June 17, 2013
From htrnews.com: “Cultivating career options: LTC provides agricultural education opportunities to women” – MANITOWOC — Traditionally speaking, farming may be considered a man’s profession. These days, however, women are proving they can milk cows, pick rocks and get the job done just as well as any man.
“It’s not just a man’s world anymore, there’s so many more opportunities, said Sheryl Nehls, instructor in dairy herd management at Lakeshore Technical College. “It’s not as much physical anymore, not that they can’t do that.”
LTC offers two programs in the field of agriculture — dairy herd management and, farm business and production management. Typically, the later program attracts established farm owners and operators, according to Nehls.
Each year, roughly a third of the class is made up of females, Nehls said. Organizations such as FFA have opened the doors for women, she said.
“Women are becoming that essential part of (the industry) as well,” said Terrilynn Hastreiter, LTC farm business and dairy herd management instructor. “They’re entering the industry strong. I think a lot of them are going to go back to that family farm and work with mom and dad, or at least dad, or whoever owns it at the time.”
What draws them in varies, but Nehls said there is one thing in particular that usually catches female students.
“By in large, they like working with cattle and our program focuses on that,” she noted.
Some of her female students have gone on to work with fresh cows, meaning those that have recently given birth to a calf.
“That’s the maternal aspect of the women maybe that appeals to them. There are so many niches to specialize in,” Nehls added.
On the farm
To get hands-on experience, students involved in the dairy herd management program, participate in going to site farms on Wednesdays during their last semester. At farms, like Soaring Eagle Dairy in Newton, students gain one-on-one knowledge from the owner or a herds manager and learn new skills, along with seeing firsthand how the farm utilizes technology. Last year, 12 farms participated and up to 18 students are able to participate at a time. Students rotate through the farms and spend a minimum of fours a week at each.
“We don’t have a farm facility on campus so we use the farms in the area,” Nehls explained., adding that LTC may be the only college nationwide to utilize site farms.
“I went to Madison for four years and sat in a classroom to learn about cows,” she joked.
In addition to the site farms, students take part in an internship program. The program is seven days a week for nine months and roughly 21 hours a week. That’s in addition to 30 hours of classroom time, including farm tours twice a week for dairy lab, and studying.
“It gives them a taste of the industry and what it’s really like for the time committment,” Nehls said.
Lessons learned through opportunities like the site farms and internships are invaluable.
Know your neighbor
“Networking is going to be the No. 1,” Hastreiter said. “By getting out there and talking to individuals they’re going to learn what not to do and to do.”
It may also lead to new opportunities.
“Females are stepping up and taking those manager roles,” Hastreiter said. “Twenty years ago, you probably wouldn’t have seen that. I think it’s phenomenal. Women have proven that they can go through the program and they do succeed.”
“Every student is so different and that’s what makes the industry so interesting is because there are so many viewpoints,” Hastreiter said.
The creation of new forms of technology also have aided in streamlining certain aspects of farming.
“We’ve made the job so that it doesn’t have to encompass their whole life,” Nehls said. “I think a lot of women have seen that you can still have time to raise a family. … The technology really was the key to that.”
Beyond the classroom
Staying on top of the changes is important to the LTC instructors.
“It’s something we need to do as instructors to keep up with our teaching,” Hastreiter said. “It’s not just going back to the farm anymore, it’s specializing.”
The young people entering the workforce is about the same, Hastreiter said, but the opportunities have increased as technology has opened more doors, including genomic testing. Service technicians who understand not only the equipment, but how it functions on the farm are in demand as well.
“We’re taking that computer savvy individual and mixing it with the dairy savvy, “ Hastrieter said. “Technology is going to be implemented in every farm of every size eventually. … We learn from each other. Hearing ideas gets my brain going. It’s really learning from others.”
“The way we do things is just so drastically different,” said Nehls who grew up on a farm in Dodge County with holsteins, jerseys and Swiss. “We now design things for cows, not people.”
When not teaching in the summers, Nehls enjoys traveling to other farms to learn things she can bring back to the classroom. Four years ago, she visited an LTC graduate who was employed at a dairy farm with 4,000 cows in New Mexico to see how heat stress is handled in that area.
“No matter where you go, you can learn and tie that back into the industry,” she said.
“It’s not just a lifestyle, it’s a career,” Nehls added. It was her mother who urged her to check out an open position at LTC and she’s now been teaching for 32 years.
“I originally had my heart set on becoming a dairy agent … I’m fortunate that I can show them (female students) as a role model that there are no barriers.”
June 4, 2013
From htrnews.com: “Lakeshore Technical College honors apprentices” – Thirty apprentices were honored recently at Lakeshore Technical College’s annual Apprenticeship Completion Banquet at Millhome Supper Club in Kiel.
The banquet recognized the completion of the paid-related classroom instruction for individuals in LTC’s apprenticeship programs, according to a news release. In those programs, workers earn while they learn the practical and theoretical aspects of highly skilled occupations. LTC’s registered apprentices are sponsored by employers and paid hourly wages to attend LTC in their specific trades.
Keynote speaker Reggie Newson, secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, recognized the apprenticeship completers and relayed his own personal experience as his mother works as a machinist and his father as a welder.
“Without apprentices, we wouldn’t have many of the modern conveniences we have today,” Newson said. “Apprentices have made things simple, convenient and have been driving innovation for years.”
Apprentices from Manitowoc County who were recognized at the banquet, including their apprenticeship area and sponsoring employer, are:
Francis Creek – Marshall Marquardt, carpenter (construction), Hamann Construction Co.;
Manitowoc – Russell Buretta, tool and die maker, LDI Industries; Eric Chase, machinist, KNM; Jason Hastreiter, machinist, HG Weber & Co.; Bruce Heimerman, maintenance mechanic, Federal Mogul Corp.; Matthew Heinzen, tool and die maker, Manitowoc Tool & Manufacturing; Brian Hetue, maintenance mechanic, PolyOne Corp.; Adam Korte, industrial electrician, Parker Hannifin Corp.; Daniel Luckow, machinist, Stecker Machine Co.; Jarek Ordiway, machinist, LDI Industries; Hayden Schmidt, machinist, Jagemann Stamping Co.; Paul Senn, maintenance mechanic, LDI Industries; Ryan Tollefson, sheet metal worker, Aldag Honold Mechanical; and
Whitelaw – Dennis Bratz, maintenance mechanic, Nemak.
From sheboyganpress.com: “Lakeshore Technical College celebrates 100-year mark” – CLEVELAND — Lakeshore Technical College celebrated its 100th anniversary Wednesday afternoon with an hour-long program that included a student’s tearful testimonial, a Lakeside Foods representative toasting the college with a can of the company’s peas, and two retired LTC presidents helping to unveil a plaque that will be used on an outdoor centennial monument.
“I never thought I would say it, but I love being in college,” said Alyssa Young, a student in the Administrative Professional program. “I love going to class and that I don’t really mind doing my homework. And it’s all thanks to amazing staff and faculty here at LTC. My teachers are very understanding, and if I have to miss class because my son is sick … they understand because they’ve been there, too. … This place is like a second home to me and it’s going to be … a sad day when I graduate, but I will always be proud to say that I’m a Lakeshore Technical College graduate for the rest of my life.”
Young decided to enroll after seeing her mom and sister graduate from LTC last year. She said she hadn’t been making enough money to support her 5-year-old son and herself, and when she saw her family members graduate she decided she wanted to earn a degree.
“I want to be able to support my son and give him a better future,” she said.
“Please know that you are the reason that we do what we do,” LTC President Mike Lanser told Young after her emotional remarks.
Dean Halverson, CEO of Leede Research, which has offices in Manitowoc and Minneapolis, attributed the direction his life has taken to his time at LTC. After earning an associate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Manitowoc in 1980, Halverson decided he wanted to pursue a career in marketing, and someone suggested what then was called Lakeshore Technical Institute.
“A lot of people say something changed their life, but I can honestly say it did change my life,” he said.
As a student, he worked on market research surveys for WCUB radio two years in a row and decided he enjoyed it. The day after graduating in June 1982, he typed 96 letters to Wisconsin radio stations announcing the formation of Leede Research. The company will celebrate its 36th anniversary in June and has a staff of just under 85.
He attributes his ability to make a living through his own company “to what happened here, and really what happened here that was so unique was bringing together students, instructors and thebusiness community and doing it in a way that was very hands-on.”
Richard Opie, an instructor in the paralegal program, speaking on behalf of the faculty, said technical colleges are “uniquely adaptable to the changing needs of the community. We come up with new programs … within six months of their request. … If there’s a need in the community we come up with it.”
Technical colleges also are open to students of all ability levels and allow students to meet their goals within a year or two, Opie said.
Tom Reilly, senior vice president-human resources for Manitowoc-based Lakeside Foods, which has been in operation for 125 years, provided employer remarks.
“What Lakeside and LTC know is the secret for longevity and success, and that is satisfying your customers, especially with their changing expectations and demands,” Reilly said.
Lakeshore Technical College achieves success through “phenomenal facilities” and “a terrific staff,” he said just before toasting the college with a can of Lakeside peas.
Retired LTC presidents Dennis Ladwig, who served in that capacity from 1988-2003 when Lanser took over, and Fred Nierode, who was president from 1967-88, assisted with the dedication of a plaque that will be used for a centennial monument. The monument will be part of a garden that will be designed and developed by the school’s horticulture students on the west side of the Lakeshore Building “that we hope to have in place by the fall,” Lanser said. A time capsule will be placed under the monument.
LTC used the occasion to present its first TopTech Awards, which will become annual and are designed to recognize K-12 educators. This year’s recipients from Manitowoc County are Ron Schneider and Dave Teske from the Kiel Area School District, and from Sheboygan County the recipient is Ed Hughes from Sheboygan Falls.
The celebration also included the national anthem sung by LTC student Ruby Garcia; presentation of the governor’s proclamation of May 8, 2013, as Lakeshore Technical College Day in the state of Wisconsin by Reggie Newson, secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development; remarks by LTC District Board Chairman John Lukas and Wisconsin Technical College System Board President Mark Tyler; and comments from LTC alumna Shirl Breunig and support staff representative Kelly Carpenter.
April 29, 2013
From fox11online.com: “Tech school expands to meet skills gap” – The training labs at Lakeshore Technical College have been booked solid, up to 18 hours a day, and the waiting lists are nearly 30 people deep.
“The waiting list for example, machine tool and especially our welding program, are such that we can have a program filled and before the start of the program, we already have almost the next program filled,” explained Executive Dean of Manufacturing Richard Hoerth.
With a changing job market, some employers have been dealing with what they call a skills gap.
They say they are willing to hire, but can’t find qualified people to fill the spots.
And it seems more people are beginning to understand the gap in skilled labor in the state. And so the college decided there’s only one way to address the growing need and interest, expand.
The more than $6 million project includes doubling the size of LTC’s Flexible Training Arena and modernizing the Trade and Industry building.
The expansion project is one of the largest of its kind for the nearly century old school. Officials expect the expansion will increase the number of graduates by 50 each year.
“The manufacturing sector in Manitowoc County and the lakeshore in general is extremely important. It’s about 37% of our employment,” explained Connie Loden, Executive Director of the Manitowoc County Economic Development Corporation.
Economic development officials feel the expansion is coming at the right time, but the skills gap stretches beyond Wisconsin.
According to an annual survey by ManpowerGroup, skilled trades was the hardest job to fill last year in the U.S, and it’s topped the charts since 2010.
“As the economy grows, we’re part of that solution and our employers need a skilled workforce to grow and that’s where we come in, is working with them and working with the students in the area,” explained LTC President Michael Lanser.
The college plans to break ground on the project in June. Officials say grants, loans and private investments will cover the costs.
In addition to this milestone, the college will celebrate its 100th anniversary on May 8th.
April 23, 2013
From htrnews.com: “LTC students receive awards at national conference” – Seven Lakeshore Technical College students qualified to participate in the National Postsecondary Agriculture Student Conference in Louisville, Ky., and two other LTC students attended. More than 700 students from agriculture colleges and universities from 16 states were in attendance. Participants from LTC placed at both the national and state levels, according to a news release from the college.
In the national team competitions, LTC placed fourth out of 21 teams in Dairy Specialist and was the highest-placing school with a one-year program. The Dairy Specialist team included Sam Nigon, Nick Miles and Jenny Nash. Nash placed ninth overall, Miles placed 12th, and Nigon placed 15th out of 64 competing individuals.
In national individual employment interview competitions, Kyle Holtz took second place in Forestry and Natural Resources, Nigon placed fourth in Dairy Production, and Dianne Philipsen took fourth in Agriculture Education.
At the state level, LTC had two teams in the Dairy Specialist category with one team taking first place and the other taking third place. In the state individual employment interview competitions, five students placed highly in their respective categories: Philipsen was first in Agriculture Education, Nigon was first in Dairy Production, Holtz was first in Forestry and Natural resources, Wouter Star was second in Dairy Production and Calvin Abts was third in Dairy Production.
“We are very proud of the accomplishments these students attained at the conference,” said Sheryl Nehls, LTC Dairy Herd Management instructor. “LTC is one of very few one-year programs at nationals, and we always competed well with the two-year schools.”
PAS is one of 10 career and technical student organizations approved by the United States Department of Education as an integral part of career and technical education. Its motto is “uniting education and industry in agriculture.”
April 5, 2013
From jsonline.com: “Prison inmates taught job skills in new program” – A group of 10 women inmates at Taycheedah Correctional Institution, near Fond du Lac, are learning basic manufacturing skills in a new program designed to help them find jobs when they’re released and earn college credits for finishing the class.
The training also has been launched at state prisons in Oshkosh and Kettle Moraine, where inmates spend six weeks learning skills such as machine maintenance and blueprint reading.
The programs are from Lakeshore Technical College, the state Department of Corrections, and the state Department of Workforce Development, said Jim Golembeski, executive director of the Bay Area Workforce Development Board.
Corrections spent $100,000 to get a 25% ownership stake in one of the mobile laboratories used to provide the training, and it’s considering buying another mobile lab it will own outright.
Taycheedah inmates are in their third week of training, which is held every day, about seven hours a day, for six weeks.
“During the day, they get a break for lunch and that’s about it,” said Rich Hoerth, a Lakeshore Technical College dean who oversees the program.
The training starts with the basics of quality control and safety, and then moves into other areas including machine maintenance and repair, machine operation, computer controls and blueprint reading.
The lessons were developed based on the needs of manufacturers, some of whom are clamoring for skilled labor.
Nationwide, thousands of manufacturing jobs cannot be filled because of the growing skills gap and because the jobs have become technically more demanding, according to employers.
Wisconsin will have fewer than half of the metal manufacturing professionals it needs by 2021, according to a report from Manpower Group. Demand for these skilled tradespeople will grow by nearly 50%, but the supply will decrease about 12% as the industry gets slapped by a wave of retirements.
Much of the inmate training focuses on math skills, including the ability to take precise measurements. There also are lessons in using hand tools and understanding mechanical fasteners, shafts, couplers, gears, pulleys, bearings, levers, cranks, cams and springs.
Inmates are allowed out of their cells several nights a week for math tutoring, Golembeski said.
There’s a hands-on assessment at the end of the course that tests an inmate’s ability to troubleshoot and repair a machine in a given amount of time. All of the Oshkosh inmates who completed the training passed the test.
The mobile laboratory could be used for training at high schools, and the assessment test could be used outside of the prison system.
It’s too early to say whether the inmate program is a success, based on whether people find manufacturing jobs when they’re released from prison or continue their training at a technical college.
But having some mechanical knowledge will be useful, Golembeski said.
“Those six college credits are going to be helpful, too. In some cases, these women will be the first in their immediate families to earn any college credits. We are hoping they will continue their education when they’re released.”
Taycheedah has had other job-skills programs, including one that trained inmates to be dental technicians in jobs that paid about $40,000 a year in Milwaukee County, according to Department of Workforce Development figures.
But someone with a felony drug conviction would have trouble getting a job in the health care field, Golembeski said.
“If you have a conviction for theft or bad checks, you’re also not going to get a job in the financial field, or even in retail, where you would be handling money and credit cards,” he said.
“Manufacturing is a place where your felony conviction, for the most part, isn’t going to stand in the way of getting a job that’s in high demand and has a high wage. If you have the skills and keep your act together, there are a lot of opportunities.”
On April 15, Golembeski said, he and some women from area manufacturing companies will be at Taycheedah to meet with the inmates in the training program, including several of them from Milwaukee.
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.
From hrtnews.com: “Lakeshore Technical College unveils the new Advanced Manufacturing Mobile Lab” – Lakeshore Technical College unveils the new Advanced Manufacturing Mobile Lab, which offers area high schools a chance to provide hands-on training on 21st century manufacturing equipment. It also will be used for incumbent worker training. The 44-foot lab on wheels includes CNC (computer numerical control) and CAM (computer-aided manufacturing) equipment and 13 computer stations. Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Secretary Reggie Newson attended the event held at the Cleveland campus on Tuesday.
February 27, 2013
From wispolitics.com: “Mobile lab lets Lakeshore Technical College bring skills training to students across Northeastern Wisconsin” – CLEVELAND – During a visit this morning to commemorate Lakeshore Technical College’s (LTC) new mobile manufacturing training lab, Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch commended the projects’ partners for efforts to connect Wisconsinites from across the region with skills training for jobs that are in demand.
“There are opportunities now to develop skills that we know manufacturers are seeking,” Lt. Governor Kleefisch said. “Communities across Northeastern Wisconsin will reap the economic benefits thanks to approaches like this new mobile training lab to address the skills gap and prepare individuals for good-paying jobs in today’s labor market.”
Lt. Governor Kleefisch joined Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Reggie Newson, Department of Corrections (DOC) Executive Assistant Dennis Schuh, leaders from LTC and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC), and private-sector partners to celebrate the completion of the new mobile manufacturing training lab.
The lab, modeled after a similar lab that NWTC and the Bay Area Workforce Development Board jointly launched in 2011, will travel to local high schools in the LTC district to provide on-site training in advanced manufacturing. The training will provide students instruction in industrial maintenance, programmable logic controls, and other components. Students will be able to complete a 5-credit technical college course that can be applied to LTC’s electro-mechanical technology program.
In addition to schools, the lab will also travel to DOC adult institutions in the region to help inmates learn marketable skills that will help them successfully pursue good-paying jobs upon their transition from prison back into the community. The vast majority of prison inmates will complete their prison sentences and one day return to the community. Successful employment is a key factor to help reduce recidivism.
The lab was developed as a partnership between DWD, DOC, Lakeshore and Northeast Wisconsin Technical Colleges, and several partners in the private sector, including Rockwell Automation, Curt G. Joa, Inc., and Plenco.
DOC Secretary Ed Wall said: “We are pleased to partner with Lakeshore Technical College on their mobile lab unit. The lab will give inmates the chance to learn skills that will help them get a job in the community. This partnership provides opportunities for offenders to change their behavior and make Wisconsin a safer place.”
DWD Secretary Newson said the training lab is reflective of the innovative approaches that DWD is taking under Governor Scott Walker’s leadership to address the skills gap and prepare Wisconsin residents for the modern workforce.
The “Wisconsin Fast Forward” bill (AB 14 / SB 23), which Governor Walker wants fast-tracked through the Legislature, would fund the development of a cutting-edge labor market information system, $15 million in worker training grants to be administered by DWD, and 4 positions in an Office of Skills Development to be created at DWD. The legislation is part of a larger $100 million investment in Wisconsin’s workforce that Governor Walker has proposed over the coming biennium.
“Governor Walker has committed significant resources to develop our state’s workforce and provide flexible resources to private-sector job creators,” said DWD Secretary Newson. “DWD and Wisconsin’s technical colleges are close partners in connecting Wisconsin job seekers to training opportunities and, ultimately, good-paying jobs in the private sector. This mobile lab is one more innovation that will empower job seekers to transition into good-paying jobs that promote independence and will help them pursue their dreams.”
February 8, 2013
From Wind Systems Magazine: “Innovations in Wind Energy Education” – Lakeshore Technical College, located in Cleveland, Wisconsin, offers a two-year associate’s degree program in Wind Energy Technology.
The program consists of 70 hours of coursework and training. Upon completion of the program, graduates are equipped with the education and training required by a number of wind energy careers: including: tower climber, installation technician and O&M technician.
Lakeshore’s program mixes classroom coursework with hands-on experience — including the opportunity to learn on the campus’s four operational wind turbines. Hands-on experience is also gained through a summer field internship or combination site analysis/lab, which are requirements of the program.
Sam Schwochert is in his second year in the Wind Energy Technology program, and is expected to graduate in May.
We spoke with him about his background and aspirations.
WIND SYSTEMS: What attracted you to the Wind industry? Why did you choose LTC?
SAM SCHWOCHERT: I enrolled at LTC to specifically be a part of their Wind Energy Technology program. I chose Wind because it is an interesting, developing field where I can learn a lot, travel, and make a good living. The technology changes quickly, and I like staying “up on it.” From the research that I did on schools that had renewable energy programs, LTC was one of the best, and it was also in my backyard, so this was an easy choice. My father has a long- standing interest in Wind turbines, and he’s always encouraged me to do something that’s both challenging and would allow me to make a living.
WS: What are your expectations post-graduation with your degree from LTC?
SS: After graduation this May, I would like to start by getting a job in “Big Wind” with any of the major players. Ideally I’ll begin on a turbine maintenance crew, because I think that is the fastest way to learn as much as possible. I’d like to move to Texas if possible, and my ultimate goal is to become a Mechanical Engineer and help to design Wind turbines.
WS: What is your prior experience?
SS: I was raised in Elkhart Lake, WI; a little town about an hour North of Milwaukee. Ever since I can remember, I’ve had a love to anything that had some kind of mechanical function. I’m pretty sure this started by being around the family business, Rhine Auto, Inc. (a salvage yard), and working on my father and uncle’s stock car racing teams. We’ve won four out of the last six championships. Before starting school at LTC I worked as a landscaper and concrete laborer; I loved every minute of these jobs, but realized that that I wanted to get into something that had more of a mechanical bend to it, so here we are.
WS: Can you talk about last summer’s internship?
SS: During the summer of 2012 I interned as a Wind Turbine Tech with Kettle View Renewable Energy out of Random Lake, WI. LTC and my Wind teacher, Matt Boor, contacted us [students] weekly with internship opportunities. The boss at KVRE, Randy Faller, gave me every chance to learn everything I could, and I’m thankful for that. Other KVRE employees were also really helpful and eager to help me learn; I learned a lot about the nuts and bolts of maintenance, and LTC helped me quite a bit with the electrical side of things.
WS: Specifically, why do you like working on Wind turbines?
SS: From what I’ve experienced so far, the job is something different every day. There is so much to learn that I haven’t even touched yet, and this is really inspiring.
Lakeshore Wind Energy Technology instructor Matt Boor encourages employers, to contact him through the program should they have interests in employing LTC students and graduates, including Schwochert.
The enrollment deadline for the program is in early August. For more in- formation about Lakeshore Technical College’s Wind Energy Technology program, call 920-693-1127 or visit http://www.gotoltc.com/Programs/ windEnergy/.
January 11, 2013
From sheboyganpress.com: “Ten questions everyone should ask when choosing a college” — By Mike Lanser, president Lakeshore Technical College - Choosing a college has always been an important decision and there are more options than ever before. Working adults may be adding a multitude of online learning choices to their consideration list, while high school seniors and their parents might be thinking about campus safety and student life.
These are important considerations, but I’d like to offer you a list of 10 questions to ask when choosing your college. The answers to these questions not only affect where you start college, but where you will end — which for most people is a successful and rewarding career.
1. Is the college accredited?
Accreditation ensures that the institution adheres to rigorous standards of quality, process improvement and excellence which must be evidenced through documentation and on-site visits by the accrediting body. Lakeshore Technical College is accredited through the Higher Learning Commission, which is one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. To find out if the college you’re considering is accredited, visit ncahlc.org.
2. Is the education or credential you’re pursuing valued by potential employers? Ask for job placement rates.
You want to be sure your hard work and investment in college pays off. One indication that employers value the education you’re paying for is to find out about graduates’ job placement. LTC conducts a job placement survey of graduates each year. Last year, 4 out of 5 LTC grads were hired in 6 months or less following graduation.
3. What are the pass rates for students taking certification exams?
Many career-targeted programs promise that they will prepare you for licensure exams. Be sure to ask for pass rates from students who have taken the program previously. It can be good indicator of the program’s quality of instruction. At LTC, our students exceed the national average pass rates for certification exams by 15%.
4. What are the qualifications of the faculty, or better yet, can you meet them?
The quality of your learning experience is in your instructors’ hands. Do they have real-world experience in the area that they’re teaching. Are they certified instructors? Meeting your instructors is also a great way to enhance your understanding about the degree program you’re pursuing as well as your ultimate career goal. LTC instructors have worked in the fields they’re teaching and they welcome the opportunity to talk with students considering our college.
5. Is the program you’re considering offering college credit?
Many colleges offer both credit and non-credit offerings. Be sure to note whether you will earn college credit or not and whether your completion or credential earned will be recognized by potential employers.
6. What is the cost per credit?
Credits are a great way to compare apples to apples. If you’re paying $50 more for every credit, your college expense can really add up. Worse, if you’re not earning credit for the education you’re receiving you’ll want to consider how that could affect your future employment or education plans.
7. What kind of support will the college offer to help you succeed in meeting your educational and career goals?
You might have had areas in high school which challenged you, or maybe you’ve been out of school for a long time. Neither should be reasons for not pursuing your college degree, particularly if your college has services to help you be successful. LTC offers a wide range of free student success services ranging from peer tutors and support groups to academic counseling and career placement services.
8. Will you have the ability to build on your education to help you advance in your career?
Learning is life-long and many employers recognize this through employee tuition reimbursement programs. Keep this possibility in mind when you select a college because you may decide to continue your education after being on-the-job for a number of years. LTC has agreements with over 30 colleges and universities, including Silver Lake, Lakeland, UW-Oshkosh and UW-Green Bay so our graduates can continue to grow in their careers.
9. Is the college providing good value for your investment?
In addition to cost per credit comparisons, take a look at other expenses related to your education. Room & board if you’ll live on-campus, how many years it will take to complete your program, and the availability of financial aid and scholarships.
10. How long has the college been in operation?
You want your college degree, diploma or certificate to lead to job. While not a guarantee for your personal success, you can be assured a college has the commitment and resources to help you succeed when they have a proven history of doing so. LTC is proud to be celebrating a century of educating students for high-demand, local careers.
By answering these ten questions you’ll be armed with good information about the colleges you’re considering and ultimately which one will be the best fit for you to achieve your education and career goals.
December 10, 2012
From htrnews.com: “Getting a jump on college” – MISHICOT — When Gabriella Cisneros, a junior at Mishicot High School, found out she could earn college credit in the pre-calculus class she already was taking at the high school, she decided to pay the reduced tuition and take advantage of that opportunity.
“It’s a lot cheaper than if I waited until college,” said Cisneros, who is earning three college credits for $300.
“You’re almost killing two birds with one stone ’cause you get college and high school credit for it,” said Quenten Haack, also a junior in the pre-calculus class.
They are among numerous students earning college credits as part of a dual enrollment program in place at Mishicot High School.
Dual enrollment is different than other programs that allow students to earn college credit in high school, such as Youth Options and Youth Apprenticeship. With Youth Options, students apply to the school board to have the district pay for a college class that is not available at the high school, and Youth Apprenticeship involves coursework at a technical college and work experience at a participating business.
The dual enrollment program offers the opportunity to earn college credit by taking high school classes – at the high school, taught by high school teachers. It differs from the traditional Advanced Placement program in that students taking AP high school classes have to achieve a designated score on the AP exam in that subject in order to receive college credit. The rest of the work they do in the class doesn’t count for college purposes, and in fact, students can take the exam without even taking the class.
While Mishicot High School has offered a couple of dual enrollment courses through Silver Lake College for many years, the program has expanded dramatically in recent years. The number of dual enrollment classes available at Mishicot High School has increased from four classes that could be taken for a total of 12 college credits in 2010-11 to 10 classes for 33 credits this year, according to Marci Waldron-Kuhn, academic adviser and psychology teacher. Another three credits will be added for 2013-14.
Students who enroll in the classes can take them just for high school credit but most opt to pay tuition and earn college credit as well. They pay around $400 or less for each three-credit course, as opposed to about $1,000 if they took it at college, she said.
Mishicot has agreements with four four-year colleges. The school is offering Advanced Chemistry and Honors English through an agreement with Silver Lake College; business management and AP Psychology through UW-Green Bay; pre-calculus and AP Calculus through Lakeland College; and Spanish and sociology through UW-Oshkosh. The credits transfer to other colleges, but whether they transfer and how they transfer – in that subject or just as an elective – varies among the institutions so students are advised to check with the school they’re planning to attend.
Mishicot High School also has arrangements with Lakeshore Technical College whereby students can earn LTC credits without paying tuition. Two classes – marketing and medical terminology – are available at MHS as transcripted courses. Students who earn at least a C in the class receive LTC credits, and the course and grade are recorded on a transcript at LTC. The credits can be transferred to other technical colleges and four-year universities that choose to accept them.
Advanced Standing courses allow students who earn at least a B to avoid taking the same class at LTC, but the classes aren’t recorded on an official LTC transcript. Other technical colleges may accept the classes, but four-year colleges do not. Mishicot offers 11 Advanced Standing classes through LTC.
Glimpse of college
Senior Shelby DeRoche is paying $700 to earn six credits through Silver Lake College for Honors English. She’s planning to attend Madison Area Technical College so she’s not saving as much as students going to a four-year school, but “it’s easier just to get it done right away,” she said.
Her classmate, senior Dalton Derenne, said he would have to pay $1,800 to get the same six credits at UW-Whitewater. And there’s a benefit beyond the cost savings, according to Derenne.
“They try and prepare you the best they can for college,” he said, referring to the high school, “and offering these college courses really gives you a perspective of what it’s going to be like.”
“It gives the kids a glance at the curriculum that they will see in college so it prepares them for that,” said Honors English teacher Jessica Brossard.
The amount of content differs slightly from the equivalent class at Silver Lake College because of time constraints with Mishicot’s block schedule, but “the skills are essentially the same,” she said. “The curriculum keeps changing to keep up with Silver Lake.”
The students “definitely take it more seriously” because they know they need to get at least a C in order to earn college credit, Brossard said. “And they know that it’s the same work that’s being done in college so they know it’s going to be much more rigorous, so they go into it with that mindset and that prepares them then to be successful.”
And there’s another advantage: “I’m in communication with the colleges so I know what my students need,” Brossard said.
Each post-secondary institution has its own criteria for approving teachers to instruct dual enrollment classes, according to Waldron-Kuhn. For instance, UW-Green Bay requires all teachers to have a master’s degree in the subject they’re teaching or in a related field.
Preparing for college
About half of the dual enrollment classes are taught in a blended format, meaning they include an online component along with traditional instruction, Waldron-Kuhn said. When students get to college, they’re going to have online assignments, such as class discussions on message boards.
“We want to expose our kids to that before they get to the university level,” she said.
Expanding the opportunities for earning college credit while in high school is one piece of the puzzle when it comes to Mishicot’s efforts to prepare students for life beyond high school, according to Waldron-Kuhn. Other initiatives in recent years are group advisement sessions, requiring students to complete a career portfolio to be used when applying for college or jobs, and an increase in credits needed for graduation.
October 15, 2012
From greenbaypressgazette.com: “Q & A Lindquist Machine Corp. CEO hypes jobs in manufacturing” – ASHWAUBENON — Each week, the Green Bay Press-Gazette talks to business leaders about their industries, the economy and other business issues.
Today, Mark Kaiser, president and CEO of Lindquist Machine Corp. and chairman of the Northeast Wisconsin Manufacturing Alliance, talks about the alliance’s efforts to increase interest in manufacturing careers.
Q. Is NEW Manufacturing Alliance making progress in it efforts to promote manufacturing careers?
A. The Alliance has found an increased interest from K-12 in promoting manufacturing careers. The Green Bay and Howard-Suamico school districts worked with the Alliance this past year in having more than 100 educators tour manufacturing plants. Dialogue centered on understanding what a 21st century manufacturing company looks like compared to past stereotypes.
We heard comments from educators who taught math, science and social studies that they had no idea of the extent technology is used in manufacturing, and the clean, organized, well-lighted environment people work in.
This is one example of the Alliance’s efforts to develop relationships with educators to help them understand the opportunities available to students.
Q. The Manufacturing/Education Partnership Awards kickoff event seemed a success. What was your view of it and where does it go from here?
A. The dinner is another example of showcasing these careers to educators. The Alliance invited educators from throughout the region. There was time to network — another opportunity to build the relationships between educators and manufacturers. In addition, the event spotlighted education best practices, showcasing Brillion High School, where a significant number of students enroll in a tech-ed classes.
The primary goal of the event was to bring manufacturers and educators together to develop professional relationships. Manufacturers in the past have worked in “silos” and have not been engaged with our local schools. That is a mistake that the Alliance is attempting to change.
The awards spotlighted the 2013 All-Stars, who are the best and brightest manufacturing employees in the region between the ages of 18 and 35. The winners love their jobs, are proud of their work, and are examples for educators to see that these careers are rewarding.
We are hearing that local tech colleges are seeing increased enrollment in manufacturing-related courses, compared with other industry sectors. Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, for example, had to add second-shift machining classes to meet the demand.
There are so many examples of great partnerships between manufacturers and educators that we can learn from. This event provided a vehicle to encourage those in attendance that are not engaged to become engaged with their local school district.
Next year, we plan to continue to spotlight best practices and have time in the program for further relationship development.
Q. Manufacturing employers have been concerned about lack of skilled workers for several years. Is that situation improving?
A. I believe that our message is getting out regarding the skills shortage; we see this at a local, state and national level.
This is the first step in solving the problem. The media has had numerous stories on the skills shortage. The public — and government — are starting to understand that there is a disconnect between people seeking employment and the jobs available.
Job seekers need to be retrained to have the skills required by industry. Technology and innovation will continue to rapidly advance, driving the skills gap as we move forward. The best way to continuously narrow the skills gap is for our region to adopt a ‘life-long learning’ strategy for all: students and workers, even when they are employed.
Many companies offer tuition reimbursement, however, not enough employees utilize this employer benefit.
The Alliance will be conducting the third annual Northeast Wisconsin Manufacturing Vitality Index study in November 2012. One of the questions asked is “are you anticipating having difficulty finding people to fill your open jobs?” In the 2011 study, 29 percent of companies replied “yes” and the 2012 study had 45 percent replying “yes.”
The next study will be released in December and we are very interested to see what the results will show. This will give us some indication if we are making progress.
Q. What are the skills most in need and what are employers doing to improve that situation?
A. Technical skills are extremely important, but we are hearing from employers a real need exists for soft skills.
The Alliance commissioned a study by UW-Oshkosh’s Business Success Center to better understand the skill gaps of the current production work force. The study found five main gaps: conflict resolution, problem solving/critical thinking, computer skills, leadership and working in an effective team.
Note that only one of the five is a technical skill.
The Alliance has been working with member manufacturers and Lakeshore Technical College in developing a Leadership Academy for front-line production workers addressing these specific skills. The six-month program — a pilot will begin in January — will bring employees from a variety of companies to work together on these skills.
The Alliance membership employs 30 percent of the work force in Northeastern Wisconsin. We believe that improving the soft skills of our members’ production workers will have a significant positive impact on our region’s workforce, which will make our companies more productive, competitive, and successful.
Q. This is Manufacturing Month. Why is manufacturing important to Wisconsin and the United States?
A. Number one is jobs. There has been a lot of discussion during the election season regarding jobs. Twenty-three percent of all of the jobs in Northeastern Wisconsin are manufacturing – one of the highest percentages in the country for a specific region.
Manufacturing jobs and companies provide a strong tax base that directly impacts schools and government, helping provide the financial resources they need. More importantly, these jobs are good-paying jobs with great benefits. Wages/benefits in manufacturing are in the top three for all industry sectors in each county of Northeastern Wisconsin.
Our country needs to have strong manufacturing to ensure we are not overly reliant on other countries for many (not all) of the items we consume in this country. We have experienced firsthand the problems associated with importing large quantities of oil from other countries. Most people don’t know that the United States is still the largest manufacturer in the world. Manufacturing has been a large part of providing our high standard of living as compared to other countries.
From insightdigital.biz: “A century of collaboration” — A hundred years ago, brand new technical colleges in Wisconsin started welcoming fresh-faced, knicker-wearing boys who hoped to obtain training that would lead to a good career.
The students (and the clothes) have changed, but the basic mission of Wisconsin technical colleges has remained the same.
Read more from Insight on Business
October 2, 2012
From insightdigital.biz: “Filling the Gap” — Holly Putterlik of Fond du Lac realizes she is in rare company. Starting her third semester in the welding program at Moraine Park Technical College, Putterlik isn’t worried about being one of 11 females in the school’s welding program, which has nearly 120 students, or that once she graduates and lands a job, it’s likely she’ll be surrounded by men.
Read the full story from Insight on Manufacturing
August 20, 2012
From sheboygandaily.com: “WAT Grant initiates successful partnership between LTC and Nemak” — CLEVELAND – Earlier this year, Nemak and Lakeshore Technical College received a Workforce Advancement Training (WAT) Grant from the State of Wisconsin.
Nemak, a supplier of high pressure die cast aluminum components in Sheboygan, began extensive training of hundreds of its workers in collaboration with LTC. The WAT Grant program, created in 2005, helps address training needs of Wisconsin businesses and enhance the skills of the workforce while recognizing the value of education and the impact a highly-skilled workforce can have on a company. The results experienced at Nemak have met those expectations, and more.
“We needed to train up to 500 employees in things like manufacturing and quality skills, OSHA safety, lean manufacturing, leadership, and computer training, says Brent Chesney, Director of Organizational Development at Nemak. “The results have been dramatic in terms of efficiency gained.”
Indeed, Nemak has documented significant savings over the first 6 months of this year. “With the help of LTC, we’ve become more productive, more efficient and more competitive,” says Chesney. “LTC has been a critical resource for our continued improvements.”
What’s more, these results are typical as recent survey results once again highlighted the value employers find in the customized training and technical assistance delivered by Wisconsin’s technical colleges.
“Employers continue to tell us that this training and assistance, which is flexible and tailored to their needs, adds value to their operations,” said Mark Tyler, President of the Wisconsin Technical College System Board.
Technical colleges periodically survey employers involved in contract training projects to gauge outcomes and employer satisfaction. Over 500 employers responded to one or more survey questions about training outcomes. Of those employers who responded, 94% were satisfied or very satisfied with the training provided, nearly 95% are likely to use these services again, while more than 96% would recommend them to a colleague. Respondents also indicated that the training improved the company’s work environment and employee retention, reduced costs, and addressed safety and compliance issues.
Survey responses highlighted the value employers place on having incumbent worker training delivered on-site, noting that technical college customized training programs allow employees to apply new skills in their actual facility and specific equipment, not to mention saving on travel time. LTC delivers these services through its Workforce Solutions Division which provides seminars, compliance training, consulting services, and entrepreneurship services in addition to customized training.
Workforce Advancement Training (WAT) grants have extended the reach and awareness of technical college customized training services. The grants, which have consistently received bipartisan legislative support, provide funds to technical colleges to support training programs developed with employer partners. Over the seven-year life of the WAT grant program, technical colleges have received about 17.5 million in WAT grants to support over 1,400 employers in training almost 77,000 incumbent workers across Wisconsin. An additional $4.0 million is available in fiscal year 2012-13. While LTC represents about 3% of the Wisconsin Technical College System, local businesses have received over 10% of state WAT grant award dollars.
“WAT grants are essential to helping provide effective worker training,” stated LTC President Michael Lanser. “We will continue to look for ways to expand our capacity to enrich our communities by providing a workforce that is skilled, diverse and flexible,” added Lanser.
June 21, 2012
From greenbaypressgazette.com: “Tech camp for girls targets stereotype” – Sarah Lelinski, who will be a fifth-grader at Holy Family School in the fall, said she could study math all day long.
“I love it. Something about adding and subtracting — it’s fun,” said Lelinski, who participated Wednesday in the Get Into Energy Summer Tech Camp at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.
Lelinski is one of about 50 area middle-school aged girls participating in the two-day camp, which continues today. It’s aimed at helping develop interest in the so-called STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering and math. Organizers say these fields tend to be dominated by men.
Lelinski isn’t sure what she wants to do for a career, but said her aspiration is to “break stereotypes.”
“I want to break the idea that boys can only do certain things and girls can only do certain things,” she said. “Boys think they’re strong and more intelligent, but girls are intelligent, too.”
According to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, 70.5 percent of third-grade girls in the Green Bay School District tested through the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts exams in November 2011 were proficient or advanced, compared with 69.8 percent of boys in the third grade. About 77 percent of both boys and girls in the sixth grade were proficient or advanced in math, but 43 percent of girls were advanced, compared with 36 percent of boys.
About 66 percent of all 10th-graders scored proficient or advanced in math, including 22.3 percent of girls and 26.5 percent of boys.
About 70 percent of fourth-grade girls who took the WKCE in November were advanced or proficient in science, compared with 67.7 percent of fourth-grade boys.
Meanwhile, 65 percent of female 10th-graders were proficient or advanced in science, compared with 68.7 percent of their male classmates. However, 29.2 percent of the girls were advanced, compared with nearly 41 percent of the boys.
Organizers said they hoped hands-on experience would encourage girls at the tech camp to continue with STEM studies.
The girls learned about the “life of a Wisconsin Public Service lineman” on Wednesday and studied the solar sunflowers at the Green Bay Botanical Garden, which are solar panels that move with the sun to gather more energy.
Activities scheduled for today include work with solar racecars and a solar oven and construction of a circuit from a lemon.
“We want to expose the girls to STEM occupations,” said Betsy Baier, nontraditional occupation coordinator for NWTC. “We realize that when they are in middle school is when they become interested in future careers, based on exposure. We want to expose them to occupations females may not see.”
Mary Frank-Arlt, community relations specialist with WPS, agreed.
“Utilities are seeing an aging work force,” she said. “And kids need exposure. You see firefighters and teachers, but how many of them see the engineer who’s keeping your lights on?”
Baier said women who become welders or engineers often were exposed to family members in those professions.
“So we hope this camp offers them another chance to see what those professionals do,” she said.
The program was funded through a $20,000 grant that is shared with Fox Valley, Moraine Park and Lakeshore technical colleges. The local camp is co-sponsored by NWTC, WPS and the Green Bay-De Pere YWCA, which hosts an after-school program called TechGYRLS aimed at keeping at-risk sixth-grade girls interested in STEM subjects.
TechGYRLS teacher Jenna Tullberg said the lessons are important.
“With advancements in technology and globalization, if our youth don’t have the skills, their jobs are going to be limited,” she said. “We want to show girls fields that provide good-paying jobs that they may not be thinking of. If you get them early, there’s a better chance they’ll believe this is something they would like to do and can do.”
Natalie Ehren, who will be an eighth-grader at Green Bay’s Lombardi Middle School in fall, plans to be a chemist or work in the environmental sciences.
“I’ve always wanted to get into the science field,” she said. “I think sometimes there’s an idea that girls go into makeup and boys go into construction. I want to break that mold.”
June 18, 2012
From htrnews.com: “Speaker: Wisconsin lags in workforce development” – CLEVELAND — When it comes to workforce development, “here in the state of Wisconsin we’re really in the Dark Ages,” consultant Tim Sullivan said during a presentation at Lakeshore Technical College.
In terms of economic development, “the only thing that’s really slowing us down is our workforce,” said Sullivan, a special consultant for business and workforce development for the state of Wisconsin. He heads the two-person Office of Business Development.
Sullivan, who was president and CEO of Milwaukee-based Bucyrus International before it was sold to Caterpillar last year, spoke to business representatives, educators and others Tuesday about the gap between the skills that job-seekers have and the skills employers need.
He will present a report to Gov. Scott Walker in mid-July regarding closing the skills gap in the state.
Plenty of jobs
“We always have had the jobs in the state of Wisconsin,” Sullivan said. “We’ve always had very good-paying jobs. The problem that we’ve got is you can’t bridge the gap between skills that we have available and skills that we need.”
When a business is planning to expand, “the first thing on your list is workforce,” according to Sullivan. When Bucyrus International was growing, “I couldn’t find workers,” he said, referring to welders, machinists and engineers. The company ended up opening a plant in Texas, which now employs 200 welders. Sullivan said those should have been Wisconsin jobs.
Texas has seen an increase of almost 900,000 people in its workforce in the last three years, while Wisconsin has lost 20,000, he said.
“We have to create a workforce in our state,” Sullivan said.
He said Wisconsin’s workforce development system is antiquated and inadequate.
“We put effectively no state money into workforce development,” he said.
The federal funding the state receives is earmarked to help only the most impoverished people, according to Sullivan. In addition, much is used for administration, and the amount used for administration needs to be reduced and more money put into training, he said.
The state also needs one set of employment data used by all agencies, according to Sullivan, and it needs a new software system to match employers and potential employees more effectively.
“It cannot be just workforce development, it has to move into the education area as well,” he said.
Educational philosophy shifted in the 1980s toward preparing students for four-year colleges, he said.
However, “70 percent of the jobs in the state of Wisconsin require a two-year degree or no post-secondary degree,” according to Sullivan.
He spoke of 20-somethings who have a four-year-degree but go back to technical school because they can’t find a job — something he referred to as a “do-over.”
It’s important for high school counselors to provide students with effective career counseling, according to Sullivan.
“Let’s get them started down the right path as early as we can,” he said.
John Lukas, vice president of LDI Industries in Manitowoc, agreed presentations like Sullivan’s are valuable.
“I felt that he was in some ways preaching to the choir, though,” he said. “It seemed there were a lot of the agencies and educational people here.”
Lukas said he was “a little disappointed” more manufacturers didn’t attend.
“We complain and point the finger a lot but yet we don’t seem to be at the table to be part of the solution as much as I’d like to see,” he said. They “really need to bring more of the manufacturers to the table to participate in the solutions.”
June 4, 2012
From htrnews.com: “LTC honors apprentices” – CLEVELAND — Thirty-four apprentices were honored recently at Lakeshore Technical College’s annual Apprenticeship Completion Banquet held at Millhome Supper Club in Kiel.
The banquet recognized the completion of the paid-related classroom instruction for individuals in LTC’s apprenticeship programs. In those programs, workers earn while they learn the practical and theoretical aspects of highly skilled occupations. LTC’s registered apprentices are sponsored by employers and paid hourly wages to attend LTC in their specific trades.
New to the LTC apprenticeship program this year, the first completers of the Child Care Services Apprenticeship were honored. Tiffany Tyler and Flavia Calina, both of Sheboygan, represented the first apprenticeship program in the service sector beyond the industrial and construction trades by addressing the audience about their new journeyworker status.
“Apprenticeship has been recognized for more than 100 years,” said Leigh Ann Kramer, head of the Early Childhood Program at LTC. “It is quite an honor for our program to be included. I’m pleased by the recognition Tiffany and Flavia have earned, and I know they will be great representatives.”
Jon Waldhuetter, academic dean at Moraine Park Technical College, was the guest speaker at the banquet.
Apprentices from Manitowoc County who were recognized – including their hometown, apprenticeship area and sponsoring employer – are:
Kiel – Rod Eckhardt, metal model maker, The Vollrath Co.; James Kopp, industrial electrician, Johnsonville Sausage;
Manitowoc – Kevin Bundy, machinist, Manitowoc Pattern & Manufacturing Co.; Timothy Houghton, machinist, Manitowoc Pattern & Manufacturing Co.; Brian Klein, maintenance mechanic, Spartech CMD; Ryan Metzger, maintenance mechanic, J.L. French Corp.; Nathaniel Roethel, electrical/mechanical maintenance technician, Rockline Industries; Christopher Schmidt, carpenter (millwright), Allstates Rigging; Jody Smith, maintenance mechanic/millwright, GKN Sinter Metals;
Newton – Dylan Baryenbruch, machinist, Stecker Machine Co.;
Mishicot – William Bernhardt, maintenance mechanic, International Paper Co.;
Two Rivers – Dustin Behnke, machinist, Jagemann Stamping Co.; Jeffrey Leider, machinist, Manitowoc Pattern & Manufacturing Co.; and
Valders – Jacob Schaus, sheet metal worker, Schaus Roofing & Mechanical Contractors.
May 18, 2012
From htrnews.com: “Manufacturing must toot own horn” — MANITOWOC — Jacob Bergene, 18, didn’t need convincing.
“I get to learn something new every day,” the Lincoln High School senior said Wednesday as he operated a multi-spindle screw machine at LDI Industries.
After graduation in June, Bergene intends to complete an 8,000-hour adult apprenticeship on his way to becoming a journeyman machinist.
By the time he’s 22, he can expect to be making about $15 an hour, with more pay and advancement opportunities ahead, and he will have been drawing a paycheck while spending nine days on the job and one day in a Lakeshore Technical College classroom every two weeks.
The owners of the Manitowoc company making lubrication equipment and hydraulic components feed their talent pipeline through participation in Youth Options and other initiatives designed to attract young men and women into skilled manufacturing trades.
But too many Wisconsin manufacturers aren’t fighting misperceptions and stereotypes, Jim Morgan, president of the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce Foundation, on Wednesday told an LTC audience of business owners, educators and civic officials.
Combined with other factors, Morgan said manufacturers not touting the good-paying careers they offer has led to a “work force paradox” including:
» 7 percent unemployment, yet manufacturers can’t find employees to do the work needed to fill customers’ orders.
» A trillion dollars in student loan debt, yet so many unemployable.
» Negative attitude toward manufacturing, yet it drives the Wisconsin economy.
» A great need to communicate, yet educators have never been in manufacturing plants, and manufacturers have never reached out to schools.
Morgan crisscrossed the state this past winter to conduct listening sessions in more than 50 communities with 300 Wisconsin manufacturers to better understand the problems employers were dealing with in trying to find qualified workers.
LDI Industries expects Bergene and other workers on first shift to be ready to start setting up and running the sophisticated technology in the plant at 6 a.m. — not just be onsite and talking for 10 or 15 minutes before beginning to make components for its national client base.
Morgan said having unemployment benefits extend out as far as 99 weeks has led to some workers offered jobs declaring, “Can you wait six months … I have 26 weeks of unemployment left?”
Combat the stigma
Morgan said Working Wisconsin is the WMC Foundation’s blueprint for helping the state retain its competitiveness and high quality of life.
Morgan said it is critical to battle the stigma — often of high school students’ parents — against those “with only a two-year degree.
“This is not an anti four-year-college presentation, but let’s make sure students are making an informed decision … know about technical colleges and the jobs and careers they can lead to,” said Morgan.
He lamented that technical skill opportunities are disappearing from some high schools, though LTC has formed a partnership with Plymouth High School leading to new manufacturing simulation classrooms and a tripling of students enrolled in “Tech Ed.”
“The mismatch between preparation and careers is wide,” Morgan said. “Only 30 percent of Wisconsin’s jobs require a bachelor’s degree or more.”
Morgan’s “Circle of Life” includes workforce development leading to economic development leading to a greater tax base leading to strong K-12 schools leading to enhanced technical training.
Working Wisconsin includes several elements, such as identifying exemplary business-education partnerships, launching a public awareness campaign to highlight manufacturing’s importance with companies offering tours and making presentations to schools, colleges and clubs.
“It has to be a strategic imperative, driven by ownership,” said Eric Haban, LDI’s Youth Apprenticeships coordinator.
Haban knows he has the support of Mark, John and Tom Lukas, LDI’s owners.
Mark Lukas, president of the firm, said the company has added about 30 employees in the past year, up to about 250, and has made commitments in the areas of technology acquisitions, lean-manufacturing education and bringing on board individuals, like Bergene, who see a long-term future in the industrial sector.
From sheboyganpress.com: “Area military veterans find companies ready to hire” – CLEVELAND — Corey Evenson of Manitowoc has been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan as a member of the 432nd Civil Affairs Battalion, based out of Ashwaubenon.
Perhaps, the U.S. Army reservist’s next overseas assignment may be for The Manitowoc Company.
“We have facilities all over the world … about 75 percent of our current openings are salaried from entry level to vice president,” company recruiter Erin Pierre told the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay sophomore at Tuesday’s Veterans Career and Benefits Fair.
The global cranes and foodservice equipment manufacturer, with facilities in 26 countries, was one of a couple dozen employers and service providers at the event held at Lakeshore Technical College.
Dan Heilman, vice president of Operations for Invincible Office Furniture Solutions in Manitowoc, was able to quickly identify the advantage of hiring veterans, in addition to tax credits.
“Organizational skills … veterans are very task-oriented and don’t require a lot of ‘resupervision,’” Heilman said.
Invincible is looking for assemblers, material handlers and general laborers to help make office furniture, including desks, computer tables and file cabinets.
One of the veterans reviewing Invincible’s job openings was Sheboygan Falls’ Richard James, 52, who served in the Army from 1982-85 and will graduate next month with a two-year associate degree in nuclear technology.
“I have to explore all job options and believe the knowledge I’ve gained here at LTC can be useful in other industries, too, not just nuclear,” James said.
A brochure from the state Department of Workforce Development’s Wisconsin Job Center identified “10 Reasons to Hire a Veteran” including:
» Accelerated learning curve
» Diversity and inclusion in action
» Efficient performance under pressure
» Respect for procedures
» Technology and globalization
» Conscious of health and safety standards
» Triumph over adversity
Military to civilian
Marcea Ann Weiss was in the Army from 1994-2003 and served as a Blackhawk helicopter test pilot and maintenance manager.
“About 200,000 men and women leave the military every year,” Weiss said. She said veterans should think about what they enjoyed about their military service and take it into account when performing their civilian job search.
Weiss has written a book, “Leaving the Military: Your Deployment Guide to Corporate America.”
She was at the fair as the Midwest branch manager of Merendino Cemetery Care, which performs grounds management, interments, construction, mausoleum restoration and horticulture to religious, private and national cemeteries.
It participates in the Veteran GI Bill Apprenticeship program.
It is one of many state, federal or volunteer programs intended to reduce the unemployment rate of veterans.
According to data released recently by the federal Bureau of Labor statistics, the unemployment rate for those who served post-9/11 was 12.1 percent last year, up from 11.5 percent in 2010 and well above the national average of about 9 percent.
Weiss said leadership skills is the No. 1 asset many veterans possess that can benefit a private sector employer.
She said even soldiers whose “MOS” (Military Occupational Specialty) was “11-Bravo” — or infantryman — was trained to be a platoon leader and acquire people management abilities.
Weiss said she helps employers learn how “to speak veteran” and appreciate that former armed forces members are able to take orders but also adapt and adjust for maximum efficiency.
She doesn’t have to sell Tom Faley, who was at the fair to recruit potential new hires for Sargento Foods.
“Veterans tend to have great leadership qualities … they can see (the company’s) vision and communicate it,” Faley said.
Veterans are among the valuable new employees that have helped, Faley said, grow Sargento four-fold in the 25 years he has been with the company to a work force now totaling about 1,500 with plants in Kiel, Hilbert, Elkhart Lake, Plymouth, Bellingham, Wash., and North Sioux City, S.D.
February 20, 2012
From htrnews.com: “Veterans go to college for civilian career prep” – MANITOWOC — Andrew Madson, 25, is in his third semester at the University of Wisconsin-Manitowoc with the goal of transferring to UW-Green Bay and earning his bachelor’s degree in social work.
Madson, a 2005 Lincoln High School graduate, is a U.S. Army veteran who was deployed to Iraq in 2007 for 11 months.
“I want to work for the Veterans Administration and help veterans the way they were there for me,” said Madson, who struggled with his own drug dependency issues.
Aimee Augustine, a U.S. Army veteran who serves as deputy in the Manitowoc County Veterans Service Office, told Madson about provisions of the Wisconsin GI Bill benefits including:
» A full waiver (remission) of tuition and fees for eligible veterans and their dependents for up to eight full-time semesters or 128 credits at any University of Wisconsin System or Wisconsin Technical College System institution for continuing education, or for study at the undergraduate or graduate level.
» The veteran must have been a Wisconsin resident at the time of entry into active duty. Character of service and active duty service requirements apply.
» The benefit recipient must reside in Wisconsin.
» For veterans, there is no post-service time limitation, as opposed to the federal Montgomery GI Bill’s 10-year post-discharge limitation.
» The veteran may attend full or part time.
Brenda Augustine, 51, was a quality inspector at Burger Boat Co. for more than 10 years.
The Army veteran said she is attending Lakeshore Technical College in its quality assurance technician program, calling it a “fabulous opportunity.”
Augustine said with manufacturing so competitive, companies will increasingly need to find ways to reduce costs, become efficient through lean strategies and increase quality.
A member of the Marine Corps from 1976 to 1979, Jeff Van Ess is attending LTC in its manufacturing management program.
Van Ess was employed at Eggers Industries for 26 years but now is a full-time student.
A Kiel High School graduate and Air Force veteran, Jason Reimer, 38, said he is “pretty encouraged” that state Veterans Employee Services’ Jim Warner can help him find a job.
Reimer is a welder by trade who said he would go back to school if a job called for more extensive education.
Meanwhile, Jeremy Graff, 23, another Kiel graduate, is in his third semester at UW-Sheboygan after serving in the Marines. He intends to seek a mechanical engineering degree from UW-Platteville.
A new “Veterans Retraining Assistance Program” will offer 12 months of retraining assistance to up to 99,000 unemployed veterans between July 2012 and March 2014.
» Be between the ages of 35 and 60
» Have an other than dishonorable discharge
» Not be eligible for any other VA education benefit program like the post-9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill or Vocational Rehabilitation
» Not be in receipt of compensation by reason of unemployability
» Not be enrolled in a state or federal training program
» Training is to be offered by a community college or technical school and result in an associate degree or certificate
» Training is to prepare the veteran for a high-demand occupation
For more information, contact the Manitowoc County Veterans Service Office at (920) 683-4417.
February 10, 2012
From htrnews.com: “Down on the Farm” — By Greg Booher, LTC instructor – It’s my great privilege in life to work with farm families on a wide variety of things, from caring for the newborn calf to the economic return of foliar feeding corn to evaluating last year’s dairy financial performance.
In my work for Lakeshore and Moraine Park technical colleges, the area I most enjoy and find most challenging is working with farm families on intergenerational transfer.
Although I’ve never worked in any other industry than production agriculture, my guess is the transfer of a family business is very much the same no matter if the business is a small-town hardware store in southern Fond du Lac County or a heating and air conditioning enterprise in Atlanta, Ga.
The typical points of contention range from parents who would prefer their children sell the dairy cows and get a less stressful job in town to struggles over how to grow the business, or when hay should be cut or which corn planter should be purchased. This tug-of-war between generations probably has been going on since cave parents argued with cave children over how to form a spear tip.
Years ago, as an overly enthusiastic college student, I would come home from my dairy production studies at The Ohio State University, with ideas on how everything should be done on our home dairy. The way my uncle Vernon did things was old fashioned, and I wasn’t shy about letting him know he had to change the way he was doing things. After patiently listening to me for months on end, I will never forget how calmly he told me that he greatly appreciated me coming home on weekends to help, but it would be better if I left all of my new knowledge in Columbus.
My attitude may well have been the reason I was not encouraged to come home and farm after graduation. And my uncle has successfully dairy farmed for 53 years. My aunt and uncle are just beginning to think about selling the dairy cows at age 73.
When my own son, Ben, became of age, I remember our disagreements regarding how to run our small farm. It was hard for me to accept that Ben often had better ideas than mine. Why do these intergenerational struggles occur between parents and their adult children?
It would take a psychologist to answer this question, but some common sense and experience with human nature probably will suffice. Why do emotions become so much a part of family discussions? It seems as though it takes only a small spark to set off an explosion of emotion.
One possible reason for the frequent contentious debates is that the farm family is often not only working together day after day, they often live together in the same house or very close to one another. Disputes over the same issues go on for months and possibly years with no resolution. And there you have it, one of the major reasons for the struggles that exist within the family business unit — unresolved disputes.
Disputes must not go on for long periods of time without some sort of decisive action being taken. Emotions have to be controlled if meaningful discussion is to take place. Decisions have to be “give and take.” Compromise must be sought.
That isn’t to imply that Dad should always give in to the son’s desires nor should the reverse be the case. Assistance provided by third-party, outside resource professionals also can be used by the business to help the management team sort out the options and arrive at a viable solution. Once a decision has been made, every family member and all other employees must be able to put sore feelings aside and sincerely implement the mutual decision.
At the end of the day, take a good, hard look at yourself in the mirror. Do you respect the judgment of the others on your team? Can you communicate calmly with your family members, or have you become a liability to the business?
Greg Booher is farm business and production management instructor at Lakeshore Technical College, Cleveland.
January 11, 2012
From shawanoleader.com: “Manufacturing classes get green light” – The Bonduel School Board on Monday approved six new high school courses, including one that will utilize a mobile technology lab, for the 2012-13 school year.
The Computer Integrated Manufacturing Mobile Lab is designed to engage students earlier in the field of manufacturing and is equipped with the latest computer manufacturing technology used at most foundries and other industries. It is sponsored by Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Bay Area Workforce Development Board, Wisconsin Job Center and Lakeshore Technical College.
“This technology is very expensive for a school to purchase and the lab provides districts a chance to give kids the opportunity to experience the different technology,” said Patrick Rau, high school principal.
Utilizing the 44-foot mobile lab will cost the district $5,000 per semester. Students will utilize equipment such as the Haas computer numerical control (CNC) lathe, Haas CNC mill, 13 computers and an interactive SMART board.
“It’s really a good deal when you consider that the technology in there is over $100,000 worth of equipment,” said Mark Weber, dean of trades and engineering technologies at NWTC. “The cost to (school districts) is basically going to recoup diesel fuel and lab aids, so we’re just trying to cover the operating costs to bring it to them.”
Established as electives in the technology department, the courses — CNC Fundamentals 1 and 2 — will be open to Bonduel upperclassmen. The courses will run for an entire year and earn students both high school and college credit.
The lab will accommodate two groups of 12 students for a four-hour session at the school.
“It’s always been a challenge to connect industry with the schools, and these are the same machines that are in industry today,” said Travis Schindel, BHS technology teacher. “It’s a great opportunity for our students. There’s money to be made in this type of career.”
Schindel will be the course’s instructor. He will work with a CNC lab aide who drives the lab to the school each week.
The board also approved a new Cutting Edge Technology course, which will emphasize how to effectively use computers and digital media technologies as tools to enhance learning and skill development.
Other new classes will be peer tutoring, zero-hour fitness, college readiness and technical math prep.
November 21, 2011
From sheboyganpress.com: “Editorial: Jobs are there; let’s get them filled” — We doubt that there is any one reason or any one area to place blame for the shortage of skilled workers in Wisconsin. But we do believe that everyone has to be part of the solution to the problem.
Gov. Scott Walker has spent a good amount of time traveling around the state in the last few months — including a stop here in Sheboygan a few weeks ago — talking with local business and industrial leaders about jobs.
The session at the Blue Harbor Resort and Conference Center in Sheboygan was pretty much a mirror image of similar sessions around the state: business and industry are having a hard time filling jobs because people lack the necessary skills to do the work.
The ManpowerGroup, which tracks employment trends across the country, confirmed this in a recent survey.
It found that the hardest jobs to fill in the United States are: skilled trades, engineers, information technology staff, teachers and machinists and machine operators.