May 15, 2013
From journaltimes.com: “First Urban Farm student joins Gateway grads” – KENOSHA — A Kenosha woman accepted her diploma Tuesday night, becoming the first student to graduate from Gateway Technical College’s Urban Farm advanced certificate program.
Diana Haglund was joined by about 340 fellow Gateway graduates at the ceremony held at the University of Wisconsin–Parkside Sports and Activity Center, 900 Wood Road, in Kenosha, that recognized those graduating from the 2013 spring and summer semesters.
“It’s really nice to see someone who grabs something like this and takes off with it,” said Gateway Urban Farm Director and horticulture instructor Kate Jerome about Haglund, the first person to receive a certificate from the program which started in the spring of 2012. Haglund also received two associates’ degrees in horticulture, according to Gateway spokesman Lee Colony.
The ceremony recognized 770 prospective students from the 2013 spring and summer semesters. The total number of students in this year’s class is lower than previous years because Gateway held its inaugural December graduation ceremony in 2012, which recognized 527 students, according to Colony.
The 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award was presented to Waukegan Fire Department firefighter and paramedic Nathan Skewes, of Yorkville, who graduated in 2006 from the college’s Fire Science program. Skewes has been recognized for his excellence by his employer and recently qualified for the world finals of the Firefighter Combat Challenge, in which contestants compete against one another in a physically demanding course that simulates on-the-job situations.
The night’s keynote address was delivered by Jean Moran, CEO of Label Makers, Inc., who is credited with introducing a number of programs designed to grow the company and empower employees, including continuing education and tuition reimbursement programs.
Earlier on Tuesday, a ceremony was held for the college’s high school graduation and HSED/GED completion.
A student from each county’s campus was awarded the Second Effort Award and a $250 Gateway scholarship. The recipients were Nick Greening from the Racine campus, Shenendoah Doran from the Kenosha campus and Darien Martinez from the Elkhorn campus.
May 13, 2013
From jsonline.com: “Gateway Technical College offers its ‘fab lab’ in Sturtevant for small-business use” – When Pioneer Products Inc. was asked to make the tooling for a boat part that was designed in Germany, cast in Missouri, for use by a manufacturer in Florida, the Racine company used three-dimensional printing for a prototype that could be shared by everyone in the manufacturing process.
With 3-D printing, objects can be replicated by laying down successive, ultrathin sheets of plastic, metal or other materials from a computer drawing.
It’s like using a hot glue gun that’s controlled by a computer.
The process, more correctly called additive manufacturing, is already widely used in industry. Elaborate “printers” construct sophisticated parts, not just with plastic, but also with metals.
For the rest of us, a basic 3-D printer, fed by spools of plastic filament, can be bought for as little as $1,300.
As the cost of the technology comes down, more manufacturers, inventors and artists are using it to make either prototypes or finished products.
Three-dimensional printing can save a lot of time and money in the design process, said Dan Defaut, a manager with Pioneer Products, a machine shop that does work in a variety of industries including automotive, marine, medical and aerospace.
Gateway Technical College, in Sturtevant, has partnered with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and other colleges on rapid prototyping projects that use 3-D printing.
Manufacturers – and anyone else – can use Gateway’s design fabrication laboratory for training or building a prototype with the latest technologies.
“A company like S.C. Johnson has a full slate of 3-D printers and experts on staff, so they can handle this. But smaller companies are working with us so they don’t have to buy all of this equipment,” said Greg Herker, fabrication lab program coordinator.
“We are targeting small and midsize companies. We also are trying to target more artists, architects and others, because that’s how the real world works. Products aren’t just designed by engineers,” Herker said.
An array of uses
Gateway is part of a not-for-profit program aimed at developing and expanding industry in southeast Wisconsin and northern Illinois.
That program, called the State of Ingenuity Initiative, funds a business incubator and laboratory in Rockford, Ill., that does rapid prototyping with 3-D printing using materials not yet available at Gateway.
“Our function in life is to help businesses grow so they can hire more people,” said Mike Cobert, director of the Eiger Lab, in Rockford.
Three-dimensional printers are now making all kinds of things, including medical devices, replacement parts for airliners, architectural models, jewelry and customized salt shakers.
Eiger Lab was hired to replicate museum artifacts in Italy because, by Italian law, the original items could not be taken from the museum for traveling exhibits.
The copies were sent to an Illinois company that cast them in bronze.
Eiger did something similar for the U.S. Capitol, where officials wanted to replace a chandelier. It also has done work for large companies that want 3-D printing for projects but don’t want to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on the advanced equipment required for that type of work, partly because the technology is constantly changing.
Three-dimensional printing is well-suited for short production runs, one-off items where setting up a full production line wouldn’t be practical or affordable, and to make items suitable for sales pitches and meetings with investors.
It’s used for making customized prosthetics, where an exact fit is critical.
“Originally, this was just a model-making program. But right now, I think we are at the point where we are seeing many of the things that can be done with 3-D printing,” Herker said.
Affordable printers are lowering the cost of entry into manufacturing in the same way that e-commerce lowered the barriers to the sale of goods and services, according to Gartner Inc., a Stamford, Conn., firm that follows technology trends.
Printers for hobbyists, who want to make things like jewelry and craft items, cost less than $2,000. Recently, the office supply retailer Staples began offering a 3-D printer that can produce objects in 16 colors and is aimed at the small-business market.
“It’s not that hard to operate the equipment. Once you have the design file, it’s almost like sitting at your computer and selecting the ‘print’ button,” Herker said.
The technology has spawned businesses such as 3D Creations, a Milwaukee firm that envisions a world where people have a printer at home that could download and make a replacement part for something like a vacuum cleaner.
The printers also are useful tools for inventors, said Jesse DePinto, co-founder of 3D Creations.
“It’s kind of like the do-it-yourself culture on steroids. There are people who want to make their own products, either to save money or because they can’t find what they want at the store,” he said.
Three-dimensional scanners, which scan objects and create the drawings used by 3-D printers to make things, are advancing the technology in ways now only imaginable.
“Ten years from now, assuming there’s a utopia where everybody has their own printer, not everybody will know how to design things with CAD (computer-aided design) software. So the easiest way would be to have a hand-held wand where you could scan something and replicate it,” DePinto said.
3-D PRINTED GUNS
A Texas company recently said it used a 3-D printer to make a plastic gun capable of firing real bullets and passing unnoticed through metal detectors, and that it posted the schematics online for anyone to use.
Critics say the technology means someone could open a gun factory in their garage, and that plastic guns could be manufactured by terrorists using readily available 3-D printers.
In theory, anyone could download the plans and use them to manufacture a weapon.
From Chicagotribune.com: Corporate Leaders at Harper Event Urge Community College Presidents to “Talk to Us” – Executives representing some of the largest manufacturers in the U.S. urged community college presidents to reach out and form partnerships to help them train desperately needed middle skills workers.
Middle skills workers fill positions that typically require more than a high school diploma but less than a bachelor’s degree.
The recent resurgence in American manufacturing has created steep demand for middle skills workers with math, communication and problem-solving skills, especially in today’s high-tech manufacturing environment. Some middle skills jobs pay more than jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree, with median salaries often eclipsing $50,000.
“Assembly and manufacturing positions are among the toughest roles to fill,” said Alan May, Vice President, Human Resources at Boeing Defense, Space and Security. “Finding this talent is key to meeting increasing customer demand for our products while helping to improve the U.S. economy and bring down unemployment.”
The call for closer college and corporate partnerships came at a skills summit at Harper College in Palatine, which brought together human resources executives from Fortune 500 companies and community college leaders from across the country. In addition to manufacturing, the summit attracted human resources executives from other sectors, including retail, health care, logistics/supply chain and information technology, who also reported difficulties in filling middle skills jobs. The conference was sponsored by The HR Policy Association’s Workforce Development Roundtable, Motorola Solutions, Harper College and the Community College Auto Communities Consortium.
Corporate leaders said part of the disconnect between employers and colleges may stem from the difference between their fast-changing business environment and, what they say is the often slow pace of changing curricula and programs to meet their needs.
“Frequently we talk about our speed and education’s speed,” said Molly Steffen, Recruiting Manager at Caterpillar. “We’ll have a [training] program, then suddenly the technology changes and the job is different.”
Community college presidents acknowledge cumbersome academic processes can be frustrating for both sides, but they say working to close the time gap and collaborating closely with corporate partners to stay ahead of the technology curve can pay off for everyone.
“The stronger the relationship and the communication is between community colleges and employers, and the more we struggle though this journey together, the better opportunity we have to be the right side of the curve.” said Dr. Steven Ender, President of Grand Rapids Community College.
Bruce Brda, Senior Vice President of Motorola Solutions, said the explosive growth of high-tech communications and mobile applications and platforms means he can’t predict what his workforce needs will look like in the next five years, but said active communication with community colleges is critical to make sure new employees have skill sets they need to be successful.
“Work is changing drastically and at an even faster pace than previously seen in business,” said Brda. “The skills for future employees continue to evolve, and the only way to stay aligned is to communicate our needs with educators.”
Employers say finding workers with the right technical skills is only half the battle. They say they often find newly hired employees can’t pass a drug test or turn out to have a poor work ethic.
You can be the best welder we have, but if you don’t show up every day, obviously that’s inefficient for us,” said Steffen. “Especially people new to their careers, they have the world in front of them but they may lose that opportunity if they are unable to fulfill their commitment to work.”
To help combat the problem, community colleges such as Gateway Technical College in Wisconsin have begun emphasizing soft skills including interviewing, personal presentation and communication skills along with technical training.
“We tell our students they’re not applying for a job when they graduate from college, they’re applying for a job when they enroll in college,” said Bryan Albrecht, President and CEO of Gateway Technical College. “They have to be constantly thinking about what it takes to be successful, and that starts with professionalism, the way you respond to your teachers, businesses on campus and the community.”
To help close the skills gap and evaluate a student’s work ethic, companies are looking at supporting more paid internships similar to those offered through Harper’s advanced manufacturing program, which promises a paid internship with local manufacturing partners after a student completes four classes. The program recently was awarded a $12.9 million federal grant to replicate the partnership throughout Illinois.
Executives and college presidents say finding and training middle skills workers of the future cannot be ignored any longer. A recent report by Georgetown University predicts the U.S. will be short at least 3 million high-tech workers by 2018. Summit attendees say the need to find solutions and act quickly has never been more urgent.
“One of the messages of the summit is this: if we are to have a real partnership and a real relationship with corporations, we have to deliver,” said Harper College President Dr. Kenneth Ender. “We can’t over-promise, but whatever we take on, we have to deliver.”
From journaltimes.com: “Computer boot camp offered” – RACINE — A Youth Computer Numerical Control Boot Camp will be held from 8 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Monday through Friday beginning July 15 to Aug. 30 at the SC Johnson iMET Center.
This is the first time this program is being offered in Racine County. The program connecting youth and local employers prepares Racine County youth for a career in manufacturing. Working with local employers and educators, the Racine County Workforce Development Center and Gateway Technical College are implementing the program this summer for the upcoming school year.
The Youth CNC Boot Camp will have the same curriculum as the adult boot camp, but the boot camp for youth will extend over longer periods of time. When the school year begins, students will attend their high school in the morning and boot camp classes at the iMET Center during the afternoon.
Students wishing to participate need to be at least 17 years old and entering their senior year of high school. Students will earn a high school diploma and college credit from Gateway Technical College upon completion of their senior year. The value of the training is $4,000, however, as a result of a grant from SC Johnson, there will be no cost to the student.
Students applying to the program will be required to visit a local manufacturing facility which employs CNC operators. Tour dates and times are included with the application materials. For more information regarding this program, students can visit www.gtc.edu/youth-cnc. Included is a YouTube video with information on the program. Student applications are available at Racine County high schools or at www.wdc.racineco.com. The application deadline is May 17.
Employers participating in the program will provide work experience and mentoring to the student working at their host site, and will interview and select the student who will be placed at their facility.
Employers interested in being a host site should contact Valerie Hanson (262) 638-6603 or firstname.lastname@example.org at the Racine County Workforce Development Center.
April 12, 2013
From journaltimes.com: “Governor’s manufacturing message resonates at Gateway” – STURTEVANT — As Gov. Scott Walker shook hands around the room at Gateway Technical College’s SC Johnson iMET Center Thursday, Brandon Dear pressed a small metal disc into the governor’s hands.
“It was kind of a token of appreciation,” explained Dear — a welding circle with the technical college’s name and Walker’s initials stamped into the metal.
Walker spoke Thursday at the iMET, or Integrated Manufacturing and Engineering Technology, Center as part of his Forward Manufacturing Tour, a statewide speaking circuit designed to connect with manufacturers and reinforce the value of the evolving industry to Wisconsin’s economy.
Dear, 24, was one of several Gateway students in attendance, along with local officials, business owners and state leaders who braved the rain to reach the center at 2320 Renaissance Blvd. in Sturtevant.
The governor reinforced positions from his state budget, including closing the skills gap through job training, and starting career tracks and workforce development training earlier. He talked about expanding exports to China, something the governor’s upcoming tour to the country is designed to foster.
Walker also summoned his oft-used punching bag to the south to favorably compare Wisconsin’s pension system, business taxes and bond rating to those in Illinois.
Those factors aside, in recent months Illinois’ job growth has actually increased at a faster rate than Wisconsin’s, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which recently knocked the dairy state to No. 44 in job growth nationally.
Walker announced plans to stimulate those stumbling numbers by convening local business and political leaders near state lines, and “invite hundreds of northeastern Illinois manufacturers to come up and visit us.” The goal, he said, is to show them the state’s positive business climate and incentivizing tax credit, ideally luring businesses across state lines.
To Dear, those promises are personal. Gaining skills means getting a job, he said, and getting a job means providing for his family, including a three-year-old daughter.
Although he was more or less ambivalent on the governor’s specific proposals, Walker’s core idea really resonated with Dear: “We do need a lot more jobs,” he said. “We need skills to get a job that supports our families. (Gateway) gives us those skills.”
April 4, 2013
From gazettextra.com: “Voters reject $49 million measure for Gateway” – ELKHORN — Voters in Walworth and two other counties rejected a $49 million bond measure for Gateway Technical College in Tuesday’s election.
The money would have funded a number of expansion and renovation plans at Gateway’s three campuses, one of which is in Elkhorn.
It also would have meant a $9.73 increase in annual property taxes for each $100,000 of assessed value.
Elkhorn, Kenosha and Racine counties all needed to approve the referendum for the college to go ahead with its plans.
None of them did, according to unofficial results Tuesday night.
Upgrades planned for the Elkhorn campus included improving what Dean Michael O’Donnell said is an outdated building and expanding programs.
Because the referendum failed, Gateway President Bryan Albrecht said the college now must decide which projects it can do with limited funding and which will be pushed back.
“We of course will not be able to do all of them, and some of them may be put on the back burner for many years,” Albrecht said.
That likely means the Elkhorn campus will not be able to offer more classes in fields such as welding and computer numeric control as it planned, Albrecht said.
A public safety training center that would educate first responders from around southern Wisconsin will also be shelved, Albrecht said.
Albrecht said the election results were disappointing, but he vowed to keep demonstrating Gateway’s value.
“We’ll continue to be strong advocates … and make sure that the community realizes what their tax dollars are doing,” he said.
March 21, 2013
From wsaw.com: “8 Wis. Technical Colleges awarded funds for laser equipment” – Department of Workforce Development Secretary Reggie Newson says eight Wisconsin Technical College System schools will be awarded nearly $105,000 to to purchase precision laser alignment tools to help train apprentices in manufacturing and address the skills gap.
“The funding is another example of our continuing efforts to equip workers with the latest skills, empowering them for employment in family supporting jobs,” Secretary Newson said. “With the grants, our workforce partners in the technical colleges can purchase high tech, laser equipment to train apprentices for good jobs in the skilled trades.”
Grants of $13,100 each are being awarded to Gateway Technical College in Kenosha, Lakeshore Technical College in Cleveland, Mid-State Technical College in Wisconsin Rapids, North Central Technical College in Wausau, Western Technical College in La Crosse, Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College, Waukesha Technical College, and Milwaukee Area Technical College.
The U.S. Department of Labor funds will go to purchase precision laser alignment tools for rotating machinery. Precision laser alignment is a common testing procedure in maintaining manufacturing equipment and ensuring production efficiency. The colleges will use the equipment to train apprentices in training for occupations as machine repairer, maintenance mechanic, millwright and pipefitter.
March 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.”
March 18, 2013
From journaltimes.com: “Referendum includes new Racine water lab” –
RACINE — A new culinary arts program at Walworth County’s Gateway Technical College campus, expanded interior design studio space in Kenosha County and a new freshwater resource lab on Racine’s campus could all soon become a reality.
They are all part of a $49 million referendum that includes extensive remodeling, new construction to create labs for new degrees and current programs in Gateway’s three-county region. While a proposed $15.6 million public safety training center is the largest part of the $49 million referendum, expanding and creating space for new programs accounts for much of the rest of it.
Voters in Racine, Kenosha and Walworth counties will see the referendum on the ballot April 2.
While demand for welders and machinists has been well-publicized, there is also demand for other jobs with technical degrees, according to GTC President Bryan Albrecht. But Gateway doesn’t have the necessary facilities to meet future community needs, he said.
“These aren’t projects that someone at Gateway just decided would be nice to do,” Albrecht said. “Every project goes through an assessment, a screening process, a reflection by business and industry, (and) a comparison with data in the region.”
Racine’s water lab
Throughout the world, water is becoming a major issue, and in particular there has been an emphasis on these issues in southeastern Wisconsin, said Dennis Sherwood, Gateway’s dean of manufacturing, engineering and transportation. To help train students in the field, GTC has proposed creating a new freshwater research lab on Racine’s campus in an open area in the Technical Building.
It’s estimated cost will be $800,000 in renovations and equipment.
“Freshwater is, for lack of a better word, drying up,” Sherwood said. Gateway’s role is to train students in field testing, lab testing and helping engineering companies comply with water and wetland requirements, Sherwood said.
Gateway now offers some water classes at the college’s newly expanded SC Johnson iMET Center in Sturtevant. But the program doesn’t have its own lab, Sherwood said. The instructor has to set up equipment and take it down, Sherwood said, rather than keeping it in one set place, which a new lab would allow.
At this time, Sherwood said, “I cannot sit and tell you right now there is huge (job) demand, but it’s growing because as issues come up around the country you are starting to see more and more emphasis on freshwater.” Sherwood said it’s important to be “proactive versus reactive.” On the reactive side, you hear employers say we cannot get enough employees and cannot progress, he said. But for water, “we know this is coming, because look at all the issues worldwide.”
Walworth’s tourism industry
Besides the expanding water emphasis, Albrecht said in the western part of Gateway’s coverage area in Walworth County, there is an expanding tourism industry. Lake Lawn Resort in Delavan recently reopened, Abbey Resort in Fontana was renovated and Grand Geneva Resort in Lake Geneva is continually investing in its facility, said Mike Van Den Bosch, Walworth County Economic Development Alliance’s executive director. He has heard from businesses about the need for employees with culinary arts backgrounds. Currently, Gateway students in the Lake Geneva area need to travel to Racine to get that training, Albrecht said, but if the referendum was approved the college could build the needed area to offer those classes in Walworth County. Along with culinary arts, Albrecht also said there is a demand for cosmetology graduates because of tourism. Many of the resorts, for instance, also have spas.
Also, both research and area employers indicate a demand for food-quality lab technicians and veterinary technicians. But the college currently doesn’t offer either of those degrees at any of its three campuses.
While the biggest program expansions are planned for Walworth County, all three counties have projects that contribute to the $49 million referendum.
At Kenosha’s campus, there is need for new interior design space, Albrecht said. The campus is at capacity, plus the students’ work area doesn’t have proper ventilation, Albrecht said. Working in there is like having students work in an art room without proper ventilation, he said.
“It gets intense,” Albrecht said.
Albrecht also said without renovations, Gateway plans to stop offering either barbering or cosmetology on Kenosha’s campus. Recent state Department of Licensing regulations created two separate licenses for cosmetology and barbering, and there are different requirements regarding health and hygiene that affect the lab designations, according to Jayne Herring, Gateway’s marketing director.
Albrecht said there is need for students graduating with these degrees and available jobs. For instance, approximately half of Gateway’s interior design and cosmetology/barbering students who responded to a 2011 graduate survey reported getting jobs in their field. Interior design jobs included designer, textile librarian and business owner. Barber and cosmetology jobs included barber, hairstylist and nail technicians.
If it fails
If the referendum passes, Albrecht said construction on projects could start as soon as this summer. But if it fails, Albrecht said it could take a decade or more to complete expansions, because Gateway is limited in how much it can annually borrow.
Racine’s water resource lab is a priority, Albrecht said, but every year there is competition with other projects and has no control over some costs, such as repairing a broken elevator.
It’s like repairing your home, he said: It’s one thing after another.
March 6, 2013
From bizjournals.com: “Gateway Technical College schedules referendum for $49M in capital spending” – A referendum on $49 million in capital projects for Gateway Technical College has been scheduled for April 2, according to public documents.
The initial resolution for the proposed spending in the three counties Gateway serves — Kenosha, Racine and Walworth — was adopted by the Gateway Technical College District Board in January.
College district leaders have proposed issuing general obligation bonds or promissory notes to cover the cost of the projects, according to the election notice published Tuesday.
The projects include $13.6 million to renovate and expand Gateway’s Elkhorn campus to accommodate program enhancements, including expanding that site’s welding lab and building a new CNC automated manufacturing lab, a veterinary technician lab, a cosmetology lab and a culinary arts lab, Gateway has said.
The largest project in the proposal is a $15.6 million plan to build a public safety and training center that would serve all Gateway campuses.
The plans also call for building a new Fresh Water Resources lab and other renovations at Gateway’s Racine campus for $2.5 million.
Other proposed projects include expanding and renovating the Kenosha campus Student Services Center and general infrastructure and energy efficiency upgrades.
From journaltimes.com: “Gateway listening sessions on proposed expansion begin Tuesday” –
Gateway Technical College has announced its listening session locations in Racine County on its expansion proposal. The sessions are a way for Gateway Technical College officials to outline the proposal and gather community feedback. Questions will be answered on the referendum proposal, which will be decided by voters April 2.
The Racine County sessions are: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26, Waterford High School, 100 Field Drive, Waterford; 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27 in the Library at Burlington High School, 400 McCanna Parkway; and 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28 in Superior Room 102, Racine Builiding at the Racine Campus of Gateway Technical College, 1001 S. Main St.
More information on the proposal can be found at www.gtc.edu/proposal or by calling Jayne Herring at (262) 496-0016.
February 18, 2013
From journaltimes.com: “Pay for placement — Gateway supports plan to tie technical college funding to jobs” — RACINE — Currently, the majority of technical colleges’ state funding is based on three things: enrollment, operational costs and property values. Actual job placement and demand don’t play a role in that funding.
That is about to change.
As part of Gov. Scott Walker’s budget to be presented Wednesday, he has announced plans to tie funding for technical colleges, such as Gateway Technical College, to those colleges’ performance. With Gateway’s current high job placement rate, President Bryan Albrecht is in support of it.
“Accountability has always been a critical factor in education,” Albrecht said. Also, he said, it provides an incentive for colleges to improve performance to increase funding.
The state provides $83.5 million annually to technical colleges in general state aid, said Conor Smyth, a spokesperson for the Wisconsin Technical College System.
The governor has proposed increasing that amount to $88.5 million for the 2013-14 academic year. Starting in 2014-15, Walker wants to have 10 percent of that $88.5 million tied to performance standards and, eventually, 100 percent of it tied to performance by 2020.
The specifics and funding formula, however, still need to be developed by the WTCS and the state Department of Administration.
Already, Gateway and other technical colleges have a system in place to track job placement, Albrecht said. For instance, 85 percent of students who graduated from Gateway in May 2011 had jobs six months after graduation.
In order to ensure that the college is meeting community needs, degree committees — made up of area employees and employers — meet at least twice a year to discuss programs, said John Thibodeau, Gateway’s assistant provost.
During those meetings, they sometimes realize that there is no longer demand for certain degrees, Thibodeau said. For example, he said that in the past few years the college eliminated its medical transcriptionist program and radio broadcasting program. Doctors used to record notes on a audio recorder for later transcription, but that has become less common, Thibodeau said. Advancements in computer technology have reduced the need for radio broadcasters, Thibodeau said. It’s much easier to put a playlist together, Thibodeau said.
The college also dropped its sign language interpreter program, he said. There is still demand for that occupation, he said, but employers now want to hire people with degrees higher than associate degrees. They saw that their graduates weren’t getting jobs, and decided to change, Thibodeau said.
Gateway also works to meet community needs by developing new programs, Albrect said, Last week Gateway unveiled a $3.5 million addition to the newly renamed SC Johnson iMET Center in Sturtevant.
It includes labs that small- and medium-size companies which lack research and development facilities may use to design or redesign products.
With Gateway’s current systems in place, Albrecht said, “I’m confident Gateway will be able to meet (performance) expectations.”
GATEWAY AT A GLANCE
Based on survey results from May 2011 Gateway Technical College graduates:
– 85 percent have jobs within six months of graduation.
– 55 percent are employed in their field of training.
– The average full-time wage is $16.84 per hour.
To see a breakdown by degree, go to: www.gtc.edu and click on “Graduate Follow-Up Study” on the right of the page. The 2011 Graduate Follow-Up survey was mailed to 2,308 associate degree and technical diploma graduates. A total of 1,808 graduates responded to the survey for a response rate of 78 percent. To achieve that rate, multiple surveys are sent to all students and calls are also made.
February 13, 2013
From wbay.com: “Gateway opens expanded iMET Center” – RACINE, Wis., Feb. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – Gateway Technical College celebrated the grand opening of its expanded SC Johnson integrated Manufacturing and Engineering Technology (iMET) Center in Sturtevant, Wis., today. The region’s first flexible manufacturing training center-Tarnowski Hall- includes training in computer numerical control (CNC) machining, welding, metal fabrication, automated manufacturing systems, and industrial robotics.
SC Johnson, a 127-year-old family-owned company in Racine, has a nearly 20-year partnership with Gateway and is a major contributor to the project. Over the past 10 months, SC Johnson has contributed $1.7 million to support Gateway programming, including the iMET Center expansion and programing, such as Gateway’s high-impact manufacturing-related boot camp.
“We are proud to support organizations like Gateway that are doing such good work within our community,” said Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson. “Through their programming and hands-on learning approach, Gateway brings much needed, well-prepared graduates to the local workforce, strengthening the overall quality of life and economy of the area.”
Johnson, who joined in the grand opening festivities, discussed Gateway’s commitment to helping students reach their potential by creating opportunities to progress in the manufacturing field. He said these efforts also help address the area’s skills gap-the dichotomy of high, unmet demand for skilled workers by manufacturers during times of equally high unemployment.
“Gateway Technical College values its partnership with SC Johnson to accelerate our efforts to close the employment skills gap in our region,” said Dr. Bryan Albrecht, president and CEO of Gateway Technical College.
“The continued commitment to community demonstrated by the SC Johnson contribution is remarkable. We are excited about creating the region’s first flexible manufacturing lab at the SC Johnson iMET Center and honored by SC Johnson’s trust in Gateway’s ability to deliver results to our communities and its employers.”
To date, Gateway stands on a record of accomplishment. Its CNC boot camp is one of Gateway’s most successful programs with Racine Workforce Development, reporting an employment placement rate of 95 percent since the program began in 2006. The sixteenth CNC boot camp was completed in January, 2013.
The nearly 18,000-square-foot addition, which brings the facility to 61,000 square feet, features the College’s first Fab Lab, focused on industrial design and rapid prototyping, Gateway’s engineering technology educational programs and CNC and welding and fabrication boot camp accelerated training.
For more information about the SC Johnson iMET Center or the training offered there, contact: Debbie Davidson, Gateway vice president Workforce and Economic Development at email@example.com; (262)564-3422.
From communitycollegetimes.com: “Shoring up the gap between workers, available jobs” – When it comes to bridging the gap between available workers and available jobs, one thing is certain: it’s complicated.
“What the problem is depends on who you ask,” said Ray Suarez, a senior correspondent at PBS who moderated a panel on Wednesday that kicked off an afternoon of roundtables that included leaders from community colleges, business and industry, government and other stakeholders.
Suarez noted some parties blame K-12 for not instilling the right academic skills in students, while others point at employers, who have pulled away from providing training for their workers. Another faction cites higher education for not analyzing more closely the specific workforce needs in their communities.
The panelists agreed that it’s a mix of all the above. Jim Ryan, president and CEO of W.W. Grainger, said companies used to provide the training to upgrade their workers’ skills. That’s now a dying practice.
However, it’s crucial for businesses to find ways to ensure that their workers are upgrading their skills in order to be competitive, Ryan said. Not filling available positions costs companies in the long run through overtime and other related expenses. Add impending retirements to the mix and the problem magnifies.
“This is a matter of competitive survival,” Ryan said.
For companies such as Grainger, part of the solution has been to work more closely with community colleges. To foster more interest in technical jobs and to develop a pipeline of skilled workers—for its own workforce as well as for its suppliers and vendors—Grainger runs a scholarship program and sponsors Trades in Focus, an initiative of the American Association of Community Colleges to raise awareness of career opportunities in the industrial trades.
What exactly is needed?
Community colleges also must do a better job of working with local businesses and industry to determine what skills are needed for available jobs, said Bryan Albrecht, president of Gateway Technical College (GTC) in Wisconsin. That means maintaining a constant dialogue to ensure colleges can adjust their curricula and training programs.
Often, there is a communication breakdown between colleges, employers and job seekers, Albrecht said. Companies indicate they need entry-level workers, but what that means varies among companies, he said. One company may be looking for employees with good soft skills and a degree, while another company may be looking for industry certification and several years of work experience.
People looking for work also get confused. A laid-off machinist may wonder why he or she can’t get a job as a machinist with a manufacturer in a neighboring town, but they may not know what upgraded skills are required for that job or how to acquire them, Albrecht said.
Yonnie Leung, senior manager for workforce development at Pacific Gas & Electric(PG&E), said that managers responsible for hiring employees must get involved with colleges to convey what they need in a workforce. She gave this analogy: “You can’t expect your vendors to provide you a product without them knowing what the specs are.”
In 2008, PG&E created a training program in connection with community colleges, universities, workforce training boards and other organizations to provide training for entry-level jobs. About 71 percent of graduates from the program find work either at PG&E or in the industry as utility workers, apprentice electricians, gas service representatives, materials handlers and underground technicians.
As with Grainger, providing the training is crucial for PG&E—42 percent of its workforce (about 10,000 workers) is at retirement age or approaching it, Leung said. And it’s not just an issue for PG&E. By 2015, nearly half of the utility industry’s skilled workforce will need to be replaced because of retirement or attrition.
Bringing in K-12
Better connections with K-12 were also discussed. A concern for many businesses is the lack of presenting vocational and technical jobs as viable careers. Peter Cappelli, director of the Center for Human Resources at the University of Pennsylvania, said schools have been on a downward track over the last 20 years in providing students with opportunities to learn about technical careers. He noted that highly praised programs created in the 1990s, such as school-to-work initiatives, sputtered out by the end of the decade and have not returned. At the time, there was an assumption that the jobs of the future would require higher degrees and trade jobs would fade away or be sent overseas.
“We made some policy mistakes,” Cappelli said.
However, there are movements across the U.S. to tie K-12 with trade careers. Many community colleges have stepped up to help prepare high school students for college-level work and to think about careers through programs such as dual enrollment and career academies, which often include the trades, Albrecht said.
The panel and following roundtables were the first event of the Partnership in Practice discussion series. It was sponsored by Grainger and the Aspen Institute.
January 30, 2013
From wauwautosanow.com: “2013 Milwaukee/NARI Home Improvement Show to feature special attractions” – An enhanced Outdoor Living Area with a Mediterranean theme, the Schlossmann’s Dodge City Chrysler Jeep Vehicle Display, and an Interior Design Contest between local colleges are some of the attractions at the 51st annual Milwaukee/NARI Home Improvement Show at the Wisconsin Exposition Center at State Fair Park in West Allis, Thurs., Feb. 7, through Sun., Feb. 10.
The Show’s Outdoor Living Area will feature a Mediterranean theme, with landscaping, hardscaping, and water features. The following Milwaukee/NARI members are participating in the Outdoor Living Area construction:
• Aquatica, a division of Dean Pipito Waterfeatures, LLC: Creating an elegant and enjoyable water feature that can stand alone in any landscape, the Mediterranean themed feature will bring movement and sound, along with the vision of falling water over classical urns and statuary.
• Nite Time Decor by Bold Illuminations: Outdoor LED lighting to enhance the overall display space.
• Breezy Hill Nursery, Inc.: Whether it’s the presence of a quaint trickle of water, the naturally warm colors of the paved sitting area, the rustic appeal of the overhead pergola, or the idea of a relaxed game of Bocce Ball, this display contains all the elements of a desired Mediterranean getaway.
• Exteriors Unlimited Landscape Contractors, Inc.: The space will feature a natural stone fire pit, honed limestone grilling station with integrated bar seating, and a rustic cedar pergola. The distinct areas will be tied together with the use of Brussels tumbled pavers that resemble the classic time-worn, hand-hewn cobblestones from the streets of early American settlements. The same look is carried upward into the seat walls and pillars. Using a wooden pergola that extends the landscape vertically and is silhouetted by an overhead canopy of trees creates feelings of intimacy, warmth, and protection.
• Ground Affects Landscaping, Inc.: Welcomed by a bubbling urn, Show attendees will enter the outdoor room through the main entrance under a cedar Arbor with cast stone columns. The paver patio displays two styles of brick that coincide to create a beautiful and functional space. The space includes shade trees and plantings, a Holly bush, Hyacinths in full bloom, along with daffodils and tulips. Landscape lighting and a natural stone raised fire element complete the living space.
• Innovative Exteriors Landscape: The space will use a combination stone products with Fond du Lac flagstone steppers and a man-made aspect with walkway pavers and flooring in the fireplace area. The walkways will be covered with a pergola that uses both natural wood and wrought iron to create views to the center area’s focal point. A sitting area along the walkway will feature flagstone steppers surrounded by tall evergreens and perennials.
Attendees will have an opportunity to serve as judges of an Interior Design Contest sponsored by Nehmey Construction, which will pit students from Gateway Technical College, Milwaukee Area Technical College, and Waukesha County Technical College each designing and creating a 12′ x 12′ garage with a “man-cave” theme. The participating schools will each receive $1,000 for the school’s interior design program.
Providing attendees with a central location to learn about the various components of the country’s largest home improvement council, the Milwaukee/NARI Information Center will have members from different areas of the association, including Membership, Education/Certification, and the Milwaukee/NARI Foundation, the association’s charitable arm. At least one of the association’s Certified Professionals will be in the Information Center at all times to answer consumer inquiries relating to home improvement and remodeling.
The Grand Appliance and TV Coffee and Media Lounge will provide an area for Show attendees to relax as they walk the aisles, as well as enjoy a complimentary cup of Alterra Coffee on Feb. 7 and Feb. 8 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., and on Feb. 9 and Feb. 10 from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Ultimate Confections will be at the Show during its entire run selling an assortment fine chocolates and other treats in time for Valentine’s Day.
The latest 2013 cars and trucks will be shown inside the expo center in the Schlossmann’s Dodge City Chrysler Jeep Vehicle Display, including the all new Ram 1500, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Durango, and a Chrysler 200.
On Feb. 8, the first 200 attendees will receive a Valentine carnation courtesy of Locker’s Floral.
The Kids Creative Zone sponsored by Advantage Carpentry and Remodeling, will be open Feb. 9 and Feb 10, featuring arts, crafts, face painting by Milwaukee Face Painter (1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. on Feb. 9 and 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Feb. 10), interactive activities, and an opportunity to take a photo with Gerry the Carpenter Ant, Milwaukee/NARI’s mascot, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. each day.
During the Show, educational demonstrations and seminars by home improvement experts and media celebrities will be held, including presentations on the Renewal by Andersen Seminar Stage by Bonnie Schneider, CNN/HLN Meteorologist and DIY Network weather expert, presented by Allrite Home & Remodeling, discussing “Extreme Weather,” Melinda Myers, The Plant Doctor, Gus Gnorski, Lis Friemoth, “The Garden Hoe”, and Tom Feiza, Mr. Fix-It, presented by J&B Construction, Inc. The Mukwonago Remodeling Cooking Demonstration Stage will feature area chefs and national cooking celebrities, including Mad Dog & Merrill, the Grilling Buddies, and Patricia Katopes, Food Network “Cupcake Wars” Winner. In addition, the Show will also feature live music featuring Scott E. Berendt and the Milwaukee Mandolin Orchestra, sponsored by Dimension Design, Build, Remodel, Inc.
Hours Thurs., Feb. 7, Fri., Feb. 8, and Sat., Feb. 9, are 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.; and 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sun., Feb. 10. Admission is $5 in advance, $8 at the door. Tickets for seniors 60 and older are $5.00, with a special price of $4.00 at the door on Thurs., Feb. 7, for Senior Day sponsored by Callen Construction, Inc. Children 12 and younger and all military personnel with a military ID card will be admitted free.
January 24, 2013
From biztimes.com: “Xten partners with Gateway on training” – Kenosha-based multifacturing company Xten Industries LLC has partnered with Kenosha-based Gateway Technical College to offer a scholarship and an internal training program.
The partnership, partially funded with a $37,000 workforce advancement training grant from the Wisconsin Technical College System, is part of the company’s goal to forge relationships with area educational institutions, said Xten CEO Matt Davidson.
“We’ve really revamped how we’re going to develop and look for talent in the future,” Davidson said.
Xten’s recent acquisition of Paramount Plastics in Lockport, Ill. has added a second location to the company. It is also in the process of moving to 24/7 production, which has stretched shop floor supervisory capacity and added to employees’ workload.
“From June of last year to June of this year, the company will grow by about 150 percent,” Davidson said. “We have never been in the position of growing this rapidly before, and so our systems for bringing people on and making them productive immediately were simply not up to task.”
As a result, Xten will implement a comprehensive internal orientation and training program. Instructors from Gateway will come to Xten to train all manufacturing floor employees in LEAN practices to increase efficiency in the manufacturing process.
The training will help Xten’s existing employees, but the company is still struggling to fill its open positions for technical skilled employees, which has delayed the process of moving to 24/7 production for the last three months.
Xten has also contributed funding for a new manufacturing lab at Gateway and $10,000 for an endowed scholarship at the technical college, with the aim of promoting the field of manufacturing and addressing the problem of finding skilled labor.
The grant will fund an annual scholarship of $500 for continuing students who have completed at least 12 credits and are in a manufacturing field, said Gateway Technical College Foundation executive director Jennifer Charpentier.
“We really appreciate when community businesses are working to keep education affordable for our students,” Charpentier said. “It speaks really well of the company that they’re interested in encouraging people to become employees of manufacturing.”
January 16, 2013
From kenoshanews.com: “Gateway to take $49 million plan to voters” – A new campus building would be planned for Gateway Technical College to house a public safety and training center if voters approve a $49 million referendum in April.
Officials have been looking at possible sites for the facility in Kenosha, Racine and Walworth counties, said Zina Haywood, college vice president and provost. The Gateway district includes those counties.
The goal is to build the new campus in the center of the district, she said.
The college board on Monday approved putting the referendum on the ballot.
Haywood didn’t have the estimated number of acres for the site. She did say the location would be home to the 30,000 square-foot public safety building with facilities including a driving track for emergency vehicle operators to practice and a mock city street for responders to act out emergencies, at a cost of $15.5 million.
The building would include classrooms, an indoor shooting range and a technical lab.
The referendum question, on the April 2 general election ballot, would ask district taxpayers to approve borrowing to pay for the new campus and other projects. Voters must give their approval for going into debt by $49 million because the school is at its borrowing limit, officials have said.
Haywood said the tax increase from referendum approval was estimated to be $9.73 on a $100,000 home each of the next 20 years.
The anticipated additional cost to operate the new and expanded facilities was about $390,000, Haywood said. That spending will have to come from budget cuts or increased income other than taxes because the state has frozen all 16 state technical colleges’ operating budget tax levies, she added.
Kenosha campus projects would total $7.8 million and include renovations for academic support services; adding a studio for the interior design program, and making way for the district’s barbering program to expand onto the campus.
The borrowed money also would pay for:
– Elkhorn campus construction for new or expanded programs for veterinary technician, barbering, cosmetology, culinary arts, food manufacturing lab and computer numerical control students, $13.6 million.
– Racine campus work to house the fresh water lab, now on the college’s Sturtevant site, and renovating office space, $2.5 million.
– Districtwide energy projects and expansion of the administration center, $7.3 million.
Officials have said the public safety center is needed because police science classes are being taught in a former welding lab, and high-speed pursuit techniques are practiced at the former Dairyland Greyhound Park parking lot.
June 2013 would be the earliest any projects might begin. The public safety center is the largest effort and could take 18 to 24 months to complete, Haywood predicted.
The Wisconsin Technical College System Board will review the plans for its approval at its March meeting.
Gateway has three sites in Kenosha, two in Burlington and one each in Racine and Sturtevant.
January 16, 2013
From kenoshanews.com: “Dual enrollment program makes students eligible for aid” – Gateway Technical College students now have the opportunity not only to kick start earning a bachelor’s degree at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, they can reduce their total tuition cost while revving up their financial aid.
That’s been made possible by a new dual-enrollment plan Gateway and Parkside worked out late in the fall and which became effective Jan. 1.
Under the partnership, Gateway students now may choose to enroll in what’s called the “1-Plus-3 General Studies Certificate Program” and complete 30 credit hours of general education requirements, while simultaneously being admitted into Parkside.
While a 1-Plus-3 agreement has been in place for a number of years between the schools, until now it did not include dual enrollment, which officials said is significant — not only for the students, but for the institutions as well.
“One of the things that I’m excited about is this is sort of the next step in our relationship with Parkside,” John Thibodeau, Gateway assistant provost, said. “We were giving a (1-Plus-3) certificate before, but we were unable to provide students financial aid.”
He said for a Gateway student to earn financial aid previously, the Wisconsin Technical College System required students to be enrolled in degree-awarding program. The structure of the former 1-Plus-3 program wasn’t of sufficient duration for Gateway students to meet the requirement.
“Now, with dual enrollment, because they’re then admitted into Parkside and Gateway simultaneously, they’re able to get financial aid through Parkside because Parkside is able to admit them and offer them financial aid. At a 4-year college, when you’re admitted, you become eligible for financial aid upon admission. But, at a two-year tech college, you have to be in a specific degree or diploma program to become financial aid eligible,” Thibodeau said.
Added Thibodeau: “From the practical everyday point of view of students, that’s important because they want to know how they’re going to be able to pay for college.
Since the 1990s, the schools have honored what’s known as a “2-Plus-2” articulation, or transfer, agreement. It allows Gateway students to earn two years of transfer credits at Gateway before enrolling at Parkside to earn their remaining credits toward a bachelor degree, based on the remainder amounting to about two years matriculation at Parkside.
However, the new 1-Plus-1 program provides students greater flexibility in pursuing Parkside degrees, DeAnn Possehl, Parkside associate vice chancellor for enrollment management, explained.
“This is for general education requirements. The 2-plus-2 is program specific. So, it doesn’t apply to all the programs. That’s the substantial difference,” Possehl said
The schools began working on dual enrollment for 1-Plus-3 nine months ago when it came up during periodic conversations the campuses have about improving communication and transfer-related issues between them, as well as how they can smooth the experience for students, according to Possehl.
“This was just an outcome of that. We’re always looking for pathways to help our students succeed,” Possehl said. “From our point of view, I think the value is it provides an alternative, particularly for us, for a student who isn’t ready yet to start a four-year program maybe financially or academically or in just in their life.”
Another significant element of the agreement is the clarity it provides for students planning to continue toward earning a bachelor degree because the program spells out the proper general education requirements that will correctly transfer to Parkside, keeping students on track for timely graduation. “It addresses a number of issues and ensures they are on a very clear path with transferable courses. This is about students and really addressing their needs,” Possehl said.
January 15, 2013
From journaltimes.com: “Appointed, not elected: Gateway board can levy taxes, hold referendums” – A ballot measure likely to go before Racine County voters in April comes from a board that is appointed, not elected.
State statutes give Gateway Technical College’s appointed Board of Trustees the authority to levy taxes and hold referendums, like the one they’re likely to approve Monday that will ask taxpayers for $49 million for facility construction and renovation.
State statutes, which govern each of the 16 technical colleges in Wisconsin, also provide a blueprint for who can be on Gateway’s nine-member board and require those people get appointed by elected officials. Gateway’s board members are selected by a three-member committee made up of the chairpersons of Kenosha, Racine and Walworth counties’ boards of supervisors, said Bill Whyte, Gateway’s vice president of human resources.
Statutes say the college’s board must always have at least three women or three men, one minority, one superintendent from an area K-12 school district, one elected official, two people who have the ability to hire and fire at their jobs and two people who are regular employees at their jobs. No one on the board can be a Gateway employee, Whyte said.
Gateway also adds its own additional requirement based on the area it serves, requiring that, excluding the school district superintendent, three of the board members live in Racine County, three live in Kenosha County and two live in Walworth County, Whyte said.
He compared configuring the board to piecing together a puzzle, adding “the board actually has a better cross-section of citizens (than elected boards) because of the specificity of what is required.”
Board members are appointed for three-year terms. There is no term limit, Whyte said.
The board’s duties include levying taxes annually and holding referendums when needed.
State levy limits keep the taxes collected in check and Gov. Scott Walker and the Legislature recently added more levy restrictions “to protect the taxpayers,” said Jim Zylstra, vice president of finance and administration for the Wisconsin Technical College System.
Referendums are also required for facility development costs over $1.5 million, Zylstra said.
Of the entities that levy taxes for all of Racine County, Gateway is the only one with non-elected members. But some more narrowly-focused taxing agencies are similar. For instance, members of the Racine County Drainage Board of Commissioners set fees and are appointed by a Racine County Circuit Court judge, said Alan Jasperson, the drainage board’s secretary/treasurer.
A $49 MILLION QUESTION
Gateway Technical College’s Board of Trustees is considering a $49 million referendum to fund seven renovation, expansion or new construction projects including building a new public safety and training center.
The board will vote on whether or not to hold the referendum during an 8 a.m. meeting Monday in the Center for Bioscience and Information Technology at the college’s Kenosha campus, 3520 30th Ave.
If the board decides to hold the referendum, it would appear on ballots in Racine, Kenosha and Walworth counties April 2. To pass, the referendum would need to be approved in all three counties.
The tax impact for the owner of a home valued at $100,000 would be $9.73 annually and would be in effect for 20 years. This does not include operating costs.
January 7, 2013
From JournalTimes.com: “UW-Parkside, Gateway expand dual enrollment” — A new partnership between Gateway Technical College and the University of Wisconsin-Parkside means students can enroll in both institutions at the same time.
The arrangement, which expands the option from a few degree programs, provides a clearer path for students intending to transfer from Gateway to Parkside and also allows students in certificate programs at Gateway to be eligible for state and federal financial aid.
“This provides another option for a four-year (degree) path,” said DeAnn Possehl, Parkside’s associate vice chancellor for enrollment management.
The new dual enrollment program, to be available for the spring 2013 semester, will have students complete 30 general studies credits at Gateway — by taking classes like math, English, economics, biology and speech — and then complete degree-specific classes at Parkside, college officials explained in a press release last week.
The program is officially called the 1-Plus-3 General Studies Certificate Program, to represent the one Gateway year and three Parkside years that would be completed by a student with a full-time course load, the release said.
Such an arrangement can help students who have cost, scheduling or admissions concerns, Possehl said.
Because students in the program register through Gateway, which has less stringent admission requirements than Parkside, the 1-Plus-3 program can create a Parkside enrollment path for students who might not have gotten in otherwise, she said.
The 1-Plus-3 program can also be a more convenient option for some because Gateway offers weekend courses, and it can be a more cost-effective option because a year at Gateway is generally cheaper than a year at Parkside, Possehl said.
Plus, she added, students in the program will be eligible for state and federal financial aid, unlike students in Gateway’s certificate programs. That’s because aid is only available for “degree-seeking” students and those in certificate programs don’t fall into that category, Possehl said.
Another benefit of the program is that it increases the likelihood that Gateway courses cleanly transfer to Parkside, saving students time, money and headaches.
“We get a lot of transfer students in general from Gateway and they aren’t always taking the courses they need to transfer,” Possehl said. “The exact courses are spelled out with this.”
The no-cost program is not intended to help only students though. It’s also supposed to help the colleges, Possehl said.
Hopefully, the program will mean more students for Gateway and Parkside, and more degrees awarded in less time, things that help the colleges’ statistics, Possehl said.
To get more information on the program about how to qualify or how to enroll, call Gateway’s Student Services Center at (262) 564-2300.
October 29, 2012
From biztimes.com: “Enrollment up at CNC boot camps” – Some area technical colleges that host CNC boot camps have seen increased demand from both employers and students, so they have added additional courses.
“This is basically condensed and it is a very intensive six to eight hours a day,” said Francisco Sanchez, CEO of the WOW Workforce Development Board. “There is no general education courses required.”
WOW and WCTC have increased the number of boot camps they offer to meet the demand in the manufacturing industry, Sanchez said.
“We try to minimize the amount of time they spend in the technical college,” he said. “The manufacturers want to get people in, because there is a huge need right now.”
WOW also hosts a CNC boot camp at Moraine Park Technical College in West Bend, which currently has 16 students enrolled.
Often, WOW is able to bring employers in during the boot camp to talk to students about employment opportunities once they finish the courses.
“We started offering it because an employer came to us and needed about 15 CNC operators,” said Mike Shiels, dean of the School of Applied Technologies at WCTC.
In addition to WOW, WCTC works with the Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership to match employers with students, he said.
WCTC previously offered three boot camps per year, but has doubled the offering this year. Last year, between 30 and 45 people graduated from the CNC boot camp, while close to 90 have completed the program this year.
“We have also increased the amount of sections that we’re offering in our one-year program as well,” Shiels said.
The one-year program provides training for CNC machinists, while the boot camp teaches basic manufacturing skills like blueprint reading and the basic operation of CNC machines.
The college has hired an additional full-time instructor to help teach some of the courses, he said.
At Gateway Technical College in Kenosha, there is a one-year course and a boot camp to learn CNC skills. The boot camp participants are generally dislocated workers who are upgrading their skills, said Debbie Davidson, vice president in the workforce and economic development division at Gateway.
“We have found that within the last year, companies are looking to hire again and are looking for maybe different skill sets that what people who worked in machining before had,” Davidson said.
Gateway aims to simulate a work environment at the boot camps, which are 15-week courses with 20 students each. The college recently upped its boot camp offering to three times per year.
Both CNC skills and soft skills like attendance are emphasized, Davidson said.
“Employers have said to us, you need to teach them (soft skills),” she said. “We’ve had great success. We’ve had over a 90 percent placement rate on individuals who come out of the program.”
October 23, 2012
From rhinelanderdailynews.com: “Sustainability part of the curriculum at Nicolet” – Sustainability is a common theme at Nicolet Area Technical College. Tuesday’s “dumpster diving” event to promote recycling awareness is just one small example of the type of initiatives the college is taking on.
A few other examples include the culinary arts students maintaining a compost as part of their cooking practices and the college’s participation in the Lake Julia stewardship project, a nearly decade-long study of the lake that included approximately $50,000 in Department of Natural Resources grant funding. What was discovered was a fairly healthy lake, but the project produced an aquatic plant management plan that can be used to continue to monitor and maintain the health of the lake.
The college has also pursued LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certifications for recent building renovation projects. The certification assesses how “green” a building is, looking at areas such as energy efficiency, water conservation and the use of sustainable materials. The Birchwood Center addition and remodeling received a LEED Gold certification.
The Northwoods Center addition and remodeling completed in 2011 received a LEED Silver certification. Nicolet College officials are now pursuing an official LEED certification for the University Transfer Center renovation completed this past summer.
One of the most recent sustainability initiatives at Nicolet is the college’s Green Scholar program, which is making its debut this fall. Leanne Vigue Miranda had some literature available on the new program during Tuesday’s “dumpster diving” event. Miranda coordinates the college’s sustainability professional learning community. There are several different professional learning communities (PLC), all comprised of Nicolet staffers, that direct their focus on different areas.
“Our PLC is always trying to come up with ways to raise awareness,” Miranda said of the area of sustainability.
The Green Scholar program is something that has been in the works for about a year and a half, she said.
According to Miranda, the program’s purpose is twofold. To recognize the efforts of those people who already make sustainable practices part of their everyday lives and to hopefully encourage others to become more conscious of the carbon footprint they’re leaving behind and consider some lifestyle changes.
“Our PLC really wanted to find ways to get the Nicolet community excited about sustainability as well as recognize people for their efforts,” Miranda said.
The Green Scholar program is modeled after a similar program at Gateway Technical College in Racine. It is open to anyone willing to learn about sustainability and incorporate such aspects into their personal lives, Miranda said. To become a Green Scholar, a person must complete the EarthScore Booklet (found in the Nicolet College bookstore), complete a service learning project relevant to sustainability and complete 50 points worth of “green” action items, which include Nicolet coursework as well as other various personal activities. Miranda said the courses don’t necessarily have to be for credit. Non-credit classes, such as courses in the college’s Outdoor Adventure Series, also qualify toward the requirements of the Green Scholar recognition.
For more information about the program, contact Miranda at (715) 365-4586 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 4, 2012
From journaltimes.com: “Racine man’s IndyCar helmet design brings in $3,550 at auction” – An IndyCar helmet designed by a Racine man sold for $3,550 Wednesday at an eBay auction, with the proceeds going to charity.
Vin Venegas’ design was picked as the winner of the Graham Rahal Foundation Helmet Design Contest and was worn by the IndyCar driver during a race earlier this year during the IZOD IndyCar Series finale in Fontana, Calif.
Venegas, 29, is a graphic design student at Gateway Technical College and said he decided to enter the contest after seeing it posted on Rahal’s Twitter page.
Five finalists for the contest were selected personally by Rahal, who then had the designs posted online so fans could pick their favorite.
“It’s always good to win and it is a good way to get my name out there,” Venegas said. “I guess the biggest thing is that you know your work is appreciated and noticed.”
The Racine native said he went with his hand-painting motif because proceeds from the contest go to Rahal’s foundation, which supports children’s organizations including Alex’s Lemonade Stand and Serious Fun Camps. Venegas said he enrolled at Gateway after being laid off by a local graphics company, and since has entered and won a number of design competitions, including this year’s competition to design the logo for the 10th anniversary of Party on the Pavement.
In addition to the exposure from winning Rahal’s competition, Venegas will receive a rewards package that includes autographs and photos from the driver.
October 1, 2012
From sacbee.com: “Green Genome Awards to recognize outstanding college sustainability, training efforts” – As part of an expanding national effort to support sustainability practices, programs, and training at the nation’s more than 1,100 community colleges, five exemplary community colleges will be presented the first-ever Green Genome Awards at a national community college summit hosted Oct. 2 and 3 by Gateway Technical College in Racine, Wis. Awards will be presented at 8:00 a.m. Oct. 3 in the Conference Center.
The awards are part of a larger Green Genome initiative created by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and its Sustainability Education and Economic Development Center (SEED). In the past two years, more than 460 community colleges representing over 3 million students have joined AACC’s SEED Center, pledging leadership in sustainability education and training and reaping the benefits.
Winning colleges will each receive $8,000 plus a set of state-of-the-art tools and horticulture equipment from awards sponsor Snap-on.
“AACC is thrilled to recognize colleges that have not only prepared a skilled clean technology workforce, but have also become change agents in regional efforts to develop a green and sustainable economy,” said Walter G. Bumphus, AACC President and CEO. “Through the SEED Center, AACC is providing college senior administrators, faculty, and staff an important roadmap to connect and integrate campus sustainability practices, green technical workforce development, education and economic development.”
The winning colleges recognized for their achievements within the four categories include:
- Butte College, California (Governance)
- Central Carolina Community College, North Carolina (Program Design & Delivery)
- Delta College, Michigan (Community Engagement)
- Hillsborough Community College, Florida (Overall)
- West Virginia University at Parkersburg (Strategic Partnerships)
Todd Cohen, SEED Center Director and Dr. Bryan Albrecht, chair of AACC’s Presidents’ Sustainability Task Force and president of Gateway Technical College will present the awards at this week’s community college summit, Building Sustainable Industry-College Partnerships.
Wisconsin-based Snap-on Inc. has been a strong supporter of the kinds of community college/industry collaborations the Green Genome Awards recognize. “Snap-on continues to look for innovative workforce development initiatives, including those that ultimately contribute to the sustainability of communities. We are proud to partner with AACC’s SEED Center to sponsor these Green Genome Awards and to have played a role in developing the national framework behind it,” said Scott Broman, Global Business Development Director, Snap-On, Inc.
Accompanying the awards is the release of a report entitled, The Community College Green Genome Framework: Integrating Sustainability and Clean Technology Programs into the Institution’s DNA. This free tool for colleges details the new Green Genome framework, paths for success, and offers profiles of the winning colleges. The framework was developed by a national advisory panel made up of senior leaders at the US Department of Energy, industry, national associations and over 50 community colleges plus extensive review of existing college programs.
The report also includes a self-assessment tool designed for colleges to quickly gauge, along a series of 47 green institutional competencies, how well they may be leading these initiatives today—and where to prioritize enhancements in the future.
AACC’s SEED Center is funded by the Kresge Foundation. “Initiatives like SEED are working to leverage the talents at America’s community colleges to build the new, clean economy with career paths for all students,” said Bill Moses, Program Director, Education. “The Kresge Foundation is pleased to support AACC and the innovative SEED colleges that are leading these efforts.”
Download the Green Genome Report, www.theSEEDcenter.org/greengenome
About SEED AACC’s Sustainability Education & Economic Development Initiative, SEED, advances sustainability and green workforce development practices at community colleges by sharing innovative models and FREE resources to increase the capacity of college leaders, faculty, and staff to build the green economy. The SEED Initiative was created in partnership with ecoAmerica and has received support from the Kresge, Flora Family, and Surdna Foundations and corporate partners Bahco/Snap-on and Pearson Higher Education. www.theSEEDcenter.org
About the American Association of Community Colleges Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the American Association of Community Colleges is the leading advocacy organization representing more than to 1,100 community, junior and technical colleges nationwide. Community colleges are the largest and fastest growing sector of higher education, enrolling 13.4 million credit and non-credit students each year. www.aacc.nche.edu
About Snap-on Snap-on Incorporated is a leading global innovator, manufacturer and marketer of tools, equipment, diagnostics, repair information and systems solutions for professional users performing critical tasks. Founded in 1920, Snap-on is a $2.9 billion, S&P 500 company headquartered in Kenosha, Wisconsin. www.snapon.com
September 24, 2012
From jsonline.com: “State can be a model for creating skilled workers” — By Tom Still –An expert in invention and entrepreneurship who has forgotten more about both than most people know recently used this line in a room of economic development professionals: “Increasingly, there is no room in America for the unskilled.”
Before the politically correct among us rise up in solidarity for the right to remain unskilled, let’s do something refreshingly honest and concede he’s right.
The current job market certainly suggests so, given the stubborn national unemployment rate three years after the official end of the recession. And so have credible studies on the future of the American workforce, such as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecast and state-specific reports from the Georgetown University Center on the Economy and the Workforce.
Between 2008 and 2018, Georgetown researchers predicted, the need for workers with some kind of postsecondary training or education will grow by 139,000 jobs in Wisconsin. Jobs for high-school graduates and dropouts will grow by 52,000 jobs. By 2018, 61% of all jobs in Wisconsin will require some postsecondary training.
Meeting the need for skilled workers – from people with the right training for today’s high-tech manufacturing to people with advanced college degrees – has been addressed by three recent reports in Wisconsin. That kind of consensus around the size of the problem should mean solutions are achievable, even in a divided political era.
Unveiled a month ago was “The Road Ahead: Restoring Wisconsin’s Workforce Development.” Otherwise known as the Sullivan report, it was a volunteer effort headed by Tim Sullivan, the former Bucyrus International executive who was appointed by Gov. Scott Walker in February to take a hard look at state workforce gaps.
The report stressed that demographics alone are threatening the state’s long-term economic health. The number of senior citizens living in the state will nearly double between 2010 and 2040 (from 777,000 to 1.54 million), the report said, and its working-age population will grow by a miserly 0.4% (from 3.57 million to 3.58 million).
“Baby boomers are also aging out of the workforce, leaving gaps that cannot be met by our current projected population, or the education system in which they develop working skills,” it read.
The Sullivan report’s conclusions ranged from finding ways to encourage immigration of high-skilled, hard-to-find workers to better coordination of state workforce programs to establishing academic and career plans for all students.
Another recent report stressed the importance of science, technology, engineering and math education. “Wisconsin STEM: Navigators to the future” was produced by a group led by Bryan Albrecht, president of Gateway Technical College. Gateway has a successful history of meeting employer needs for skilled labor.
That report noted that so-called STEM occupations are predicted to grow by 17% from 2008 to 2018 and that STEM workers command higher wages, earning 26% more than their non-STEM counterparts. Over the past 10 years, growth in STEM jobs in the United States was three times the rate of non-STEM jobs. Workers with STEM skills are also more likely to keep a job, contribute to a local economy and drive innovation, the report noted.
“STEM education is an imperative to secure our state’s viability in a competitive global economy,” said S. Mark Tyler, president of OEM Fabricators and a contributor to the report.
It established five markers to chart success: Eliminate barriers that prevent learners from exploring STEM careers; emphasize acquiring STEM knowledge and skills for all learners; increase public-private partnerships with a focus on STEM skills; establish a statewide awareness campaign for STEM careers; and invest in development for educators so they can better integrate STEM throughout the curriculum.
Also weighing in is the Department of Public Instruction, which recently issued its Agenda 2017 report. Among its recommendations are increasing Wisconsin’s graduation rate, doubling college and career readiness rates, and increasing the percentage of students scoring proficient in third-grade reading and eighth-grade mathematics.
One specific DPI recommendation: Expand high-school programs for “dual enrollment.” Those are programs that allow high school students to earn college credits and specific career skills through industry certifications and youth apprenticeships.
Indeed, there is precious little room in America for the unskilled. With the help of those who are committed to understanding the problem, perhaps Wisconsin can become a model for giving the unskilled hope and pathways to more rewarding, productive lives.