March 6, 2014
From postcrescent.com: “Fox Valley Tech opens expanded transportation center to fill industry need” — GRAND CHUTE — Automotive students at Fox Valley Technical College have made themselves at home in the newly expanded J. J. Keller Transportation Center.
With the goal of helping to meet a growing demand for automotive careers, the school enlarged the facility by more than 20,000 square feet. The $6.2 million addition created 10 learning bays for automotive programs; three drive-through learning bays for diesel programs; classrooms; an instruction bay for the school’s truck driving program; and a learning bay for a trailer technician program.
The bigger transportation center is the third of five major building projects completed at FVTC so far since 2012, when voters approved $66.5 million in spending.
Aric Van Ess, a second-year diesel technology student from Cedar Grove, likes having more room and using new tools.
“There’s a lot more activities you can work on,” Van Ess said. “You’re not all bunched up working on a truck.”
Van Ess works part-time in the industry, and he sees the same things in the classroom that he does on the job. Students work on trucks that are driven on roads, so the problems they fix in school are the same ones they would see in the real world.
Van Ess plans to take courses in the new transport trailer service technician program after he completes the diesel technology area.
The new program is possible because of the extra square footage added to the facility and was started at the request of local industries, said Dan Poeschel, associate dean at FVTC.
The referendum allowed the automotive program to double in size, accommodating every student who enrolls. In the past, officials had to put students on waiting lists because there wasn’t enough room.
Most students will have jobs lined up immediately after graduation. FVTC automotive students who graduated last year have a combined job placement rate of 98 percent, according to figures provided by the college.
Poeschel said graduates can earn starting wages of $15 per hour or higher.
“[The addition] provides education and good jobs to students coming in who can really have a lifelong career in this industry,” he said.
February 28, 2014
From woodworkingnetwork.com: “Fox Valley Technical College Approved as NKBA Accredited Provider“– The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) recently announced that Fox Valley Technical College has met all requirements to become an NKBA Accredited Program provider of AAS Interior Design – Kitchen and Bath Design, and Kitchen and Bath Certificate.
NKBA Accreditation serves the professional needs of the industry and ensures consistent, quality education for students who want to become kitchen or bathroom design professionals. The NKBA currently recognizes over 40 schools in North America whose kitchen and bath curriculum meet the educational standards established by the association.
These established standards include the knowledge and skills necessary for competent practice in the profession, divided into four categories: Planning and Design, Construction/Mechanical Systems, Business Management, and Products/Materials. Each school seeking accreditation must adequately meet stringent NKBA standards in each of these areas.
These schools submit a self-study and an analysis of competencies as related to these areas of study. An onsite evaluation is conducted, consisting of classroom observations; a curriculum-review meeting with faculty; a presentation of projects; and interviews with students, faculty and administration. The educational institution must have accreditation recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or a provincial ministry of education in Canada.
NKBA Accredited Programs are evaluated with respect to mission, administration, curriculum, faculty, and resources to determine eligibility and the students’ aptitude toward fulfilling the Association’s required competencies. Industry professionals evaluate student work samples as a subjective measure of the program. Programs that meet the qualifications for accreditation or a preliminary status of supported are published in print and on the NKBA website.
Each year, the Association monitors the progress of these schools with the submission of student work samples, based on the NKBA Student Design Competition. This process provides an outcome-based assessment to the schools. Accredited Programs have a reevaluation period of seven years.
Fox Valley Technical College earned NKBA Accreditation by demonstrating that it meets these requirements, which represent the basis of a program the NKBA considers essential for quality education. Each student must complete classroom work as well as internships that enhance and extend the classroom experiences. These internships are monitored by the educational institution, which makes certain that they meet the NKBA’s required student competencies. Programs accredited by the National Kitchen & Bath Association must have an NKBA Certified advisor or faculty member.
February 25, 2014
From postbulletin.com: “U of M, ISU students on top team at Midwest Dairy Challenge” — APPLETON, Wis. — Iowa State University and the University of Minnesota students were among the first place finishers in the Midwest Dairy Challenge.
The 10th annual Midwest Dairy Challenge attracted nearly 60 students from 13 college dairy programs to the event hosted by Fox Valley Technical College.
This is the first time Fox Valley Technical College hosted the event, which has been in Wisconsin three other times.
“The Dairy Challenge is such a positive experience for the college students involved, in developing analytical, teamwork, communication and dairy management skills,” said Kevin Rauchholz, event co-chairman and ag instructor at Fox Valley Technical College. “Students learn how to tie farm management decisions with economics, and it’s important to get students and industry together. Students make many good connections through Dairy Challenge.”
Dairy Challenge students work in teams to evaluate and provide recommendations for an operating dairy farm. Participants worked in mixed-university teams of four or five students and assessed all farm operations, including facilities, nutrition, financials, reproduction and animal health. Students collaborated on a 20-minute team presentation that detailed observations and suggestions to a panel of judges.
Host farms were Sugar Creek Farms, New London, and Country Aire Dairy of Greenleaf.
Participating universities and technical schools included Dordt College, Fox Valley Technical College, Iowa State University, Kansas State University, Lakeshore Technical College, University of Minnesota, Ohio State University, Purdue University, South Dakota State University, Southwest Technical College, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Wisconsin-Platteville and University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
Wisconsin dairy professionals presented educational seminars to help students prepare for their Dairy Challenge task and gain more real-world experience. Sessions were presented by:
Judges selected two teams as first place winners.
On Farm 1, team Cooperative Resources International was awarded first place. Team members were Jessie Hammerand, ISU; Jamie Pfaff, UW-River Falls; Andrew Plumski, University of Minnesota; Ryan Pralle, UW-Madison; and Heather Smith, Purdue.
On Farm 2, judges selected team Renaissance Nutrition for the top award. Individuals included Kristopher Boucher of Kansas State; Veronica Hilton, Purdue; Kristin Leiteritz, Lakeshore Technical College; Max Luchterhand, UW-Madison; and Kara Uhlenhake, Ohio State.
A complete list of Midwest Regional Dairy Challenge contest participants and their placing can be found at www.dairychallenge.org/mw_event.php.
February 10, 2014
From postcrescent.com: “FVTC hosts Midwest Dairy Challenge for college and technical school students” – NEW LONDON — The temperature hovered just below zero Thursday morning as two buses of students from colleges and technical schools in Kansas, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin filed into a barn at Sugar Creek Farm.
They were there for the Midwest Dairy Challenge, a competition featuring teams of students who conduct a detailed analysis of farming operations, said Kevin Rauchholz, an instructor at Fox Valley Technical College.
Students walk through dairy farms, examining everything from cow comfort, feed quality and ventilation to milking parlor management. With their observations and the farm’s financial information, the teams put together a presentation on what the farm is doing well, and areas where it could improve.
FVTC hosted the challenge this year, ushering students to Sugar Creek Farm and Country Aire Acres in Greenleaf.
At Sugar Creek Farm — an operation with 1,200 cows — students walked through the foggy barns, picking up feed and sifting through it. They counted how many cows were in a given space, and measured how wide the lanes were for the cows to walk through.
Outside, they examined feed storage before moving inside to the milking parlor. Cows stood above the students in the parlor waiting to be milked. Walls of 20 automatic milking machines on the right and left made way for a lane in between, where two workers cleaned the cows’ udders and attached the milkers.
Students milled down the gangway, watching how the udders were prepped and timing how long it took a group of cows to finish milking.
Matthew Bull competed in the challenge four years ago. Now he works for Cargill, and returned to the contest this year as a volunteer.
Bull said the experience gives students an opportunity to apply what they’ve learned and make connections with potential employers.
“Here with the students today are a host of industry professionals representing different companies … so that exposure with the students is really beneficial for them as they enter their junior and senior years in college and some into the workforce later on this year,” Bull said.
John Schmidt, another Cargill representative, said the challenge showcases various career paths in agriculture, which helps students determine what they’re interested in.
In potential employees, Schmidt said he looks for students who are inquisitive, professional and confident.
“We want people who have confidence in what they know, but not so much that they’re afraid to ask questions if they don’t know something,” Schmidt said.
After two hours on the farm, students spent the rest of the day working on their projects. They presented them Friday.
No matter who won, the students walked away with appreciation for the event.
“Today was a great learning experience,” said Darcy Steffes, a student at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. “It’s nice to go to different farms and get a look at what you can help them with so they can be more profitable in the future.”
February 4, 2014
From thenorthwestern.com: “Oshkosh schools working to build apprenticeship” – After years of lagging behind other districts, the Youth Apprenticeship program in Oshkosh is getting a push from the school district and chamber of commerce to offer high school students work experience in a variety of careers.
The Oshkosh Area School District hasn’t historically had a strong apprenticeship program, because the curriculum wasn’t developed enough to meet their requirements or there weren’t employers to sponsor them.
Still, businesses in Oshkosh have consistently been involved in employing students through cooperative education programs, or co-ops, Julie Mosher, OASD director of curriculum and assessment, said. The youth apprenticeship program asks them to take that partnership to the next level.
Wisconsin’s YA program is part of a statewide school-to-work initiative and integrates school-based and work-based learning. Students are simultaneously enrolled in academic classes and employed locally under the supervision of a skilled, worksite mentor.
Oshkosh’s effort to expand apprenticeships comes at the same time that Gov. Scott Walker is pushing to increase funding for the programs. Walker announced in January that Wisconsin’s Youth Apprenticeship, or YA, program would receive additional grants totaling more than $226,000, and Cooperative Educational Services Agency 6 in Oshkosh received $18,747 of those funds.
CESA 6 serves 42 schools in seven counties to coordinate programs and services between schools, districts and the state.
Tania Kilpatrick, CESA 6 career and technical education coordinator, said YA is an important opportunity for students to test drive a career.
“When you’re looking at a workforce, economics, building the pipeline of future employees,” she said. “Any opportunity that you can give kids options for education I think is important.”
Changes to the requirements for apprenticeship programs have changed, while the district’s strategic plan has an increased focus on ensuring students are college, career and community ready.
“With the new checklist and the new requirements that matched our curriculum and matched our philosophy a lot better,” Mosher said. “We felt that we could possibly start getting employers to match up with it.”
With that in mind, the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce stepped in to help create partnerships with local businesses.
Two apprenticeships were recently secured with Bergstrom Automotive.
Marc Stanga, a senior at Oshkosh West, is an apprentice at the Bergstrom GM division in Oshkosh. He works for a few hours each day after school and on Saturdays, where he’s learning alongside a mentor to become a GM-certified auto technician.
So far the 17-year-old has learned how to do oil and headlight changes, check fluids and more.
“It’s teaching me the basics of being an auto mechanic,” Stanga said, adding the mentor has been a key part to what he’s learning.
Stanga plans to attend Fox Valley Technical College, where he’s enrolled in the GM program.
“My whole life I’ve wanted to be an auto mechanic,” he said. He thinks the youth apprenticeship will be a big help to getting a job in the future and hopes to receive a scholarship from the program as well.
Stanga said he’s loving his apprenticeship because it’s really hands on.
“It’s like a paid internship,” he said. “You really can see if you really like to do what you were planning on doing.”
Stanga is also working on live cars in a lab at West for the curriculum part of his apprenticeship.
The college-level learning uses standards for 11 different areas that are put out from the national Automotive Service Excellence Certification, Mark Boushele, transportation technology instructor at West, said.
“The homework is all right in front of you,” he said. “So you actually see … the progress that you’re doing and working with.”
Apprenticeships have benefits for both students and employers.
Students gain a valuable, real-world connections between the curriculum and work. There’s no bad internship experience because of the skills one learns during it, Mosher and Patti Andresen-Shew, Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce education and workforce coordinator, said.
Even if students end up not wanting to go into the career, it teaches the importance of showing up on time, flexibility and adaptability, as well as how to work under pressures and stress, Mosher said. Plus, learning they don’t like something can be just as important.
A long-term investment
YA is a heavier load for both students and employers than co-ops because of the mentorship requirement and need to complete a checklist of requirements laid out by the state. Many different scheduling factors have to line up in order for it to work, Mosher said, which is why co-ops have worked out better in Oshkosh in the past.
Juniors and seniors have to apply for the program, and then they have to nail an interview with the employer to get the position. The courses for the program have to fit with the high schools’ schedules, and that has to line up with lab, clinical or work schedules. Students also need to complete a certain amount of hours working on the job.
“All these stars have to align,” Mosher said.
Though it’s a commitment for employers to train, mentor and pay the students, in many cases it’s a long-term investment.
The State Department of Workforce Development said 85 percent of YA students are offered jobs at the end of apprenticeships, which can be more effective than finding workers through recruiters or advertising. Employers have said it also inspires current employees to be even better workers.
“We like to hire locally and have had great success hiring people early in their work life, who can then learn and become a part of our culture and grow with our company over the course of their career,” Tim Bergstrom, President and COO of Bergstrom Automotive, said in a statement.
“The Chamber and our local school system have come together to provide us with a unique opportunity to find just this type of candidate to become a potential long-term team member,” Bergstrom said.
YA is not limited to any one kind of career or student, Mosher said. There’s room for all Oshkosh students, whether they go on to a two or four-year school, into the military or directly into the workforce.
Mosher and Shew would like to see the program expand to include more career paths. Agriculture, communications, tourism, and information technology are just some of the possible programs listed on the Department of Workforce Development website.
Shew and Mosher are actively looking for more employers to participate in YA, as well as students who want to explore their interests in an apprenticeship setting.
Career exploration is the most important aspect of YA, they said.
“We want our students to explore their career options and have a plan,” she said. “That plan may change, but at least they have a plan and they’ve done some thinking behind it.”
January 29, 2014
From woodworkingnetwork.com: “Teaching Wood Students Success at Fox Valley Tech” – By Matt Schumake -With each lesson in the Wood Manufacturing Technology program at Fox Valley Technical College, students routinely pull out calipers to check their work.
The goal: “To develop their sense of precision,” says instructor Mark Lorge. And paired with the students’ broad understanding of secondary wood processing, it creates a well-rounded knowledge base, which Lorge says is essential for a career in the industry.
An alumnus of the program, Lorge graduated in 1983 and went on to work with production and millwork companies such as Morgan Products Ltd., Elipticon Wood Products and Valley Planing Mill. Last year, Lorge celebrated his 20th year of instruction at Fox Valley Technical College.
Associate instructor Glenn Koerner leads the program with Lorge. Also a graduate, Koerner returned to Fox Valley Tech after more than 14,000 hours of industry experience.
The Wood Manufacturing Technology program is housed at Fox Valley Tech’s S.J. Spanbauer Center in Oshkosh, WI. There, Lorge and Koerner work with approximately 20 students each year, guiding them through five nine-week units of instruction.
“Some students come in with no prior understanding,” Lorge says. During the first nine weeks, they are introduced to the groundwork of every project — planning. They learn to read blueprints, prepare a parts list and production estimate. They also learn basic machining and wood identification.
The second block further develops students’ understanding of material, terminology, tooling and processes. They are introduced to an advanced level of setup and operation on woodworking machines, and demonstrate their psychomotor and cognitive competency of the process through a series of operation exercises.
It is during the third block that students become familiar with basic cabinetmaking processes. They design doors and drawers, build jigs and fixtures, and process materials to create laminate countertops. Cabinets completed in the program have been donated to Habitat for Humanity.
After approximately 36 weeks, students learn the principles of veneering, advanced machine joinery and CNC routing.
Through a partnership with Komo Machinery, the Wood Manufacturing Technology program has been provided with a VR510 Mach 1 S router, software for 21 seats and upgrades of RouterCIM and two seats of AutoNEST applications to operate the machinery.
“Most students embrace the CNC technology with enthusiasm,” Lorge says. By writing G-code, programming the router, setting tools, developing multiple tool programs and creating a gasketed fixture, students gain an understanding of the machine and its capabilities.
With these skills, the hiring rate for students is currently at 100 percent, Lorge says; over the past five years, the program has witnessed a 94 percent employment rate for graduates.
“A company needs employees who possess technical ability and a good work ethic — good training is one of the keys to success,” says Len Riebau, owner of Wisconsin-based WDL, and a member of the Fox Valley Tech advisory board. Industry feedback also has helped the program stay successful and relevant to today’s needs, he adds.
Currently, Lorge and Koerner are in the process of revising the curriculum for web-based delivery and to require tablet access for each student by August 2014. The two also are working with high schools on a curriculum with transferable credit to Fox Valley Tech, and to develop a basic-skills certificate program for students who cannot commit to the year-long program.
Under Lorge’s and Koerner’s direction, Fox Valley Technical College’s Wood Manufacturing Technology program already has received notice for its efforts. Not only is the school a past recipient of the “Educator of the Year Award” by the Woodworking Machinery Industry Association, but its students frequently receive awards from the Association of Woodworking and Furniture Suppliers.
January 28, 2014
From wisconsinagconnection.com: “Fox Valley Tech to host Dairy Challenge Competition” — College students from 10 states will be heading to Appleton next week to participate in the Midwest Dairy Challenge, being hosted this winter by Fox Valley Technical College. Contest organizers say teams from 18 different schools will be competing in the February 5-7 event, which helps college students planning a career in the dairy industry put their skills to the test.
Each team of students will inspect an actual operating dairy by analyzing real farm data and interviewing the farm’s owners. They will then develop recommendations for nutrition, reproduction, milking procedures, animal health and housing to help the farm optimize performance and profitability.
The Midwest event is one of four regional contests sponsored each year by North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge. Over its 13-year history, the contest has helped prepare over 4,000 students for careers as dairy owners or managers, consultants, researchers, veterinarians or other dairy professionals.
The 2014 national event will be April 3-5 in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
January 22, 2014
From postcrescent.com: “Referendum would add space, new equipment to Appleton technical education department” – APPLETON – About a dozen people braved the cold temperatures Tuesday to see firsthand how the upcoming referendum would impact technical education at Appleton West.
The referendum consists of two questions: One for $25 million to purchase technology and complete capital projects. The other question would allow officials to borrow up to $5 million outside the budget each year. The money would be used to replace outdated technology, perform maintenance projects and cover the salaries and benefits for five instructional technology integrators.
If both questions pass on Feb. 18, people who own homes valued at $150,000 would see the school portion of their property taxes rise $118.50.
Paul Lindberg teaches metals, welding and graphic arts at West. Lindberg showed those in attendance how referendum dollars would expand the technical education area, and allow all the department’s classes to be centrally located.
“Right now we have some of our classes upstairs and some of them downstairs, but if we’re all in one area the kids can move through the classes easier,” Lindberg said.
The lack of updated equipment is keeping Lindberg from training students in additional areas. Lindberg worked with instructors at Fox Valley Technical College over the summer to align three of his courses with their curriculum. Students who take those courses would earn credit through FVTC, but because not all of his equipment is up to industry standards, Lindberg can only teach one of the three classes. That would change if the referendum passes.
Equipment would be updated in the cabinetry/construction lab and the automotive shop as well. The construction space would be expanded and the auto shop would have additional storage, which would give students more space to work.
Julie Painting attended the information session because she has three children who attend West High School and she wanted to learn more.
“It was very helpful,” Painting said. “I’m very impressed that the teachers, the staff want to do what’s best for the students, for the community, and we’re not talking about extravagant spending. We’re talking about just what’s needed to keep up with our economy.”
Other than the technical education areas, West High would receive a secure entrance area and see the kitchen, cafeteria and outside common space remodeled and repurposed. Students who attend West and the district’s other two high schools would be given a mobile device to use — one for every student.
January 6, 2014
From woodworkingnetwork.com: “CNC Wood Manufacturing Training at Fox Valley Technical College” – With each lesson in the Wood Manufacturing Technology Program at Fox Valley Technical College, students routinely pull out calipers to check their work.
The goal: “To develop their sense of precision,” says instructor Mark Lorge. By the end of the full-time, year-long program, “The students are not finished products,” Lorge says, but they are “conversant in the language of the industry.” They finish the program with a .003″ sense of precision. While they are not expert cabinetmakers, Lorge adds, “If given a task, they should be able to do it.”
This sense of precision, paired with the students’ broad understanding of secondary wood processing, creates a well-rounded knowledge base, which Lorge believes is essential for a career in the industry. An alumnus of the program himself, Lorge graduated in 1983 and went on to work with production and millwork companies such as Morgan Products Ltd., Elipticon Wood Products, and Valley Planing Mill. In 2013, Lorge celebrated his 20th year of instruction at Fox Valley Technical College.
Associate instructor Glenn Koerner leads the program with Lorge. Also a grad of the course, Koerner returned to Fox Valley Technical College after more than 14,000 hours of working wood industry experience. He has been teaching with Lorge for seven years.
Lorge and Koerner work with approximately 20 students each year, guiding them through five nine-week units of instruction.
“Some students come in with no prior understanding,” Lorge says. During the first nine weeks, they are introduced to the groundwork of every project—planning. They learn to read blueprints before preparing a parts list and production estimate. They also get acquainted with basic machining and wood identification.
The second block further develops students’ understanding of material, terminology, hand tools, portable and stationary power tools, and processes in the woodworking industry through a variety of curriculum methods. Through these methods, they develop the habits required to safely and efficiently perform machining tasks. They are introduced to an advanced level of setup and operation on machines, and they demonstrate their psychomotor and cognitive competency of the process through a series of operation exercises.
During the third nine-week block, students become familiar with the process of cabinetry. Though the instruction does not include formal certification (such as Woodwork Career Alliance, the Carpenters Union apprenticeships, or Cabinet Makers Association certification), it does help students develop the knowledge needed to design and build face-frame cabinetry. They design doors and drawers, they build jigs and fixtures, and they process materials to create laminate countertops. Cabinets completed in the course have been donated to Habitat for Humanity for use in homes built by the organization and its partner families.
After approximately 36 weeks, students learn the principles of veneering, advanced machine joinery, and CNC routing.
Through a partnership with Komo Machinery, the Wood Manufacturing Technology Program at Fox Valley Technical College has been provided with a VR510 Mach 1 S router, software for 21 seats and upgrades of RouterCIM and two seats of AutoNEST applications to operate the machinery. Fox Valley Technical College maintains and insures the CNC equipment while using it to instruct students about current machining technology.
“Most students embrace the CNC technology with enthusiasm,” Lorge says. The program language can be intimidating to students with little experience in computerized equipment, he adds, but they generally do well once they become familiar with the software. By writing G-code, programming the router, setting tools, developing multiple tool programs, and creating a gasketed fixture, students gain an understanding of the machine and its capabilities.
According to Lorge, Komo leads the industry in CNC technology and the partnership is not only beneficial for Fox Valley Technical College and its students, but also for Komo and for local manufacturing companies as well. After graduating from the program, students go on to work in these facilities, where they recommend Komo routers.
The most recent hiring rate for students is “100%,” Lorge says, with the program consistently seeing more than 90% of its graduates landing careers throughout the years. Some graduates even go on to start their own businesses, whereupon they hire more graduates from the Wood Manufacturing Technology Program.
“Fox Valley Technical College is successful because of the feedback it gets from the industry,” says Len Riebau, owner of wood finishing firm WDL of Wisconsin, and a member of the advisory board for Fox Valley Tech. “A company needs employees who possess technical ability and a good work ethic, and good training is one of the keys to success.”
Lorge, who has seen the program develop since he began his first planning lesson in 1983, continuously looks ahead for ways in which it can continue to grow. He and Koerner have been revising the curriculum for web-based delivery and they are currently working to require tablet access for each student by August of 2014.
December 23, 2013
From wbay.com: “Fox River Lighted Sculptures To Be Unveiled on Saturday” – Appleton - Lighted sculptures designed by Fox Valley students will turn on Saturday night in the City of Appleton to spotlight hydroelectric history.
Just off of water street in Appleton, a group of volunteers makes final preparations setting up the lighted sculpture displays before they are unveiled and lit up at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday.
It’s part of a celebration highlighting the first usage of hydroelectricity along the Fox River.
“We’re just getting these power lines set up that we’re going to connect to our house and run back towards the river to represent hydroelectricity lighting up the house,” Joey Stammer, Appleton East senior said. Students from Fox Valley Technical college along with Appleton and Little Chute high school students began designing the lighted scenes including a lighted flag in September.
Light Up the Fox, INC. raised close to $10,000 for the project.
“Many people in the area don’t realize how rich it is and unique it is…for example being the first place in the world to have a central electric system that used Thomas Edison’s system,” Barb Sauer, Light Up the Fox spokeswoman, said.
And, they hope to commemorate the Appleton’s historical third ward neighborhood over the years by adding more light displays.
“We’re looking at in the future growing this every year, school by school by school and just adding displays throughout the year and making it a bigger and bigger and bigger display,” Mike Cattelino, FVTC Associate Dean of Manufacturing and Agriculture programs, said.
The lighting of the displays will kick off on Saturday starting at 6:30 p.m. The public also will be able to participate in a candle light walk. The lighted displays will be featured through February 11th.
December 11, 2013
From fox11online.com: “FVTC culinary students create elaborate gingerbread houses” – Culinary students at Fox Valley Technical College are creating elaborate gingerbread houses for a unique fundraiser.
The houses will be on display in the college’s commons area the week of December 16th.
They’ll be auctioned off, with proceeds benefiting the Culinary Arts program.
Instructor, Chef Sue Horvath, and student Jason Sargeant from Neenah joined Good Day Wisconsin Tuesday to give some tips on constructing and decorating your own gingerbread house.
November 29, 2013
From postcrescent.com: “Milestone reached in FVTC job search program” — APPLETON - The JobSeekers Network program at Fox Valley Technical College welcomed its 1,000th participant in November, making the free offering to the community one of the fastest-growing job search efforts in the Midwest.
JSN started as a support group at FVTC four years ago, and it has now grown into a curriculum-based job search program that teaches how to land a career using skilled networking practices and more.
The program also developed an optional textbook for participants and the community, the Human Search Engine, and its LinkedIn social media group has grown to more than 1,000 active members as well.
JSN if offered weekly at FVTC’s Appleton and Oshkosh campuses. For more information on the sessions, visit www.fvtc.edu/jsn.
November 26, 2013
From insightonmfg.com: “From mind to model: 3D printing puts form, fit and function on the fast track” – When companies can turn ideas into reality within 24 hours, it’s not hard to imagine the powerful impact 3D printing can have on the manufacturing industry. Simply put, 3D printing technology turns 3D computer models into prototypes by “printing” the model, layer by layer, using various substances such as powder or plastic to create a tangible object.
“It’s an easy way to visualize your parts to check them for form, fit and function,” says Dean Sommerfeld, instructor of mechanical design technology at Fox Valley Technical College (FVTC). “You can model something on computer and it looks good, but it’s hard to tell scale. If you’re designing something to fit in your hand, does it fit?”
There is plenty of demand for workers trained in this technology. FVTC’s Mechanical Design Technology program has a consistent 90-plus percent graduate employment rate. The college is the only institution in the state with three fabrication laboratories (Fab Labs) and one mobile Fab Lab, according to Steve Gallagher, program specialist and Fab Lab manager at FVTC.
The University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley is also targeting the growing need for 3D printing skills and technology with its recent launch of the Center for Device, Design and Development. Officially dubbed “3DC,” it’s been described as “a platform for developing ideas into reality.” 3DC is a private-public venture seeking to connect small businesses and inventors in Wisconsin with the technical expertise and resources necessary to develop their ideas into marketable products.
In return, the inventor provides his or her support and agrees to share royalties with all involved parties.
“We do a good job of preparing our students for the technical skills they need to be successful in industry, but one aspect that could use further development is the ability to take a simple kernel of an idea and turn it into a marketable product,” said Dr. Michael Zampaloni in UWFox’s September announcement of the program. Zampaloni is 3DC’s co-director and professor of mechanical engineering for UW-Platteville. “Through 3DC, students, working with engineers and local small businesses and manufacturers, will gain some of this invaluable experience as part of an entrepreneurial team bringing new products, ideas, and businesses to the Fox Valley area,” he added.
By supporting the Fox Cities and Northeast Wisconsin small businesses, entrepreneurs and engineering students, each product developed has the potential to directly impact the Wisconsin economy through the expansion of existing businesses, and the creation of new businesses, all supporting high-tech jobs in the local area.
“People hold on to great, innovative ideas that are just waiting to become great, innovative solutions. However, individuals may not have the technical resources or even know where to begin. The 3DC is designed to guide these individuals through the entire product development process,” said Dr. Ranen McLanahan in the statement issued by the school. McLanahan is assistant professor of mechanical engineering at UWFox and 3DC co-director.
November 25, 2013
From fox11online.com: “New industry trend in forensic science” – GRAND CHUTE – Many of you have likely seen the hit TV show Bones on FOX.
The program illustrates how evidence must be logged and secured to preserve its integrity.
An increasing interest in forensic science led Fox Valley Technical College to start an associate degree program in 2011.
A soon-to-be graduate, is finding her future with Grand Chute police is part of a new industry trend.
Back in 2011, Holly Schultz was watching FOX 11 when a live report caught her attention.
“They had kind of talked about some of the other trainings and forensic spotlights that they were doing here at the tech at the time, and that kind of sparked some interest with me,” said Schultz.
That segment spurred Schultz to enroll in the tech college’s forensic science program.
“People are more interested in forensics. Victims of crime, and people in the community, expect police officers to be doing more forensic related skills,” said FVTC Forensic Science instructor, Joe LeFevre.
LeFevre says the typical police academy training only provides eight hours of evidence training.
So the college created the degree program to enhance scientific expertise.
“Also seeing the trends utilized on the east and west coasts of going to civilians in the property and evidence room, and even civilians doing crime scene technician work,” LeFevre said.
The Grand Chute Police Department is believed to be the first agency in the state to take the leap in hiring a full-time evidence technician, without the typical police background.
“Holly is our latest hire in the property and evidence area,” said Chief Greg Peterson. “We’ve known that we needed to move in this direction, and hire a full time person probably for a couple of years now.” According to Peterson, “There’s a lot of trust involved because back in this room, you’re in the property room, you know how secluded it is, there are large quantities of cash, there are drugs, there is jewelry.”
Not only will Schultz be responsible for around 10 thousand pieces of physical evidence which have passed through these lockers, she will also be trained as a crime scene technician.
“It’s one of the reasons why the forensic science program at the tech is appealing to us, because that’s the type of training and education that they get. It prepares them for that type of field work,” Peterson said.
Schultz interned at the department before her hire last month, and has already done quite a bit.
“I’ve been to a few, and kind of a variety of scenes. I also help with their property and evidence department, making sure evidence is submitted correctly, that it’s packaged properly, that it’s stored properly,” Schultz said.
That includes evidence from major cases, such as the Road Star Inn homicide last year.
“I have been helping with the discovery process with that, and making sure that evidence for that gets submitted to the lab,” said Schultz.
Peterson says using sworn officers is tradition, but he thinks in time demand will grow for people with specialized skills, like Schultz.
“You’ll see more agencies in the future moving in that direction. But it hasn’t taken off in a grand way yet in this particular area,” Peterson said.
However, LeFevre tells me a number of police chiefs and sheriffs, are exploring the idea of a civilian evidence technician.
“We need somebody in there full time, who that’s their only job and their only mindset. And so it pays a chief to get a civilian in there, so they can get another officer out on the street, and not have them stuck in the basement of the police department,” said LeFevre.
Schultz is just thrilled to have finally landed her dream job.
“I can’t even begin to describe how awesome it is,” said Schultz, who graduates next month.
Fox Valley Technical College says it’s forensic science program is the only one of its kind at the two-year college level in the state.
November 25, 2013
From postcrescent.com: “Streetwise: Oshkosh growing out of the old Sawdust City image” — By Jeff Bollier - Oshkosh may have a ways to go before it competes with Silicon Valley, but the former center of the logging industry has quietly lumbered into the 21st century.
Companies like DealerFire, Oracular and ImproMed continue to add good-paying jobs while economic development agencies have sought ways to help bolster information technology as an industry in Oshkosh.
Meanwhile, Fox Valley Technical College has recently launched a partnership with Oshkosh North and West high schools that could help build interest — and necessary skill sets — in the IT field.
FVTC, North and West have established help desks staffed by students and monitored by FVTC mentors to help build an understanding of IT careers and the required skills. FVTC also has started to develop curriculum for the high schools that will allow interested students earn college credits while taking early courses vital to IT careers and courses of study.
These activities are the building blocks on which a successful industry can build for years to come. Let’s hope collaboration like this continues into the future and the vision comes to fruition.
• Oshkosh Corp. has been designated a Green Professional under the Wisconsin Sustainable Council’s Green Masters Program. The program recognizes companies that promote sustainability and healthy workplaces. In Oshkosh Corp.’s case, the council applauded the company’s increase in recycled materials, a reduction in items that end up in landfills and its wellness programs.
November 8, 2013
From whby.com: “Tribal police gather in G.B.area” – Fox Valley Technical College is helping train tribal police officers from across the Midwest this week, at a conference in the Green Bay area.
Brad Russ is the director of the school’s national criminal justice training center. He says it’s the 25th annual event, and they’re focusing on issues like human trafficking and drugs.
Russ says it’s one of the premier tribal training conferences in the country.
The conference runs through Friday, at the Radisson hotel and conference center in the Green Bay area.
October 30, 2013
From fox11online.com: “New high-tech classrooms at FVTC” – GRAND CHUTE – Fox Valley Tech is going high tech in its classrooms.
KI paid $150,000 to help bring four new learning labs to the school at the start of the fall semester.
An official dedication was held Tuesday afternoon.
The rooms include multi-media screens and walls and desks that can be written on.
“We have learned through a lot of research and education that collaboration is key for student learning and I think these classrooms really give us the opportunity to provide the students with a lot of different ways to collaborate with each other,” said Cris Gordon, social science instructor at FVTC.
School leaders say general education courses are taught in the new classrooms.
October 30, 2013
From postcrescent.com: “Police officers take seriously commitment to protect, serve” – My daughter raised her right hand to be sworn in.
“On my honor, I will never betray my badge, my integrity, my character or the public trust. I will always have the courage to hold myself and others accountable for our actions. I will always uphold the Constitution, my community and the agency I serve.”
I always knew this day would come. Before she could write, she scribbled “tickets” to offending family members. Lights and sirens evoked heartfelt prayers and a million questions. Halloween “uniforms” were easy. Unusual gifts included handcuffs and police scanners. Most mothers encourage children to avoid traffic. As a Police Explorer, my daughter’s whistle and expertly executed hand motions finally allowed her access to busy intersections. It really struck home when a bulletproof vest hung in my laundry room.
Some public servants, like my daughter, are born for policing, ingrained with a sense of justice, an undeniable passion to help and an unwavering commitment to goodwill.
The police badge represents the shield medieval knights carried into battle. Daily, they strapped on armor, shields and weapons as they protected the people. Brave law enforcement officers do the same today.
None of us know what we may face when we walk out the door on any given day. Neither do our public servants. The difference is when they get ready for work; they strap on a gun, bulletproof vest, and shield and rush to help with unforeseen tragedies. They walk out their door in the morning with a noble purpose — to protect and serve.
I interviewed dozens of law enforcement officers, looking for the proverbial bad apples — the power-hungry bullies above the law whom the media loves to vilify. I couldn’t find one. Although the media would have us believe most citizens resent police officers, I found the opposite.
Grand Chute Police Chief Greg Peterson confirmed most people respect police officers.
“We consistently deal with 2 to 5 percent of the population in their worst moments — people with tremendous needs,” he said.
Safety agencies want feedback to prevent negative perceptions. Peterson said, “We encourage people to contact us if they were treated unprofessionally. We only get a handful of complaints and we take them very seriously. We want the best for our community and demand it from our officers. That is why the hiring process is so rigorous.”
Mark Kohl, the Law Enforcement Recruitment Academy director at Fox Valley Technical College, trusts the academic system.
“We set extremely high standards for these young men and women,” he said. “The recruit process weeds out candidates with wrong motives. Abilities to multitask, problem solve, collaborate and meet high cognitive standards, along with physical stamina and precise technical skills, are what graduates must prove.”
Though part social worker, health care provider, translator, counselor and advocate, police officers are also fathers, sons, brothers, sisters, mothers and daughters just like us. The difference is their commitment to a job most of us would never consider.
Academy recruits from FVTC shared their perspective about policing. They agreed values like honor, courage and commitment to community have been passed down through legacies of law enforcement. Eager to uphold values from their oath, they trust the training, academics and character tests that prepare them to take their place as the next generation of public servants.
While visiting New York City, I met NYPD Officer Lawrence DePrimo. You may remember him as one of People Magazine’s Heroes of the Year in 2012. A tourist’s photo of DePrimo giving shoes to a homeless man went viral. DePrimo humbly said, “It was just a normal day on the job. I got up, went to work and helped someone. Any officer would have done it. We do it every day.”
Most police officers are men and women of integrity who honor the badge and oath they swore to uphold. So the next time you see flashing lights in your rear-view mirror, get cited for a traffic violation or are asked to inconveniently detour, remember these men and women are working to protect the community, ensure public safety and save lives.
Today, they may provide that service to you or someone you love.
October 29, 2013
From fox11online.com: “Technology takes hold in agriculture” – GRAND CHUTE – The fall harvest is well underway.
And before many farmers even enter the field, they’re using technology to plot their strategy.
As combines roll through the farm fields of Northeast Wisconsin, many are guided by GPS. Not necessarily technology that’s new to the farming industry, but technology that has taken off in the last five years.
“It really depends on the grower, how progressive they are, but we are seeing huge leaps and bounds on the precision ag side of it,” said Brad Birzer of Larson Cooperative in New London.
Birzer should know. Precision farming technology is his specialty.
He’s testing planter row units for accuracy, the kind of technology used in the spring that produces results like this in the fall. The kind of technology being taught in the only program of its kind in the state at Fox Valley Technical College in Grand Chute.
“Precision ag is the bridge between the iron that you see behind me and the agronomists that help the farmers make their cropping decisions,” said Fox Valley Technical College Precision Ag Instructor Joe Sinkula.
As technology takes over more aspects of farming, students are getting a first-hand look at the future.
“It takes farming to the next level as far as I’m concerned and it helps the farmer to be more efficient,” said Shawn Wesener of Cleveland.
Birzer says the technology can range from just a few thousand dollars to $40,000 or more, but farmers will see the benefits in increased yields and greater efficiencies.
Birzer says most farmers are using at least some enhanced technology these days. And these students are getting hands on training for what is becoming a hands off industry.
The one-year precision agriculture degree program officially begins at Fox Valley Technical College in January.
October 24, 2013
From wearegreenbay.com: “New FVTC medical training center dedicated” – Fox Valley Technical College held a ceremony Wednesday afternoon to officially dedicate the campus’ health simulation and technology center.
The $66 million facility allows students in numerous medical fields to perform real-life simulations in a realistic hospital setting. The center is the state’s only virtual hospital training center, designed to integrate numerous medical fields into one facility.
The ceremony today honored the completion of the building, as well as the people who made it all happen.
“This building wouldn’t exist without our taxpayers,” Human Patient Simulation Coordinator Bob Sternhagen says,”and they approved the referendum by a major large majority and we’re very happy they did that so we’re going to give them the best possible health care providers we can with this facility.”
The center includes fourteen human simulators, a new ambulance simulator, and a full ER .
October 21, 2013
From fox11online.com: “Grant helps minority student program” – GRAND CHUTE – Fox Valley Technical College is making a difference for some of its minority students.
The school recently formed a brother-to-brother program designed to help African American men finish college.
The program just received $105,000 from a Madison organization.
Program leaders say it’s all about helping each other through study groups and progress meetings.
“Over the years, studies have been done to show that African American male students have the lowest retention rate in college and completion rate, so what this grant aimed to do is to guide the students, and to remove, hopefully, some of the obstacles out of their way,” said Rayon Brown, FVTC minority student services.
Fox Valley Tech says recent rates show 20 to 25 percent of these students graduate from the school.
There are currently 94 African American men enrolled this semester. 25 of them are in the program.
October 9, 2013
From whby.com: “FVTC creating apps for students” – Fox Valley Technical College will create about 375 apps to help students learn the information technology skills that they’ll need in their future career.
Jay Stulo is the school’s learning innovation and technology manager. He says they received a $1.5 million dollar grant from the federal labor department, for the project. He says students at all of the state’s tech schools will use the apps.
He says one application would help students in an agriculture program learn how to program tractors. using GPS technology. Stulo says some students need to catch up to current technology.
Stulo says teachers will be able to incorporate the apps into their lesson plans, and they should all be finished within three years.
October 7, 2013
From fox11online.com: ” ‘Virtual hospital’ opens at Fox Valley Technical College” – GRAND CHUTE – In a mock emergency, paramedic, EMT and nursing students work together at Fox Valley Technical College to treat Mary Roberts’ possible heart attack. Roberts is a human simulator at the Grand Chute college.
The mock emergency took place Wednesday in FVTC’s $12 million Health Simulation and Technology Center. The virtual hospital also features occupational therapy and a clinic.
“We can do a lot more with our students, we can expose them to a lot of different situations that they might not have been able to see in the past,” FVTC simulator coordinator Bob Sternhagen said.
“It’s extremely life-like,” nursing student Daisie Hanson said. “It’s got pulses in all the places that a human being has pulses. You can listen to the heart, you can listen to the lungs, you can listen to their stomach.”
The virtual hospital is geared toward more than just students at the college. Other health care professionals may use the facility as well.
“It is a re-certification process. For others, it’s just the world of health care is changing so rapidly, so what we thought we knew a couple of years ago, well there’s new information, new research,” said Sharon Schumacher, director of talent development at Appleton-based ThedaCare health system.
The emergency may be an exercise, but the training is very real.
“You can kill the simulator as many times as you want and it comes back,” Hanson said. “And then you know what not to do on a real patient.”
“It helps prepare not only those students to have more competence, so that when they actually come into the clinical setting, they’re much more prepared,” Schumacher said.
And in this virtual case, Mary Roberts is going to make it.
The simulator center is part of a $66.5 million referendum voters passed in the spring of last year.
October 4, 2013
From postcrescent.com: “Fox Valley Technical College receives grant from trucking group” – The Trucking Industry Defense Association awarded a $2,500 endowment fund grant to the Fox Valley Technical College’s Truck Driving Academy in Grand Chute.
Fox Valley Technical College is a first-time recipient of the grant, which was established to help pay for programs that prepare students for careers in the transportation and trucking industry.
“After reviewing all of our highly qualified applications, TIDA determined that Fox Valley Tech’s industry-relevant programs and plans for the grant were a perfect fit for this award,” said Frank Stackhouse, TIDA Past President. “We were also particularly encouraged by the college’s success in graduating students with CDLs (commercial driver’s licenses) and attracting immediate interest from employers.”
Other schools awarded a 2013 endowment grant were the University of Memphis in Tennessee; Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland; Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta, Canada; and Palo Alto College in San Antonio.
October 3, 2013
From fox11online.com: ”Area farmers affected by shutdown” – APPLETON – The shutdown of the federal government is causing headaches for many.
One group affected by the stalemate in Congress is farmers, and depending on how long the shutdown lasts, you could pay more at the grocery store.
Appleton dairy farmer Mark Petersen told FOX 11 he is ready to put Congress out to pasture.
“No matter what side of the aisle they are, because their job is ironing these things out and sitting down and compromising and talk and come up with a solution. They’re not doing it,” said Petersen.
Petersen and farmers like him rely on the government for a lot of their business planning.
Randy Tenpas with Fox Valley Technical College’s Agriculture Department told us the federal shutdown is frustrating.
“The real impact will be felt the longer we go from this,” Tenpas explained.
Tenpas told us 23 agencies affiliated with agriculture are shut down right now. Even the USDA’s website is offline.
“You’re looking for a federal loan, for example, for expansion. That’s on hold right now,” Tenpas explained.
According to Tenpas, certain permits and subsidy payments will also be delayed.
Tenpas said, however, the widest-felt impact would likely be food inspections. He told us there will still be inspections to ensure national standards, but with fewer federal staff, those inspections will happen at a slower pace.
“What if we can’t ship and export products because it’s not inspected? That’ll have an impact and we may see that in commodity prices,” said Tenpas.
Tenpas told us at this point there’s not much farmers can do but wait and see what happens next.
“Just going to have to have a little patience,” said Tenpas.
Petersen told us no matter what happens in the federal government, farmers are going to keep doing what they do.
“Farmers are going to keep producing and they’re going to keep taking care of their business,” said Petersen.
On top of that, Congress has yet to pass a new farm bill. An extension expired Sept. 30. That means dairy farmers will have to wait for their checks from the federal milk income loss program.