June 14, 2013
From brookfield-wi.patch.com: “WCTC’s Career Quest designed for middle school students” – Waukesha County Technical College will host Career Quest, an opportunity for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students to get a closer look at what skills and qualifications are needed for the jobs of today and tomorrow.
The three-day summer exploration will take place on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 6, 7 and 8, at WCTC’s main campus in Pewaukee.
Middle school students will be introduced to a variety of careers – including those in Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, Metal Fabrication/Welding, Cosmetology and many more — and learn about the education and training needed for those jobs. Cost of the event is $100 per student. Sessions run from at 8:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; lunch and snacks will be provided. Registration ends June 28, and the sessions will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Space is limited!
From the options below, students can choose two career sessions to explore: • Future of Nursing (Nursing) • What’s Up, Doc? (Medical Assistant) • Authorized Personnel Only! (Surgical Technology) • To Protect and Serve — CSI style (Criminal Justice) • Emergency! (Firefighting/EMT) • Fuse it Together (Metal Fabrication/Welding) • Precision Parts (CNC Manufacturing) • Explore Robotics (Automation Systems Technology) • Baking Quest (Baking/Pastry) • Culinary Quest (Culinary Management) • The Art of Play (Early Childhood) • Spa Day (Cosmetology)
For details on career sessions, to learn more about Career Quest and to register, visit http://www.wctc.edu/career-quest. For questions, contact John Pritchett, Career Quest coordinator, at 262.695.7847 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
June 12, 2013
From wsaw.com: “College Camp prepares middle schoolers for future” – School is out for summer, but more than 200 middle school students were back in class today at Mid-State Technical College where they spent the day exploring the careers and skills of tomorrow.
This was the 23rd year MSTC hosted the College Camp. Students picked four different career sessions to attend throughout the day, with fields ranging from firefighting and EMS to cosmetology. It was just a small sampling of the more than 50 programs Mid-State Technical College offers.
“The kids can really get an exposure to different career options helping them to make informed decisions for their post secondary education and future career,” New Student Specialists at MSTC Betsy Feaster explains.
Feaster says it’s especially important to expose them to their options now.
“Really in these grades they’re starting to formulate those ideas, taking general education classes or electives in junior high and high school it helps them get that broader knowledge for future decision making.”
Coordinators say college camp fills up fast every year. If your child wants to attend next year’s camp you are asked to contact the college.
From voiceofwr.com: “MSTC to host College Camp, Race Care Engineering Camp, and Makers Faire” – Mid-State Technical College (MSTC) is preparing for a busy week at Wisconsin Rapids Campus with the arrival of College Camp, VEX Robotics Camp, Race Engineering Camp, and Makers Faire.
Approximately 200 central Wisconsin students entering grades 6 through 8 will be on campus Tuesday for MSTC’s annual College Camp, a hands-on and fun-filled opportunity to explore the careers and skills oftomorrow. College Camp presents each attendee with the opportunity to participate in four career exploration sessions from a long list of options. MSTC New Student Specialist Betsy Feaster says the June 11 daytime camp filled up quickly again this year.
“Campers come excited to learn and ‘try out’ new things,” said Feaster. “This is a great opportunity to introduce middle school students to MSTC and the Wisconsin Technical College System to help them begin to form opinions and make early decisions regarding post-secondary education options and future careers.”
The Technical & Industrial Division is hosting a VEX Robotics Camp for middle school students and the Race Engineering Camp for high school students this week as well. A total of 24 students will participate in each of the engineering day camps to be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on June 11-13.
VEX Robotics campers are divided into teams of two. The camp concludes with a robotics competition on the last day of the camp. Race Engineering campers are divided into four-person teams. Each student team is sponsored by an area business (ERCO, Pointe Precision, Domtar, NewPage, Corenso, and Renaissance Learning) to lower the cost of the camp to participants. Teams set up a 1/10 scale remote control car for durability, speed, and efficiency. Along the way, students learn valuable lessons in engineering science, electronics, physics, and math. They also learn about branding and promoting their team and get an opportunity to view setup of an actual race car on the first day of the camp. The camp will conclude with time trials and racing on the last day.
The eventful week closes with a Makers Fair from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, July 13 in room T-137. This community show and tell event is intended for all ages. VEX Robots and race cars from the aforementioned camps will be on display, along with a nanowire kit, production of isoprenes from algae, innovative wood byproduct materials, kinetic glass sculptures, silk and flax spinning and weaving, a 3D printer, and techniques in pottery, glass working, jewelry, sculpture, and blacksmithing. The event is free and open to the public.
Local artists, tinkerers, makers, and hackers are all encouraged to exhibit the interesting and beautiful things they are working on. Makers wishing to participate should contact Richard Breen at 715-423-5359 to arrange for space and power. Maker setup is scheduled from 5-6 p.m.
MSTC camps are popular with area youth, so they fill up fast. Students interested in attending College Camp next year can contact Betsy Feaster at 715-422-5413. Individuals who are interested in future engineering camps can contact Gary Kilgas at 715-422-5572. To learn more about MSTC, visit www.mstc.edu or stop by the MSTC location nearest you.
From wiscnews.com: “Griesmer names MPTC Student of the Year” – Tom Griesmer, of Rubicon, was recently named the Moraine Park Technical College Student of the Year.
Griesmer, who will receive his electrical power distribution technical diploma this May, was named student of the year following an intensive interview and presentation process.
Each year, one student is chosen to receive the Student of the Year award, according to Lisa Manuell, Moraine Park’s student involvement specialist.
“That student has excelled in and outside the classroom, made the most of his or her college experience, and modeled Moraine Park’s core abilities, or life skills,” she said. These skills include the ability to communicate clearly, act responsibly, work cooperatively and productively, adapt to change, demonstrate integrity, and think critically and creatively.
“I was caught off guard receiving the award,” said Griesmer, who enrolled at Moraine Park at the urging of his employer. “I believe that Moraine Park’s core abilities represent how people should carry themselves in everyday life. I didn’t think I was doing things that were out of the ordinary.”
Griesmer, who was among five other finalists – May Montezon of North Fond du Lac, Tanya Schloemer of Hartford, Austin Barten of Mayville, Becca Jahns of Beaver Dam, and Bonnie Weiss of Kewaskum – best fit award qualifications, according to a selection committee comprised of Moraine Park faculty, staff and a student representative.
It was his story that set him apart, according to Scott Lieburn, dean of students. As an older student with a family and full-time job, Griesmer enrolled in Moraine Park’s Electrical Power Distribution technical diploma program to further his knowledge and skills.
“I was sent to Moraine Park for cross training by the utility division of the City of Hartford,” he said. “I was really excited for the opportunity, but nervous because the program is mostly filled with younger students.”
Griesmer, who brought hands-on skills and knowledge to class, served as a mentor to his younger fellow classmates.He involved himself in the Electrical Power Distribution club on campus – working to gain as much skill and knowledge as possible.
“I had 23 years of working experience with a utility company, while most of my classmates came in from high school,” said Griesmer. “I was able to share my experiences with my classmates. They are a good group of guys who strive to do their best and are encouraging to each other. That helped me a lot, as well.”
Griesmer maintains his greatest challenge involved gearing up for the requirements of a college program.
“I had to get back into the classroom itself and switch my lifestyle from work back to homework,” said Griesmer. “I had to adjust to studying out of books again. The whole experience was wonderful. I got through it, did well with grades and made great friendships along the way.”
“More employers should send their employees back to school for training,” he said. “It’s been a mutual investment and commitment that I hope makes me a more valuable employee.”
May 21, 2013
From fox11online.com: “Sargento cheese guitar made at FVTC” – GRAND CHUTE – Are you a cheese and music lover? Some area students mixed the two together for a special project.
Company officials from cheesemaker Sargento Foods made a visit to Fox Valley Technical College Monday.
They were collecting a customized cheese guitar.
The guitar will be put in Sargento’s lobby to help raise awareness on what initiatives around the region are going on to build skill sets.
Organizers say the students learned a variety of skills during the project.
“They start with a solid block of wood and they start exploring different careers like mechanical design and they have to design and cut out their guitar, after that you’re looking at wood science, there’s soldering, all the science of intonation and tuning so they cover about a dozen different careers that they explore,” said Steve Gallagher, FAB Lab manager.
A guitar building class is offered through Fox Valley Tech.
From whattheythink.com: “Fox Valley Technical College welcomes the NPIRI Printing Ink Technology Course” – National Printing Ink Research Institute (NPIRI) will be hosting its annual Printing Ink Technology Course July 14-19 in Appleton, Wisconsin. NPIRI is offering this unique course at Fox Valley Technical College and it will provide comprehensive, in-depth yet flexible coverage of printing ink and printing technologies.
The course is carefully designed to bring new employees up to speed quickly; and provide more experienced employees the fundamental understanding necessary to improve, update and expand their skill sets.
“The NPIRI Summer Course is an exceptionally unique educational opportunity which appeals to both experienced ink technicians and those new to the field. The scope and depth of the course is unmatched by any other course or seminar. This is the course to learn about printing ink,” said George Fuchs, Director – Environmental Affairs and Technology for NAPIM.
Attendees can expect an ‘immersion’ type environment in which introductory and advanced concepts are reinforced with multiple practical/hands-on applications in an informal and interactive format. This course is also an exceptional value among training courses of its type.
The course is presented by industry experts from both ink companies and suppliers who know the language of the industry and the fundamental science.
This course has been conducted by NPIRI since the mid-1960s. Over time it has been modified to include newer technologies and instructional techniques but one thing hasn’t changed – the all but unanimous positive reviews from its attendees.
From marshfieldnewsherald.com: “Retiring fire chief reflects on 31-year career” – Marshfield Fire Chief James Schmidt retires May 24 after more than 31 years of service to the Marshfield Fire and Rescue Department. I had a chance to sit down with him recently to reflect on his career and more than three decades of service to the city of Marshfield.
A Wisconsin native, Chief Schmidt grew up in the Fox Valley area and attended school in Appleton. His father worked for a large fire apparatus manufacturer in Appleton, and his uncle worked for a fire department in the Milwaukee suburbs. The seeds of a career in the fire service had been cast. Upon graduation, he enrolled in the Fire Protection Program at Fox Valley Technical College, graduating in 1981. He completed the cadet program a Grand Chute and Oshkosh Fire departments. Shortly after graduation, he landed his first full-time career in the fire service with the Kaukauna Fire Department.
A strong work ethic and a desire to serve the public in concert with all the ideologies of a new recruit were met with the realities of recession and budget cuts. After only six months on the job, the new recruit’s position was eliminated.
Newly unemployed in a recession that was affecting most municipalities in Wisconsin, Schmidt began testing state-wide for positions. On April 5, 1982, he accepted a position with the Marshfield Fire Department.
Clayton Simonson was the fire chief at the time. The Marshfield Fire Department was in the process of addressing a referendum regarding the Optional Powers of the Fire and Police Commission, the reorganization of the two platoon shift schedule, and a paid-on-call firefighter program. Firefighters had many questions for Schmidt about his time at Kaukauna, Oshkosh and Grand Chute and the schedules and operations at those locations.
He served as an acting lieutenant/relief lieutenant before being promoted to deputy chief of the Red Shift on Aug. 7, 2001. In that capacity, he was responsible for the city and county hazmat team, the Fire Investigation Team and specialized rescue programs. He secured a grant for the purchase of rescue vehicles, equipment and training as part of a Central Wisconsin Collapse Rescue Team. He was a fire investigator for the city and served on the Wood County Fire Investigation Task Force as secretary/treasurer and president.
Schmidt was instrumental in developing the regional training center in partnership with Mid-State Technical College. The training center is one of his proudest accomplishments. As a fire service instructor, he recognizes the complexities of emergency service response and making sure our rescue workers are prepared.
Schmidt is on the board of directors for the Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs Association, co-chairman of the Wisconsin Technical College System Fire Service Advisory Committee on Education and Training and chairman of the MSTC Fire Service Advisory Committee.
People always are curious about rescue workers’ most memorable calls.
“You remember a lot of calls for various reasons,” Schmidt said. “The calls that seem to stick with me are the untimely deaths of the young, whether it is by traumatic accident or illness.
“If pressed, I would say the Central State Supply fire on Depot Street early in my career was one of the more memorable because I was treated and released from the hospital for smoke inhalation and heat exhaustion,” Schmidt said.
“I also responded to a fatal fire that same year where a young child perished. I can still see vividly the image of the lifeless child being carried in the arms of another firefighter from a second-story closet.”
The downtown Magic Moments fire on April 1, 2005, was the largest multi-agency fire response Schmidt commanded.
In three decades of service, the biggest changes in the Marshfield Fire and Rescue Department from Schmidt’s perspective are the development of the paramedic ambulance service, the advancements in personal protective equipment, firefighter safety and the cost of vehicles.
When Schmidt started in 1982, the annual fire department budget was $800,000; this year it was just under $4 million.
Other notable changes are in training and education. We have a more educated workforce, and advancements in state and national standards have increased the need for more training to meet the many varied emergencies to which today’s fire departments respond.
“I am happy to say the fire service has become more proactive versus reactive,” Schmidt said. “The fire department culture has become more professional and less traditional.
“We have become the risk managers of our community,” he said. “We spend more time identifying potential threats, analyzing the risk, and assessing our vulnerabilities.”
“Through our fire prevention and training efforts, responsive fire codes, improved building design, and cooperation from the general public, the number of significant fires has been reduced,” Schmidt said.
“We still have far too many fires that could have been prevented by adherence to simple fire safety practices,” he said.
Two accomplishments he is proud of are the part he played in the development of the regional training center and the construction of the new fire station. However, he is most proud of his role in changing the organizational culture of the department.
“The high level of cooperation that currently exists within the organization has helped us overcome most any operational challenges we have faced over the past six years,” he said. “The fire service truly becomes your second family, and when the alarm sounds, regardless of any interpersonal conflicts, all members work as a team for the common goal of saving the life or property of someone they typically have never met.”
Schmidt said, “I’ll miss the camaraderie, and I am confident the department will continue to adhere to the basic philosophies: treat people the way you want to be treated, make decisions that are best for the community and department and do what you can to leave the department in a better position than we you got there.”
May 9, 2013
From greenbaypressgazette.com: “NWTC students will use donated semi-tractor from county” – The Door County Highway Department has made a donation to Northeast Wisconsin Technical College that the school says will advance diesel training in Northeastern Wisconsin. The Department presented a Peterbilt Model 378 semi-tractor for use in NWTC’s Diesel Equipment Technician and Diesel Equipment Technology programs. Both programs are offered on NWTC’s Sturgeon Bay campus.
The donated tractor will offer students exposure to all aspects of truck systems repair, including electronic diesel engine technology, power trains, electrical systems, steering, brakes, suspension and air conditioning.
“The key to the success of our Diesel Equipment programs is offering our students a chance to work on modern equipment,” said Joe Draves, NWTC associate dean of trades and engineering technologies. “NWTC recognizes the importance of this donation and appreciates the support of the Door County Highway Department in developing future diesel technicians.”
With the diesel industry on the upswing and the current work force aging, demand for skilled technicians is high. The Department of Labor expects diesel technician positions to grow 15 percent by 2020.
“The Door County Highway Department is pleased to assist the NWTC Diesel program, which is an extremely valuable part of our community,” said John Kolodziej, Door County Highway Commissioner. “We are giving back because many of our employees have gained valuable training and education from the NWTC program.”
NWTC offers both a two-year technical diploma and a two-year associate degree in diesel equipment. Graduates of the programs are equipped to diagnose, service and repair a variety of diesel-powered equipment.
April 25, 2013
From matctimes.com: “A first wave of Human Resources students prepare to enter the workforce” – At the end of the spring 2013 semester, a pioneering group of students will graduate with an associate degree in Human Resources, a watermark for the human resources industry as well as for MATC and the state of Wisconsin.
It may be surprising to hear that, until a couple of years ago, there was no human resources program in any college in Wisconsin. As the understanding of the role, as well as the importance, of a human resource practitioner within a business grew however, so did the need for education within the field; a realization Jacqueline Cook came to when she left WE Energies after more than 30 years of work and came to MATC.
Now the coordinator of the HR A.A.S. degree program, Cook looks back and says creating a department from scratch almost single handedly wasn’t easy, but she knew from the moment she arrived that it was necessary. Cook was hired at MATC for management development and business administration but, upon taking a closer look, she was surprised that there was no business ethics program or associate degree for business ethics. She’s happy to say that MATC now has both. Cook completed the process to create a degree program in 10 months, a process that typically takes 18 to 24 months to complete. Cook believes it was more than simply hard work that enabled this. “When something is designed appropriately and truly ordained and meant to be, I believe it happens,” she says.
In most fields, people are unsure of their future as they prepare to leave college and enter the workforce. But, because of Cook’s time in the field and relationships she’s made with important people, the soon-to-be graduates seem confident that they will be able to secure a job directly out of school. Justin Douglas, president of the Human Resources Student Organization, is in his second semester of the program. As he readies himself to enter the job market Douglas understands the value of the program, as well as what Cook has done to deliver success to her students. “Miss Cook has been working with a lot of leaders in the industry around Milwaukee to set up internships and develop students who have the skills, knowledge and ability to get a job.”
Thanks to Cook, Douglas is no stranger to the work of creating relationships with people in the field. He has worked closely with Cook to create an articulation agreement with Wisconsin Lutheran College so that Glynda Young, secretary of the Human Resources Student Organization, can apply 56 of her already earned credits to her next degree.
This is one agreement of several that have recently been made between other colleges. Thanks to agreements like this, students know they have options when they graduate from MATC. Cook says, “I’m always talking to my students about understanding that everything you’re doing is strategic, and your partnerships should be those that you can leverage to get a ‘win win’ not only for you but for that organization that you’re being involved in.”
Cook thinks not only about jobs when teaching her students, she also tries to teach students that the skills they learn here will go anywhere. “When we look at an organization, we understand that it should have a mission, a vision, a philosophy, values, culture, and develop strategic goals. As individuals, we should do likewise.”
Cook believes that in an industry where relationships are so integral to the success of the individual and the company they are involved with, it is very important to let her students go as better people with a set of values; values that they maybe didn’t have when they first stepped into her classroom. It’s for this reason some students have nicknamed her “The Beast” as a term of endearment. She tries to teach that, regardless of the job you’re in, you leave there having left a mark and that mark should work to create a reputation for your own success. Cook says, “I believe accountability is very important.”
Cook added, “I personally couldn’t have survived in the industry if I did not understand process, protocol, and the need for accountability.”
“I try to make sure that I’m not too rigid, that I’m respectful, that I have integrity, and I’m honest. Being that I teach HR, validity, consistency, reliability, all of those things are very important. I think sometimes students underestimate that.”
For Cook, it’s been a challenge that’s been bittersweet.
In the end, however, she knows that being able to teach something she is still so passionate about has a value you can’t put a dollar sign on.
For anyone already in the HR program or any business student interested in joining the Human Resources Student Organization, contact Jacqueline Cook at email@example.com.
April 23, 2013
From wiscnews.com: “Waupun students offered new science options” – WAUPUN — Students at Waupun Area Junior/Senior High School are enrolling in several new, advanced courses for next year.
Two courses build on the engineering curriculum introduced at the junior high this year, and another introduces students to biomedical sciences. One course provides another opportunity for students to earn Moraine Park Technical College credit and two others develop skills that can help students get a job right out of high school.
In the art department, students can earn both high school credit and technical college credit by taking Introduction to Photoshop.
Students who are interested in working in the restaurant, food, and beverage career pathway can sign up for Culinary Arts and Advanced Culinary Arts to learn the basic trade of the culinary arts industry and prepare them for a potential career in this field.
In the business department, students can sign up for a new course called Computer Hardware and IT Essentials.
The high school is offering three Project Lead the Way courses. The courses are a project and problem-based comprehensive curriculum that is developed and updated by subject matter experts – including teachers, university educators, engineering and biomedical professionals, and school administrators. The hands-on learning engages students on multiple levels, exposes them to areas of study that they may not otherwise pursue, and provides them with a foundation and proven path to post-secondary training and career success in science, technology, engineering and math fields.
The science department is offering Principles of Biomedical Sciences, the foundational course in the biomedical sequence. Eighty-five students have signed up for this course.
In the technology education department, Introduction to Engineering Design and Principles of Engineering are being offered for the first time. In the IED class, students will use industry standard 3D modeling software. POE students will encounter major engineering concepts such as mechanisms, energy, statics, materials, and kinematics. The classes build on the skills introduced to all seventh and eighth graders at the junior high this past year.
April 10, 2013
From jsonline.com: “Few employers show up to recruit MATC students” – Employers who have said there’s a shortage of welders in Wisconsin – and that it’s serious enough to threaten their business prospects – didn’t turn out in large numbers Tuesday for a Milwaukee Area Technical College job fair that could have introduced them to 50 job candidates.
Eight companies attended the event at the college’s campus in Oak Creek, which was intended to help recent and upcoming welding program graduates find employment.
For years, companies have lamented a lack of welders, especially for work that requires a high level of skill and knowledge. In some cases, they’ve said, the shortage has created production bottlenecks at their manufacturing plants.
MATC has ramped up its welding programs to help address the need, and college officials said they expected more businesses to be at the job fair.
“I think there is some fair criticism” for employers who complain about a shortage but didn’t show up for the fair, said David Dull, president and CEO of Allis-Roller LLC, a metal fabricator in Franklin that was at the event.
“It’s easy to complain,” said Dull, who is also a MATC board member.
Some companies have started welding classes in their factories, and some have said MATC’s programs haven’t met their needs for highly specialized and demanding jobs.
“I would say it’s challenging to find skilled help,” Dull said, adding that some companies might be turned off by a job fair that doesn’t have experienced candidates for them.
Area business leaders have said the welder shortage is going to get worse as thousands of older workers retire and there aren’t enough young people willing to take their place.
“Welding is more than just grabbing a stick and going to work. There’s a lot of science and knowledge involved,” said Mike Kuehnl, manager of student employment services at MATC.
“I was hoping for more employers” at the job fair, Kuehnl said. “I can’t speak to the reasons why more didn’t show up. Maybe they don’t need people right now, and it’s quite possible we might be catching up a little bit with the demand.”
Welding has been a sensitive subject at the technical college.
A labor union, for instance, has asked the college to stop training nonunion employees who could step in as replacement workers at Caterpillar Inc.’s South Milwaukee plant in the event of a strike.
Labor officials also have questioned whether there is a welder shortage.
“If there is one, we shouldn’t have to be pulling teeth to get companies at a job fair,” said Michael Rosen, faculty union president at MATC and economics instructor at the college.
“I think some employers want to keep flooding the market with job candidates so they can keep wages down,” Rosen said. “In a market where companies are looking for welders, the only way to attract them is to pay a higher wage.”
Some research, though, suggests these shortages are real and can be expected to worsen.
Wisconsin will have fewer than half the metal manufacturing professionals it needs by 2021, according to a recent report from ManpowerGroup. Demand for these skilled tradesmen will grow by nearly 50%, but the supply will decrease about 12% as the industry gets slapped by a wave of retirements, the report said.
The U.S. Department of Labor projects that two-thirds of the fastest-growing occupations from 2012 to 2018 will be in apprentice-based fields. More apprenticeships could help fill some of the skills gap. But many young adults, especially, don’t realize they could earn a good living in a manufacturing career, Dull said.
“More than half of the jobs in the state don’t require a four-year degree, but nearly 100% of the students are being told to go to college. To me, that’s the biggest disconnect,” Dull said.
But Marc Levine, a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee professor of history, economic development and urban studies, says the skills gap is a myth.
“All of the data suggests that companies that have been crying the loudest about a shortage of skilled workers have exaggerated the claims,” said Levine, who last month published a research update titled “The Myth of the Skills Gap in Wisconsin.”
There are about 2,000 unemployed welders in Wisconsin and about 500 job openings here a year for them, according to Levine.
In Wisconsin and surrounding states, there are about 17,000 unemployed welders, he said.
Levine says the only welder shortage he’s aware of is in places like North Dakota and Wyoming, where a boom in the oil and gas industry has resulted in a widespread lack of skilled help.
“The proof of the pudding is in the eating. If there really were a shortage of welders here, you would expect employers to be lining up for them at the MATC job fair,” Levine said.
April 8, 2013
From wausaudailyherald.com: “NTC opens revamped public safety training center” – Northcentral Technical College is expanding its presence in Merrill after a devastating tornado hit the campus in April 2011. The revitalized Public Safety Center of Excellence offers advanced training in a technically integrated and realistic environment. The 36-acre site is located on the edge of the city of Merrill, an area rich with a natural environment suitable for multiple uses including water rescue and wilderness training.
“After the tornado, we evaluated current and future public safety training needs to ensure our Center of Excellence provides the highest level of hands-on tactical training for public safety professionals,” said Lori Weyers, president of Northcentral Technical College. “Because of the unique and varying training we will be able to offer, we expect several thousand public safety personnel a year to gain practical, hands-on experience right here in Merrill.”
The NTC Public Safety Center of Excellence provides state-of-the-art training for public safety personnel and positions NTC as a leader in the Midwest for emergency management training. The fire training area features a utility training area with five unique props, leak detection field, burn tower, splash tower and extrication pad, as well as confined space and flashover simulation trailers. The Emergency Village replicates local business storefronts on a simulated multi-block street to provide real-life training scenarios for emergency responders. Adjacent to the Emergency Village is an Emergency Vehicle Operations Course, or EVOC, featuring traffic signal lights and light poles mounted with cameras. Training activities in the Emergency Village and on the EVOC track can be monitored from the Command Tactical Operations Center, which is outfitted with technology that controls training targets and digital recording throughout the village and track. This training environment allows full-darkness, night-time activities that simulate the conditions most police officers confront on late-shift assignments.
“This facility will allow learners to bridge the gap between classroom discussion and actual emergency management situations by simulating critical events without the inherent risks of actual hazardous materials and exposure to severe weather conditions,” said Bryce Kolpack, NTC Dean of Public Safety.
The center also will feature mock campgrounds and deer stands for rural police training, as well as a search and rescue building. The college already is planning for additional training features on site, including a collapsed building prop, rail car props and an indoor shooting range.
Training is already under way at the revitalized Public Safety Center of Excellence, with a ribbon-cutting celebration slated for April 24. The community is invited to tour the facility at an open house after the ribbon-cutting from noon to 2 p.m.
For more information on the Public Safety Center of Excellence, visit www.ntc.edu or call 715-675-3331.
March 19, 2013
From journaltimes.com: “Gateway asks voters for go-ahead on $15.6M public safety training facility” – RACINE COUNTY — In both size and scope, a new state-of-the-art public safety training center sits atop the list of projects included in the $49 million referendum proposed by Gateway Technical College.
As the most expensive single item in the proposal, school officials say the $15.6 million facility would not only provide better instruction to new officers and deputies but also draw in more experienced first responders, from southeastern Wisconsin and beyond, looking for specialized training in areas like tactical driving and active shooter situations.
In 2007, the college opened its law enforcement academy after renovating portions of their Kenosha campus at 3520 30th Ave. It offers programs for both incoming officers and deputies who are required by the state to undergo 520 hours of training as well as to veteran officers.
Racine Police Chief Art Howell said that his department currently sends its new officers to the academy but sparingly uses the facilities in Kenosha to provide specialized training to its veteran officers.
“We send people all over the state now and it’s expensive to do that,” Howell said. “Obviously if we had a high-caliber institution around here it would be cost effective for us to use that.”
Renovating the current campus back in 2007 meant converting a basement storage room into a five-lane, 50-foot shooting range and holding Emergency Vehicle Operations Course (EVOC) training in the parking lot at Dairyland Greyhound Park in Kenosha.
The current proposal calls for a new 24-lane, 150-foot shooting range and an on-site driving course complete with simulated intersections, street lights and highway ramps.
Sturtevant Police Chief Sean Marschke said that veteran officers in the state are required to undergo 24 hours of annual training, some of which is done in-house, but also must take four hours of biennial tactical driving training. That has meant sending officers out to technical colleges in Waukesha or Fox Valley.
“A lot of things they’re planning on doing are already being done around the state but just aren’t available here locally,” Marschke said. “With training budgets in a crunch and gas almost $4 a gallon, sending officers to other spots in the state just gets very, very expensive.”
A final location for the facility has not been selected yet, according to Gateway’s President Bryan Albrecht, but sites in Racine, Kenosha and Walworth counties are also being investigated. Voters in those counties will vote on the referendum April 2.
Marschke said that regardless of what county is selected, it would likely mean a 50 percent reduction in the costs associated with sending an officer to training like gas, lodging and overtime pay.
The proposal would also replace the current simulated city, composed of a couple storefronts, with a three-block simulated city. A new facility would also enable the college to build labs for crime scene investigation, something not currently offered in Kenosha.
Racine County Sheriff Chris Schmaling wrote in an email that he is very pleased with the current training Gateway provides but would benefit from a closer facility and additional course offerings. Mount Pleasant Police Chief Tim Zarzecki also said that he is in support of expanding training at Gateway.
An expanded physical training area and a larger, dedicated classroom may also mean adding an additional class at the school, according to Provost Zina Haywood.
Albrecht said he doesn’t anticipate finding any problems with filling another class because of the number of applicants the college already turns away, in part because state statute caps classes at 24 students and some of the facilities are shared by other programs on the Kenosha campus.
Overall, the college has estimated that a new facility would lead to a 15 percent increase in enrollment and could not only help keep local officers from going elsewhere but could mean other revenue coming from agencies outside of the district.
Marschke said that he agrees and would like to see the area become a training hub like the counties he currently sends his officers to.
“It’s really a good opportunity to have something here locally for our law enforcement that serves our residents to have a state-of-the-art training facility,” Marschke said. “I think we’ll draw agencies outside of the district as well.”
From starjournalnow.com: “Nicolet partnerships with PK-12 districts mean student success” – Every year about 2,000 students take credit classes at Nicolet College. But just as many area elementary, middle and high school students also participate annually in Nicolet activities created just for them.
Earning college credits while in high school, exploring a wide variety of careers, sharpening academic skills, taking in educational theater events and learning about college life in general are just some of the activities.
Key to making these successful has been the strong relationship Nicolet College has built with the eleven PK-12 school districts in the Nicolet College District, said Nicolet College President Elizabeth Burmaster.
“The focus of these partnerships is to prepare students for college so they can get the skills necessary to be successful in their careers,” Burmaster said. “By working together, we’ve been able to smooth the pathway to higher education and make it easier for students to make the transition to college.”
Lakeland Union High School Superintendent Todd Kleinhans said it’s been exciting to see how the partnership between the high school and Nicolet has grown in recent years.
“The partnership today is stronger than ever,” Kleinhans told the Nicolet College Board of Trustees during a meeting the board recently held in Minocqua. “Both the high school and the college have a shared vision that places a strong emphasis on getting students college-ready and career-ready. We are thrilled at how well this partnership has been working and we look forward to making it even stronger in the future.”
In all, Nicolet has in place nearly two dozen different programs, activities and services with all of the school districts within the Nicolet District.
College in the High School Classroom
Hundreds of Northwoods high school students earn college credits every year without ever leaving their school.
“This gives them a great jump-start on college,” Burmaster said. “By earning college credits while still in high school, they shorten the amount of time they actually spend in college which can translate into a fairly significant cost savings.”
Every year, about 200 high school students earn both high school and Nicolet College credits through the College in the Classroom program. These classes are taught by college-certified instructors in the high schools and include a wide range of academic subjects.
Nicolet also offers a Youth Options program, where high school students take college classes on the Nicolet campus. Currently, 62 high school students are attending Nicolet classes through the Youth Options program.
In the Lakeland and Tomahawk high schools, Nicolet offers Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) classes. So far, more than 50 students have received this professional certification through Nicolet classes held at these locations. This coming fall, Nicolet CNA classes will also be taught at Rhinelander High School.
For the past two years, Nicolet has held PreCollege Academies for high school freshmen and sophomores. Each academy met for five consecutive Saturdays and gave students the opportunity to explore careers and sharpen academic skills in environmental science, engineering and health occupations. To date, more than 100 students from throughout the Northwoods have participated in PreCollege Academies.
Heavy Metal Tour
This past October, about 350 8th grade students converged on the Nicolet campus for the Heavy Metal Tour. The day-long event gave students the opportunity to explore careers in manufacturing and the trades. During the day, students toured six area manufacturing plants, Nicolet labs and classrooms and attended presentations in the Nicolet Theatre to hear from manufacturing professionals about careers in the field. The event will be held again in 2013.
This perennial favorite gives Northwoods 6th through 9th graders the chance to explore numerous different careers in fun, hands-on classes held afternoons for one week in the summer.
Examples of classes have included Lake Ecology, Solar Sprint, Sports Engineering, Crime Scene Investigation, Middle School Marketplace, Joining the Geek Squad Can Be Cool, and Rock and Roll 101. The next College Camp will be held in August.
Engineering, problem-solving and communication skills are the focus of Lego Camp at Nicolet, held during the summer for first through sixth graders. The half-day, week-long event has students building a variety of creations using specially designed Lego kits complete with electric motors. Lego Camp will be held again this coming summer.
The Amazing Race
This past fall, 50 6th through 8th graders from North Lakeland School participated in the Amazing Race on the Nicolet campus. The event had students darting between Nicolet labs and classrooms, answering questions about careers and college at each location.
Campus tours and visits
Numerous times throughout the year, the college invites students to campus to learn what the college has to offer and to give them an overall feel for Nicolet.
Welding, auto tech and carpentry competitions
Every year, dozens of high school students exploring careers in the trades converge on the Nicolet campus to test their abilities in friendly competitions.
Along with fine-tuning their skills, “students also learn what it takes to be successful in these fields and what kind of training they will need,” said Teri Phalin, PK-16 coordinator and career coach at Nicolet. “They see that it takes solid math skills, good communication skills, plus they have to know how to work as a team and solve problems.”
From weau.com: “CVTC’s new Fire and Paramedic Training Center will benefit the community” – All of our area Fire and Police Departments along with volunteer Firefighters in smaller towns will soon have access to a brand new training facility.
It’s part of a new Fire and Paramedic Training Center at Chippewa Valley Technical College.
CVTC calls the new center a “state of the art” facility. When it’s finished, it’ll include a live burn area; a preparation and observation area; storage for emergency service vehicles; and a physical fitness training area for the fire, paramedic and law enforcement students.
“We really emphasize the applied learning, the hands-on learning. We want to replicate real life situations as much as possible so when they do happen students and the existing workers will have that experience and more confidence,” said the President of CVTC Bruce Barker.
“The hands-on training is very, very important. It allows us to have that firefighter to go from a new firefighter to a productive firefighter a lot quicker,” said Deputy Chief of the Eau Claire Fire Rescue, Scott Burkart.
Burkart said a fair share of new firefighters that are hired, have attended CVTC. And the more experience they have right away, the more beneficial it is to the community the department serves.
“It’s less ‘on the job’ type of training that we have to do. That is a cost savings to us also,” said Burkart.
The Eau Claire Fire Department also has a mutual aid agreement with a lot of surrounding fire departments.
Burnkart said knowing the training came from one institution, will help everyone to mesh much better, and react quicker.
“Everyone will benefit from it, not only the firefighters, but also the communities too, because it’s a cost effective way to get that experience and training that we can’t receive any other place,” said Burkart.
“Our police and fire deal with life-threatening situation all the time, so providing them better training; they will be more aped to have confidence to perform better in those situations. It may save your life or my life someday,” said Barker.
The CVTC foundation and L.E. Philips Family Foundation came up with the money for the facility. The construction is expected to start toward the end of May and be ready for the students this Fall.
March 12, 2013
From digitaljournal.com: “Weld Fixture Tooling Company Filled a CAD Drafter Internship Position” – On January 29, 2013 Rentapen Inc., an area product holding fixture company, filled a CAD Drafter Internship position with a young and experienced student from Waukesha County Technical College. He is joining a CAD Drafting team made up of men and women of all ages. Christopher Doll has been a part of Rentapen Inc.’s, team since 2005 and is the Engineering Lead Designer and has a Masters of Science in Engineering from University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.
According to The Social Liberian, “There are eight different age generation categories.” Rentapen Inc., the Weld Fixture Specialist, is currently employing four different age generations. This local Waukesha, WI, company is employing generations as young as Generation Y (Born: 1977-1994) and as experienced as the Baby Boomer I Generation (Born: 1946-1954)
Rentapen Inc., has been in business since August 20, 1976 and has been able to stay in business through many different generations, but there is one key piece that holds this company together; they are accepting of all ages and are willing to teach their employees. Have you ever heard the saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” in the case with Rentapen Inc. you can. Every day the younger and older generations work side by side to reach a common goal: to build, design, and create the best weld fixture components in the manufacturing industry.
“I am in the Baby-Boom Generation and I am learning new things from the other team members all the time,” said Susan Straley, President of Rentapen. “Just last week our staff was teaching me about our website and social media.”
There are many conflicts in the manufacturing industry when it comes to generation differences. Like any business today, conflicts can come from recruiting, building teams, the many different changes in a company, and different styles of management. However, Rentapen Inc., is embracing the generations and changes; in their industry change is a good thing because it allows for growth, efficiencies, and cost savings.
The weld fixture specialist is excited for the growth of their line of RAPid Tooling Components™. With the different generations working together there has been an increase in the orders for RAPid Shims™ and the CAD Drafters in the office are busier than ever.
Rentapen Inc., is a Waukesha, Wisconsin based company that provides Weld Fixtures and 3D CAD models to manufacturers. Since 1976, Rentapen Inc has consistently saved customers time and money. Rentapen Inc., is a Certified Woman Owned Business and owns RAPid Tooling Components™.
March 11, 2013
From postcrescent.com: “Paul Freiberg: We need all sorts of workers” – Several years ago, after my car skidded into a ditch during a snowstorm, I called the auto club for roadside assistance. After a short wait, a mechanic drove out in a wrecker. He knew his trade and he pulled my car from the side of the road.
I reminded myself never to take people for granted. I also reminded myself that not everyone needs to go to college. A four-year college degree wouldn’t necessarily provide the skills to that young man who pulled my car from the ditch.
We often read about the importance of a college degree. We read about the skills gap — the relative scarcity of experienced workers despite a relatively high unemployment rate. There’s little doubt that we need employees with the requisite skills and education for the competitive arena.
However, we should think about what are appropriate goals for people. We live in a diverse economy and need workers with the appropriate experience to service their respective clients. Some of those skills are best learned in college; some skills are taught elsewhere.
For instance, we need workers who have the ability to solve problems with their customers, the demanding consumer. For others, a two-year technical degree would be beneficial and indeed preferable to accommodate the requirements of local businesses and trades. For some people, working one’s way up the organization makes sense. We should never forget that everyone who works contributes to the economy.
The trick is to match the skills with the job. We need baristas who can multitask during the morning rush. We need wait staff, probably one of the more demanding jobs, to serve our food in a pleasant manner. These are the valued workers who serve me coffee and food as I travel throughout the Fox Valley.
We need retail workers who understand the merchandise and help us make good decisions. We appreciate those who can tell us what style tie goes with what color shirt. We need advice from the home improvement workers and recommendations from the associates at the book store. In the same manner, we rely on those who provide other advice, such as where the fish are biting and what bait to use. Some of us may need help on what type of wine goes with a Wisconsin brat.
Moreover, we need employees who understand how to repair the computers that operate modern equipment. We need auto mechanics who can troubleshoot and diagnose our automobiles and keep our families safe. We need truck drivers who can handle 40,000-pound loads on our crowded highways.
Again, we need the varied skills necessary for our diverse economy. As such, some workers will build their respective skills working their way up through the organization. Some people will be better off taking routes such as trade schools or two-year technical colleges. Not everyone needs to go to college and, let’s face the facts — we don’t have the capacity to accommodate everyone anyway.
Let’s also agree that the experience gained in these service jobs has provided many people with the foundation for other roles in their lives. The communication and interpersonal skills we learn while serving customers are invaluable as we progress through our respective organizations.
We depend on all of these employees such as restaurant staff, store associates, shuttle drivers and so on. Despite the occasional poor service, I see many of these employees work with urgency and pride.
In short, we’re dealing with paradox. We need employees with college educations, we need skilled workers with technical expertise and we need employees with the wherewithal to provide the necessary services, such as those individuals who serve burgers, wash cars and stock shelves.
These employees are important. Let’s not take anyone for granted.
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.
January 15, 2013
From lacrossetribune.com: “West Salem first responder sees the ‘other side of 911′ – WEST SALEM — Spencer Lewison found his calling in a CPR class. Lewison, 20, switched career paths and colleges, and in a matter of months he was taking calls as a volunteer first responder.
It was the feeling that he got after leaving that class that drove him to leave behind a liberal arts degree for a field he knows won’t net him fame or money, Lewison said. The feeling sends him flying to the scene of emergencies, seeking experience as he works toward a career as a paramedic.
“Not many people get to step into those shoes and be the other side of 911,” Lewison said. “Being that answer is just phenomenal in my mind.”
When he isn’t in Eau Claire, Wis., for college, Lewison volunteers for the West Salem Emergency Medical Team and is studying to become a paramedic.
He started with the unit in May, as he finished a semester-long training program at Western Technical College.
Soon, he was pulling overnight shifts as a responder, and heading into Festival Foods the next morning for work.
“When I first started doing it, I noticed the whole adrenaline rush,” Lewison said. “Since my first call, I loved it.”
Being a first responder meant Lewison is often the first person to a scene. It’s often up to him and other volunteers to check vital signs, get names, and make sure the scene is safe.
When Tri-State Ambulance arrives, he is responsible for making sure they have the information they need to treat a patient.
“To have someone’s life in your hands at the age of 19 is a big deal,” Lewison said.
Major car crashes or routine calls, Lewison treats each emergency with equal concern, said Seth Melde, who studied with Lewison at Western, and volunteers with him in West Salem.
“It’s about the patient when we’re there,” Melde said. “It’s about making sure the patient is comfortable no matter what.”
Team President Duane Kneifl calls Lewison “one of our young guns.”
Kneifl rides with Lewison often, at all hours. Despite Lewison’s age, he has a unique ability to communicate with patients when he’s at a scene, Kneifl said.
“He connects with them,” Kneifl said. “He just really relates to what their problems are.”
That connection drives Lewison.
He calls it something different, but he got his first taste of it not long after high school.
He graduated from West Salem High School in 2011 and entered Winona State University in the fall as a tentative music major.
Unsure of his future, a friend recommended he try out classes to become an emergency medical technician.
He took a CPR class in November and walked away changed.
“You knew walking out of there that you could save someone’s life,” Lewison said.
Now, Lewison talks about the faces of his patients. Those faces are why he jumps at the chance for a midnight call when he’s home in West Salem. Those faces are why he is studying at Chippewa Valley Technical College in Eau Claire, Wis., to become a paramedic, and hopefully, one day, a flight medic.
“I just like to see the look on their face,” Lewison said. “When they light up because someone cares for them.”
November 5, 2012
From leadertelegram.com: “CVTC students make the cut at salon competition” – When Chippewa Valley Technical College barber/cosmetology student Angelica Johnson finished her model’s hair, she checked out what other contestants were doing and her confidence level soared.
“After I looked around when I was done, I knew I was going to win,” she said.
Johnson’s confidence was not misplaced. She placed first in the Men’s Cut, Color and Style category and received the Most Creative Fashion Award at the Minnesota State InSalon competition Oct. 14.
Johnson, who is originally from Milwaukee, was one of three CVTC students to earn awards in the prestigious competition for student stylists over a four-state region.
Amanda Gildea of Glenwood City placed third in the Women’s Evening Look category, and Lydia Ulwelling of Durand placed sixth in Men’s Cut, Color and Style.
Seven CVTC students participated in the competition this year.
Competition for the awards is intense, said CVTC instructor and barber/cosmetology department chairwoman Becky Hicks.
The event draws about 80 competitors from private cosmetology schools and technical colleges.
Students must develop an original style for the competition, provide a model and complete the styling within a given time frame. They generally know what they are going to do and have practiced the style. Any hair coloring is done in advance.
“We take about a month and a half for training, to practice and get the style down,” Hicks said.
Johnson’s task was particularly challenging because she created an ethnic style. A shortage of such models prevented her from getting a lot of practice.
“It was my second ethnic haircut,” Johnson said.
In addition, the model’s hair texture was a little more difficult to work with.
She was nervous and “shaking the entire time,” she said. “I didn’t want to look around and see what the others were doing.”
In developing a style, Johnson used tips her brother provided. He also attended CVTC and is a professional stylist.
Gildea used pictures of other styles as inspiration for her evening style. “In the end, what it looked like was totally different than imagined,” Gildea said.
Her model has long hair, and she had trouble completing the style in the time allowed.
Gildea was surprised at her award. “There were a lot of pretty updos. I was intimidated,” she said.
Ulwelling’s big challenge was devising a new plan days before the competition, when her model’s hair turned out to be too short for her original idea.
She came up with a “bald fade,” which is a tapered cut that is longest in front and fades to a shorter cut at the back.
Prizes included trophies, medals, plus $250, $150 and $75 scholarships for first through third places.
All three students recently finished the program at CVTC.
October 22, 2012
From bizjournals.com: “Feeding Job Market: MATC readies new food processing programs” – Milwaukee Area Technical College is planning three programs geared toward food and beverage manufacturers that school and business leaders believe will help alleviate the sector’s shortage of skilled workers.
The programs — a two-year food science technology associate degree to be offered at the Oak Creek campus, a one-year food manufacturing and processing technician diploma in Oak Creek and a one-year industrial maintenance diploma to be offered at the Milwaukee campus — focus on food manufacturing and processing, said Rich Busalacchi, associate dean of the MATC School of Business and School of Media and Creative Arts.
October 18, 2012
From brookfield-wi.patch.com: “Photos: Hillcrest Kids Explore Fox River” – College students in Waukesha County Technical College’s two-year Instructional Assistant program worked with third graders from Waukesha’s Hillcrest Elementary Schoolon Wednesday in an environmental, project-based discovery learning opportunity at the Fox River Sanctuary.
October 17, 2012
From fox11online.com — “New flight simulator at FVTC” – OSHKOSH – Thinking about a career as a pilot?
Experts at Fox Valley Technical College says there are a shortage of pilots across the country. To address the demands for pilots, the Oshkosh campus has added some new technology to its pilot program, including a flight simulator.
The public can learn more about how the flight simulators work during an open house on Monday, Oct. 22 3:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Click on the video links to your left to watch the segments that aired on Wednesday’s Good Day Wisconsin. Angela Kelly got to see the new flight simulators and learn about the school’s construction management program.
October 4, 2012
From biztimes.com: “Manufacturing careers deserve a fresh look” – Manufacturing has been transformed in the past 25 years. The perception of manufacturing, unfortunately, has not kept pace with the advances in processes, equipment and training.
The workplaces are clean, safe, and are staffed by innovative, highly skilled individuals completing work that is more challenging than ever.
At OEM, each team member uses high-tech equipment every day. Increasingly, they participate in building our customer relationships. Our company has added 300 positions in the last three years. Yes, we’re hiring.
The pipeline of skilled employees is incredibly important to manufacturers, which makes Wisconsin’s technical colleges vital partners. About 80 percent of our team members have received a technical college education. A high school education alone is no longer enough to ensure success in the new manufacturing environment.
At OEM, the skill and knowledge of our team members, the talent they bring to the table, is our competitive advantage. These higher skills of course mean higher pay, and we offer among the highest wages in the area.
This business model works, and our success proves it. Everyone benefits from a skilled workforce, and manufacturing is no exception. Perhaps the greatest evidence of this is the fact that every dollar spent in manufacturing injects an additional $1.35 into the economy.
Moving forward, the firms, regions and states with the most highly skilled workforce will be best positioned for economic prosperity.
As we recognize October as Manufacturing Month in Wisconsin, I urge broader consideration of careers in manufacturing. An existing skills gap will only worsen as retirements begin to significantly affect manufacturers across the state.
Request a tour of one of your local manufacturing facilities, or contact your local technical college to preview the programs and skills employers seek. Visit the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce Foundation or Wisconsin Technical College System web sites to find out more.
Solving the workforce paradox by developing a pipeline of skilled manufacturing workers for the future will benefit all of us.
S. Mark Tyler is founder and president of OEM Fabricators Inc., an award-winning manufacturer in western Wisconsin that celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2011. He also is the president of the Wisconsin Technical College System Board.