From motoemag.com: “Wigwam partners with Lakeshore Technical College to Engage Youth In Manufacturing” — Wigwam Mills, Inc. recently partnered with Lakeshore Technical College (LTC) to participate in the Sheboygan Area Youth Apprenticeship program to get more graduating adults interested and involved in careers in manufacturing.

Youth Apprenticeships offer students in high school the opportunity to explore future careers while receiving school credit and pay for the work they are performing. The Youth Apprenticeship program is limited to high school juniors and seniors and covers a wide variety of job fields such as, Health, Finance, Hospitality, Culinary, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and Manufacturing.

In addition to requiring the students to work a minimum of 450 hours on the job, they are required to take one job related class each semester at either their high school, if available, or at LTC. The student will receive college credit for any classes taken at LTC and the cost of tuition and books is covered by a grant from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce and Development. Last year, the Sheboygan Area Youth Apprenticeship program placed approximately 65 students from 11 area high schools into various career opportunities with more than 30 area companies.

For the 2014-2015 school year, Wigwam has hired one student to participate in the Youth Apprenticeship program as a Knitting Mechanic. This student will work mainly 1st shift hours during the summer and then switch to partial afternoon hours during the school year. “Our hope,” said Jerry Vogel, President at Wigwam Mills Inc., “is that this student, as well as others involved in the Sheboygan Area Youth Apprenticeship program, will develop a renewed interest in manufacturing and look to Wigwam as a career choice after graduation.”

From htrnews.com: “LTC’s Rogers wins awards at horticulture event” — Lakeshore Technical College’s Horticulture Instructor Ray Rogers recently received several awards at the Show of Summer Horticulture event in Chicago. Rogers won three top horticulture awards, along with 12 blue ribbons for his plants, according to a press release.

Six Chicago-area garden clubs affiliated with the Garden Club of America presented the competitive flower show, Show of Summer, with the theme “Our Kind of Town” on June 21 and 22 at the Chicago Botanic Garden. One of the main purposes of the show was to educate visitors about horticulture, flower arranging and conservation. This year, participants were asked to interpret the theme “Our Kind of Town” throughout the displays. More than 100 members from dozens of GCA clubs around the country participated in the event.

All of Rogers’ plants were grown in the greenhouse on the Environmental Campus at LTC and were often incorporated into classroom instruction. Some also have been propagated as offerings at the LTC Horticulture Club’s plant sales held in late April and early May.

Rogers’ 10-year-old Deuterocohnia brevifolia, a relative of Spanish moss and pineapple, won both Best in Show and the Certificate of Excellence in Horticulture.

Rogers also produced and sowed the seeds for a hybrid Aloe. It won the Louise Agee Wrinkle Award for Propagation at the event.

From htrnews.com: “LTC a vital part of local educational mix” — The Lakeshore area features many unique educational opportunities. There are public and parochial schools, specialty schools, charter schools, two-year colleges and four-year universities.

Between now and June 8, hundreds of students of all ages will graduate from these institutions of learning, or at least advance to the next grade level. Many already have done so and have either begun searching for a job or are enjoying summer vacation — or both.

One area school is so unique that it required three separate graduation ceremonies to accommodate its students. Lakeshore Technical College in Cleveland held — on three separate dates — a “regular” college graduation ceremony, one for about 60 GED/HSED students and a banquet recognizing 29 students in the school’s apprenticeship program.

In apprenticeship 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.

LTC also offers unique programs unavailable at other schools in the area, including hazardous materials training, dairy herd management, nuclear technology and many others.

Studies have shown Lakeshore area schools are doing a good job in training young people for the next steps along their way. Test results are generally good at the grade school and high school levels, and opportunities for quality higher education abound.

LTC is an option more families are turning to as the costs of higher education skyrocket. The school has a solid track record of placing graduates in jobs, often exceeding 90 percent in certain fields. About 87 percent of the 550 graduates this year will find jobs in the Lakeshore area, a not insignificant number when many local employers complain of “brain drain” and a lack of skilled workers to fill their open positions.

Yet LTC often is overlooked during graduation season because its students don’t receive “real,” four-year degrees or gain the academic accolades other institutions often bestow. That is a mistake.

Hundreds of local employers and employees make solid contributions to the local economy because of past and present ties to LTC. Many of the school’s graduates are working in local jobs that likely would go unfilled without the influence of LTC and its programs.

We are thankful for all of the quality educational opportunities our area has to offer — from preschool to graduate school. It takes variety to provide this kind of quality, and we hope that Lakeshore Technical College is recognized as a vital player in that mix.

From htrnews.com: “LTC honors graduates during commencement events” – Lakeshore Technical College concluded three separate graduation ceremonies this week with a college ceremony, a GED/HSED ceremony and an apprenticeship banquet. With 87 percent of graduates traditionally remaining in the Lakeshore area to live and work, the nearly 550 graduates from these LTC programs will enrich their local communities with the skills and values learned during their time at LTC, according to a press release from the school.

The LTC Commencement ceremony was held at the Cleveland campus on Saturday. The GED/HSED ceremony occurred on Sunday with nearly 60 students completing their high school credential. Retiring General Education and Pre-College Dean Lynn Retzak was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award by LTC staff during the ceremony.

In Saturday’s ceremony, graduate Alex Booher, of Whitelaw, delivered remarks as the student speaker. Booher, a graduate of the Hotel and Hospitality program, talked about the motivation and passion needed to achieve dreams and the events that shaped his dream, the release stated.

Completing the graduation series was the apprenticeship banquet at Millhome in Kiel. Twenty-nine apprenticeship participants were recognized by keynote speaker Kari Krull, Career and Technical Education coordinator and Manitowoc County Youth Apprenticeship coordinator for the Manitowoc School District. The student speaker was Kyle Schisel of Manitowoc, a carpentry apprentice with Bartow Builders.

Also participating in the college graduation ceremony was keynote speaker Reggie Newson, secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

From htrnews.com: “District, college awarded grants” — MISHICOT – The Mishicot School District and Lakeshore Technical College were awarded grants from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development to develop or expand creative programs that prepare high school students for the workforce or post-secondary education through training in high-demand fields.

The investment is part of Governor Scott Walker’s Blueprint for Prosperity, a comprehensive agenda to provide tax relief and invest in worker training to move Wisconsin along a path to prosperity.

The Mishicot School District was awarded $87,384 to launch an initiative to further opportunities for students in the areas of manufacturing and welding.

LTC was awarded $32,064 for its CNA program, $19,444 for its hospitality program, and $13,629 for its safety program.

DWD’s Office of Skills Development is administering the grant program. The school-to-work programs will kick off during the 2014-15 academic year.

From htrnews.com: “Mini-choppers take shape at area schools” – By Phillip Bock – Motorcycles are taking shape in metal shop classrooms across Manitowoc County as students work toward a Friday deadline to complete their bikes in time for a late-April motorcycle show.

This year five schools are participating in the mini-chopper program, which provides students with real life experience and promotes careers in manufacturing as they build mini choppers as part of their academic curriculum. The project is a collaborative effort by the Economic Development Corporation of Manitowoc County, The Chamber of Manitowoc County, local high schools, Lakeshore Technical College, and sponsorship by area business.

“Some of the benefits of the mini-chopper program is that students get to work with area manufacturing and area businesses to not only design, but fabricate, construct, and stay within budget, a complete mini-chopper,” Ryan Zimmerman, a technical education instructor at Lincoln High School said.

Students at Lincoln are creating two mini-choppers this year, small-sized motorcycles that incorporate sponsorship logos into their designs. The students are creating one bike for Lincoln, which incorporates theschool’s colors and the iconic tower into the design, and a second bike for the Manitowoc Public School District.

“We figure out how we want it to look, paint colors and things like that,” Lincoln student Logan Newberg said. “This year we bent and cut the whole frame.”

Students start from scratch and first sketch out a design on paper or in a computer assisted design (CAD) program. At Lincoln, students first built a mock-up of the bike using plastic PVC piping before building the steel frame.

“The entire machine was challenging once they left the plastic design stage,” said Gerald Neuberger, a technical education instructor at Lincoln. “We practiced welding and cutting, but it just isn’t the same as when you have to get a perfect fit.”

McKinley gets in on design

Students at McKinley Academy in Manitowoc built their own bike this year — a first for the school. Without fabrication facilities on-site, students partnered with LTC welding instructor Mitchell Schmidt and used the college’s facilities to fabricate their bike.

“When we first started, the students said they wanted to be completely different and did not want it to look like a typical mini- chopper,” Schmidt said. “One thing they didn’t realize was how much work would go into finish it, but the more you struggle the more you learn.”

The McKinley bike is certainly unique. Students created single-sided axles for the front spoke and rear-swing arm, utilized a bicycle tire and golf cart wheel, and combined elements of dirt bikes, such as a kick-start, to give the bike a truly one-of-a-kind look.

“Originally the gas tank was not as big as we thought it would be, but we decided to leave it and I think it is looking pretty good with how it is turning out,” student Miles Schreiber said.

Students in Two Rivers, Valders and Mishicot are also creating bikes, which are set to be unveiled during an annual Northeastern Wisconsin Charity Motorcycle Show on April 25.

Production is completed under tight deadlines and, in addition to time management, students learn skills such as team work, budgeting, and engineering design.

“I enjoy being able to be a part of something bigger than myself and working with somebody to make a product that works,” Courtney Spangenberg, a senior at Lincoln, said.

Local manufacturing companies help fund the program, provide parts, and assist with other tasks, such as painting and chroming the bikes.

Students will be putting the finishing touches on their bikes over the next week as the unveiling deadline rapidly approaches.

“A lot of after-school hours have been spent getting this thing done,” Zimmerman said. “Getting things done on deadline was definitely a challenge this year.”

From htrnews.com: “Tech Education one key to future workforce” — Hundreds of job seekers attended a recent job fair hosted by Lakeshore Technical College in Cleveland. Just as telling, about 50 employers were registered.

Companies are recruiting for a mix of permanent and seasonal jobs, including full- and part-time. Many of the major employers in Manitowoc and Sheboygan counties were represented. Opportunities are there for the taking for those with the right skills.

Jobs are certain to be a key issue in this year’s gubernatorial election. The presumed Democratic nominee, Mary Burke, has criticized Gov. Scott Walker’s jobs plan as ineffective and scant on details. The state GOP, in turn, has criticized Burke’s record as state commerce secretary, and says her jobs plan lacks substance.

Democrats often point to Walker’s inability to meet a campaign goal of creating 250,000 new private sector jobs as evidence that his plan is not working.

Those seeking and creating jobs are more concerned about results than political rhetoric, however. Job seekers want good, well paying jobs, and employers want workers with skills to do the job. Key to meeting the needs of both job seekers and employers is identifying and developing those skills.

On today’s front page, our series on how technology is dramatically changing education continues with a focus on instruction after high school. Higher education is key to many competitive jobs in our high-tech world, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a four-year degree.

A 2012 report on Wisconsin workforce development quoted research by Georgetown University, which determined that up to 925,000 jobs would become available in Wisconsin in the decade ending in 2018, due to retirements and growth. An estimated 70 percent of those jobs will require less than a four-year degree, according to the study.

That makes schools like Lakeshore Technical College, which offers a variety of one- and two-year degree options, a major player in the jobs training scenario. In fact, many local manufacturers have open positions requiring the very skills that schools like LTC can teach in a one- or two-year period. There is a shortage of workers to fill these positions, that according to one LTC official can pay up to $60,000 annually.

Such training is beginning sooner with high schools in Manitowoc and Sheboygan counties having the opportunity to offer introductory manufacturing classes beginning next school year thanks to an Advanced Manufacturing Mobile Lab unveiled at Lakeshore Technical College recently.

Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch called the facility “opportunity on wheels” during a dedication ceremony.

The lab is one of many ways the school is seeking to prepare the workforce of the future. Experts predict future workers will be more tech savvy, highly trained in specific skills and better able to adapt to employer needs.

All of that requires the proper education, be it at the university or technical school level, but our education system faces other challenges.

Wisconsin is among the leaders in the country with its 90 percent high school graduation rates but that still leaves roughly 14,000 dropouts each year.

The problem does not end there, however. The state’s graduation rate at four-year higher education institutions is just 36 percent, and only 29 percent of those seeking associate degrees at two-year schools do so within three years. Many factors play into these numbers, but the bottom line is that a majority of post-secondary students don’t complete the course of study they embark upon.

That trend needs to reverse if employers are going to find the skilled help they need and if job seekers are available to fill those jobs.

Many students, before going the route of a four-year university education, would benefit from at least exploring two-year institutions like LTC, UW-Manitowoc or UW-Sheboygan. Cost (and resulting student debt) is a major factor in such decisions. Two-year schools are proven to be less expensive, particularly if housing costs are not a factor.

Education is key to a developed workforce and technology is key to education. Take the time to learn more about each, and use that knowledge to choose wisely the path most productive — for you and society as a whole.

From htrnews.com: “Lakeshore Technical College offers non-traditional occupation exploration classes” — CLEVELAND — Lakeshore Technical College will be offering the opportunity to explore non-traditional occupation opportunities through free, 16-hour exploration classes. NTO exploration classes are designed to give women the opportunity to experience “hands-on learning” in fields that have traditionally had few females in their ranks and that may offer higher pay and greater satisfaction. Four different exploration classes will be offered in the manufacturing field.

Introduction to Machine Tool Skills will be held from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. April 7, 14, 21 and 28 Participants will learn about career opportunities in the machine tool field, the terms and skills used in machine tool, workplace safety and tools, hands-on introduction to the operation of the following machines: drill press, milling machines, lathes, saws and CNC.

Introduction to Industrial Maintenance Skills will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. April 22 and 29 and May 6 and 13 Participants will learn about workplace safety and tools, the terms and skills used in industrial maintenance, career opportunities in the industrial maintenance field and an introduction to math, precision measurements, blueprint reading, hand and power tools, mechanical fasteners, pumps, PVC pipe and copper tubing, motor wiring and more.

Introduction to Industrial Electrical Studies will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. April 23 and 30 and May 7 and 14 Participants will learn about workplace safety and tools, the terms and skills used in industrial maintenance, career opportunities in the industrial maintenance field and an introduction to math, precision measurements, blueprint reading, hand and power tools, mechanical fasteners, pumps, PVC pipe and copper tubing, motor wiring and more.

Welding for Women will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. May 20 and 27 and May 21 and 28 Participants will learn about the terms and skills used in welding, workplace safety and tools, Gas metal arc welding, and oxyfuel/plasma cutting, fabricate a box or project of choice and career opportunities in the welding field.

Space is limited. Preregistration is required and may be completed at www.gotoltc.edu/nto or call LTC Sheboygan at (920) 208-5884 or LTC Manitowoc at (920) 683-2846 for more information.

From sheboyganpress.com: “Youth apprentices find positions with local companies” – Nick Steenwyk, of Sheboygan, is a computer aided design drafter in the bathing group for Kohler Company in Kohler. Like most CAD drafters, he performs tasks such as working with Creo software to create models and drawings of whirlpools.

Unlike most CAD drafters, Nick is currently a high school student at Sheboygan Christian High School. Through the youth apprenticeship program at Lakeshore Technical College, Steenwyk began working at Kohler Company.

“The best part of my YA experience has been working in a career field I’m interested in pursuing,” Steenwyck said in a news release. “Not only am I able to pick up skills and techniques that with be invaluable in years to come, my experience has been a tremendous help in determining a career field I want to enter.”

Steenwyk is not alone in Sheboygan County when it comes to Youth Apprenticeship. The Lakeshore Technical College Youth Apprenticeship program recently completed their annual Information Nights for high school students interested in the 2014-15 Youth Apprenticeship program. For the third consecutive year, the Sheboygan County Youth Apprenticeship program is seeing large increases in both student apprentices and employer participation.

Representatives from employers like Nemak, Rockline, Blue Harbor and Wigwam also are working with students.

Youth apprenticeship offers students the opportunity to explore future careers while they are still in high school and get paid for their time working at area employers. Youth apprenticeship offers one- and two-year programs in fields like health, hotel and hospitality, culinary, finance, mechanical design, welding and manufacturing.

The Sheboygan youth apprenticeship program has grown rapidly in the past few years, from 11 students in 2010-11 to 32 students in 2011-12. The program swelled to 68 students in the current school year. It’s expected that number will rise to 85 for next school year.

For more information on the LTC youth apprenticeship program, contact Jill Preissner at 920-693-1261 or jill.preissner@gotoltc.edu.

From sheboyganpress.com: “Traffic safety courses planned at LTC” — Lakeshore Technical College is offering two Tractor Safety for Youth courses that will address both tractor/farm implement safety and farm-related safety practices. The first session will be held on Saturdays, March 29 through April 26; the second session will be held May 17, June 9, June 11 and June 13. The class will be held at LTC’s Cleveland campus in the Agriculture and Energy Building.

The course is intended for youth ages 13 and older. It will prepare participants for successfully completing the Wisconsin written exam and tractor driving demonstration toward certification that permits 14-year-olds to drive on public roads and work for non-family farm operations.

The course meets child labor requirements in agriculture under the Fair Labor Standards Act pertaining to employment of youth ages 14 and older on farms not operated by their parents or guardians.

A parent or legal guardian must accompany the student for the first two hours of the first class. The fee is $139, which includes the book.

The registration deadline is 10 days prior to the first day of class. Class size is limited to 20 students, and early registration is encouraged. To register, call 1-888-468-6582, ext. 1366.

From postbulletin.com: “U of M, ISU students on top team at Midwest Dairy Challenge” — APPLETON, Wis. — Iowa State University and the University of Minnesota students were among the first place finishers in the Midwest Dairy Challenge.

The 10th annual Midwest Dairy Challenge attracted nearly 60 students from 13 college dairy programs to the event hosted by Fox Valley Technical College.

This is the first time Fox Valley Technical College hosted the event, which has been in Wisconsin three other times.

“The Dairy Challenge is such a positive experience for the college students involved, in developing analytical, teamwork, communication and dairy management skills,” said Kevin Rauchholz, event co-chairman and ag instructor at Fox Valley Technical College. “Students learn how to tie farm management decisions with economics, and it’s important to get students and industry together. Students make many good connections through Dairy Challenge.”

Dairy Challenge students work in teams to evaluate and provide recommendations for an operating dairy farm. Participants worked in mixed-university teams of four or five students and assessed all farm operations, including facilities, nutrition, financials, reproduction and animal health. Students collaborated on a 20-minute team presentation that detailed observations and suggestions to a panel of judges.

Host farms were Sugar Creek Farms, New London, and Country Aire Dairy of Greenleaf.

Participating universities and technical schools included Dordt College, Fox Valley Technical College, Iowa State University, Kansas State University, Lakeshore Technical College, University of Minnesota, Ohio State University, Purdue University, South Dakota State University, Southwest Technical College, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Wisconsin-Platteville and University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

Wisconsin dairy professionals presented educational seminars to help students prepare for their Dairy Challenge task and gain more real-world experience. Sessions were presented by:

Judges selected two teams as first place winners.

On Farm 1, team Cooperative Resources International was awarded first place. Team members were Jessie Hammerand, ISU; Jamie Pfaff, UW-River Falls; Andrew Plumski, University of Minnesota; Ryan Pralle, UW-Madison; and Heather Smith, Purdue.

On Farm 2, judges selected team Renaissance Nutrition for the top award. Individuals included Kristopher Boucher of Kansas State; Veronica Hilton, Purdue; Kristin Leiteritz, Lakeshore Technical College; Max Luchterhand, UW-Madison; and Kara Uhlenhake, Ohio State.

A complete list of Midwest Regional Dairy Challenge contest participants and their placing can be found at www.dairychallenge.org/mw_event.php.

From aspeninstitute.org: “2015 Eligible Community Colleges” — The Aspen Institute is pleased to name the following 150 community colleges eligible for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.  We recognize that there are many community colleges around the country that are employing innovative strategies and achieving excellent results for their students.  The bar for the Aspen Prize is intentionally set high in order to identify those institutions that have demonstrated exceptional levels of student success.

In a comprehensive review of the publicly available data, these 150 two-year institutions—from 37 states—have demonstrated strong outcomes considering three areas of student success:

  • student success in persistence, completion, and transfer;
  • consistent improvement in outcomes over time; and
  • equity in outcomes for students of all racial/ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.

To ensure full representation of the range and diversity of the sector, adjustments were applied with respect to mission, size, and minority representation.

Wisconsin

  • Chippewa Valley Technical College Eau Claire, WI
  • Lakeshore Technical College Cleveland, WI
  • Moraine Park Technical College Fond du Lac, WI
  • Northcentral Technical College Wausau, WI
  • Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College Shell Lake, WI

From htrnews.com: “Deadline approaching for LTC Top Tech nominations” – CLEVELAND — The deadline for Lakeshore Technical College’s Top Tech Award nominations is Jan. 31. The second annual awards recognize the top educators in career and technical education in Manitowoc and Sheboygan counties.

Four awards will be given to kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers, counselors or administrators who inspire innovation and work to promote career and technical education. The awards will be presented Feb. 20 at a reception at Lakeshore Culinary Institute in Sheboygan.

“This is a great opportunity for students, parents, colleagues and administrators to recognize a teacher who has made a difference in career and technical education at the high school level,” Sara Greenwood, LTC high school liaison coordinator, said in a news release. “The process is easy, and the recognition the winners receive is equally as satisfying as it is to the nominators.”

Nominees should demonstrate innovation in promotion of career and technical education, mentor and inspire students to uncover and pursue their career passions, and participate in outreach activities, according to the release.

Last year’s winners were Ron Schneider and Dave Teske from Kiel High School, representing Manitowoc County, and Ed Hughes of Sheboygan Falls High School, representing Sheboygan County.

For more information, contact Julie Mirecki at (920) 693-1193 or julie.mirecki@gotoltc.edu.

 From htrnews.com: “Finding a path: Area students take part in Career Expo” – CLEVELAND — Although the halls of Lakeshore Technical College are bare of college students this week, the classrooms are alive with the sound of high school students as sophomores forge paths toward careers after graduation.

Approximately 1,000 sophomores from highs schools across the county participated in a two-day Career Expo at Lakeshore Technical College. The career exploration program, which also continues today, was separated into three sections aimed at helping students find a career path suited to their interests.

“Today is a day that opens their horizons to look at many different facets of possible career choices,” Karen Szyman, executive director of The Chamber of Manitowoc County, said. “Hopefully it will get them on the path of thinking and choosing classes that are associated with those careers.”

The first section, a traditional career expo, allowed students to interact with 22 different business leaders in the community to discuss employment opportunities. Business leaders discussed skills needed for specific jobs and highlighted lesser-known careers students might be interested in.

“I think they look at a nursing home and think, ‘I’d have to be a nurse,’” said Tracy Miller, human resources director at Shady Lane Nursing Care Center. “I have to convince them there are many other areas. There are more things happening behind the scenes than just caring for the residents.”

Variety of ambitions

The approximately 500 sophomores at LTC on Thursday were mixed on their career ambitions. Some, such as sophomore Vanessa Bautista of Two Rivers, focused on a career, such as health care, while others, such as Autumn Conjurski, were not so sure.

“I would like to help people. I just have an interest in that,” Bautista said. “I’d always wanted to be a doctor to help people who were injured.”

Conjurski, also of Two Rivers, said she was considering a career in graphic design, but was looking at other options, too.

“I plan to help other people with my disability, autism, or be an animator or video game designer,” she said. “My brother plays a lot of video games and always asks me to make something. I always say, ‘sure, whenever I get the right skills to do it.’”

Her friend, Sheryl VanGinkel, was set on pursuing a career in the psychology field.

“I love the human brain and how people react with certain things,” she said.

The career fair provides benefits to both types of students, Heidi Soodsma, the finance and program manager for the Chamber, noted.

“The importance is career exploration for students,” she said. “For some, it is there first exposure to different career opportunities. A lot of schools do career planning, but this is an opportunity for students to talk directly to the experts in their field.”

Job interviews

In addition to the traditional career fair, human resource professionals were on-hand to educate students on employability skills, such as creating resumes or going to job interviews.

“Present a winning impression,” RaeAnn Thomas of Seek Careers Staffing in Manitowoc, told a classroom of students. “You are not the only one for a job interview, and you want to stand out.”

In other classrooms throughout LTC, students met with, and asked questions of, employees within their desired field. In total, 90 volunteers from local businesses attended the fair.

Eric Haban, a machinist at LDI Industries in Manitowoc, said the discussions provided students with valuable career information, but also allowed businesses direct access to potential future employees.

“We get a big pipeline of potential candidates into the welding and manufacturing field from this program,” Haban said. “I got a call out of the blue last year from a parent who said their kid watched our presentation and wanted to know more about industrial maintenance.”

Haban, who said he found his calling at the Career Fair years ago, returns every year to talk with students.

“I think what attracts me to come back every year is I remember sitting out here in 10th grade and thinking about the career options that were out here,” he said. “I want the students to know that manufacturing is thriving and is not a dying career. There are good opportunities to make a decent living in the skills area.”

Haban met with students, such as sophomore Sam Oswald, who said he was looking into a career in electrical engineering

“My dad works at Manitowoc Company, so I was checking that out,” Oswald said.

Organizers said they hoped the program inspired students to begin thinking now about their future career plans.

“Apply yourself now,” Jon Shambeau, an engineer at Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry, told a group of students. “Now is the time to do it, because other things will come at you way to fast. Today is the day.”

 

From htrnews.com: “Students will explore career interests” – Career Expo, hosted at Lakeshore Technical College, will be assisting more than 1,000 Manitowoc County high school sophomores in exploring future career interests while promoting the development of our future workforce.

This event is held in cooperation with the Manitowoc County public and private high schools, University of Wisconsin-Manitowoc, Lakeshore Technical College, Lakeland College and Silver Lake College of the Holy Family.

The high school sophomores will be involved in the following events:

• Career Exploration in 16 various Career Clusters

• Career Fair representing area Manitowoc County businesses

• Employability Skills Session

• Career Mapping Session

• Career Activities with their high school guidance counselors

Over 95 volunteers from across Manitowoc County will speak to students about their respective careers and opportunities for the future. The day program includes career presentations, employability workshops and a Career Fair.

At the Career Fair the students will be instructed to interview three representatives from the 22 businesses showcasing their career opportunities. The students will discuss potential careers, skills required in the field and the advantages and disadvantages of the careers.

The third workshop entitled “You, You, You” will focus on employability skills.

2014 Career Expo is being held Thursday and Friday beginning each day at 9 a.m. and concluding at 11:30 a.m.

It will be held at Lakeshore Technical College, 1290 North Ave., Cleveland. Career Expo will host Two Rivers, McKinley, Reedsville, Brillion, Kiel, Lutheran and Valders students on Thursday and Lincoln, Hilbert and Mishicot students on Friday.

From hispanicbusiness.com: “Lakeshore Technical College receives Department of Labor grant to train health care IT workers” –  Lakeshore Technical College (LTC) recently received a grant of$897,039 to enhance and expand career pathways for dislocated workers, veterans, and other adult learners, to build a skilled workforce in the information technology (IT) sector within health care. The grant is part of a larger $23.1 millioninvestment by the U.S. Department of Labor to Wisconsin’s 16 technical colleges to address emerging needs in the IT sector.

The announcement was made by LTC President Dr. Michael Lanser to kick off a presentation at LTC’s Cleveland campus onNovember 6 on Health Care and the Health Care Workforce in Wisconsin. LTC plans to use the grant dollars to establish three new programs which will combine health and information technology skills to create more career pathways.

The Health Information Management Program will be accessible completely online. The Health Information Technician Certificate will provide Information Technology students with the knowledge & skills needed to put their IT degree to work in a health care setting, while students pursuing clinical careers will have the opportunity to add an information technology certificate to their education credentials. The grant will also impact future Pharmacy Technician students who will work with a new, state-of-the-art Pharmacy software system. Students in these areas will be immersed in hands-on learning throughout these programs and will be issued a tablet computer for regular and ongoing use throughout their program.

“We are excited about these initiatives and we look forward to ensuring our future students graduate with the most relevant health care education to meet employer needs, ” said Lanser.

Judy Warmuth, Vice President-Workforce Development Wisconsin Hospital Association was the keynote speaker for the event. In her presentation, Warmuth expressed the need for having qualified individuals in these career fields.

“Health care will be a strong employment sector well into the future,” said Warmuth. “There are many, many kinds of jobs in health care and new ones will emerge and jobs in health information technology, care management and population health will be especially strong.”

Wisconsin’s technical colleges received one of the largest single awards from the Department of Labor’s investment, and the collaboration makes the technical college system one of the few applicants to receive back-to-back grants. In the previous round, LTC shared in an $18.3 million grant to expand innovative programs that produce high-skilled workers in advanced manufacturing.

From wisconsinagconnection.com: “Ag Business Export Training Sessions to be Held” – Food and agricultural companies can build an export plan in just three months by participating in the ExporTech training program. The course consists of three day-long sessions spaced one month apart, plus individualized assistance to develop a comprehensive export expansion strategy. Since 2010, this program has successfully helped about 75 Wisconsin businesses rapidly grow export revenue.

The sessions will be held at Lakeshore Technical College in Cleveland on November 21, December 12 and January 23. One-on-one coaching will be provided between sessions.

Session outcomes will include development of an executable export strategy, identification and removal of export obstacles, identification of ideal export markets and the creation of a practical international growth plan. Experts will provide insight into potential overseas markets, management of logistics, and how to best meet documentation and certification requirements. At the completion of the ExporTech program, participating companies will have the tools they need to begin or streamline their exporting effort.

ExporTech sessions are geared toward company leaders including owners, CEOs or other executives. Companies producing value-added products, grains, fruits, vegetables, ginseng, livestock genetics, wood products and more should consider attending.

The program is presented by the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

The cost is $5,000 per company, and scholarships are available to cover half of the cost. For more information, contact the WMEP at 262-442-8279.

 

From fox6now.com: “Gov. Scott Walker visits Lakeshore Tech. College on Wednesday” – Governor Scott Walker toured Lakeshore Technical College on Wednesday, November 6th to learn about their apprenticeship program and mobile training lab.  Lakeshore Technical College is hosting a two-week public open house of its facilities and lab to celebrate Manufacturing Month.

“Lakeshore Technical College is providing critical, high-quality training to students, employees, and high school teachers,” Governor Walker said.  “We need partners in the technical college system and business community to make our commitment to worker training a success.  Manufacturing Month was about more than just touring technical colleges and manufacturing companies. We wanted to take the opportunity to emphasize how a job in manufacturing is a great family-supporting career and one that is full of highly skilled and innovative workers.”

Lakeshore Technical College offers training to high school students, summer training for high school teachers, and assessments of workers’ skills and competencies.

Their mobile lab allows the college to provide on-site training in industrial maintenance and programmable logic controls.

The lab also helps high school students earn up to five credits in the electro-mechanical technology program; these credits help students enter the workforce quickly after graduation.

The fall legislative agenda includes additional investments in apprenticeship training, incentives for high school students who graduate with job ready credentials, and scholarships for students at technical colleges.

Additionally, the budget provided funding for career planning beginning in 6th grade.

Many times our students do not understand the potential a career in manufacturing can have for them.  These investments are part of our commitment to growing the manufacturing industry and ensuring our students are ready for a career as soon as they enter the workforce.

View video from fox6now.com

From greenbaypressgazette.com: “Thriving manufacturing sector shows it stuff at Expo” – The breadth and depth of Wisconsin’s manufacturing sector was on display at the Manufacturing First Expo & Conference.

Clintonville’s Specialized Products Ltd., Middleton’s Meridian Laboratory, Green Bay’s The Lake Companies and many others demonstrated why Wisconsin is the nation’s second-largest manufacturing state. More than 16 percent of the state’s economy is tied to manufacturing, and to hear business representatives tell it Thursday at the KI Convention Center in downtown Green Bay, business is good.

Gina Webster of Specialized Products said a statement that Wisconsin’s manufacturing sector grew 35 percent during the last four years seems right.

“That sounds pretty consistent with what we experienced,” she said. “This year has been down a little, but last year we had a fantastic year.”

The positive attitude among Wisconsin manufacturers also reflects a national trend. U.S. factory activity expanded in October at the fastest pace in 2½ years. Overseas demand and healthy U.S. auto sales appear to be supporting factory output. The housing recovery is also lifting the furniture and wood products industry despite a recent slowing in home sales.

The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index for October rose to 56.4 from 56.2 in September. A reading above 50 indicates growth.

U.S. factory activity has now risen at an increasingly fast pace for five straight months, according to the ISM’s index. In October, a measure of new orders rose slightly. And a gauge of production fell but remained at a high level. Factories added jobs, though more slowly than in September.

Factories also expanded in Europe this month, though at a slightly slower pace, according to surveys in that region. Manufacturing indexes have all picked up in China, Japan, and South Korea.

The overseas strength is boosting demand for U.S. factories. A measure of export orders jumped to its highest level in nearly a year and a half in October, the ISM report said.

Meridian Laboratory in Middleton is representative of many small Wisconsin businesses that do precision work for global distribution. A quarter of its rotary-electrical products go to Korea and 20 percent to Japan. It has a growing presence in China, and the rest goes to customers throughout the United States. The company has 11 employees. Most of them have been with the company for 20 years or more.

The company’s willingness to do small precision orders fills a niche, said Sven Krause, new business development manager.

“We are small, specialized and specific,” he said.

Specialized of Clintonville specializes in wire-harness assembly, electromechanical assemblies, soldering, mold production and prototyping, among other things. The company has 130 employees.

“Probably our biggest problem is we’ve grown so fast in 20 years,” Webster said.

For The Lake Companies, the challenge is finding workers with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software and manufacturing experience. The software services vendor has 35 employees.

“We have always been challenged at that,” said Karen Sikorski, senior account manager.

One solution has been to hire former employees of customers — they don’t go after current workers — or find people with ERP experience in other industries.

Sikorski said a number of their customers are expanding, adding either work areas or employees.

Creating new manufacturing workers was one theme of Thursday’s event. Northeast Wisconsin Technical College of Green Bay and Lakeshore Technical College of Cleveland were on-site with mobile training labs, and groups of high school students toured the exhibit hall, which had more than 130 vendors.

The mobile labs allow the college to expose high school students to up-to-date equipment.

“As you drive down to the high school level, the biggest challenge you have is facilities,” said Peter Thillman, dean of workforce and economic development at Lakeshore. “That’s the big thing, to get the equipment in their hands.”

Kevin Grabian, instructor for NWTC, said jobs are available to those who want and prepare for them.

“You can come out of TC with an electromechanical degree and have your pick,” he said. “You can’t be just an electrical guy or just a mechanical guy. They want both.”

The expo was sponsored by First Business Bank-Northeast, Insight magazine and NEW Manufacturing Alliance.

 

From fdlreporter.com: “Continuing education a must for Ag producers” – More and more, producers are seeking training to stay knowledgeable in the ever-evolving landscape that is the agriculture industry.

Lakeshore and Moraine Park Technical Colleges have been providing continuing education for adult agricultural producers for nearly 40 years. The Farm Business and Production Management Program provides training to emerging managers and seasoned producers in five different areas of continuing education.

A mainstay in Wisconsin agriculture, the program supports Wisconsin’s largest industry — agriculture. Each year, one of five individual courses is offered. The focus this fall/winter will include transferring the farm assets and management to the next generation, interpersonal skills, employee management and creating a safe farm working environment. The new program starts in late October and runs through the end of June 2014.

The Farm Safety section has been added to the course offering for this year. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which is part of the U.S. Department of Labor, recently began dairy farm inspections in Wisconsin. Our goal in teaching farm safety is to assist producers to make sure their farms are safe places to work and see that the dairy would pass an OSHA inspection.

As farms in eastern Wisconsin have grown so have the number of employees on these operations. When I started my career as a dairy herdsman in western Pennsylvania, farm employment was one of the least desirable jobs. Today, the work is not nearly as long and physical as it once was.

In fact, these positions are extremely complex and require professional staff with computer skills, mechanical ability, an understanding of livestock physiology, skills with people management, and a full understanding of business management.

In the future, opportunities in agriculture will certainly attract some of the best minds. These jobs range from $30,000 to over $75,000 per year. How many jobs in eastern Wisconsin pay in that range? Our youth will not have to leave their homes to seek great employment opportunities outside of the state.

Participants in the programs range in age from 18 to the late 50s with an average age of 30. Both men and women participate. Enrolling students are employees on large dairies, many are the sons and daughters of the owners of their businesses, some are from Hispanic backgrounds and some are agriculture business professionals. The average size dairy operation of those participating in the program is just over 300 cows and 500 acres.

Because the program is delivered in a variety of methods, participants tend to stay involved for many years. With the rapid change in technology, continuing education becomes a must if an agricultural company is to remain viable from one generation to another. The discussion groups meet at several venues in rural communities.

Farm tours are also part of the way the program is conducted. The classroom sessions are discussion-based and focus on the challenges faced on today’s farms. Classes meet 10 times through the winter months or about every other week at the Boltonville Fire Station, Regional DRR office in Plymouth, Moraine Park Campus in Fond du Lac and the Pizza Ranch in Waupun. The class time is a combination of lecture, discussion, problem solving and application of what has been delivered.

Enrolled students also can attend the cutting-edge seminar series. The Progressive Operators series include daylong seminars held at Lakeshore Technical College and are sponsored by the LTC Farm Business Program and the eastern Wisconsin Extension Service. The 2014 program will be titled “Would you work for you?”

Topics for the Dec. 6 program include business place culture, delegation, empowerment, the importance of standardizing procedures and employee training. Also on the first day, an immigration attorney will share the latest information related to congressional legislation and work visas. The Jan. 31 program will entertain human resource issues such as motivating, retaining and facilitating good communication in your business.

Greg Booher is a Farm Business & Production Management instructor at Lakeshore Technical College working in many counties in eastcentral Wisconsin. Contact him at (920) 960-0551 or emailhim at greg.booher@gotoltc.edu.

 

 

From iwantthenews.com: “Manufacturing Mobile Lab to visit High School” – Lakeshore Technical College will celebrate Wisconsin Manufacturing Month by conducting a two-week public tour of its Advanced Manufacturing Mobile Lab to local high schools and job centers in October.

Anyone interested in learning more about today’s high tech and high demand careers in manufacturing will have an opportunity to talk to LTC staff and participate in demonstrations of the same type of equipment that manufacturers use on a daily basis.

The Advanced Manufacturing Mobile Lab will visit Kiel High School on Oct. 24 from 3 to 5:30 p.m. and will also make six other stops in Manitowoc and Sheboygan counties in the last half of October for the public to learn more about today’s high tech and high demand careers in manufacturing.

From iwantthenews.com: “Amerequip earns regional youth award” — Amerequip,  a manufacturer of custom equipment for the lawn, landscape, agricultural and construction markets, will receive the Northeast Wisconsin Manufacturing Alliance’s Youth Apprenticeship Award at the Excellence in Manufacturing Partnership Awards on Wednesday, Oct. 30 at the KI Convention Center in Green Bay.

The award is one of several to be given out at the event, which will spotlight best practices of manufacturing/education partnerships throughout the New North region.

Amerequip has a long standing commitment to ongoing educational programs. in particular, Amerequip has been an active participant in several  innovative internship and apprenticeship programs offered through the State of Wisconsin and several of Wisconsin’s technical colleges.

Lakeshore Technical College nominated Amerequip for the award for its partnershp with the Sheboygan Youth Apprenticeship program, which provides training and job skills while students are in high school. The firm currently has five high school apprentice students training with them in the areas of welding, quality assurance, engineering, assembly and machining, with the goal of growing the program to 10 students  annually going through the Amerequip program. As a result of Amerequip’s lead in the YA program, other small local manufacturers have joined the effort, with 65 students now participating in the program.

From shoeboyganpress.com: “LTC offers active shooter, workplace violence seminars” – Lakeshore Technical College is offering seminars intended to help the public respond to incidents of school or workplace violence. Seminars will be held Oct. 16 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Nov. 14 from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. on the Cleveland campus in the Public Safety building.

The seminar will address school and workplace violence, with a major emphasis on the active shooter. Participants will learn how to respond to threats, what to expect from law enforcement’s response, what to teach children about the immediate actions to take when confronted by an active shooter and what plans businesses and citizens should have in place in case an incident occurs.

The seminar is designed for everyone, especially parents and those in the business and school community, according to a news release.

Instructor Jason Wilterdink, who has 15 years of experience as a law enforcement officer, is a full-time instructor at LTC, a master instructor in use of force and is certified by several organizations as a firearms instructor. He also has served as an instructor and expert witness in self-defense, training, safety, security, health, wellness and fitness.

Wilterdink also served in an international police mission for the United Nations where he served in Liberia as the team leader for the crowd control team and lead instructor for physical security, operational security and civil unrest in accordance with UN Security Council resolution 1509.

The cost of the seminar is $89. To register by phone with credit card, call 888-468-6582, ext. 1366.

 

From htrnews.com: “Lakeshore Technical College building expansion begins” – CLEVELAND — Lakeshore Technical College’s building expansion and renovation project, announced in late April, began when ground was broken on July 25. By expanding the college’s Flexible Training Arena and renovating the Trade and Industry building on the Cleveland campus, LTC will help fill local manufacturers’ pressing need for welders, machine tool and industrial maintenance workers while alleviating waiting lists, according to a news release from LTC.

The project will be completed in two phases, the first of which is expanding the 18,000-square-foot Flexible Training Arena to 32,400 square feet. Remodeling of the Trade and Industry building will begin in January. The project will allow for more graduates, and updated equipment will train workers with the machining, welding and robotic skills that manufacturers need.

“Thanks to the support of local business and individuals, we’ve been successful in raising enough private funds to break ground,” LTC President Michael Lanser said in the news release. “Our first additional class will graduate and be employment ready by August 2014.”

Nearly $900,000 has been raised thus far as part of the first capital campaign in the college’s 100-year history. LTC hopes to raise $2.1 million in private funds to help offset the $6.1 million project, and it now will broaden its reach to local communities for support.

“By collaborating with local business and philanthropic organizations to help fund the project, we are able to reduce public funding to the point of not requiring a referendum,” Lanser said. “It allows us to address our local manufacturers’ employment needs more quickly.”

A recent report from the U.S. Commerce Department shows Wisconsin ranks second among all states in manufacturing earnings. Manitowoc County derives 29 percent of all earnings from manufacturing. According to a report prepared for Gov. Scott Walker by former Bucyrus Erie CEO Tim Sullivan, the manufacturing worker shortage will reach a critical stage in 2018 as Wisconsin must fill 925,000 jobs, many of them in the skilled trade area, due to growth and baby boomer retirements. In the Lakeshore area alone, an annual average of 293 openings exists for machinists, welders, millwrights, industrial and maintenance mechanics, electricians and electromechanical workers.

LTC currently has capacity to provide an average of fewer than 100 graduates for those positions, and the lack of facilities further limits LTC’s ability to address the incumbent worker training needs of local manufacturers and creates waiting lists that thwart student interest, the news release states.

“We know that 87 percent of LTC grads live and work in the Lakeshore area,” Lanser said. “Our local manufacturers will benefit from that, and the family-supporting wages they pay to our first group of graduates will add nearly $9.5 million to the local economy in just five years. It may also attract new employers looking for a skilled workforce. It’s a great value.”

From htrnews.com: “Project Mini Chopper” – It’s hard to believe it has been six years since the inception of Project Mini Chopper.

What started as a casual conversation in 2007 among local employers about the impending worker shortage has grown into an exciting collaboration among The Chamber of Manitowoc County, the Economic Development Corporation of Manitowoc County, Lakeshore Technical College, Manitowoc County school districts and area businesses.

It has been said that the true legacy of a good idea is in its sustainability. Although the economic conditions have changed considerably since 2007, one thing remains the same today as it did six years ago: the concern of having an adequately skilled workforce to sustain the needs of area employers.

This concern makes Project Mini Chopper just as relevant today as it was during its planning stages.

So what is the risk: a worker shortage or a skills gap?

Both. We all know that manufacturing has evolved from its repetitive and often low-skilled roots, to a highly-skilled and technically-agile workforce able to think strategically, solve problems, and work as a team.

The brawn-powered processes of yesteryear are replaced with brain-powered 21st century manufacturing methods with innovative, creative and adaptive prowess.

Gone are the days that a high school diploma (or even the lack of one) is ample qualification for a “factory job,” where you were all but guaranteed a lifetime of employment at a livable wage.

Today, without a post-secondary credential (ranging from an occupational certificate to an advanced degree), career options are severely limited. More than ever, postsecondary training is necessary to acquire the skills necessary to thrive in today’s efficiency-driven manufacturing world.

Project Mini Chopper exists, and continues to flourish, because of the skills gap (the gap between the skills possessed by the workforce and the skills needed by manufacturers).

Its mission is to convey to our youth, parents, and community the importance of acquiring the technical and soft skills needed by area employers, in addition to promoting the challenging opportunities awaiting them in 21st Century manufacturing careers.

Last year, four area companies invested both time and money in the development of our future workforce by sponsoring a Project Mini Chopper team: HMF Finishing sponsoring Two Rivers, Miller Ag-Bag sponsoring Lincoln, LTC sponsoring Valders, and Manitowoc Motor Machining, Eis Implement Inc., School District of Mishicot and Dowco co-sponsoring Mishicot.

Sponsoring companies make more than just a financial investment in their high school team. A company liaison is designated to collaborate on all aspects of the bike, from design to final build, in the process providing valuable professional mentoring throughout the project.

As mentioned earlier, through interaction with the company, school instructor and project committee members students learn important technical skills (mechanical design, welding, painting, electro-mechanical, materials management and procurement, and quality control), as well as the increasingly-important soft skills and management skills (budget, project and time management, teamwork, safety, problem-solving and public speaking).

Thus, Project Mini Chopper provides a well-rounded learning experience that will benefit students regardless of their post-graduation career track.

If you are interested in investing in this project and our future workforce, please call The Chamber, (920) 684-5575.

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