From insightonmfg.com: “Collaborating on success: Colleges, businesses team up on new engineering technology degree” – by MaryBeth Matzek – Input and feedback from regional manufacturers played an integral role in an innovative education program rolling out this fall at 13 educational institutions in the New North.

Northeast Wisconsin Educational Resource Alliance, a consortium of New North schools, announced plans last year to create a regional bachelor’s degree program in engineering technology. The program allows students to enter at any of the NEW ERA schools and then finish up the program at University of Wisconsin campuses in Green Bay and Oshkosh. The degree program is the first of its kind in Wisconsin and fills an important void for employers.

“These are important skills manufacturers need to fill. We have jobs for students coming out with these degrees,” says Scott Kettler, general manager of Plexus’ manufacturing facilities in Neenah. “It’s been a great collaboration between educational institutions and businesses how they came together to address the need.”

Collaboration also was a must between the participating schools. Led by UW-Oshkosh Chancellor Richard Wells, who retires in August, Fox Valley Technical College President Susan May and other college leaders, NEW ERA members looked at the available offerings and worked together on creating the new program.

The three new bachelor’s degrees being offered are in electrical engineering technology, environmental engineering technology and mechanical engineering technology. The degrees were approved earlier this year by the UW Board of Regents and the Higher Learning Commission, opening the door to students to enroll in the program starting this fall. The degrees use programs and classes already in place at participating schools, which created new classes to fill in the gaps.

Employers helped craft the program by participating in listening sessions and advisory committees, says Greg Kleinheinz, associate dean of the College of Letters and Sciences and director of the Environmental Research and Innovation Center at UW-Oshkosh.

“We talked to them and listened to their needs. We worked with them on how to tailor the program and what it should include,” he says.

That kind of feedback is important, Kettler says. “Manufacturers were asked what kind of skills we were looking for and helped develop the curriculum,” he says. “That way, the students coming out will be right for what’s needed.”

The new program differs from current offerings in the New North, Kleinheinz adds. Engineering technicians are more hands-on than a traditional engineer who may be concerned with design, but have more in-depth studies, such as in management, than students who pursue an associate’s degree at a    local technical college.

Kleinheinz predicts there will be two types of students who enroll in the program: those already possessing an associate’s degree from a technical college who are out in the workforce and want to receive their bachelor’s degree; and a traditional student who may start the program at a local technical college or two-year UW school before finishing up in Oshkosh or Green Bay.

“In many cases, I’m guessing we’ll have students coming out of technical colleges with an associate’s degree, get a job and then the employer will help pay for this program so they can further their education and expand their skills,” he says. “It will be a win-win for employer and employee.”

While all program graduates will be in high demand, the ones with the environmental engineering technology degree will especially be sought after since that is a new and growing field, Kleinheinz says. A report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 14 percent increase in environmental engineering technology positions between 2010 and 2020. Students with that degree can find work in industries outside of manufacturing, including biotechnology, water and wastewater management and agribusiness.

In Wisconsin, only UW-Stout and the Milwaukee School of Engineering offer bachelor’s degrees in engineering technology.

“You’re taking that technical skills base and adding more analytical thinking and problem-solving skills,” Kettler says. “Those are all important skills to have in addition to that applied, hands-on education. It’s great we are able to develop and nurture these skills in the region.”

NEW ERA Members
In the new engineering technology program, students may enter at any of the 13 NEW ERA colleges including: College of the Menominee Nation, Fox Valley Technical College, Lakeshore Technical College, Moraine Park Technical College, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, University of Wisconsin Extension, UW-Fond du Lac, UW-Fox Valley, UW-Green Bay, UW-Manitowoc, UW-Marinette, UW-Oshkosh and UW-Sheboygan.

 

From mtlcraft.com: “Moraine Park Technical College is again offering CNC & Welding Boot Camps” – Moraine Park Technical College is combating the skilled worker shortage by launching manufacturing skills academies in a series of 15-week boot camps.

The next information/testing sessions are scheduled in August 2014 for Fall CNC Boot Camp at the Fond du Lac Campus and Welding Boot Camp at the Jackson Campus. Registration is required. Each session will include: Information, Tours, TABE Testing, and Mechanical Aptitude Testing.

From fdlreporter.com: “MPTC hosts cancer survivor beauty and support day” — Moraine Park Technical College is  hosting a Cancer Survivor Beauty and Support Day for cancer survivors.

The event will take place from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 10, at Techniques Salon and Spa at the Fond du Lac campus.

The day is part of a national effort to provide support and free pampering for cancer survivors.

Cosmetology students at Moraine Park will offer survivors services such as manicures, pedicures, facials, haircuts and scalp treatments. All cancer survivors are invited to attend, but appointments are required to guarantee service.

Each year thousands of salons, spas and cosmetology schools volunteer their time and services to cancer survivors across the nation. This is the third year MPTC cosmetology students have hosted the event.

From wiscnews.com: “RAHS seniors graduate college” — By Julie Belschner - Reedsburg Area High School seniors Maura Machovec, Terra Kauffman and Payton Legner have graduated from Middle College. A graduation ceremony was held May 13 at Madison Area Technical College-Reedsburg campus to honor their accomplishments in the healthcare track of the program.

Graduation ceremonies were held across the South Central Wisconsin region to honor 40 high school seniors from 12 school districts graduating from the healthcare and manufacturing program tracks. The graduates are now preparing for paid summer work-experience opportunities with local businesses as part of the Middle College program.

Founded in 2010, Middle College is a dual-credit career pathway program targeted toward high school juniors who are interested in advancing their education in targeted industry sectors. Students study concepts in healthcare or manufacturing during the regular school year at participating Madison Area Technical College or Moraine Park Technical College campuses. The program track allows for students to take college classes while they work to complete their high school graduation requirements. Students may earn up to 30 free college credits upon successful program completion and have the opportunity to participate in up to two paid work experiences with local companies as part of the program.

The program is administered by the Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin, which partners with technical colleges to provide technical college training and curriculum for the program. Upon enrollment into the Middle College, participating high school students achieve college status and enrollment with the technical college. The board collaborates with employers and employees in Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Jefferson, Marquette and Sauk counties to promote a healthy economy; it continually seeks innovative solutions to the economic challenges that face today’s workforce.

From kfiz.com: “Veterans service expanding with new entrance at MPTC” – Moraine Park Technical College has received a grant that will help fund a veteran’s representative at the Fond du Lac campus. Sally Ruback is the Enrollment Services Manager for MPTC. She says that representative will be located near their new entrance when it opens next January. She says there is a growing veteran’s population in the community and funding is available for them to continue their education so they needed someone near the entrance to fill them in on those opportunities.

With the new location will be an expanded students services area including an area for the new veteran’s representative.  She says the new entrance will be a great way for the college to show its support for veteran and students alike. Ground will be broken for the addition June 2nd with a targeted completion date of November 28th. 

 

From iwantthenews.com: “Students visit Miller Manufacturing” – New Holstein High School students enrolled in the Moraine Park Technical College Articulated Drafting class visited Miller Manufacturing of St. Nazianz on Thursday, May 8. Over the past three months students created 45 working drawings for the worldwide agricultural manufacturer.

The students’ drawings were being used to cut out metal parts on a CNC plasma torch. The tour started with a company introduction followed by a plant tour.

The first stop on the tour was a table full of parts waiting to get welded and painted. As they stood over the parts students realized that the blueprints underneath each part were the exact blueprints that they made in the classroom.

Students said they were excited to see that Miller was actually using their custom made blueprints on their manufacturing floor.

“This really brought itself full circle as we toured the rest of the plant and got to see how our drawings are going to help with Miller’s lean manufacturing approach,” teacher Ted Bonde said.

The tour ended and it was then the engineers’ turn. Drafting students were able to see how Miller’s drafting software is used to aid in manufacturing. Before they left, Miller paid back the students by handing out a T-shirt and meal for their work well done.

This relationship has helped these NHHS students grasp the real life application of their drafting software and its importance in the world of manufacturing.

Bonde said, “I would like to say thank you to Miller for the opportunity and support to help reiterate the importance of what we teach at the high school level.”

 

 

 

 

From fdlreporter.com: “North Fond du Lac and Moraine Park team up to help adult students with disabilities” — Hunter Develice of Fond du Lac has a dream of someday working as an animator for Walt Disney Studios.

The 19-year-old is looking forward to a career, but at the same time he is among a growing number of young adults with disability who need help transitioning into college life. Every day he deals with both the positive and negative aspects of autism.

“I want people to know that living with autism is just different,” he said. “When my brain works differently I have a hard time understanding things like jokes. I can get frustrated when there is too much information at one time.”

His mother, Laurie Develice, is a member of Fond du Lac County Community on Transitions and decided to bring up the lack of programming in the area for students like her son.

“These kids want to go on to post-secondary training but they need to be able to do certain things like identify themselves with a disability and advocate for themselves,” she said.

She caught the ear of board member Jana Weigandt, who serves as special education teacher and transition coordinator for the North Fond du Lac School District. The two visited Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in Green Bay to view a program run in cooperation with CESA 7. The program has grown significantly in seven years and serves 18- to 21-year-olds with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

“I instantly fell in love with the program and told our Superintendent Aaron Sadoff about it and he was all for it,” Weigandt said. “He said as a school district we will do whatever it takes to make this happen.”

Program start

Learning for Independence will be offered this fall at Moraine Park Technical College in conjunction with the North Fond du Lac School District. The program is designed for students who have completed four years of high school but need help bridging the gap from high school into the post-secondary educational setting or workforce.

The goal is to help students gain confidence and learn skills to better advocate for themselves, not only in a college setting but also in the community, said Laurie Develice. Very often students with disabilities end up with much higher unemployment rates.

“These kids need some help with social skills. This program acts as a bridge and gives kids an opportunity to be in that inclusive environment taught by adjunct professors” Laurie Develice said.

Bonnie Bauer, director of admissions at MPTC, said three non-credit classes will be offered each semester. The first courses will be self-determination, technology basics and personal safety. If enough students enroll, they can continue in the program the following year, she said.

“Students will benefit from being in an age-appropriate environment,” Bauer said. “I’m most excited that they will be able to participate in all student life activities and really get a feel for college.”

The North Fond du Lac School District will serve as the fiscal agent for the program.

School districts in Wisconsin are required to educate a student with disabilities until the age of 21, so the student’s school district will pay for the cost of the program, somewhere between $3,000 to $3,500. All students will receive a Chromebook. Between eight and 15 students are expected the first year.

Barb Zimmerman, retired transition coordinator for the Rosendale-Brandon School District, will serve as program director.

Looking forward

Hunter Develice has been taking independent study classes to learn Pro Cut X for video editing and computer classes. He completed an internship at Mercury Marine in the print shop and also works in the copy room at Fond du Lac High School. He works part time at Cartridge World.

“I hope to learn to get comfortable working at MPTC,” he said. “I look forward to learning more about animation and computers.”

Laurie Develice knows that new things can be a little scary for people with autism.

“It’s exciting to know that he will be in a supportive setting that will help him look forward to the future,” she said.

The Fond du Lac program is open to students in all Fond du Lac area school districts and is now accepting applications. Information is available through case managers at area school districts or from Debbie Ellingen, director of special education, or Jana Weigandt at the North Fond du Lac School District at (920) 929-3750.

From fdlreporter.com: “UW-FDL students launch campaign to eliminate plastic bottles” – By Sharon Roznik – A crowd-sourcing campaign at University of Wisconsin-Fond du Lac is aimed at helping the environment by cutting down on the use of plastic water bottles.

Students in Mike Winkler’s introduction to business class are pitching a campaign on the website Indiegogo to raise almost $1,000 for a water refill station to be installed in the university’s commons.

“This one water station has the potential to eliminate the use of up to 19,200 plastic water bottles a year,” Winkler said.

Indiegogo is a crowdfunding platform for nonprofits where people who want to raise money can create fundraising campaigns to tell their story, get the word out and find out what people are passionate about.

Through May 2, $211 has been raised for the project. Winkler says students need to raise a good portion of their goal in order to continue the campaign into next year. The long-range plan is to eventually replace all of the water fountains on campus — one in each building for a total of five — with refill stations.

Installation costs will be covered by facility staff or raised in a subsequent campaign. Donors of $50 or more will receive a reusable water bottle.

“If each person used one of these it would eliminate 800 bottles all by itself, so think about the power of these contributions,” Winkler said.

Eco-friendly

The idea came about when students were discussing bottled water and learned it is a product of the soda industry. Water bottles create about 55 billion waste bottles globally each year and class members decided they wanted to do something about it.

They also learned about gyre — plastic islands floating in the oceans that do not break down.

The Elkay Water Filling Station is three times faster than a standard drinking fountain, making it more convenient to fill up in between classes, said business student Brittany Riederer.

A little screen in the top corner of the machine tells users how many plastic water bottles have been saved by using the filling station. And the station will be mapped on wetap.org, a website and app that encourages awareness, access and use of public drinking fountains — reducing dependence on single-use plastic.

“The coolest part of all, I think, is that an electronic sensor provides a touchless, sanitary option,” Riederer said. “All you have to do is set your water bottle under the spout and it gives you chilled purified water.”

She said a college in Pennsylvania has installed 49 of the filling stations and more than 1.4 million bottles have been refilled so far.

Moraine Park Technical College already has water filling stations at the school, funded through student groups, Winkler said.

Changing mindsets

UW-Fond du Lac Dean and Chief Executive Officer John Short said the unique project is an example of how businesses can “create” demand, and how those discussions led to student involvement.

“Whether they will become a teacher, an accountant, a doctor or a scientist, our students need to understand how to creatively apply knowledge,” Short said. “They need to become entrepreneurs in the broadest sense. They need to look at ideas from new perspectives, they need to become comfortable with interdisciplinary thinking, and they need to become active citizens and change agents in their communities.”

Winkler says the project has taught his students a new entrepreneurial technique and crowdsource funding may become part of the curriculum in the future.

“This is all about change. People are likely to throw a bottle away and buy a bottle rather than refill one,” he said. “By changing the mindset, this is the first step to becoming a plastic free campus, and someday maybe the world.”

From fdlreporter.com: “Professional attire offered free to local collegians” — College students living on a budget now have an opportunity to dress the part when they apply for jobs.

The Revolving Career Closet will be open to all area college students two days only: From 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, March 31, and Tuesday, April 1, in Room 109 at Moraine Park Technical College.

The closet will offer free professional business attire to students who present a college identification card. Clothing such as suits and ties, sport coats, dress shirts, dresses, blazers, blouses and dress pants will be available in all sizes.

The innovative project was developed by five members of Leadership Fond du Lac, a community based program offered through the Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce.

The group timed the opening of the closet so students planning to attend MPTC’s April 16 Job Fair can dress appropriately. The fair runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Team member Patty Breister, a supervisor at Charter Communications, said the group was looking for a project that would benefit the community and identified there was a need for students in the area to dress more professionally when they went for job interviews.

Back in August 2013, the Leadership Fond du Lac team started brainstorming ideas and contacted key people at Marian University, MPTC and University of Wisconsin-Fond du Lac to find out how they group could reach out to students.

“We also spoke to area businesses and surveyed about 15-20 business leaders. They told us that this was definitely something that was needed,” Breister said. “Students need more education on how to come prepared for a job interview.”

More and more young people are applying for jobs dressed in casual jeans and T-shirts, Breister said. The group felt that if it could provide free dress clothes to students it would improve their chances of being hired and teach them how to better promote themselves.

Society Insurance loved the idea so much its employees held an internal clothing drive. Marian University also sponsored a clothing drive.

“We have a large room that is filling with donations — more each day,” Breister said.

Another team member, Caron Daugherty, dean of general education at MPTC, said although the “pop-up” closet will only be offered for two days the intent is to bring it back annually.

“Even people coming in for interviews at the college level, I have seen some not wearing the appropriate dress,” Daugherty said. “And it’s so important to make that first good impression.”

The plan is to have career counselors from the area colleges available at the Revolving Career Closet to counsel students on how they should dress.

“I have heard counselors say that you should dress one step above the position you are applying for. For example, if it is an entry level position, you should dress at the management level,” Daugherty said. “Even if it were a cook position, I would not wear jeans and a polo shirt.”

Mary Hatlen, academic advisor at Marian University, said the collaboration between the three campuses underscores what can be achieved when the focus is on helping all students down the road of success.

Next year Marian will host a job fair and the Revolving Career Closet.

“It takes a team effort to ensure the sustainability of this project moving forward and we are excited about that,” she said.

Other members of the Leadership Fond du Lac Team are Marcus Butts, CitizensFirst Credit Union; Travis Van Dyn Hoven, American Family Insurance; and Sue Toll, from Aurora HealthCare.

From marshfieldnewsherald.com: Fond du Lac job searchers enjoy diverse options” — FOND DU LAC — Job seekers are enjoying an uptick in employment opportunities in the Fond du Lac area.

Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce president and CEO Joe Reitemeier says the area is seeing a definite shift in momentum since the first quarter of the year.

“Coming out of the recession we were a little bit behind in gaining any traction in opportunities for employment,” Reitemeier said. “In recent months we’ve literally seen dozens of companies aggressively seeking new employees.”

While large manufacturers in the area — Mercury Marine and Alliance Laundry Systems — have undergone expansions and added to their employee base, Reitemeier says job opportunities are available across a wide spectrum including manufacturing, food service, agriculture production, financial services, insurance and health care.

“Virtually every kind of job is being marketed right now,” he said. “However, one piece consistent within all the job openings is the requirement for advanced skill sets. Those people who are available for work are going to have to come with a skill set that is desired by the employer.”

Top employers in the Fond du Lac area include Brunswick, Agnesian, Alliance Laundry Systems and the Fond du Lac School District.

Success story

Kondex Corp. in Lomira, which produces engineered cutting and high-wear components for the agriculture industry and beyond, has enjoyed job growth over the past year.

Since Kondex moved to its new plant in 2007, the company has grown its employee base by 50 percent — to 280 employees, said Mike Frydryk, vice president of human resources and organizational development.

The 2012 drought hampered plans for hiring last year.

“The drought had a lag effect on our business in 2013,” Frydryk explained. “However, as we plan ahead we do expect 2014 to bring continued growth from what we are expecting from our customer base.”

While Kondex offers entry-level positions in packaging and assembly starting at $10 and $11 an hour, the manufacturer also recruits for positions requiring specific capabilities, education and experience including machine operators, welders and engineers.

Wages

Reitemeier said most of the jobs available in the Fond du Lac area fall in the $11 to $13 an hour starting range.

“We’re not really talking about minimum wage positions but positions starting at a considerably higher level. But again, those jobs require skills,” he said.

Many companies offer on-the-job training programs while others provide tuition reimbursement for employees willing to seek additional training, Reitemeier said.

“Moraine Park Technical College offers a wealth of opportunities for developing specific skills in much of the employment arenas that we’re seeing. Oftentimes those programs are available to employees where the employer will actually pay for the instruction,” Reitemeier. “Advanced degrees at institutions like MPTC or a four-year college and experience are needed for the advanced positions being offered out there.”

Late last year, Fond du Lac’s unemployment rate was 5.4 percent, according to U.S. Department of Labor statistics released in December 2013.

“Even with a 5 percent unemployment rate we’re virtually experiencing full employment right now,” Reitemeier said. “We’re going to have to figure out creative ways to find the qualified applicants for the positions out there.”

From wiscnews.com: “Students team with BDACT” — Moraine Park Technical College students are given numerous opportunities to perform service learning projects. MPTC’s Meeting and Event Planning class, along with the Business Practicum class, offered assistance to Beaver Dam Area Community Theatre as it plans its 50th anniversary celebration.

Instructors Mary Vogl-Rauscher and Pam Zander met with Dave Saniter, managing director of BDACT, and Annette Kamps, board member and fundraising co-chair.

Zander’s Meeting and Event Planning class is assisting with the “Roots & Wings: A Golden Tribute to BDACT.” This celebration of talent will be showcased the weekends of April 25, 26 and 27 and May 2, 3 and 4. The students are working on website updates, posters, programs, themes and decorations for the event.

Performers who began their musical or theatrical careers at careers at BDACT will share their talents for this event.

Another service learning opportunity and collaboration activity is taking place with MPTC human resources student Priscilla Trevino. Trevino will coordinate numerous volunteers for theater projects. Trevino will secure volunteers to work the events, coordinate paperwork and information to orient the volunteers, and organize a fundraiser this year.

If interested in volunteering, help is needed with lights, sound, ushering, videography, photography, costumes, set building, set painting and decorating, house management, tickets, librarian, patron chair, afterglows and makeup. To volunteer contact Trevino at info@bdact.org

This collaboration gives students the opportunity to participate in a service learning project and to learn valuable skills that they will use in their careers — to provide an organization with assistance to meet organizational goals.

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 jsonline.com: “Mayville Engineering plans to expand, hire 100 workers” — Mayville Engineering Co. is planning to expand five of its plants in Wisconsin, resulting in 100 new manufacturing jobs, the company said Monday.

The expansion is the result of orders from existing customers as well as new work the company has landed, said Mayville marketing manager Brian Johnson.

Mayville Engineering Co., is an employee-owned firm based in the Dodge County community that shares its name. Mayville is about 55 miles northwest of Milwaukee.

Nationwide, the company employs about 2,000 people and generates more than $300 million in sales.

“We’re putting in some pretty significant equipment and we have to hire a bunch of people, so we’re trying to get the word out,” Johnson said.

“We’ve been successful at getting really good people in here and we’re in one of those situations right now where we need to get some more,” Johnson added. “It’s a good place to be.”

The new jobs will be primarily at the company’s two plants in Mayville, two plants in Beaver Dam and a plant in Wautoma. The company also has two plants in Neillsville in west-central Wisconsin, as well as plants in Michigan, Mississippi, South Carolina and Virginia.

“We have a number of new products that we are launching with some key customers in the agriculture, construction and power sports industries,” Johnson said.

Mayville Engineering specializes in making the parts used to build equipment ranging from large trucks to agricultural equipment to all-terrain vehicles. It does prototyping, production manufacturing, fabricating, tube forming, coating and assembly services in a variety of markets.

“We’re a key supply chain partner for a number of the large original equipment manufacturers,” Johnson said.

Company leaders realize they are hiring in a marketplace where demand is high for skilled labor. “That is something that we hear a lot,” Johnson said. “It’s no small challenge.”

The company’s position as an employee-owned business gives it an advantage when seeking to attract workers, he said.

“When they are looking at opportunities, we find that a lot of people are interested that they have a chance to earn stock in the company,” Johnson said. “That’s kind of a compelling advantage that we have.”

The company also has successfully entered into partnerships and apprenticeship programs with Moraine Park Technical College and Mayville High School.

The company is hiring for skilled manufacturing positions, including robotic and manual welders, laser operators, brake press operators, CNC machinists, punch press operators, tool and die makers, painters and material coordinators.

But the company also wants to hear from folks who might not have significant manufacturing experience. “Even if it’s not a long one, if they have a good work history that they can show us, we’re looking for good people who are going to fit into our culture,” Johnson said.

Growth and expansion at Mayville Engineering is an example of the positive part of what is proving to be an up-and-down performance of manufacturing in recent times. Manufacturing is a key sector of Wisconsin’s economy.

Diversification is key

“The recovery has been so uneven,” said David J. Ward, CEO of NorthStar Consulting Group, a private economic consulting and research firm in Madison. “There’s no pattern.

“We’ve had nothing out there that would say to manufacturers or anybody else, ‘Hey we’re on a roll,'” he said.

An important aspect for manufacturers is to have business across sectors, Ward said.

“Certain sectors are doing OK. Others, they’re not contracting or anything, they’re just kind of bumping along,” he said.

Having a diversity in business is exactly the strategy that Mayville has pursued.

“We really transcend a lot of different markets,” Johnson said. “So, if one market might be having a hard time, we have other markets that are growing.”

Job fair Dec. 7

Mayville Engineering will hold a job fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 7 at its Dodge County headquarters, 715 South St., Mayville, to recruit for manufacturing positions, including robotic and manual welders, laser operators, brake press operators, CNC machinists, punch press operators, tool and die makers, painters, and material coordinators.

 

From fdlreporter.com: “Moraine Park recognizes Ballweg’s efforts to gain additional financial aid” — Moraine Park Technical College recently recognized Wisconsin State Representative Joan Ballweg (R-Markesan) for her leadership efforts to secure an additional $2 million in financial aid funds for the Wisconsin Technical College System.

The funds will come from the Wisconsin Higher Education Grants (WHEG) programs and will be available to students during the 2013-15 school years. The additional funds allocated will help to compensate for the shortfall that left over 50,000 eligible students without financial aid.

“This is a great start, but we have a lot more to do to ensure that financial aid is available to eligible students,” Ballweg said. “I urge others to continue to stress the importance of financial aid and help others realize this is a smart investment.”

During the presentation, Richard Zimman, Moraine Park Technical College District Board chairperson, said that in the next decade 54 percent of Wisconsin’s jobs will require a technical education. “Wisconsin’s technical colleges are an essential asset for our state’s future,” Zimman said. “Moraine Park commends Representative Ballweg for her leadership in preparing our state for the future.”

Moraine Park Technical College was established in 1912 and is one of 16 technical college districts that make up the Wisconsin Technical College System. With campuses in Beaver Dam, Fond du Lac and West Bend, Moraine Park offers more than 100 associate of applied science degrees, technical diplomas, apprenticeships and certificates delivered in a variety of formats – classroom, online and blended.

 

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 wisbusiness.com: “World Championship Cheese Contest adds first female assistant chief judge” — Masters Gallery Foods, Inc. proudly announced that Sandy Toney was selected as the new Assistant Chief Judge for the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, the first woman to hold the position for the World Championship Cheese Contest since it began in 1957. Responsible for overseeing the contest, Assistant Chief Judges choose the technical expert judges and administer instructions for grading, cheese types and defects. “This is a terrific honor for Sandy. We couldn’t be happier for her,” said Jeff Gentine, the company’s co-owner and Executive Vice President. “She takes her craft very seriously, and it’s gratifying to see that recognized within our industry.”

Toney, Vice President of Corporate Quality and Product Development for Masters Gallery Foods, has been a licensed cheese grader for close to 20 years and has served as an expert technical judge for the U.S. Championship Cheese Contest and the World Championship Cheese Contest for nine years. She also serves on the FDA Advisory Board. Toney holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Silver Lake College and an associate degree in food science from Moraine Park Technical College. 

 

 

From wiscnews.com: “LBD class focuses on education” — In October, Leadership Beaver Dam class of 2013-2014 had its Education Day. They toured the Beaver Dam Middle School, High School and Moraine Park Technical College.

Presenters for the day included Superintendent Steve Vessey. He shared with LBD the importance of testing at the schools to determine students’ progress in order to maximize their opportunities to learn during the school year. He also told the group that evaluation of teachers and setting goals are important components for the school system learning process. In addition he shared the school’s concern for helping students achieve to their potential through advanced placement classes which students can take in order to receive college credits.

Later that morning Leadership Beaver Dam visited the Beaver Dam Middle School where they observed students responding to questions in a multi-media classroom with the use of a remote. LBD also visited the Read 180 lab, which works on reading development and comprehension. In the lab students meet in a small group, do independent reading and work with computers. One student commented that she enjoyed reading 180, because it had helped her increase her scores on reading tests.

LBD’s last stop at the middle school was in the library where we heard from Jenny Vinz the library media specialist and Beth Plier the reading specialist, who talked about how the school is using Barnes and Nobles’ digital reading device “The Nook” to help students with reading skills. Their work has been so successful, they will be presenting at a national education conference in Minnesota in November.

After the middle school tour, LBD went to the high school where they visited Trends class which teaches students about writing, filming, editing and directing videos that tell a story. They also looked in on an engineering class and an honors chemistry class. This year’s LBD class is impressed with the quality of education and the technology being used Beaver Dam’s public schools.

During lunch LBD heard from the principal of St. Stephen’s Elementary and Middle School, Roger Fenner. He told the group that St. Stephen’s School was established in 1886 and currently has nine teachers who work with their 144 students.

LBD finished the day at Moraine Park Technical College, where they toured the welding, Mercury Marine and nursing classrooms. Campus coordinator Karen Coley and Matt Hurtienne, dean of the Beaver Dam Campus, shared with the group that Moraine Park continues to revise their classes based on the needs of employers.

Before finishing the tour the LBD’s class also saw GED classrooms as well as a live time video conferencing room. MPTC’s instructor Mary Vogel-Rauscher shared her passion for preparing students at MPTC to enter the workforce.

Instructor for Leadership Beaver Dam, Kay Stellpfulg, finished off the afternoon by helping the group further process projects that the group will need to develop and carry out in the coming year.

 

From fdlreporter.com: “MPTC offers business workshops” — Moraine Park Technical College will offer several free entrepreneurship workshops and webinars this fall, open to anyone interested in learning more about business basics.

The workshops will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 21, at the Fond du Lac campus, and 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, Aug. 29, at the Beaver Dam campus.

During the workshop, participants will learn what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur, the anatomy of a business plan, the nuts and bolts of starting a business, types of business entities, regulations and requirements and available resources.

In addition to the entrepreneur workshop, Moraine Park offers classes for aspiring entrepreneurs and existing small business owners including exploring business ideas, conducting research for business, pre-business planning, opportunity analysis, writing a business plan, website design, money management, marketing and human resources.

 

From postcrescent.com: “Amerequip donates $10,000 to tech college” — KIEL — Amerequip, a manufacturer of custom equipment for the lawn, landscape, agricultural and construction markets, has donated $10,000 to Moraine Park Technical College Foundation’s Manufacturing Fund.

The fund is aimed at strengthening the appeal of manufacturing-related careers by offering manufacturing programs that reduce the transition time from degree to workforce, while providing manufacturers with direct access to students enrolled in those fields. It focuses on recruitment, retention and workforce readiness; offering students financial assistance as well as incentives to complete their degrees with performance based rewards.

Amerequip provides design and engineering services, along with production and manufacturing, of custom equipment for international and national customers in a variety of industries. The firm operates four Wisconsin facilities, with more than 155 employees.

 

From fdlreporter.com: “Tech Knowledge College puts kids in career fast lane” — Nearly 200 area middle school students got a glimpse into potential careers at Moraine Park Technical College’s Tech Knowledge College (TKC) held at the Fond du Lac campus.

During the three-day camp, Aug. 6-8, students enjoyed hands-on learning as they participated in course offerings from among almost 20 different sessions. There was something for everyone, and participants left TKC with new skills in a variety of areas, including movie making, yo-yo manufacturing, gourmet baking and hair techniques.

“The camp is great,” said Mohini Kumar of Fond du Lac.“I have learned a lot of new things and I love how the teachers let us use our imaginations and make whatever we want.”

Kumar’s projects had no shortage of imagination. During the Quick Breads course, a new session at TKC this year, she made scones filled with pineapple, cashews and cranberries. She also created a short film about a dance team with her group in the Movie Making session at MPTC.

Moraine Park has been hosting TKC for more than 20 years. Although sessions have changed to complement new and evolving technology, the purpose of the event has remained the same — to give students a chance to get a hands-on, interactive look at the skills and careers needed today and in the future.

 

From ozaukeepress.com: “Boot camps provide technical know how” — By Sarah McCraw – The success of a quickly growing internship program is boosting efforts to create a new generation of workers in the skilled trades industry.

John Crane Orion in Grafton, which manufactures hydrodynamic bearings used in high-speed rotating machinery, was the first company to partner with Moraine Park Technical College in Fond du Lac to launch Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Machining Boot Camps in fall 2012.

The program is designed to fast-track CNC machining education and help strengthen an industry few have entered recently, Kristy Reed, operations people development manager for John Crane Orion said. 

“In the future, more people are going to need more than a high school diploma but not necessarily a bachelor’s degree, so these types of certificate programs are filling the gap,” Reed said.

The boot camps are educating people about safe, clean and high-paying careers in skilled trades, breaking the stigma that manufacturing jobs are dirty and dangerous, Reed said.

The program provides students with 72 hours of internship experience that may lead to jobs at area manufacturing companies.

“I absolutely love this internship program, not only because it’s all accredited, but it really gives people three years of on-the-job training in just 16 weeks, so a huge learning curve is cut right there,” Reed said.

The boot camp is also setting a base standard of knowledge for CNC machinists, ending the reputation that they are niche positions within a single company, Reed said.

Businesses are certainly taking note of the level of performance from interns, Anne Lemke, economic and workforce development project manager at Moraine Park Technical College said.

“We’ve had really good feedback on the boot camp from the employers,” Lemke said. “It’s not just about the skilled labor of working the CNC machine. We need people who can work well, can listen well and have problem-solving skills.”

Lemke said John Crane Orion is one of three companies in Ozaukee County accepting interns for the 15-week program.

Students spend one day at an internship and four days in class doing lab work on equipment that is identical to that on shop floors.

“The program is 75% hands-on learning,” Reed said.

Terese Cordova of Jackson is finishing an internship through the boot camp at John Crane Orion, where she is learning how to make hydro-dynamic bearings and seals used in oil and gas-powered generators.

“Being here is really good for me because I can take what I’ve learned in the lab and see it applied in an actual manufacturing environment,” Cordova said.

Lemke said the biggest challenge has been finding people to participate in the program.

Students must pass a basic education, aptitude for learning, spacial recognition and mechanical aptitude tests to be accepted into the program.

“We have more employers waiting for an intern than we have students to fill the positions,” Lemke said.

Experience has shown that students who complete the programs are likely to secure a job, she said.

Of 28 people who completed the program last school year, 22 were hired by area companies, Lemke said.

“Students are so grateful for the opportunity,” she said. “A lot of people are unemployed because they’ve lost their job. This is giving them a great opportunity.

“We’ve also gotten a lot of compliments from the employers who have worked with us that our students are more skilled for the positions.”

Reed said interns at John Crane Orion handle a variety of jobs to get a full understanding of the production process.

Nick Schmidt of Grafton was hired by John Crane Orion in 2011 after he completed a similar boot camp through Waukesha County Technical College.

Schmidt said he was under-employed prior to going through the program.

“You get to learn the machining right away. You don’t have to learn all the little programs and stuff like that,” he said. “You learn how to actually make the part instead of trying to figure out what the machine is trying to do.”

A three-year, $705,000 grant from the Wisconsin Covenant Foundation provides funding for the program, Lemke said.

Students pay $500 for the boot camp, but $375 is reimbursed if they complete the course with a C grade or above and meet the 98% attendance rate.

“We tell students that CNC companies are constantly looking for help so the job security is there for you and you can take that wherever you want to go,” Lemke said.

 

From fdlreporter.com: “MPTC offers business workshops” — Moraine Park Technical College will offer several free entrepreneurship workshops and webinars this fall, open to anyone interested in learning more about business basics.

The workshops will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 21, at the Fond du Lac campus, and 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, Aug. 29, at the Beaver Dam campus.

During the workshop, participants will learn what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur, the anatomy of a business plan, the nuts and bolts of starting a business, types of business entities, regulations and requirements and available resources.

In addition to the entrepreneur workshop, Moraine Park offers classes for aspiring entrepreneurs and existing small business owners including exploring business ideas, conducting research for business, pre-business planning, opportunity analysis, writing a business plan, website design, money management, marketing and human resources.

More information is available at morainepark.edu/smallbusiness.

From biztimes.com: “Employers are picking off skilled students before they graduate” — One of the issues for Pete Rettler and the West Bend campus of Moraine Park Technical College (MPTC) is keeping students through the end of their education programs.

The market is so hot for the skills offered that the students are picked off by employers before they graduate. That’s true for the electricity program, and it’s also true for the CNC/Tool and Die Technologies program.

“Demand is so high (for CNC) that we have a hard time keeping them in the program,” Rettler said.

The CNC (computer numerical control) trainees are often hired at the end of the first year of a two-year program, so Rettler, administrator of the campus, has to try to convince the employers that it’s worthwhile to have the students complete the second year, even if they are working at the same time.

There has been a ton of debate and analysis about the “skills gap” in Wisconsin. The major conclusion of the most recent high-level analysis was that a shortage of high-skill jobs in the state’s most dynamic economic clusters is a major strategic concern. Skill shortages in those sectors, like advanced manufacturing, can hold back the growth the state’s economy.

The Be Bold 2 study conducted last year by Competitive Wisconsin and The Manpower Group showed that one in ten jobs in key economic sectors cannot currently be filled. The projection was based on previous trends for retirements and training. These sectors include critical skill areas such as accounting and finance, IT, mechanical engineering, nursing and related fields, and metal manufacturing. Within a decade, their report said, key industries that now account for over 50 percent of Wisconsin’s GDP will be looking for 60,000 more skilled workers than will be available.

By 2016, for example, metal manufacturing will be short 7,100 jobs and nursing 5,200. By 2021, the shortages grow to about 13,000 each.

Conversely, though, if those jobs, call them the tip of the economic spear, can be filled, Wisconsin should be able to move out of the stagnation of the last decade. Rettler would say that is exactly what the MPTC campuses are doing. For instance:

  • Its CNC classes are full, with the students coming right out of high school or being sent there by employers. Wages for graduates range from about $29,000 to $65,000 or more. Not bad for getting started. Not bad compared with what a lot of four-year graduates make out of college. More than 60 students are now enrolled.
  • It offers welding at three of its campuses and also runs a series of 15-week boot camps that include advanced welding and fabrication. Classes are eight hours daily. That should quiet critics who complain about the short supply of welders.
  • It offers a high-tech simulation room where the plastic patients give nursing students a chance to do hands-on work. One of the dummies simulates giving birth. The two-year West Bend nursing graduates have been scoring the highest in the state on licensing exams.
  • Beyond electricity, an addition on the West Bend facility is now home to a broad program in building trades and HVACR (heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration). Equipment is up to date. Again, the college can’t keep up with the demand as the construction industry picks up steam in the recovery.

Rettler loves showing off the high-end technology at the West Bend campus, which now rivals the headquarters Fond du Lac campus for numbers of students. He knows that if he can get students to just take a tour and learn about the wages available in the market – right now – he has a good chance of landing them for his programs.

He is working on parents and guidance counselors to visit, too, because they often don’t understand the high level of demand and wages for the kinds of skills MPTC offers.

From prweb.com: “Apache partners with Moraine College to develop skilled trades” — Moraine Park Technical College in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, is helping to develop skilled worker assets in the area by offering Welding Boot Camps. These Boot Camps are entry-level welding courses with on-site welding practice and supervision at Apache. The Boot Camps are part of the manufacturing skills academies funded by the Wisconsin Covenant Foundation and the Department of Labor TAA CCCT Grant. The program helps build a skilled welder pool for area manufacturers, including Apache.

During the program, students are required to complete eight hours per week of welding practice which is conducted at Apache under supervision of Apache’s welding mentors and floor supervisor as well as the instructor. Apache was proud to host several students last month in the Boot Camp Welding Program.

The on-site hands-on welding at Apache helps the students experience a real manufacturing environment with access to different types of equipment, different shapes and thicknesses of stainless steel and TIG welding processes.

A large part of the tuition is funded by the grant, with a small investment from the student. The student investment is refunded if they are selected for an internship.

With an ASME rated welding team, Apache continually promotes training and education in welding, fabrication and over-all manufacturing.

Founded in 1975, Apache Stainless Equipment Corporation consists of five groups: Large Tanks, Portable Vessels, Contract Manufacturing, Carbon Steel and Mepaco. The Mepaco group manufactures food processing equipment. Apache is an employee-owned company and a subsidiary of Dexter Apache Holdings, Inc.

From blog.morainepark.edu: “Moraine Park hosts Engineering for Girls camp” — Twelve girls from the Fond du Lac area proudly showed off their new engineering skills, learned at Moraine Park Technical College’s first Engineering for Girls camp, to parents and friends on Thursday, June 27, for their final presentation.

Elizabeth Hankins of West Bend (left) and Katherine Behlke of Fond du Lac (right) work together to program and test their robot before the final presentation to parents. Hankins and Behlke were part of Moraine Park’s Engineering for Girls four-day camp held the week of June 24

Elizabeth Hankins of West Bend (left) and Katherine Behlke of Fond du Lac (right) work together to program and test their robot before the final presentation to parents. Hankins and Behlke were part of Moraine Park’s Engineering for Girls four-day camp held the week of June 24.
The four-day camp introduced participants entering grades 6-8 to mechanical, robotic and program engineering by having them work in two-person teams to build and program their robots to complete a variety of challenges.
Craig Habeck, mechatronics instructor at Moraine Park, and three female engineers from John Deere, were there to help the girls troubleshoot issues with their robots and teach them more about engineering.

“The event has been very successful,” Habeck said. “The students participating are very interested in the subject. I am impressed with their motivation to complete the challenges.”

One of the participants, Claire Werch of Berlin, said the camp was the first time she had done any programming.

“I really like programming the robots,” Werch said. “It is really exciting when you get it right and see them do the things they’re supposed to do.”

Amy Nipp, performance and reliability engineering intern at John Deere, said this event is a great way for the girls to get exposure to the field and open up opportunities for their future.

“I went to a camp like this when I was younger, and it really encouraged me to pursue a degree in engineering,” Nipp said. “This is the perfect age group for the girls to get exposure to the different programs they can pursue.”

Moraine Park plans we plan to continue offering the Engineering for Girls camp in the future.  For more information, contact Kathy Hass, trades and manufacturing administrative assistant, at 920-924-6436 or khass@morainepark.edu.

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