From wuwm.com: “New College Grads May Be Entering An Improving Job Market” – Thousands of local college students graduated over the weekend. UWM and Marquette were among those holding commencement ceremonies. More grads will pick up their diplomas next weekend, including at MSOE and MATC.
The last few years have been tough for college grads. They entered the labor force amid a slow-moving economy, when employers were hesitant to hire. And the competition often included experienced people, laid off during the recession. Dennis Winters says now however, there are hints the job hunt may be a bit easier. He works for the state Department of Workforce Development.
“The economy is growing slowly and the employment situation is a bit laggard yet, but I think things are picking up throughout the rest of the year and in the future, so graduates have something a little better to look at,” Winters says.
Another agency that sees promising data is Milwaukee-based Manpower Group. It tracks hiring trends.
“There was healthy hiring last quarter, so I think we’re going to see continuous improvement. It’s certainly not going backwards,” says Chris Layden, who heads one of the Wisconsin divisions of ManpowerGroup. He says some new grads have an advantage over experienced people looking for work.
“Companies are looking for fresh talent out of college, particularly leading companies within the Milwaukee market that are always trying to bring in fresh perspectives and hiring potential.”
Layden says the greatest demand for graduates remains in the STEM fields: science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
The trend puts graduates from the Milwaukee School of Engineering in good standing. Erik Oswald works in MSOE’s careers office. He says employers sought out the school’s students throughout the economic downturn.
“Even in the height of the recession, our students were getting jobs. They maybe were just having one offer at a time. But as things are recovering, the biggest thing we’re seeing is that students are able to choose between two or three offers again,” Oswald says.
Oswald says the pay is good, even for those just entering the workforce.
“The average starting salaries for the 2011-2012 class for all of our graduates was $55,368,” Oswald says.
On the other edge of downtown, Marquette University reports high demand for its grads, across the spectrum. Andy Brodzeller is spokesman.
“One anecdote is that involvement in our career fairs that we host in the fall and spring semester — we’ve seen additional participation by companies and employees. This past year, actually we had to turn down employees, because we simply didn’t have enough space for them in the ballrooms at the career fair,” Brodzeller says.
Brodzeller says grads with a leg up are those who participated in internships and got work experience. The head of UW-Milwaukee’s career development center echoes the sentiment. Cindy Petrites says students’ resourcefulness outside the classroom can be as important as their field of study.
“The person graduating today is probably looking at over a dozen job changes over the course of their lifetime. So it’s really important for us to be helping students to be really nimble in the way they are developing their skills, in the way they are thinking about how they can be marketable — not just for the jobs of today, but for the jobs of tomorrow,” Petrites says.
Another local institution has seen first-hand the changing employment picture graduates face. Mike Kuehnl is with MATC, who says “4,500 of our students already have bachelor’s or master’s degrees and they’ve come to MATC to get the skills that employers are looking for.”
Kuehnl says graduates in the greatest demand are those in the fields of information technology, manufacturing and health care.
May 15, 2013
From chippewa.com: “Dreams come true for local CVTC grads” – Eau Claire — Friday night was a dream come true for Lori Hruza of Chippewa Falls and Devyne Gass of Cornell. Their paths were longer and a bit more winding than many of their fellow Chippewa Valley Technical College graduates, but they all came to the same place together: walking across the stage to receive their diplomas.
Hruza, 42, and Gass, 45, received associate degrees in nursing. They are now well prepared to pass their exams and become registered nurses, opening up greater career opportunities than they have experienced before in their lives.
“Dreams do come true,” said Hruza. “I always wanted to do nursing, and after my third child I decided to go back to school.“
Hruza has been many places in her adult life, as her husband pursued a military career. She worked in child care and taught preschool, at one point in Hawaii. But she always dreamt of becoming a nurse.
“It’s interesting learning about the human body, and I always enjoyed helping people,” she said. It became easier to pursue her dream after her children were older, and she chose CVTC’s nursing program.
Now, ready to enter the nursing profession and after seven years living in Chippewa Falls, she’s excited about a new adventure. “We’re moving to Hawaii!” she said.
Gass has already been working as a licensed practical nurse at a nursing home in Ladysmith. She attended Northcentral Technical College in Wausau some years ago for that training. She’s been wanting to advance her career.
“I wanted to get into a school that’s closer,” she said. “But it took a while to get back into the program.“
Now she’s on the verge of being an RN. It won’t mean an immediate change of scenery for her, but Gass knows it will open up many more employment possibilities.
“It’s been a long time coming,” she said.
That feeling was shared by hundreds of people at UW-Eau Claire’s Zorn Arena, which hosts the CVTC graduation each fall and spring.
CVTC honored 626 graduates in 47 different programs Friday night, with 375 graduates receiving associate degrees and 251 receiving technical diplomas. On Thursday night, CVTC honored 67 graduates at its River Falls campus, including 60 receiving associate degrees and seven receiving technical diplomas.
The most popular programs among this spring’s graduates were nursing, with 60 graduates, criminal justice/law enforcement with 54 graduates, and business management with 53.
Among the graduates was Randi Johnson of Eau Claire, in the dental hygienist program, who was chosen as the student speaker. She urged the graduates to get out of their comfort zones.
“Being willing to step out of our comfort zones led us here,” she said. “Now that we’ve gotten to this point in life, we should push ourselves to keep improving. We will feel uncomfortable in the future, whether it’s in an interview for our dream job or buying our first house. But the moments where we feel unsure usually turn out to be the ones that change our lives and help define who we are.“
Featured speaker Paul Gabriel, executive director of the Wisconsin Technical College District Boards Association, put a new twist on the notion of wishing graduates “good luck.“
“For years, I’ve heard graduates refer to themselves as ’lucky’ to have made it here,” he said. “But, what’s luck really got to do with it? … If you feel fortunate to be here, it’s not luck at all. It’s the success that you have created for yourself.“
May 6, 2013
From wxow.com: “A walk in the shoes of a dementia patient” — More than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease. The number could rise to as many as 16 million by 2050.
Alzheimer’s is the largest category of dementia. Dementia is not a disease, but a term used to describe symptoms caused by disorders affecting the brain. Seven of 10 Alzheimer’s patients live at home, but many caregivers aren’t equipped to deal with the symptoms.
In the Coulee Region, The Alzheimer’s Association provides assistance to families.
“I think it’s definitely a difficult disease for caregivers to understand because it effects every person differently,” said Brett Williams of The Alzheimer’s Association. “So someone can learn about Alzheimer’s Disease, but until you really learn how each person is going through it, there’s no way to really understand it.”
At Western Technical College, students entering healthcare fields have a tool allowing them to walk in the shoes of a dementia patient. The virtual dementia tour is part of an Alzheimer’s training course. Participants are asked to perform simple tasks but with limitations that simulate those of a person suffering from dementia.
“It helps the worker communicate effectively and communicate appropriately,” said Linda Schneider, an adjunct instructor at Western.
The course limits all your senses, from sight to motor skills to hearing, so even listening to the instructions is difficult. There are even inserts in the participants shoes to create a pins and needles sensation dementia patients experience.
“Dementia is not normal aging at all,” Schneider said. “Dementia is a problem happening in the brain. It’s a disease within the brain.”
And it’s a common disease, according to the National Institute on Aging, half of those over 85 suffer from some type of dementia.
“One thing I learned on the dementia virtual tour was how confused I was,” said Jacquelyn Ross, a Western student who went through the simulation. “I just couldn’t’ believe how much was really going on and then still expected to act like a normal person.”
Experiencing just how frustrating it can be to just fold a sheet, helps caregivers understand the struggles their patient faces.
“A lot of people need to know,” Ross said. “Not enough people know.”
Despite being told exactly what to do and having an instruction sheet, when News 19′s Kristen Barbaresi only managed to do one of the five tasks correctly. She set the table for two instead of four, filled both glasses instead of just one and wrote a letter about her family, instead of a letter to her family.
“Help with the expectation that they have of working with a person that’s got these kinds of cognitive impairments as well as impairments of aging with hearing and feeling,” Schneider said.
27 percent of Alzheimer’s patients suffer from minor depression and 22 percent have major depression and the course helps participants understand why.
“I’ve put myself in their shoes,” Ross said. “You know that there’s no cutting corners. It’s just what it is.”
The Alzheimer’s course is funded by the Bridges to Healthcare grant Western received in 2011. The course is the result of feedback from employers who said personal care workers need more training in dementia, especially with the aging population.
The course isn’t only helpful for students. The idea is expanding to the community and professions dealing with the elderly.
“We’re looking at doing some additional training in the next year,” said Sandra Schultz, Bridges to Healthcare Grant coordinator. “We’re doing a foundation course with the Alzheimer’s association. And we’re also looking at doing specific training with various groups such as the law enforcement and we’re looking at the EMT group.”
May 1, 2013
From ntc.edu: “Caring for Aging Population Seminar at NTC” – Northcentral Technical College (NTC) is providing an opportunity to learn the latest information on geriatric care with a seminar entitled “Caring for our Aging Population” on Thursday, May 16, from 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. at the NTC Wausau Center for Health Sciences Auditorium. The event will also be available at NTC’s Antigo, Medford, Phillips and Spencer campuses via Interactive Video Conferencing (IVC).
April 16, 2013
From bizjournals.com: “MATC adds associate degree and technical diploma programs” – Milwaukee Area Technical College will introduce 12 new associate degree and technical diploma programs in 2013-2014 to address growing demand in a number of industries.
The new programs in the School of Business are eBusiness fundamentals technical diploma, financial services technical diploma, food manufacturing and processing technical diploma and food science technology associate degree.
In the School of Health Sciences there is a new health information technician associate degree. The School of Media and Creative Arts has a new audio production associate degree, creative advertising strategist associate degree, eProduction associate degree, mobile application developer technical diploma, and a mobile designer associate degree. In the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences there is a new early childhood education technical diploma.
“The new programs exemplify MATC’s response to the needs of area businesses,” said MATC president Michael Burke, in a press release. “Students will have an opportunity to prepare for careers in some of the fastest-growing industries.”
From lacrossetribune.com: “Health care, accounting, tech are hottest fields for area graduates” – Shainah Hughes knows she’ll find a job and support her family when she graduates.
Job security is one of the big reasons the 29-year-old student at Western Technical College is pursuing a degree in electronics and computer engineering.
“When I graduate, there’s going to be a need for that,” Hughes said.
Health care, accounting and technology are big draws for grads who want to live locally, but college officials agree there’s no hard and fast trend.
Job security is “huge” for today’s graduates, said Beth Dolder-Zieke, director of career services at Viterbo University.
Many started college on the eve of the recession.
“They heard you go to college, you do really well, get a job,” Dolder-Zieke said. “And then they go to college, and for those of them who were aware of what was going on, it was very discouraging.”
College grads have high expectations from their first job. Nationally, they expect a salary approaching $50,000 and “want opportunities for future growth,” Dolder-Zieke said.
For that, many are looking to health care.
More than 160 students graduated from Viterbo’s un-dergraduate nursing and nursing-completion programs last year. Western, UW-L, Winona State University and Minnesota State College-Southeast Technical in Winona all offer degrees in health care, too.
Radiography, certified nursing assistant and physical therapy programs have a consistent following because of local hospitals, said Jackie Newman, career services specialist for Western.
“The regional area makes health care a popular pick,” Newman said.
Physician assistants and nurse practitioners are also in demand by local hospitals “because that’s a way that they can serve underserved populations,” said Tim Tritch, UW-L’s associate director of career services.
Health care-related work makes up nearly 20 percent of La Crosse jobs, and about 24 percent of Winona County jobs, according to state employment data.
Issac Tillman went back to college with plans to open a restaurant but wound up working in financial aid.
Tillman started in Western’s business management program, hoping to pad years of experience and a past degree in food service. He soon realized he wanted something more stable.
Tillman graduates this year and has already found work in Western’s financial aid office.
“It clicked,” Tillman said.
Accounting and technology are both strong choices for students like Tillman, who stay in the region, college officials say. Employers want skilled workers in both fields.
“Even when the economy goes bad, they still need accountants,” said Gale Lanning, director of admissions for Minnesota State College-Southeast Technical. “They have always been our consistent program that still will survive no matter what.”
Career choices vary as much as certificates and degrees available at the region’s colleges — especially when an aspiring college grad is willing to move for work, Tritch said. Proximity of two major job markets, the Twin Cities and Madison, creates myriad possibilities for students.
From bizjournals.com: “WCTC enters nursing partnership with University of Phoenix” – The University of Phoenix College of Nursing and Waukesha County Technical College have announced a transfer pathway that will enable WCTC nursing students to transfer into the University of Phoenix in pursuit of a master of science in nursing, according to a release.
Under the new partnership, eligible students and graduates of WCTC’s associate of applied science in nursing degree program will be able to transfer into University of Phoenix’s bachelor of science in nursing degree program. Students may then continue their education by enrolling in the master of science in nursing/nurse administration degree program. The University of Phoenix has local campuses in Milwaukee and Brookfield.
“A more educated nurse is a safer nurse,” said Angie Strawn, associate dean of University of Phoenix College of Nursing, in the release. “For many, the demands of a full-time career as a nurse preclude their ability to pursue an advanced degree. Our new pathway with Waukesha makes the path to becoming a nurse leader more achievable.”
April 2, 2013
From marshfieldnewsherald.com: “Column: MSTC students give back to community” – Winter is ending — I am sure of it! Well, almost sure. Despite the weather, Mid-State Technical College students have been actively engaged in our communities, demonstrating service learning at its finest. MSTC students and employees positively impact hundreds, possibly thousands, of lives each year through volunteerism and service learning.
Service learning is a method of instruction that combines classroom knowledge and skills with real-world experience through community service. Many MSTC students engage in service learning and charitable activities, demonstrating that a technical college education not only provides students with the skills they need to succeed in the workforce, but also community spirit to be valuable contributors to central Wisconsin.
The number of MSTC community projects is too great to list them all, but I’d like to share a sample of the spirit of giving among our students.
Many MSTC programs arrange service learning to help meet specific community needs. For instance, the Early Childhood Education, or ECE, Club filled pillowcases with pajamas, toys, personal hygiene items and games for children who have been removed from their home due to possible neglect or abuse. Mid-State Student Nurses Association, or MSNA, sponsors an on-campus blood drive every semester.
Students also are quick to address tragic events and previously unforeseen needs. Corrections students sponsored a walk that raised $9,800 to assist a local family with their child’s medical expenses. The same group of students is raising money for the family of an Adams County deputy injured in the line of duty.
Student projects also increase awareness and educate. Students Environmentally United for a Sustainable Society, or SEUSS, a club made up of students from MSTC’s five renewable energy programs and the Urban Forestry program, regularly promote environmental sustainability through a variety of events and charitable giving. In one instance, the SEUSS club recently bought and prepared locally grown foods and served dinner to about 180 people at The Neighborhood Table in Wisconsin Rapids. MSTC law enforcement students mentor local high school students and members of the community through the police academies.
I am humbled and inspired by these outstanding and selfless acts of kindness. Generosity and service learning are truly a part of our culture at MSTC. The student club concept fosters self-improvement by providing opportunities to develop leadership qualities, social awareness, occupational understanding and civic consciousness. Development of these skills helps students discover new interests, make connections, and enhance opportunities for employment — all while positively impacting their future employers and the fabric of our communities.
March 19, 2013
From marshfieldnewsherald.com: “Column: Career, tech education a real-world way to learn” – Career and technical education is a cooperative effort between technical colleges and employers. Students receive instruction and training in the classroom and also with local employers through internships, externships and clinical rotations. These real-world skills and experiences help graduates be better prepared to enter or re-enter the world of work.
Mid-State Technical College offers certificates, technical diplomas and associate degrees in more than 100 areas.
MSTC graduates enjoy careers in many industries and service areas in all of our communities. Some examples include law enforcement and corrections officers, surgical technologists, manufacturing and electronic technicians, welders, registered nurses, automotive technicians, accountants, cosmetologists, urban foresters, business managers, supervisors, marketing professionals, computer programmers, medical assistants, respiratory therapists and much more. As we look around at the businesses and industries in our community, it is easy to see the impact of career and technical education.
A technical college education is the training that is sought after and needed by employers in the 21st century. In fact, 93 percent of employers are satisfied or very satisfied with the education and training and would hire technical college graduates again.
The preparation provided at a technical college includes the necessary academic and technical skills to be highly productive employees in their field of choice.
The required technical skills are changing each and every year; many of these skills were unheard of a generation ago. We work with employers in our communities to stay abreast of changes and advances in technology so that these new tools and skills are incorporated into our programs.
In addition to offering programs of study to meet the workforce needs of tomorrow, technical colleges are well suited to offer just-in-time training and training aimed at upgrading employees’ skills.
Mid-State Technical College is your community’s college. Turn to us when you are ready to develop employee training or enter a program of study to earn your associate degree or technical diploma. MSTC’s Marshfield Campus is at 2600 W.Fifth St. in Marshfield. You may reach us at 715-387-2538 or visit our website at mstc.edu. Let us know how we can be of service to you.
Brenda Dillenburg is dean of the Mid-State Technical College campus in Marshfield.
February 28, 2013
From channel3000.com: “Dentists warn of high acidity in some energy drinks” – MADISON, Wis. - Popular energy drinks claim to give people hours of energy, but dentists said people may be bathing their teeth in acid when they consume energy drinks.
They come in flashy containers, promising a boost to get you through those long days.
“A lot of people really do sit and just drink this stuff,” said Madison College dental hygiene student Alicia Selzler.
But when the jolt runs dry, new research shows, people are left with are serious hazards to their teeth.
“I used to drink these in high school myself,” said Selzler. “And I always wanted to do hygiene, but I never really thought of what this is actually doing to my teeth until I saw this.”
Selzler is no stranger to sugar’s destructive path, but the experiment she’s conducting with her classmates at Madison College examines the acid content of energy drinks.
“The citric acid is the one ingredient that we noticed that if it was listed near the top of the ingredient list, that was one of those solutions we knew we were going to get a low pH,” said Marcy LeFave, Madison College dental hygiene faculty member.
On a pH scale, a reading of 7 is neutral, like water. The lower the number, the more acidic the chemical. Students measured the pH of a variety of drinks. Coffee and milk showed pH scores of around 5 and 6, respectively. Root beer was around 4.
But a sugar-free bottle of Vitamin Water Zero showed a high level of acidity in a test, Selzler said.
“It’s actually Vitamin Water Zero,” said Selzler. “It’s showing a pH of 3.15. So the pH of that product is really, really low.”
The energy drink in the experiment logged a pH close to 3 as well. Battery acid reads -1 on the pH scale.
And with the popularity of these types of drinks, researchers said it’s only a matter of time before a rising number of dentists expend more of their energy on tooth decay.
“I always tell my patients, and I’ve learned from my hygienist and my teachers, if you sip all day, you get decay,” said Selzler, “So this is kind of what we like to show people, the acid and what it’s all doing.”
With sugar, the decay process begins after the sugar reacts with the bacteria in a person’s mouth to produce the acid that eventually gets to his or her teeth. When drinking energy drinks high in citric acid, it skips the sugar-bacteria chemical reaction completely. Researchers said the citric acid could damage a person’s teeth faster.
February 18, 2013
From chippewa.com: “Displaced Pactiv workers launch new healthcare careers” – Barbara Kouba-Prewitt worked at the Pactiv plant in Chippewa Falls for more than 31 years; her friend Faye Wolf worked there over 20 year. Their lives were shattered in January when the plant closed, and they’ve still got a ways to go before piecing things back together.
But both Chippewa Falls women will soon be enrolling in a Certified Nursing Assistant class at Chippewa Valley Technical College as their next steps in new, but divergent, careers in healthcare.
After a lot of recent anguish, they see some hope on the horizon.
“Now at least I know there’s something I can do,” said Wolf.
The two women joined dozens of displaced workers in CVTC’s 11-county district to be introduced to new careers through the Healthcare Academy, part of the Bridges2Healthcare program that prepares displaced workers for specific jobs in the field. A group of 16 participants in the Healthcare Academy graduated Thursday in a ceremony at Wissota Health in Chippewa Falls. Seven of those graduates were former Pactiv workers.
“My last year at Pactiv I was a CI leader — a supervisory position,” said Kouba-Prewitt, reflecting on the layoff. “It was very difficult. Both my husband and I worked there.“
The glimmer of hope came from visits from representatives of the Department of Workforce Development.
“They came to our plant just about every week,” Kouba-Prewitt said.
Workforce Resource’s job is to transition unemployed people into long-term employment opportunities. That made the organization the perfect partner for CVTC in the Bridges2Healthcare program.
Bridges2Healthcare is the result of a federal grant made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the so-called stimulus bill of 2010. The bill made money available for retraining displaced workers for the jobs available in their areas.
CVTC was one of a group of eight technical and community colleges in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa to receive a grant to transition workers to healthcare jobs, according to CVTC Career Pathways Coordinator Brenda Scheurer.
“A lot of people were losing their jobs in manufacturing at the time,” said Scheurer. “We found a lot of the skills they had could be applicable to the healthcare industry.“
In Bridges2Healthcare, educational institutions partner with local agencies that work with displaced workers. In the Chippewa Valley, that’s Workforce Resource Inc.
“We were contacted by CVTC to put on the Healthcare Academy and to recruit people for the Bridges2Healthcare program,” said Sue Lane of Workforce Resource.
Workforce Resource screens prospects for their interest and aptitude for healthcare careers. Those selected enter the Healthcare Academy, a two-week session in which they explore the different aspects and opportunities available in the field.
“We go over medical terminology, regulations, safety, communication and time management,” Lane said. “They also become First Aid certified and do a lot of tours of local health care facilities.“
Through the process, the participants find areas of healthcare that interest them and are then channeled into further training programs, like Bridges2Healthcare’s Medical Office Receptionist or Geriatric Nursing Assistant, taught by CVTC instructors. Some enter regular CVTC programs like Nursing or Dental Hygienist.
“It’s remarkable,” said Kouba-Prewitt. “I became more interested in healthcare through the program. I’ve seen things that I didn’t even realize were part of healthcare.“
Wolf left factory work with a shoulder injury, and she was in need of a career change.
“I can’t do factory work anymore. I have to find something my shoulder can handle,” she said.
Wolf found what she was looking for in the Pharmacy Technician program at CVTC.
“I didn’t even know (the job) existed,” Wolf said. She thought all the people behind the counter at the pharmacy had impressive advanced degrees that were out of her reach. The Healthcare Academy taught her differently, and the rest of the Bridges2Healthcare program will help her transition into the career.
Kouba-Prewitt is headed for the Bridges2Healthcare Medical Office Receptionist program, but she also plans to take some accounting at CVTC, “so I can do the billing.“
Not all of the Healthcare Academy participants were laid-off workers. Nicole Barreiro of Chippewa Falls left a job in a field she just felt wasn’t right for her.
“I never worked in the healthcare field, but I felt I needed a fresh start,” she said. “Healthcare is very popular. There’s a lot of demand for workers. I like working with people. I love having that communication and interaction.“
Her explorations led her to CVTC’s Renal Dialysis Technician program.
Other Healthcare Academy sessions have been held in Eau Claire and River Falls since last fall, with more scheduled for later this year.
February 12, 2013
From bizjournals.com: “WTCS announces new program for nurses” – Registered nurses with a two-year degree from a Wisconsin technical college can now fully apply those credits toward a bachelor degree, according to a release.
The agreement originated with Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) and Cardinal Stritch University, but the replicable approach was immediately made available to nursing graduates of all 16 Wisconsin technical colleges.
The one-day-per week program, part of the university’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing Completion program, is designed for registered nurses looking for enhanced career opportunities, promotions and management positions.
Cardinal Stritch, with its main campus in the Milwaukee area and campuses throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota, designed the program specifically for working registered nurses. It is accredited through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
February 11, 2013
From riverfallsjournal.com: “Displaced workers poised to launch healthcare careers” – When the city of River Falls decided to stop enforcing parking meters for a year, for most people it meant saving some dimes and quarters on downtown visits.
For Eve Cole, it meant the loss of a job she held for more than 20 years.
“My job was eliminated,” said Cole, 52, of Ellsworth.
But Cole is getting set for a new career in healthcare, thanks to a program through Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) in cooperation with Workforce Resource.
Cole is one of dozens of displaced workers in CVTC’s 11-county district to be introduced to new careers in healthcare through the Healthcare Academy, part of the Bridges2Healthcare program that prepares displaced workers for specific jobs in the field.
A group of seven local participants in the Healthcare Academy graduated from the program Thursday, Jan. 31.
“I heard about Bridges2Healthcare when I was here at the job center,” Cole said. “They thought it was a good program for me to go through. I’m thinking about a career change.”
Bridges2Healthcare is the result of a federal grant made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the so-called stimulus bill of 2010.
The bill made money available for retraining displaced workers for the jobs available in their areas.
CVTC was one of a group of eight technical and community colleges in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa to receive a grant to transition workers to jobs in healthcare, according to CVTC Career Pathways Coordinator Brenda Scheurer.
“A lot of people were losing their jobs in manufacturing at the time,” said Scheurer. “We found a number of the skills they had could be applicable to the healthcare industry.”
In Bridges2Healthcare, educational institutions partner with local agencies that work with displaced workers. In the St. Croix Valley, that’s Workforce Resource Inc.
“We were contacted by CVTC to put on the Healthcare Academy and to recruit people for the Bridges2Healthcare program,” said Sue Lane of Workforce Resource.
Workforce Resource screens prospects for their interest and aptitude for healthcare careers.
Those selected enter the Healthcare Academy, a two-week session in which they explore the different aspects and opportunities available in the field.
“We go over medical terminology, regulations, safety, communication and time management,” Lane said. “They also become first-aid certified and do a lot of tours of local health care facilities.”
Through the process, the participants find areas of healthcare that interest them and are then channeled into further training programs, like Bridges2Healthcare’s Medical Office Receptionist or Geriatric Nursing Assistant, taught by CVTC instructors. Some enter regular CVTC programs like Nursing or Dental Hygienist.
Cole plans to enroll in CVTC’s Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program.
“I like Medical Assistant too,” said Cole. “I’m not quite sure yet.”
Bridges2Healthcare has been part of a new start in life for John Rutherford, 52, of River Falls. He had a job in parts supply at an assembly plant come to an end. Rutherford admitted that at his age it’s easy to get discouraged about the possibility of starting a new career, but he adopted a positive attitude.
“I tried to take care of myself better,” he said. “I dropped some weight. Today I feel better about myself and can meet new challenges.”
An injury to his mother-in-law and the care he helped provide to her led to an increased interest in the healthcare field.
Rutherford’s looking into the CNA program at CVTC, too, possibly as a bridge to work in occupational therapy.
Wanda Burgess of Ellsworth has had many jobs, having lived in 17 countries and 46 states in a life with a husband serving in the U.S. Air Force.
Burgess most recently lost a job as a seamstress and has settled in Ellsworth. She worked in assisted living and nursing care settings before.
“When I came to the Bridges2Healthcare program, I thought I didn’t want to do nursing work anymore, but the program changed my mind, and changed my life,” Burgess said. “So I’m going into the CNA program.”
A number of past sessions of the Healthcare Academy, introducing people to the field, took place last year, including one in River Falls. More are coming up in Chippewa Falls and Eau Claire.
CVTC is part of the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) and is one of 16 WTCS colleges located throughout the state.
January 29, 2013
From fox11.online.com: “EMS project receives $20,000 grant” – SHAWANO COUNTY – A nearly $20,000 grant is aimed at improving the health of older patients in rural communities.
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and Shawano Ambulance Service were awarded the funds to train emergency responders.
The goal of the project is to help aging adults understand their key risk factors and make sure they are receiving the proper care.
The hope is that the model developed in Shawano County can be used in other locations throughout the state.
The funding for the project comes from the Wisconsin Partnership Program at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health.
January 28, 2013
From leadertelegram.com: “Displaced workers launch new health care careers” – Cristin Johnson was laid off from her job at a call center, but today she sees great possibilities for her future.
Johnson, of Eau Claire, is about to enroll in the medical office receptionist program at Chippewa Valley Technical College as a way to transition to the medical assistant program next fall. She’s excited about the prospect of landing a job in the medical field.
Johnson is one of dozens of displaced workers in CVTC’s 11-county district to be introduced to new health care careers through the Health care Academy, part of the Bridges2Healthcare program that prepares displaced workers for specific jobs in the field. A group of 14 participants in the Health care Academy graduated from the program Jan. 11, with more sessions coming up.
“We took tours (of health care businesses) and the workers were so excited to be there for people. That’s why I want to get into health care, to be there for people,” Johnson said.
The people-centered nature of the health care field is one of the things participants learn about in the Health care Academy, the introductory part of the Bridges2Healthcare program.
Bridges2Healthcare is the result of a federal grant made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the so-called stimulus bill of 2010. The bill made money available for retraining displaced workers for the jobs available in their areas. CVTC was one of a group of eight technical and community colleges in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa to receive a grant to transition workers to jobs in health care, according to CVTC Career Pathways Coordinator Brenda Scheurer.
“A lot of people were losing their jobs in manufacturing at the time,” said Scheurer. “We found a lot of the skills they had could be applicable to the health care industry.”
In Bridges2Healthcare, educational institutions partner with local agencies that work with displaced workers. In the Chippewa Valley, that agency is Workforce Resource Inc.
“We were contacted by CVTC to put on the Health care Academy and to recruit people for the Bridges2Healthcare program,” said Sue Lane of Workforce Resource.
Workforce Resource screens prospects for their interest and aptitude for health care careers. Those selected enter the Health care Academy, a two-week session in which they explore the different aspects and opportunities available in the field.
“We go over medical terminology, regulations, safety, communication and time management,” Lane said. “They also become First Aid certified and do a lot of tours of local health care facilities.”
Through the process, the participants find areas of health care that interest them and are then channeled into further training programs, like Bridges2Healthcare’s Medical Office Receptionist or Geriatric Nursing Assistant, taught by CVTC instructors. Some enter regular CVTC programs like Nursing or Dental Hygienist.
“I really like how the staff at CVTC take time to give extra help if we need it. They will help make sure you are ready,” Johnson said.
Terri Rayner of Eau Claire was also laid off from a call center. Looking into a health care career seemed natural to her.
“I did CNA (certified nursing assistant) work before and when I got displaced, I wanted to see what the other options were,” she said. The Health care Academy led to interest in work as a resident assistant or a pharmacy assistant technician.
Rayner was fortunate enough to have a recent job offer. Now she’s considering obtaining health care career training while working so she’s in a position to advance her career in the future.
“It’s been a great experience for anyone wanting to pursue their education,” said Tonya Greger of Chippewa Falls. “In the Health care Academy, we heard all of the different aspects of the nursing and the medical fields. I’d like to further my career by going into nursing.”
More Health care Academy sessions are set up for later this month and into February in Eau Claire, River Falls and Chippewa Falls.
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.
December 4, 2012
From wpr.org: “New medical college effect will be significant” – The proposed new Medical College of Wisconsin campus in Wausau could have a significant impact on other higher education facilities in the region.
The announcement of the new Medical College campus is welcomed by Bernie Patterson, Chancellor of UW Stevens Point, who says the two schools are already working on joint research projects.
“There’s a big research component at the Medical College, as there is here, and in fact we’ve already sent practically a busload of faculty and staff to Milwaukee to meet with their faculty and staff to begin the collaboration two months ago,” he says.
The new campus will also affect the curriculum at Northcentral Technical College in Wausau. President Lori Weyers says there will be hands on opportunities for the medical students with her school’s health sciences and public safety programs.
“We will be able to simulate a natural disaster and be able to bring the medical students in with our students, paramedics, EMT’s, our nurses, our search techs, that if it would ever happen in real life, they would be prepared to handle it,” she says.
Dr. Brian Ewert, President and CEO of the Marshfield Clinic, sees a win-win, with the new medical students learning at the clinic, and then practicing medicine in the region.
“We’ve been around since 1916 and we’ve been educating doctors for 80 of those 96 years, because we recognize that where physicians train is a strong predictor of where they will practice,” he says.
And Dr. John Raymond, President of the Medical College, says the other institutions could even have teaching space on his new campus.
“There’s the opportunity to bring in other programs, and they wouldn’t necessarily all need to be owned by the Medical College of Wisconsin,” he says. “We’re up to helping maximize those possibilities.”
The new Medical College campus is expected to open in 2015.
November 27, 2012
From voiceofwr.com: “MSTC Quick Start Learning classes set for winter and spring” – Want to train for a new career? Need to advance your skills in your current career? Mid-State Technical College’s new Quick Start Learning classes are an easy solution for people on the go.
Quick Start Learning classes are ideal for the busy lives of local businesses and their employees. These short-term classes don’t follow traditional semester schedules. Convenient start dates offer more flexibility and choices in what, when, and where students can learn. Evening and online classes accommodate those who are unable to attend daytime classes.
Class options include topics like fire training, first aid/CPR/AED, gerontology, hazardous materials, hydraulics, leadership, medical terminology, Microsoft Office, nursing assistant acute care, phlebotomy, quality management, and Spanish. View classes in these and many other fields at http://www.mstc.edu/quickstartlearning.
Additional classes are added often. Class offerings are subject to demand and provided on a first come, first served basis. For more information, contact an MSTC Career Coach at 1-888-575-MSTC or stop by an MSTC Campus Office. Individuals previously enrolled at MSTC can register online through MyMSTC.
November 20, 2012
From wausaudailyherald.com: “Medical College of Wisconsin to start campus in Wausau” – Local education and medical leaders are pleased that months of hard work recruiting paid off with this morning’s announcement that the Medical College of Wisconsin will have a campus in Wausau.
The private, Milwaukee-based college announced in January that it was seeking sites for new campuses to raise the school’s profile statewide and find new clinical partners to help educate future generations of doctors and nurses. The college selected central Wisconsin and Green Bay in June and plans to open the campuses in 2015.
The college’s board of trustees met Friday to vote on exact locations for the campus, but the board’s decision was not announced until today. Marshfield, Stevens Point and Wausau were considered the three top locations for central Wisconsin.
“As a major provider of health care services in Wisconsin, we recognize the importance of this effort by the Medical College of Wisconsin to establish a medical education program in this part of the state, said Michael Kryda, Vice President of Medical Affairs for Ministry Health Care. “This program will compliment the already long-established medical education programs within our system as we continue to address the need for additional physicians in the many communities we serve across the state.”
The medical college will begin negotiations to locate classrooms and offices at the Liberty Mutual Insurance building, 2000 Westwood Drive, in Wausau. About 20 Medical College of Wisconsin students and school officials in October toured Wausau and made stops at Liberty Mutual and Northcentral Technical College in Wausau.
Wausau was considered a good possible location based on the close proximity of Aspirus Wausau Hospital, Ministry Saint Clare’s Hospital in Weston and branches of Marshfield Clinic. The estimated cost to develop medical education programs in both regions is approximately $11 to $12 million per region.
A community venture
The medical college campus will work in partnership with many local medical facilities and higher education institutions in central Wisconsin.
The medical college will partner with the University of Wisconsin Marathon County, which will provide student services and support, and NTC that will have space for a medical student learning laboratories and clinical simulation center.
Lori Weyers, the president of Northcentral Technical College, said medical college officials were impressed the school’s Center for Health Sciences, where students get hands-on training and education. The school already has a simulation center, and a $250,000 grant NTC received last year for the Wisconsin Technical College System will allow NTC to expand the facility.
“Our students will have a unique opportunity to be in an accelerated learning environment, working with Medical College (of Wisconsin) students, and interns,” Weyers said.
Aspirus, Ministry Health Care, and Marshfield Clinic all will play a critical role with the campus, providing physicians who will serve as faculty members and allow students to receive clinical education at those facilities.
Science faculty members for the college campus will be identified from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, University of Wisconsin Marathon County, University of Wisconsin – Marshfield/Wood County, and Northcentral Technical College.
The medical college also wants UWSP, UWMC, NTC, UW-Marshfield/Wood County and Northcentral Technical College to develop pipeline programs to prepare undergraduate students for medical school.
“MCW is developing community advisory boards in both Central Wisconsin and Green Bay to assist with the development and implementation of the local medical education programs,” Joseph E. Kerschner, MCW’s dean of the medical school and executive vice president, said in a news release. “The community advisory boards also will advise me in the selection of a community campus dean in both regions.”
Eliminating a shortfall
A 2011 report by the Wisconsin Hospital Association revealed that Wisconsin faces an estimated shortfall of 2,000 physicians by 2030. The hope is that the new medical college campuses will bring new physicians to central Wisconsin to train and stay in the area.
Duane Erwin, the CEO at Aspirus, said 150 people have graduated from the Aspirus family residency program that started in 1978 in partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and 87 residents practice in Wisconsin with 44 people still in the immediate region.
“Having students trained in the region helpsmake sure those physicians stay in the area to provide the care we need to provide,” Erwin said.
One of the Wisconsin Hospital Association’s recommendations in its report last year on the creation of new medical campuses to allow more students to be trained in medical fields. Dr. Charles Shabino, a senior medical adviser with the hospital association, called the new medical college campuses “a significant step forward” toward reducing the state’s looming physician shortage.
October 29, 2012
From wsaw.com: “NTC offers bachelor degree opportunities for online nursing program” – Northcentral Technical College (NTC) in Wausau and Grand Canyon University (GCU) in Phoenix, Arizona are proud to announce a new articulation agreement for the nursing programs. This agreement allows NTC graduates who have passed the NCLEX to transfer into the RN to BSN program at GCU.
“More and more employers are looking for BSN-prepared nurses who can hit the ground running,” said Anne McNamara, GCU Dean of the College of Nursing. “We are excited that this partnership with NTC will allow us to streamline the transfer process for students who are ready for that next step.”
GCU’s RN to BSN program is available completely online with students taking one class at a time. “This articulation agreement will allow current and former NTC students to acquire their degree without leaving the area,” says Lorraine Zoromski, NTC Dean of Health Sciences.
September 28, 2012
From greenbaypressgazette.com: “Guest column: NWTC turns 100, continues key educational mission” – Happy 100th birthday, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.
A century ago, NWTC was born upon the creation of local boards of industrial education overseeing continuation and trade schools.
In 1912, it was the exception to have graduated from high school. Yet, the country was in the beginning of massive industrialization that begged for higher and more complex skills.
In a 1927 publication of the Green Bay Board of Vocational Education, it was noted that: “A rapidly changing world forces the American citizen — to face the constantly changing problems and difficulties of an almost kaleidoscopic environment. Even the individual himself is in a ceaseless process of change in his employment, his attitudes and ambitions, his social contacts, his interests and opportunities.”
This phrase is as relevant today as it was almost 85 years ago. The difference is that now most people have a high school diploma, and the minimum requirement for gaining a career with a living wage is education beyond high school.
I am struck, when looking at pictures of students in classes in the beginning decades of NWTC’s history, how many men came to school wearing ties. Wearing a tie spoke of a relatively high status. Attending the Green Bay Vocational School increased your social status. In fact, in the late 1920s a Green Bay Vocational School publication was subtitled The University of the Adult.
Sadly, today, too many times we have heard a graduating high school student say when asked about post-high school plans, “I am just going to the tech.” How many times have we watched community college students demeaned on television comedies, by stand-up comics, or in popular music? What happened?
The importance and status of a higher education technical degree was overtaken by the assumption that the only way to achieve the American Dream is to have a four-year college degree. Don’t get me wrong, achieving a bachelor’s degree or higher is a worthy endeavor and we encourage students to aspire to these degrees. But the vast majority of careers do not require more than a two-year technical associate degree. In fact:
• Two-thirds of students who have an associate degree in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) field will earn more than someone with a bachelor’s degree. The overlap of lifetime wages between all associate degree and bachelor degree holders is in the range of 80 percent.
• Many CEOs and business leaders started their careers with an associate degree. Associate degree holders are excellent problem-solvers, have outstanding team and people skills, and have a clear understanding of the world around them.
• Associate degree students graduate with new learning skills and practices that they will use throughout their lives as they keep pace with rapid business and industry changes.
Some think that the rigor and complexity of the education is somehow less than that learned at a four-year college. Actually, hundreds of adults with bachelor’s degrees come to NWTC each year to train for new careers, and they often comment that the intensity and difficulty of the course work is greater than what they experienced while pursuing the bachelor’s degree.
Rapid technological and business process changes require ever higher levels of competency that can only be obtained through applied learning techniques — and applied learning has always been the specialty of Wisconsin’s Technical Colleges. How many of us can design and program a machine that operates on four or five axes? Do you know what to do when a person has a heart attack or is bleeding profusely? I cannot develop a website that will attract someone to a new product, can you? Successfully de-escalating a domestic violence situation is beyond my capability. Never mind fixing a car, installing an electrical system, or repairing infrastructure after a catastrophic event.
We are surrounded each day by highly educated NWTC graduates. We bring them our illnesses, our design challenges, our security needs and our ambitious plans, and they return skilled solutions. They are the firefighters, EMTs, child care providers, network analysts and other specialists who make nearly every area of our economy — and our personal lives — run more efficiently. An education like that is something to be proud of, to celebrate and honor. Join me as we salute our students and celebrate our widespread community support.
Happy birthday, NWTC. Thank you for remaining committed to preparing all people to lead fulfilling lives, earning a living wage. You will achieve your vision of being a cutting-edge, life-long learning college that transforms, strengthens, and inspires our people, our families, our businesses, and our communities for another 100 years.
September 26, 2012
From nbc15.com: “VIDEO REPORT: Madison College Helping Student Veterans” – Adjusting to life after serving overseas can be difficult as it is, then add going back to school to that list. A new clinic at Madison College’s Truax Campus is helping ease the veterans’ transition.
Randy Bouzek served overseas for several years. When he got back, he realized he was missing one thing, a college degree. He’s now a student at Madison College. He says “VA Connections” will help him as well as other vets adjust to school and succeed at getting their education. The clinic will offer therapy, crisis management and health care.
The vets will then be able to focus on their futures and bring their leadership and experiences to the college to share with classmates.
There were at least 800 veterans enrolled at Madison College last year.
September 24, 2012
From thenorthwestern.com: “Regional job picture stabilizing: Skilled manufacturing, healthcare tops career bets” – Mass layoffs have eased at northeastern Wisconsin businesses and the demand for skilled workers is soaring.
Despite growing concerns about an overall global slowdown, business leaders say the region’s diverse economy continues to find markets for its goods and services, which means they need people to meet demand, making competition fierce for skilled workers.
Statewide, the jobless rate in July stood at 7.3 percent and around the region, unemployment rates ranged between 5.6 percent in Calumet County to 8.2 percent in Marinette County.
Jeff Sachse, a labor market analyst for the state Department of Workforce Development, does not anticipate jobless numbers will change dramatically in the short term but expects continued, gradual improvement for a variety of business sectors, particularly in manufacturing, health care and construction services.
“Clearly, welding and CNC (computer numerical control) machinists positions are what we hear about all the time,” said Sachse, who monitors employment activity for northeastern Wisconsin.
Large government contracts secured by shipbuilder Marinette Marine and Oshkosh Corp., a maker of military vehicles, are behind rising demand for those workers.
“Between Marinette (Marine) and Oshkosh (Corp.) they are pulling from the surrounding labor market, which has created a need throughout the system,” Sachse said.
Manufacturing still represents about a quarter of all employment in the region. However, the health care and construction industries also have seen steady job growth in recent months, Sachse said.
“The (federal) stimulus helped larger-scale projects. Roadwork, including (U.S. Highway) 41 is an example,” Sachse said. “But we’ve also seen some resurgence on the residential side.”
Sachse said the growing number of nursing homes and assisted living facilities around the region and expansion by the health insurance industry, particularly by insurance giants Humana and United Healthcare, is driving job creation in the health sector.
“The steady growth we’ve seen in health care has not necessarily been with the hospital systems,” he said. “Services tied to health care, particularly health insurance, have seen significant numbers and also demands from the aging population will put more demand on providers.”
Finding, retaining workers
Sachse said the regional manufacturing sector’s strength is the role it plays in the overall global supply chain. He said manufacturers have weathered economic downturns mostly because a majority of them supply components and parts to companies that make a variety of machinery worldwide.
This is the situation for Fox Valley Tool & Die, which has about 180 workers, spread across two plants in Kaukauna.
“We make the parts that make the parts,” said Mark Dennis, one of the owners of Fox Valley Tool & Die.
He recognizes there is heated competition for his workers, most of whom are machinists with specialized skills who can create custom parts and components.
Dennis said an aging workforce, especially in skilled areas, is a problem for regional manufacturers. As a part of a state effort to shore up future workers for manufacturers, Dennis has worked with high schools from Shiocton to Little Chute and other Fox Cities communities to introduce students to manufacturing.
He also works with Fox Valley Technical College on training programs for people interested in careers as machinists.
Getting to people early in their career planning is essential, Dennis said.
“It gives us a chance to show young people that the machine shops today may not be the ones their grandfathers worked in,” he said.
Dennis said many jobs, especially those requiring specialized skills, require a two-year degree.
His son, John, the CEO of Gardan, which employs about 50 workers at in Hortonville and Brillion, said he’s been fortunate to find qualified workers when his company needed to fill openings.
“I think because of the region’s strong farming and manufacturing tradition, people here just have a strong work ethic and many of those people settle in the region,” John Dennis said.
Health care outlook
The health care industry has been working with colleges and nursing schools over the past several years to ensure a steady flow of nurses will come into the system to replace those retiring.
Tom Veeser, chief nursing officer for Affinity Health System in Menasha and vice president of patient care at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton, said the health care industry recognizes that demands for services will increase as the nation ages.
Hospital operators also face competition for workers from an increasing number of care facilities for the elderly, which also are in need of registered nurses, certified nursing assistants and licensed practical nurses.
Traditionally, registered nurses tend to have an easier time finding work, Veeser said. But there also is a growing demand for certified nursing assistants.
“At least for us, it’s getting harder to recruit CNAs because they’re getting more lucrative salaries from nursing homes and sometimes from physician offices,” Veeser said. “We may not be able to compete on salary in some situations but we try to offer a better benefits package.”
September 19, 2012
From fox11online.com: “Groundbreaking for health and technology center” – GRAND CHUTE – Fox Valley Technical College is expanding. Tuesday, school officials broke ground on a new building.
The Health Simulation and Technology Center is expected to be completed next fall.
A $66.5 million public referendum passed last April will help pay for the project.
It features a three-story, 60,000 square foot building.
“It’s a very exciting day. We’ve been in the planning process for this facility for at least seven or eight years, and to see it come all together and actually turn the dirt today at our groundbreaking, is extremely exciting,” said Robert Sternhagen, the human patients simulator coordinator at FVTC.
Once completed, the new building will also feature new technology, including virtual reality and computer simulation.
September 13, 2012
From wiscnews.com: “Madison College Portage Campus expansion” – Frances Huntley-Cooper addresses a crowd of about 60 people on Wednesday at the official presentation of the expansion at Madison College Portage Campus. Huntley-Cooper is the chairwoman of the Madison College District Board of Trustees. She thanked the community and commerce for supporting the expansion. The 2,200-square-foot expansion behind the existing facility at 330 W. Collins St., is mainly for science education and hands-on labs to teach students skills that employers say are in high demand. Thanks to a $952,000 building referendum approved in 2010, those kinds of classes will be more common in Portage. The referendum passed with 60 percent of the vote. Expansion includes a video conference room, two additional science labs, a new lounge and computer area. The Portage campus encompasses about 11 acres, said John Alt, north region administrator for Madison College. “Really, the intent of this build out is to complete the arts and sciences degree. Before people had to go to U-Boo (University of Wisconsin-Baraboo), or MATC-Reedsburg or Truax in Madison,” he said. Enrollment is predicted to increase in Portage by at least 10 percent, Alt said.