From gmtoday.com: “$1.7 million grant slashes wait lists for popular WCTC programs” — PEWAUKEE – Waukesha County Technical College will now be able to slash wait lists and offer more class sections, thanks to a grant from the Wisconsin Fast Forward program.

Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch was on hand at WCTC’s Industrial building Wednesday to present the technical college with a $1.7 million award, which will be used to help train students for high-demand positions.

“There is a skills gap in Wisconsin and WCTC seeks every day to build a bridge over that skills gap – today you have some construction money,” Kleefisch said. “It is through investments like these that Wisconsin will address the skills gap today and in the years to come.”

The Fast Forward program is part of the Blueprint for Prosperity initiative which Gov. Scott Walker signed into law last year. In total, $35.4 million will be allocated by Fast Forward into worker training programs focusing on reducing wait lists, collaborative projects between high schools and colleges, and enhancing employment opportunities for disabled workers.

These grant dollars will significantly impact the journey of our students pursuing high-demand programs … and in turn benefit our local economy,” WCTC Interim President Kaylen Betzig said. “We are pleased and honored that the governor recognizes WCTC’s work as an important and valuable investment.”

The grant will be administered by the Department of Workforce Development and will go toward training as many as 168 students in the fields of welding, computer numerical control (CNC), transportation and early childhood education.

Betzig said that the funds will not only permit more students to enter these high-demand programs, but will also go toward hiring more professors and purchasing more supplies and equipment for student use.

“It is huge,” she said. “We have lots of programs – yes we can shift money – but other programs have needs too. It takes resources in order to do this and it takes resources in order to expand and offer more sections so we can get more people into the funnel.”

From bizjournals.com: “Waukesha County Technical College seeking on-campus banking branch” – by Alison Bauter – A 2009 poll told the Waukesha County Technical College that 69 percent of students would use an on-campus bank. Now, the school is seeking proposals for a full-service branch on its Pewaukee campus.

The college is looking for a banking branch that provides personal banking services, including online banking, and also links to campus ID cards, which act like debit cards.

WCTC would locate the branch in a 14-by-7-foot space inside “The Hub,” its staff and student dining area at 800 Main Street in Pewaukee.

According to a request for proposals, WCTC currently has more than 27,000 students that come to the Pewaukee campus each year. It has approximately 1,250 employees.

From biztimes.com: “DWD awards grants to Gateway and Waukesha County Technical Colleges” – Gateway Technical College has received nearly $1.9 million in Wisconsin Fast Forward grant funding, while Waukesha County Technical College has been allocated close to $1.7 million, Wisconsin’s Department of Workforce Development announced today.

The two technical colleges were awarded portions of a grant initiative totaling more than $28 million that Gov. Scott Walker announced last week.

According to Walker’s announcement, Wisconsin is distributing more than $28 million in Wisconsin Fast Forward grants to the Wisconsin Technical College System to train more than 4,900 workers.

That system encompasses 16 schools, including Gateway Technical College in Kenosha and Waukesha County Technical College in Pewaukee.

At Gateway Technical College, grant dollars will support the training of a maximum 756 workers in several “high-demand areas,” the DWD said. Those areas touch disciplines in manufacturing, business management, apprenticeship, education, health care and more.

At Waukesha County Technical College, up to 168 workers will benefit from grant dollars. Workers will be trained for careers in manufacturing, education and human services, and applied science fields.

Transportation, distribution and logistics training will also be covered under the grants.

“These grant dollars will significantly impact the journey of our students pursuing high-demand programs such as welding, computer numerical control (CNC), early childhood education and transportation, and in turn benefit our local economy,” said Kaylen Betzig, interim president of Waukesha County Technical College. “We are pleased and honored that the governor recognizes WCTC’s work as an important and valuable investment.”

From gmtoday.com: “WCTC to offer program for high-in-demand careers” — PEWAUKEE – Waukesha County Technical College will offer a new program this fall with training opportunities for high-in-demand careers in information technology.

The Network Enterprise Administrator-INTERFACE Accelerated Pathway program is designed for veterans, their spouses and students eligible for Trade Adjustment Assistance programs, Workforce Investment Act programs, and Workforce Development Vocational Rehabilitation programs. It will also be offered to unemployed individuals and qualified adults seeking the next career step.

The program could potentially help fill the skills gap by offering a special pathway for network enterprise administrator-cyber security education, according to a WCTC press release.

Network enterprise administrators are responsible for the day-to-day operations and security of computer networks that are a critical part of almost every organization, and the program will provide students with the skills and experience to support current industry technology implementations.

The program will consist of multiple credential opportunities in certificate form, including enterprise support technician, IT network support specialist, storage and virtualization administrator, and IT security administrator – all leading toward the final credential, the technical diploma.

“The program’s greatest benefits lie in the additional services of in-class tutors to support students throughout the accelerated/hybrid courses, and the four semesters of work-based service learning projects integrated into the curriculum,” said Danielle Hoffman, WCTC’s IT skills and placement coordinator.

“Embedded industry-recognized certificates earned each semester lead to possible job opportunities. Combined with enhanced job search assistance, we expect many students will be working in their chosen field well before graduation.”

Hoffman said INTERFACE is a two-year program and students will earn the certificates along the way, one certificate for each semester. She said the program is designed for students to complete all four semesters, but expects some students will find careers after receiving certificates in their desired field.

The program is funded through the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant program, which provided a $23.1 million grant to be shared among Wisconsin’s 16 technical colleges.

From livinglakecountry.com: “Playhouse provides opportunities for MHS students” — Building trades students at Mukwonago High School had a wealth of experience outside of the classroom this year. The team focused the beginning of the year on completing the School-to-Work house Fox River View subdivision, which sold this spring. This semester, the group worked on the playhouse/garden shed, which residents might have seen traveling around the area in recent weeks.

Associate Principal, School-to-work coordinator and Rotarian Mark Blodgett has been a key liaison in having the Mukwonago Rotary Club sponsor these opportunities for students.

“After we built our first (School-to-Work) house during the 1999-2000 school year, the instructor and I were trying to come up with some project ideas for the class to do during the ‘off’ year of house building,” Blodgett recalled. ” I had just been to the Metropolitan Home Builders Show in downtown Milwaukee, where a handful of contractors had built playhouses to be auctioned off. I took the idea to the (Rotary) Club, and it has become our biggest fund raiser.”

The building trades class is a one-year, two-hour-per-day course that allows students to earn two high school credits and fits within the Waukesha County Technical College program so students also earn four credits toward WCTC’s construction program. This year 14 students took advantage of the program.

“The benefit to our students is that both the house and playhouse projects help them meet the WCTC competencies in knowledge and skills sets to get them college- and career-ready for after high school,” Blodgett said.

The playhouse project has students start construction at the start of the new semester in January. It uses about $2,400 worth of material that is purchased largely thanks to community contributions. The playhouse is 10 feet square and could also be used as a garden shed.

The Rotary Club sells raffle tickets to raise money to offset remaining costs and put more seed money into future to School-to-Work projects to offer future students the same opportunity.

Rotarian Rick Debe helps to coordinate Rotary members each weekend from Palm Sunday to mid-June to sell those raffle tickets for the playhouse.

“Two of the key components of Rotary International’s mission is vocational service and education. This project touches both and instills both pride and confidence in young men and women,” Debe said. “We know that not all students will embark in a career in the trades, but we are certain they will use these skills as adults as they move through their life with homes and families.”

This year’s drawing will be June 12. Tickets will be available next weekend, May 31 and June 1 at Pick ‘n Save from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. The last opportunity to get tickets will be at Maxwell Street Days on June 7 and 8.

 

From wisopinion.com: “A vision for 21st century tech colleges” – By Rebecca Kleefisch – We should celebrate our sons and daughters who become nursing assistants and machinists just as much as those who become lawyers and doctors. That was my message this weekend at Waukesha County Technical College’s commencement ceremony, when hundreds of students walked across the stage and stepped into new careers and new opportunities.

Governor Walker said the same thing this past January in his State of the State address. He and I know that the twin drivers of our state’s economy are manufacturing and agriculture. Both of those industries rely heavily on technical colleges for expertise and employees. A strong Wisconsin economy needs strong tech colleges in every part of the state, staffed by top-notch teachers and filled with cutting-edge technology. Our tech colleges are a good investment for students, a good partner for employers, and a good value for taxpayers.

The students graduating from WCTC are entering into careers offering the promise of prosperity. An associate’s degree graduate in Aircraft Electronics can get jobs with a starting salary of $47,000. A one-year technical diploma in brick-laying and masonry leads to jobs with a median starting salary of almost $43,000. A dental hygiene grad starts with a salary just shy of $50,000. In fact, for the past 15 years, the tech colleges have placed at least 86 percent of their graduates into jobs within six months of graduation. In other words, tech colleges are equipping our workers with the skills they need to get the high-paying jobs they want and the economy offers.

One reason these jobs pay so well is because our Wisconsin employers are actively searching for employees with the skills and experience to fill jobs across our economy, especially in our agriculture, health care, and manufacturing sectors. It’s vitally important that technical colleges gear their services to the jobs available in their communities today and in the future. That’s why I was so impressed by the Fab Lab at Gateway Tech, for instance, which offers itself as a resource to students, faculty, and local manufacturers to try new ideas and products.

Tech colleges need to stay connected to both the community and to the state as a whole. The Governor’s Blueprint for Prosperity, which invested the state’s $911 million surplus, included $406 million in property tax relief through the tech colleges. At Madison Area Technical College, for instance, state funding jumped from 10 percent to nearly half of MATC’s budget. With the property tax caps in place, that will drop MATC’s local tax levy by almost half, saving the owner of an average Madison home about $200.

We need to continue investing in our technical colleges because of the crucial role they play in our communities and our economy. For instance, given all the technical advances discovered by our tech college staff and students, I’d like to see new programs that help commercialize these innovations as new products and processes for use in business.

My address at WCTC on Saturday was my 37th stop at a technical college since taking office. All those visits reflect the high priority that Governor Walker and I place on our tech colleges. Commencement provides each of us, as friends, family, and neighbors of the graduates, an opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments and to appreciate their new careers building a stronger Wisconsin.

From gmtoday.com: “Learning to swim with the sharks” — WAUKESHA – It’s a common question asked of start-up owners: Will you go on “Shark Tank” someday?

The ABC show that puts an entrepreneur before four venture capitalists and gives them an opportunity to pitch their products to gain financing for growing or saving their businesses has gained a steadfast following among entrepreneurs and consumers alike.

While many tune in to the show for entertainment, there are lessons to be learned too, said Dan Steininger, co-founder of BizStarts Milwaukee, which works with entrepreneurs, service providers, capital connections and other resources to help launch and grow new companies.

BizStarts Milwaukee hosts investor forums, which Steininger called a friendly version of “Shark Tank.” Entrepreneurs can go before potential investors for about 15 minutes.

Steininger said “Shark Tank” educates viewers on how to get investors to fund their companies by providing insight into the typical questions an investor will ask, such as amount of sales, profit margins and money already invested in the company.

Before entrepreneurs participate in the investor forum, BizStarts Milwaukee provides training, so sometimes they are often more prepared than the contestants on “Shark Tank,” Steininger said.

Peter Rathmann incorporates episodes of “Shark Tank” and “Undercover Boss” in the Intro to Entrepreneurship class he teaches at Waukesha County Technical College. He also teaches marketing classes at WCTC and Carroll University, in addition to owning SalesTechnik, which helps Individuals, organizations and companies increase their opportunities and sales.

Rathmann said many students start the class with an idea of what they would like to do. Both the class and TV shows can help them think about creating a business structure and learning the vernacular.

The students also learn to promote their product in terms of knowing their sales, costs, how they make money, the hurdles the business has encountered, why their product is worth investing in and more.

For Intro to Entrepreneurship, the final presentation is conducted in a Shark Tank format, Rathmann said.

“It kind of gives it a simple form at the end of the day,” he said of “Shark Tank.”

Jon Anne Willow, entrepreneurship director for BizStarts Milwaukee, said entrepreneurs can learn from the strengths and weaknesses of “Shark Tank” contestants.

“When the best entrepreneurs pitch on those programs, they are prepared, they are not defensive, they are open to ideas and suggestions,” she said. “They have a strong vision for how they want their business to grow.”

When entrepreneurs pitch in front of BizStart Milwaukee’s investor forum, which consists of venture capitalists, banks and angel investors, they need to be prepared, but local investors are more apt to work with the owners. 

“It’s important to remember they want you to succeed; they want your idea to be fantastic, but it’s their money and it’s their risk,” Willow said.

Tough lessons can also be learned from TV shows, Seininger said.

“You learn you just can’t have a dream,” he said.

Unless you have real customers paying for your product, Steininger said, you don’t have a business.

One of the upsides to shows like “Shark Tank” is making business seem exciting.

“It’s about creativity and innovation,” Steininger said. “It is rewarding people for not just doing the same thing.”

Gary Bredow, host and creator of “Start Up,” a show highlighting successful businesses that often began in someone’s kitchen or garage, asks questions of the owners that provide insight about how they found success.

Bredow said the main thing he has learned from doing the show is there is no formula for success – each person has his or her own path to it. While some say a business plan was not useful, for example, others swear by it.

One constant, Bredow said, is that successful entrepreneurs need to have “drive and determination or don’t bother.”

The notion is that being self-employed means you have a lot of free time, but that’s not the case at all, he said.

“You have to be a very independent spirit,” Bredow said.

These are some lessons he learned while filming at Newaukee, Iron Horse Motel and Gouda Girls in Milwaukee in season one. He is in the process of shooting for season two, which will bring him to Madison.

While the show has been airing on PBS, Bredow said “Start Up” has been picked up by The Create Channel, which will begin to re-air episodes from season one.

Bredow said he has heard from fans of the show who have been inspired, including one person who decided to start Prohibition tours of Chicago.

Learning how to valuate a company is also an important skill and one viewers of “Shark Tank” can see work against an entrepreneur who is not well prepared.

Russ Roberts, manager of the Small Business Center at WCTC, said the show has illustrated how valuing a business can be more “art than science.”

“The most important is preparation and being ready to answer questions confidently,” Roberts said of lessons learned from entrepreneurial TV shows.

Others positive effects from watching “Shark Tank” include anticipating the questions you’ll get and being prepared to answer them. The contestants on TV  must also be able to think on their feet, to get to the point and answer the questions, Roberts said.

The investors on “Shark Tank” illustrate how many people are looking to invest in the entrepreneur and not just the product, by the comments they make and the way they determine whom they will invest with, Roberts said.

The impact of shows like “Shark Tank” is widespread.

“It’s rare that I find anyone who doesn’t know “Shark Tank,” Roberts said. “It has had impact.”

“My hope is that programs like “Shark Tank” and “Start Up” do spur interest in entrepreneurialism and do inspire people to get out there and start businesses of their own and follow their dreams,” said Willow. 

From livinglakecountry.com: “J&N Village Automotive takes over Village Car Care” — Sometimes meeting someone changes everything.

That’s what happened when Becky and Nick Bruss met in fourth grade and eventually, much later, married. It’s what happened when Nick met Josh Kiselicka in middle school, stayed friends through high school and eventually worked together as technicians at a car dealership. It also happened the day the three had begun looking at property to start their own automotive business in Mukwonago and met the broker that informed them long-time Village Car Care Center owners Roy and Linda Hafemeister were looking to retire and sell their location.

“It almost started like a joke,” Becky explained. “We were looking at buying just that land and putting up a small shop. There was a broker working with the former owners, and he walked over really just to say hi to my father-in-law, who was cleaning up, and started the conversation. It was not listed, so we didn’t even know it was for sale or an option.”

The trio officially took over the center March 22 and renamed it J & N Village Automotive.

Friends first

Nick and Josh are both 2000 Mukwonago High School graduates. They both completed the youth apprenticeship program that allowed them hands-on automotive experience and decided to pursue automotive studies at Waukesha County Technical College before getting jobs at the same dealership.

“We had four-wheelers we started working on, and when we got to high school we got more interested so we decided to pursue it further and then go to school for it,” Josh explained. “Most of it is because it’s just what we’ve been really good at.”

The two men worked together at the same dealership for a while but then at different ones taking sidejobs for friends and family on the weekends in a one-hoist shop.

“We’ve had a number of people tell us we should start our own shop,” Josh said.

Nick said it was important for him to find a location in Mukwonago that would suite their needs.

“We wanted to be in Mukwonago because this is where we came from and this is where our customers are,” he explained.

A space of their own

The trio said they were thankful to the Hafemeisters for developing a client base and for making the transition pleasant. Becky said she was also thankful to everyone who had followed the group to their new location and also those who are first giving them a chance.

As for the three who have been together for much of their lives, they are excited to be growing in what they love to do.

“Like (Josh and Nick) said, they’ve been working on the side so that means after work and weekends, so it’s really been eight years of not seeing him much, so right now (working together) is still in the honeymoon stage,” Becky joked.

Nick said working with Josh won’t change much for him. “It is nice. When we were at separate dealerships we’d call each other and ask questions, and now it’s like we’re back to where we started, so it’s a good thing.”

J & N Village Automotive also employs a third full-time technician and has even looked back to their roots, taking a student under their wing.

“We want to start him on the path where we were 14 years ago,” Josh said. “It’s like full circle.”

From wisn.com: “Motorcycle safety on the minds of some riders after two fatal crashes” – Four people died in motorcycle crashes in Wisconsin in the past two days.

“While I’m driving checking my mirrors and looking behind me to see if there’s any cars that are coming up fast,” said motorcyclist Jason Laitsch. “A minor accident in a car can be a life-ending accident on a motorcycle so I’d say defensive driving is one of the biggest things they teach you in safety classes.”

Laitsch learned motorcycle safety classes over the spring and summer at Waukesha County Technical College.

WCTC will host more than five dozen motorcycle safety classes this spring and summer.

“We already completed the liability form we’ll talk more about that,” said instructor Jim Imoehl, a motorcycle riding coach.

Imoehl said this week’s deadly motorcycle crashes should serve as a lesson for those who drive cars.

“As community members and as car drivers we need to be aware that there are going to be more motorcyclists on the road,” he said.

Jill Congelmi is enrolled in the safety course.. She said learning to ride is on her bucket list, having survived breast cancer.

“A year ago I would have told you I just wanted to be a passenger and now I want a little bit of freedom to go when I want to go. So I want to know how to do it right and get some training,” she said.

From controldesign.com: “ABB enables students to utilize latest technology in lab” — ABB Inc. recently donated eight democases from a new DTC product line to Waukesha County Technical College’s Automation Technology Program, which will enable students to utilize the latest technology in lab work and applications.

With hands-on access to newer technologies, it is believed that the utility of learning will be accelerated in both the school and workplace environments.

Delivery of the democases, “enables us to upgrade our labs – and gives students enhanced hands-on training with the latest available drives technology,” said Jesse Stuller, automation instructor and supporter of industry-academic support programs at WCTC. “Our goal is to provide the highest quality education to our students. Our partnership with industry provides the avenue to accomplish that goal.”

The drives democases donated are from the new ACS880 high performance DTC product line.

“These units provide a simple, yet comprehensive, all-in-one solution that is specialized for training and learning,” said Dennis Miller, ABB Sr. Technical Instructor, who arranged the donation. “The democases facilitate a complete application simulation.”

Miller also said the older democases feature older technology and have been in use for over 15 years, making the upgrade current with the latest technology ABB offers end users and keeps the Automation Technologies Program up to date.

Self-contained Labs

The donated drives are extremely user friendly and ideal for students to use.  Students will be able to program and test them as they become familiar with drive technology for the first time.

The drive is connected to a small motor and has an external input/output control panel wired to the analog inputs, digital inputs, digital outputs and analog outputs.

Students can fully simulate use of controls for any given application, and spin the motor like in a real application. The democase’s user friendly properties is said to aid in the learning process, even in the areas of serial communications and PC interfacing. The whole gamut of applications can be simulated from basic speed-control to more complex torque-control applications. They are ideal for facilitating learning with parameter adjustments and incorporating drives into electronics projects/applications.

The drives also offer networking capability to DeviceNet and other communication module protocols, so students can see and understand how computers are used in industrial environments. Programming and monitoring of the drive can be accomplished via specific PC or Drive software.

Students will program the drives and operate motors that simulate real-world installations and loads.

Beyond an introduction to the technology, students will have an opportunity to drill into the equipment’s performance characteristics in order to understand what control features they will be able to access, modify and offer customers in the workplace. This shortens the distance between experience in school and the workplace. The ACS880 democase can be used to teach and illustrate “complete” motor control.

Benefits of Using Drives

The benefits of using drives also include teaching energy consumption to the students.  This fact is becoming more and more useful as the world becomes more energy conscious.

The Adjustable Speed Drives (ASDs) are drives that can be used in any application where mechanical equipment is powered by motors. They provide extremely precise electrical motor control, allowing motor speeds to be ramped up or down, or maintained. Utilizing only the energy required rather than having the motor run at constant, fixed speed saves an excess of energy.

The ability to manipulate motor control helps motor users realize 25 – 70 percent energy savings, according to ABB experts. Using an AC drive also prolongs the operation of small motors and reduces wear and tear in installations.

From biztimes.com: “ABB makes equipment donation to WCTC” — The ABB Group in New Berlin has donated eight new motor drives democases to Waukesha County Technical College’s Automation Technologies/Electronics Laboratory.

The donation from the Zurich-based power and automation technology company “enables us to upgrade our labs and gives students enhanced hands-on training with the latest available drives technology,” said Jesse Stuller, automation instructor at WCTC. “Our goal is to provide the highest quality education to our students. Our partnership with industry provides the avenue to accomplish that goal.”

The donation “values into tens of thousands of dollars,” said Ken Graber, ABB spokesman, but the specific dollar amount is not being disclosed.

The drives democases are from the new ACS880 high performance DTC product line.

“These units provide a simple, yet comprehensive, all-in-one solution that is specialized for training and learning,” said Dennis Miller, ABB senior technical instructor, who arranged the donation. “The democases facilitate a complete application simulation.”

Democases from the company that feature older technology have been in use over the past 15 years, Miller said, and the upgrade keeps the Automation Technologies Program current with latest technology that ABB offers end users.

In a press release ABB said, “Because the drives are extremely easy to use, they are ideal for students to use, program and test, as they become familiar with drive technology for the first time. The drive is connected to a small motor and has an external input/output control panel wired to the analog inputs, digital inputs, digital outputs and analog outputs. Students can simulate, fully, use of controls for any given application, and spin the motor just as it would work in a real application. The democase is extremely user friendly, which certainly aids the learning process. The whole gamut of applications can be simulated, from very basic speed-control applications to more complex torque-control applications.”

The Automation Technology Program at WCTC began in 2006. The Associate Degree program contains industrial technologies such as robotics, PLCs and drives.

The Zurich, Switzerland-based ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 150,000 people worldwide, roughly 500 of whom are in Wisconsin.

From inwisconsin.com: “State launches expanded, accelerated training program for trucking jobs” — Pewaukee – Governor Scott Walker made a stop at the Waukesha County Technical College today to announce the launch of a new program, designed to channel Wisconsin residents, including veterans, through accelerated training courses and into guaranteed placements at companies in the growing trucking industry.  Up to 300 Wisconsinites who pass eligibility screening will earn a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and advance to a placement at one of three Wisconsin trucking firms.

“Wisconsin’s transportation industry is experiencing a significant skills gap that will continue through at least 2020, and we need to act aggressively to address this issue,” Governor Walker said.  “Innovative approaches, like this accelerated training program, are the kinds of investments we need.  The incentive of a guaranteed placement at the conclusion of the program makes this initiative a win-win for employers and Wisconsin’s working families.”

The new CDL training program represents collaboration between the Department of Workforce Development (DWD), Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA), Department of Transportation (DOT), Wisconsin Technical College System, transportation industry leaders, and three major Wisconsin employers: Schneider National of Green Bay, Roehl Transport of Marshfield, and WEL of De Pere.

The Fox Valley Technical College (FVTC) currently offers the course, and Waukesha County Technical College (WCTC) will begin offering it this summer.  The Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) and Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) offer related instruction at their sites.

“As Wisconsin’s lead state agency for talent development, DWD supports innovative workforce solutions that prepare individuals for careers in growing industry sectors,” said DWD Secretary Reggie Newson.  “We were pleased to convene the workgroup that ultimately led to this new initiative.  Wisconsin workers benefit with skills training and guaranteed placements and participating employers benefit with a direct pipeline to fill their openings.  Both efforts benefit Wisconsin’s economy.”

“One of WEDC’s areas of emphasis is to work with our partners throughout Wisconsin to help expand workforce training systems, especially for the state’s key industries,” said Reed Hall, secretary and CEO of WEDC, the state’s lead economic development organization.  “There is no question that Wisconsin trucking companies need more qualified drivers to ensure their continued success, and the continued success of our economy.  We believe this program will play a key role in helping to fill that need.”

Up to 300 eligible job seekers will complete a four-week training course that results in a Commercial Driver’s License and a guaranteed placement at one of the three participating companies.  Once placed, the successful graduates will complete the standard introductory stage at the company and become a permanent hire.  Experienced semi-truck drivers can earn more than $23 per hour, or approximately 15 percent above the average wage in Wisconsin.

In the program, potential participants register on JobCenterofWisconsin.com and complete a series of assessments to determine their eligibility.  Those deemed eligible will complete the four-week training course offered through FVTC or WCTC, and then be matched with a guaranteed placement at one of the three trucking employers.

Given a capacity of 300 placements, DWD is prioritizing veterans, dislocated workers, workers who receive federal Trade Adjustment Assistance, and certain individuals who are eligible for programs under the federal Workforce Investment Act.  The training and placements will be at no cost to the participant.  Other interested job seekers who are deemed eligible for the program will be asked to cover the $2,500 cost of the training.

The transportation companies’ hiring needs are in line with projections showing the need for semi-truck drivers will grow by 21 percent between 2010 and 2020, to more than 55,000 semi-truck drivers.

Governor Walker recently signed legislation as part of his Blueprint for Prosperity initiative to increase funds in the nationally-recognized Wisconsin Fast Forward by $35.4 million to focus on three key areas, including:

  • Grants to Wisconsin technical colleges to reduce wait lists in high-demand fields;
  • Collaborative projects among businesses, school districts, technical colleges, and educational partners to equip high school pupils with industry-recognized certifications in high-demand fields; and
  • Programs that enhance the employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

Additionally, the current round of Wisconsin Fast Forward grant program announcements includes $1 million in available funds for employer-driven worker training programs for transportations, logistics, and distribution occupations.  These funds can be used to train new workers for job openings or train existing workers that results in a wage increase.

Interested job seekers are encouraged to visit https://jobcenterofwisconsin.com/Trucking/ or contact their local Job Center, which can be located at http://www.wisconsinjobcenter.org/directory/.

From jsonline.com: “State offers four-week driving course, guaranteed trucking job” — Up to 300 Wisconsin residents will be able to earn a commercial driver’s license in a four-week training course and be guaranteed a trucking job through a program announced Friday by Gov. Scott Walker.

Fox Valley Technical College currently offers the course, and Waukesha County Technical College will offer it this summer. Applicants must pass eligibility screening, and priority will be given to veterans, dislocated workers, workers receiving federal Trade Adjustment Assistance and some persons eligible for programs under the federal Workforce Investment Act.

The training is free for members of the priority groups. Others will pay $2,500. People completing the training will be placed with one of three trucking firms — Schneider, of Green Bay; Roehl Transport, Marshfield; or WEL, DePere.

 

From biztimes.com: “Stritch, WCTC form credit transfer partnership” — Fox Point-based Cardinal Stritch University and Waukesha-based Waukesha County Technical College have formed a credit transfer agreement for students studying digital media.

The agreement is meant to encourage WCTC students who earn an associate of applied science degree in graphic design to continue their development in Stritch’s new bachelor of arts in digital media program.

Starting in May, new WCTC graphic design associate’s degree holders can apply up to 69 credits toward the Stritch bachelor’s degree.

“Our students are showing increasing interest in transfer opportunities to four-year universities so they can continue their education and climb their career ladder,” said Denine Rood, WCTC vice president of Learning. “We’re committed to providing them with seamless credit transfer to premier partner institutions like Stritch.”

The agreement has formed a cooperative relationship between the schools, which will help both to better accommodate transfer students.

The B.A. in digital media aims to ready students for careers in media and digital arts, including social media, website design and print design.

“The digital media program prepares students for successful careers in a variety of emerging fields,” said Dan Scholz, dean of Cardinal Stritch’s College of Arts and Sciences. “We are thrilled that this new relationship with Waukesha County Technical College will allow its graduates the ability to further hone and develop their skills in our new bachelor’s program.”

From bizjournals.com: “Waukesha County Technical College, Lincoln Electric partner to create welding lab” – By Denise Lockwood – Waukesha County Technical College and Lincoln Electric, which makes welding equipment, are partnering to create a welding demonstration and training facility at the college.

The lab features a 4,000-square-foot space that holds 55 Lincoln Electric welding stations, which brings the technical college’s total welding space to about 8,000 square feet with 93 welding stations. The Lincoln Electric Southeastern Wisconsin Training Center is owned by Waukesha County Technical College and sponsored by Lincoln Electric, a Cleveland-based company that’s providing welding, cutting, and fume control equipment and technology for the lab.

The partnership offers graduates the opportunity to learn on state-of-the-art equipment. The school currently has 250 students in its welding program.

“Partnering with Lincoln Electric allows WCTC to continue to grow and expand our welding programs and meet the needs of local industry,” said Mike Shiels, dean of the School of Applied Technologies.

Bob Dempsey, district sales manager for Lincoln Electric, said the training center benefits WCTC by providing updated equipment addressing every arc welding process as well as a comprehensive fume control system, and students become better prepared for employment in a number of industries.

The training center is located at the college’s Pewaukee campus, 800 Main St.

From journaltimes.com: “County hires help to trim expenses” — RACINE COUNTY — For any organization that’s been around a while, it can be difficult to change its way of doing things, no matter how burdensome or tedious its operations become.

Racine County government is no different. Only in its case, outdated and time-consuming processes can mean wasting public money or government employees’ time.

About two years ago, Racine County Executive Jim Ladwig created a “lean government” initiative to trim waste out of county government. The effort isn’t about reducing the workforce, he said, but delivering services in a better way and possibly saving money along the way.

Now, the county is ramping up its efforts. About 50 staffers and department heads packed a courthouse conference room last week to hear from Pat Dolan, a Waukesha County Technical College instructor who works with governments across the state on making operations more efficient.

A smaller group of about 20 employees will get more extensive training from WCTC to facilitate projects throughout county government. The county is paying WCTC just less than $11,000 out of its training budget.

“What I love about it is it’s not a top-down type system,” Ladwig said. “We have people on the front line, we have supervisors, we have department heads. All of them are involved in this … we have a ton of talent throughout the county and they have a lot of good ideas. It’s important that we cultivate that.”

Principles of WCTC’s “lean” instruction originated in Toyota’s manufacturing operations and have been applied to workplaces of all kinds, Dolan said.

His goal is to train employees to develop a “set of glasses” that will help them identify and get rid of waste. Ideally, it’s a mindset that becomes part of the job and not extra work, Dolan said.

The county has already benefited, Ladwig said. Its biggest success was a project that reduced employees’ purchasing requests by 3,500 and saved the county between $50,000 and $100,000, Ladwig said.

Other projects, like improving the laundry process and supply room at Ridgewood Care Center, are smaller. But even those types of changes free up employees’ time and make them more productive, Ladwig said.

That reflects the incentive employees have to buy into the initiative — it’s designed to make their lives easier. Lean government isn’t solely about cost savings, Ladwig said.

“It’s really just about improving the process and improving the service we provide,” Ladwig said. “It’s empowering (employees) to change the way we do business.”

From jsonline.com: “Home improvement show serves as teaching tool” –For the 8th consecutive year, the Interior Design Contest between students from local colleges is a prominent feature of the Milwaukee/NARI Home Improvement Show.

Sponsored by Nehmey Construction, the contest pits students from Gateway Technical College, Milwaukee Area Technical College, Mount Mary University and Waukesha County Technical College in a competition to design and construct a 12-foot-by-12-foot room display with a 2014 theme of “Bring the Outside In.”

The participating schools, who will each receive $1,000 for the school’s interior design program from the Milwaukee/NARI Foundation, created and built the following designs:

  • Gateway Technical College: A dining room uses elements inspired by the outdoors with warm, neutral tones and earthy prints that creates a classic and informal space. A unique room selection is a dining table created from a reclaimed section of fence that was painted and distressed. The walls have salvaged window shutters, exterior lanterns and a mirrored window, while birdcages function as artistic light fixtures.
  • Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC): A child’s playroom has an urban concept of the outdoors, utilizing bold colors and kid-friendly furniture selections.
  • Mount Mary University: A rustic and feminine-style home den includes natural wood textures combined with light and airy colors. This design also focuses on the use of sustainable and reclaimed products.
  • Waukesha County Technical College (WCTC): A pergola includes rockers, a table and chairs, a screen door and siding.

Gateway, participating for the 4th consecutive year and the 2013 contest winner, has six students that are part of its team. “Students in last fall’s Residential Design Studio course competed against each other to determine the space design,” said Rita Serpe, interior design instructor at Gateway. “Once design was selected, the Commercial Design Studio students work together to install and complete the display.”

MATC returned to the competition after a one-year absence, as six student members of the American Society of Interior Design were actively involved in the design process, with several other students assisting in the procurement of materials and products plus construction. “The work, from concept development through build out and show staffing, is accomplished on a volunteer basis,” said Mary Walgren, MATC interior design instructor. “Students are able to use classroom facilities, equipment, and resources to plan and meet on the design. In addition, any open lab time can be used toward their work on the project.”

At Mount Mary, the 14 students that are part of the competition are from two classes. “The freshmen class focused on project design and development, while the sophomore/junior class worked on project management skills and mentored the freshmen in the design development process,” said Leona Knobloch-Nelson, associate professor and Interior Design Student Chapter faculty advisor. “The students learn collaboration and team participation.”

WCTC has been part of the contest since its inception. This year, eight students that are members of the school’s Interior Design Club have worked on the plan. “Typically we meet over the holiday break to come up with the final plan and start working on construction,” said Brooks Eberlein, WCTC interior design instructor and club advisor. “The week prior to the show is a hustle to get everything ready for a smooth installation, and the week of the show are long hours of prepping the space and getting everything in its proper place.”

The instructors see a variety of benefits for the students, including the opportunity to network with other students, connecting with the business community for resources, and project and time management skills.

“This type of hands-on projects gives students a practical experience that simply cannot be found in a textbook or a classroom,” Walgren said. “They get real-world exposure to deadlines and are able to grow their network of professionals and vendors as they work through the product procurement process. Time management, collaborative design and team projects are standard practice for our industry and this experience exposes students to those concepts.”

“The students have fun because they get the gratification of seeing the completion of their design,” Knobloch-Nelson said.

Serpe explained that students benefit from multitasking schoolwork along with a real-world project. “Plus, they need to be creative working with a small budget,” she said.

“For many, this is a first-time hands-on experience that involves carpentry and construction,” Eberlein said. “These experiences enrich learning and also give students inside knowledge that they may share with clients at a later time. Not only do students get hands-on experience, they take great pride in their efforts. Students have also been able to network with NARI exhibitors. In some cases, this networking has led to internships and jobs. The overall experience is win-win.”

Show attendees have had the opportunity to vote on their favorite room design. The winning school will be announced after votes are tabulated at the conclusion of the show, and the school will receive a plaque.

Milwaukee/NARI Home Improvement Show hours are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16. Admission is $8 at the door. Tickets for those 60 and older are $5. Children 16 and younger and all military personnel with a military photo ID card are admitted free.

From jsonline.com: “Eaton expanding, upgrading its Cooper Power Systems plants in Waukesha” — Every time someone turns on a light or fires up their office computer, there’s a good chance that a Cooper Power Systems electrical transformer or another of the company’s products was part of the process.

Since 2012, Cooper has been part of Eaton Corp., a power management company with $22 billion in sales in 2013.

Eaton, based in Dublin, Ireland, has 102,000 employees and sells products in more than 175 countries. This week, the company said it was expanding and upgrading its Cooper Power Systems plants in Waukesha that make electrical equipment including power transformers and voltage regulators.

The $54 million project will create up to 200 jobs over the next two years, according to Eaton, as the company expands its Badger Drive plant and upgrades its North St. and Lincoln Ave. plants.

“The reason we are investing in the expansion in our facilities is to help meet the growing demand we are seeing, not only from our utility customers, but also from the commercial and industrial customer base,” said Clayton Tychkowsky, president of the Cooper Power Systems division.

Eaton has a wide range of products including truck transmissions, aircraft fuel systems and electrical systems.

Last week, the company said its fourth-quarter revenue rose 28%, boosted by higher demand for electrical products and systems.

Electrical product sales jumped 57% to $1.8 billion in the recent quarter ended Dec. 31.

Demand picked up in multiple areas including data processing centers, commercial construction and the oil and gas industry.

“One thing all those fields have in common is they require products to help transmit power to a usable point in their electrical system,” Tychkowsky said.

Eaton also stands to benefit from an increase in residential construction because the utility companies that provide power to homes use Cooper products.

“We see long-term potential growth for the products we manufacture here, which is why we feel this is a good investment,” Tychkowsky said about the plant expansion and upgrades.

Last April, Eaton announced it was cutting nearly two-thirds of its 260 jobs in Pewaukee.

The reductions included 130 production and 33 salaried positions as the company said it was moving molded rubber manufacturing from Pewaukee to a plant in Querétaro, Mexico, this year.

The job cuts were unrelated to the Waukesha plants, and the Pewaukee employees will get first preference in the Waukesha hiring, according to Eaton.

As part of the hiring, the company has partnered with Waukesha County Technical College to provide job training.

“We are taking a proactive approach as opposed to sitting back and waiting for talent to be available for us,” Tychkowsky said.

The expansion on Badger Drive will include 55,000 square feet of new manufacturing space.

Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. is providing up to $1.36 million in tax credits for the expansion and plant upgrades, which are tied to the new jobs.

“Retention of sound businesses like this is something we all need to pay attention to. There are other opportunities in the nation for a company like Eaton to move out of state,” said Reed Hall, WEDC secretary and chief executive officer.

Wisconsin also benefits from the electrical products, according to Hall.

“Safe, reliable electrical power is critical to growth. It’s like broadband. There are a couple of things businesses absolutely have to have to consider expanding in our state,” Hall said.

From gmtoday.com: “The business of expanding business” – PEWAUKEE – It was time to talk about how expansion deals for growing businesses and industries in Waukesha County can get done through the availability of local and state resources meant to spur growth in the private-sector economy.

The Waukesha County Economic Development Corporation and Wisconsin Business Development expedited the discussion Wednesday in an event attended by nearly 140 at Waukesha County Technical College’s Richard T. Anderson Education Center.

The group composed of bankers, attorneys, consultants and business leaders heard a pair of corporate executives talk frankly about the pains and triumphs they encountered while recently expanding their shops.

The two talked about how they accessed resources, a sometimes difficult process, to help their firms expand in size and business.

The traditional starting point for the launch and expansion of many businesses here has been through financial institutions or the Development Corporation. Wisconsin Business Development, a nonprofit group, offers economic development solutions, potential investment capital and business strategies.

Sarit Singhal, president/CEO of Superior Support Resources Inc., of Brookfield, talked about navigating through various state, county and local financial offerings to more than double the size of his information technology firm.

From jsonline.com: “President Barack Obama to highlight job training in Waukesha visit” — President Barack Obama drops into the Republican stronghold of Waukesha County on Thursday morning and is expected to discuss a subject that unites Republicans and Democrats.

Job training.

Obama is due to visit GE’s Waukesha gas engines plant, a facility that employs around 700 people and manufactures natural gas engines.

He is scheduled to tour the plant, meet with executives and line workers, and give a speech, before making his way to an afternoon appearance at a high school in Nashville, Tenn.

A senior Obama administration official said that during his Waukesha appearance, the president is expected to discuss taking executive action to enhance reform of job training programs. The official laid out the general themes of Obama’s visit during a teleconference with reporters.

The Wisconsin stop is part of Obama’s two-day tour after his State of the Union address.

According to the official, the president is striving to amplify key themes from the speech, including expanding economic opportunity for Americans.

“That is the focus of the president’s domestic policy agenda,” the official said. “It is the focus of his efforts to try to find common ground with members of Congress. We certainly are hopeful that there would be some bipartisan common ground that could be found on some basic steps we could take that would expand economic opportunity for every American, in areas like job creation, job training and education.”

The official said the president will “also talk about his willingness to act on his own.

“When Congress refuses to act, the president won’t wait for them,” the official said.

The White House announced that after his speech in Waukesha, Obama will sign a Presidential Memorandum to initiate “an across-the-board review of how to best reform federal training programs.”

Vice President Joe Biden will lead the effort.

A competition will also be launched for the final $500 million of a community college training fund. Every state will be awarded at least one grant. The competition is designed to bolster partnerships with community colleges, employers and industry to “create training programs for in-demand jobs.”

The  senior administration official said the GE plant in Waukesha employs highly skilled workers who are trained to perform specific tasks.

“What the president would like to see is a re-orientation of our job training programs,” the official said. “The president wants to make our job training programs across the country more job-driven.”

The official explained that such reorientation means greater coordination between federal agencies that oversee job training grant programs and local community colleges, communities and employers.

The official said “there are many businesses across the country that, despite what continue to be elevated unemployment rates, still do have openings for workers. The difference is they are looking for workers with a very specific skill set.”

In Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker has also emphasized the need to get workers the right training to match job openings in fields such as manufacturing and computer technology.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who will greet the president at Mitchell International Airport and be with him at the GE plant, said he expected the focus of the visit will be the economy and jobs.

“It’s something I’ve been talking about for some time,” Barrett said. “It’s what I call ‘ships passing in the night.’ Workers can’t find jobs. Employers can’t find workers. We’ve got to find a way to bring them together.”

The mayor said he hoped to share with Obama the work going on in the Milwaukee area to accomplish that.

He specifically mentioned the work of the Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership/BIG STEP, which develops resources and services for companies to expand employment and advancement opportunities by upgrading the skills of current employees and training residents to get family-supporting jobs.

Barrett also cited the work of the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board, which is a government-business partnership that administers employment and training programs; Milwaukee Area Technical College; and Waukesha County Technical College.

Last week, Barrett and mayors from other cities around the country met with Vice President Joe Biden and discussed the manufacturing partnership between workers and employers.

“I’m guessing this is something in their wheelhouse,” Barrett said of Obama’s visit to Waukesha.

From 620wtmj.com: “Preparing for snow in Waukesha County” – Crews have been racing to salt roads before another blast of snow hits Southeastern Wisconsin.

They’re trying to prevent a high number of accidents like the ones during last Sundays big snow fall.

Police say speed was a factor in a number of the crashes caught on DOT video.

Experts say drivers need to do their part to stay safe on the roads. That means slowing down and giving yourself enough distance between your vehicle and others on the road.

Rich Piagentini is an instructor at Waukesha County Technical College. He teaches students how to drive defensively for the college’s criminal justice program.

He said there are some simple things for drivers to remember if they see trouble on the roads.

“Take your foot off the gas and let the car slow down itself,  if you have to apply your brakes do it slowly” He said.

Piagentini said you should leave about one car length between you and other vehicles for every ten miles per hour of speed.

He recommends even more in slippery conditions.

Video from 620wtmj.com

From biztimes.com: “WCTC helps Superior Crane achieve ISO certification” – Waukesha County Technical College helped Waukesha-based Superior Crane Corp. achieve its ISO-9001;2008 certification, and has featured the process in a video on its homepage.

The Center for Business Performance Solutions analyzed the company’s processes and provided a consultant to assist Superior each week as the company worked toward its goal. Click here to see the video.

As a result of the partnership, Superior’s machine shop became certified in July 2012 and its fabrication and parts department’s Quality Management Systems became certified in July 2013.

With its ISO certification, Superior has expanded its reach to serve the military and nuclear industries. Work processes, training, new personnel and equipment are now documented, while non-conformances are tracked and corrective/preventive actions are taken to prevent their recurrence.

From gmtoday.com: “Senior year as bridge to a career” – PEWAUKEE – If more high school students were like Bradley Servidas, things would be easier for Trace-A-Matic President Thorsten Wienss.

Gov. Scott Walker, right, talks with dual-enrollment student Ian Weiberg of Eagle during a tour of the Waukesha County Technical College CNC machining lab.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

Servidas is a senior at Brookfield Central High School and is also in Waukesha County Technical College’s Dual Enrollment Academy as a member of the Tool and Die/CNC cohort. He said the program is a great way to start a career and it has been fun to make new friends and do something that not every high school senior gets to do.

“It’s more hands-on than I thought,” he said. “I love it. This is what I want to do when I grow up.”

For Wienss, the president of a machining company, the problem is that not everyone shares Servidas’ desire to pursue a career in his industry. He told a crowd at WCTC on Tuesday that most parents believe their son or daughter must go to a four-year college or university.

“We’re driving our kids in the wrong direction,” he said, adding that there are already too many lawyers stuck working as bartenders.

He said that when his company tries to recruit people, it is difficult to find potential employees with the necessary educational level. The problem is commonly referred to as the skills gap.

The crowd Wienss was speaking to wasn’t just any gathering. Gov. Scott Walker was on hand, along with Department of Workforce Development Secretary Reggie Newson, WCTC President Barbara Prindiville, officials from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, school superintendents, lawmakers and other officials.

They were all there for the official launch of the Dual Enrollment Academy, a yearlong pilot program permitting high school seniors to receive credit from the technical college and their schools at the same time. To be eligible, students must have a minimum of a 2.0 grade point average, be on track to graduate and meet college entrance requirements.

The program has cohorts in tool and die/CNC, welding/fabrication and IT networking, all industries the schools identified as high-demand areas.  Students spend the majority of their day at WCTC during both semesters, and depending on the program could earn an industry certificate by the time they graduate high school.

Two school districts, Elmbrook and Waukesha, were involved in the initial development of the program. The Arrowhead, New Berlin, Pewaukee, Sussex Hamilton and West Allis school districts, along with Light House Academy, have since joined in the collaboration.

From jsonline.com: “Program to train high school students for high-demand fields launched” – Village of Pewaukee — High school seniors from seven area school districts are earning their high school diploma while also learning skills for high-demand fields under a program launched at Waukesha County Technical College.

The yearlong pilot of Waukesha County Technical College’s Dual Enrollment Academy started this fall with 40 high school seniors. The program offers manufacturing-related skills training in welding and metal fabrication, tool and die, and information technology.

Each of the three programs has eight to 18 students who spend a majority of their school days at WCTC, while also completing high school requirements.

At the end of the school year, the students will receive industry-recognized “workplace certificates” in addition to a high school diploma, so they can either seek employment immediately or continue honing their skills in college. They will earn 20 to 24 college credits, depending on the program.

A seminar before they graduate also will teach them résumé writing, interviewing, personal branding, portfolio creation and other industry-specific steps to secure a job.

State and technical college officials said Tuesday at an official announcement of the program that they hope to expand the dual enrollment program to other school districts and technical colleges across Wisconsin.

Waukesha County is a logical trailblazer because it has one of the highest concentrations of manufacturing businesses in the state, they said.

The state Department of Workforce Development and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. each contributed $77,576 toward instructional costs for the pilot. Waukesha County Technical College contributed about $235,000 toward the pilot program.

There currently is no cost to the students beyond their transportation to WCTC, and the technical college doesn’t intend for there to be a cost to students in the future, according to a WCTC spokeswoman.

“This example illustrates the future pathway for workforce development,” Lee Swindall, vice president for business and industry development with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., said during a news conference at WCTC.

Swindall said he believes it will be “a highly effective” model that’s mutually beneficial to high school students with a passion for this type of work, and manufacturers seeking qualified workers to either maintain or expand their operations in Wisconsin.

Participating schools

School districts participating in the program include Waukesha, Arrowhead, Elmbrook, New Berlin, Pewaukee, Hamilton and West Allis-West Milwaukee, along with the Light House Academy for home-schooled students.

Brookfield-based Trace-A-Matic has committed to offering 10 jobs to tool and die students when they complete the program, and an additional stipend based on their grade point average.

Trace-A-Matic President Thorsten Wienss said during the news conference Tuesday that selling parents on the idea of technical training instead of a four-year university degree is difficult.

“Today, parents believe my child is college-bound and I’ll be driven nuts if they don’t go to college,” Wienss said. “We’re driving our kids in the wrong direction.”

Students who choose technical fields can contribute to society sooner than their four-year college counterparts, and buy homes by the time they’re 26 or 27, rather than be faced with $60,000 to $70,000 in college loan debt, Wienss said.

Master craftsmen and craftswomen deserve the same respect and recognition as doctors and lawyers, Gov. Scott Walker said. They are key to the nation’s economic recovery, as businesses will only grow if they have the workforce talent to sustain them, he said.

“I am convinced the state that gets out front of this will lead the recovery of the economy,” said Walker, who attended the Tuesday news conference at WCTC. “We’re going to be able to attract more businesses to grow here and to come here.”

Industry involved

Area industry leaders played a key role in developing the criteria for the new workplace certificates. They also are involved with classroom presentations and with providing job-shadowing opportunities, industry tours and internships.

To be chosen for WCTC’s Dual Enrollment Academy, students had to be high school seniors with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher, be on track to graduate from high school and meet college entrance and program requirements.

Students also were tested to make sure they have the fundamental math skills to succeed in the technical fields.

Manufacturing jobs in Wisconsin pay an average $52,000 a year, and have about half the turnover rate of other jobs, Walker said.

The fastest growing segment of technical college enrollment is students with four-year degrees who realize the job market is strongest for those with technical skills, the governor said.

 

From bizjournals.com: “Some WCTC grads getting full credit in Concordia bachelor’s programs” – Concordia University Wisconsin in Mequon and Waukesha County Technical College have signed agreements that will allow some WCTC graduates to receive credit in related bachelor’s degree programs at Concordia.

The so-called articulation agreements cover graduates of WCTC’s supervisory management or human resources management associate of applied science degree programs. Grads will receive full transfer of all credits when enrolling in Concordia’s bachelor of arts in business management or bachelor of arts in human resource management degree programs.

Students can complete Concordia courses either online or during evenings at the CUW-Waukesha Center, N14 W23777 Stone Ridge Drive in Waukesha. The coursework could be completed in approximately two years.

 

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