their centennial, complete with face painting, a balloon artist, delicious food and so much more. Former president and class of 1972 alumni, Chuck Levine said WITC gave him a great life.
“I have been blessed with a career at the college because WITC gave me a degree,” said Chuck Levine, President Emeritus at WITC.
At the celebration, Levine helped open a time capsule from 198, discovering some things from the college past. Superior’s Mayor, Bruce Hagen, also declared Tuesday WITC centennial day.
July 10, 2012
From superiortelegram.com: “WITC, Rotary celebrate a century” – In 1912, the state’s first Rotary Club was formed in Superior. That same year, the Evening Vocational School — precursor to Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College — opened.
Non-resident tuition was 50 cents per week; the first teacher worked for $2 per night.
Both WITC and the Superior Rotary Club will mark their centennials next week. One will turn100 with flowers and music; the other with a lawn party and time capsule.
WITC invites the public to a free Community Lawn Party 4-7 p.m. Tuesday at 600 N. 21st St. The event features free cupcakes, coffee, lemonade and Italian ices, tours of the building and music selections spanning the last 100 years provided by Sounds Unlimited. Children’s entertainment will include a moonwalk, face painting, balloon animals and games.
At 4:30 p.m., Superior Mayor Bruce Hagen and Douglas County Board of Supervisors Chairman Doug Finn issue proclamations declaring July 10 WITC Centennial Celebration Day.
At 5:30 p.m., Dave Minor, chairman of the WITC board of directors, talks about WITC and its impact, followed by statements from state and local representatives.
At 6:30 p.m. Wisconsin Technical College President Dan Clancy and WITC President Bob Meyer plan to be on hand for the opening of the 1987 time capsule. It was filled the year “Dirty Dancing,” “Fatal Attraction” and “Three Men and a Baby” were released, and the radio station was awash with tunes from U2, Bon Jovi, Michael Jackson and Madonna.
At 7 p.m., WITC-Superior Campus Administrator Diane Vertin delivers closing remarks.
In 1912, Superior became the second city in Wisconsin to establish a vocational school, with Racine being the first. Based on college estimates, more than 65,000 students have become WITC graduates.
Everyone is invited to join in the fun, said Allison Iacone, marketing and public relations associate with WITC.
From hudsonstarobserver.com: “Partners in Education celebrates student, school and community collaboration” — There was no shortage of happy faces at this year’s Partners in Education lunch at the Hudson House Grand Hotel last Thursday, May 24.
The gathering is held to acknowledge the successes of HHS students who participate in the School to Career programs. Attending with the students were their parents and families and their employers. Some 50 area businesses and organizations from Hudson and the surrounding area offer employment opportunities to students.
The keynote speaker at the event is a success story for the career and technical education program in the Hudson School District. Cody Klatt, a member of the HHS Class of 2007, shared how Career and Technical Education helped him to accelerate his degree in Automated Packaging Systems from WITC. He credited his CTE instructors, learning disability teachers, and school counselors for helping to guide him on his career path.
Klatt’s interest in his program choice began after a field trip to WITC in eighth grade and sought out Melisa Hansen, School to Career Coordinator for the Hudson School District, for guidance. He delivered his message that all students should not only choose a career that they love, but one that will offer job opportunities and a self-supporting salary after attainment of his or her degree. Klatt is now Maintenance Lead at Preco, Inc. in Hudson.
Collaborating to offer HHS students post-secondary credits to support their career goals are UW-River Falls, Chippewa Valley Technical College, and WITC with support from the Wisconsin Department of Public Education, the Department of Workforce Development/Youth Apprenticeship, Junior Achievement and the Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce and Industry Council.
Hansen said the gathering was reflective of the support for the district’s work-based learning and Career-Technical Education programs.
Said Hansen, “Through collaboration and teamwork among all partners, programs offered provide students exposure to the world of work, help foster and encourage growth in 21st century skills, engage students, and help create a seamless transition from school to careers.”
Hansen also acknowledged the contribution of the instructors from the district’s career and technical education departments and the district’s Advisory Council Partners who provide expertise in their area of business and industry. They work with the faculty to help plan appropriate curriculum to ensure that students are learning the most up to date technical and academic skills necessary. They help design curricular frameworks and supportive materials or events.
For more information about the Hudson School District’s career and technical education programs contact Hansen at (715) 377-3712.
May 30, 2012
From ashlandcurrent.com: ”Workforce Corner: “Building Bridges and Life Skills” – Summer is finally here in the northland! And, with this season comes employment opportunities for regional youth. The Crex Meadows Youth Conservation Camp, located in Grantsburg, Wis., is a very unique summer option for eligible teens from northwest Wisconsin. Over the past five years, applications for camp have steadily increased. This year, camp received its highest number of applications ever—125 applications for 76 available openings. Nearly every school within the ten county region the camp serves will be represented.
Campers work with the DNR on a variety of projects at the 30,000-acre Crex Meadows Wildlife Area and Governor Knowles State Forest and are paid for their labor, which is an unusual feature for a summer camp and holds great interest for campers. In the past, campers have removed invasive plant species, performed native seed collection, built bridges to increase trail accessibility, and assisted in the entire Canadian Geese banding process.
“Last year, there was a severe wind storm in Grantsburg. The campers during one of the sessions worked on post-storm clean up, which was a great experience because the campers got to work and be involved in the community and with the community members,” said Suzannah Crandall, camp director.
In addition to their work with the DNR, campers participate in a hands-on science and life-skill based curriculum. Some of the science activities have included plant and animal identification, radio telemetry and triangulation, and analyzing and examining water samples. Local school districts support the camp by rewarding the campers with science or elective credit that can be used towards high school graduation. A distinctive aspect of the camp curriculum is that it is delivered by people from different organizations, allowing campers to be exposed to a diverse wealth of knowledge.
“The life-skill based curriculum is a tremendous learning opportunity,” said Crandall. “This year one of the topics we will discuss is career development. The class will involve looking at the skills and education you need for specific jobs, the process of applying for jobs, and how to prepare a resume and cover letter. Part of this lesson will also be on social media and how others perceive you based on your personal profiles.”
Some of the organizations participating in this summer’s upcoming activities are: Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College (WITC), Crex Meadows Education Staff, and DNR Interns. WITC staff will be involved in the career development activity and will be performing career assessments. Crex Meadows Education Staff aid in supervising campers during their conservation projects while working alongside them and leading lessons and other team building activities. DNR Interns share information about the projects they are currently working on.
Campers don’t just work and study, however. There is also plenty of fun and recreation including swimming, sports, trust and teambuilding activities, campfire games, storytelling, movies, canoeing, and hiking. The camp is a partnership between CEP, Inc., the Northwest Wisconsin Workforce Investment Board, Inc., and the federal Workforce Investment Act.