March 11, 2014
From wiscnews.com: “Schrofer earns third in apprentice competition” — Dave Schrofer of Hill’s Wiring, Inc. took third place in the electrical category during the 2014 ABC of Wisconsin Skill Competition held Feb. 25 in Green Bay.
Schrofer, currently attending Madison College, was one of 25 ABC of Wisconsin apprentices from throughout the state who demonstrated their knowledge and craft skills in the competition, which included a four-hour practical and a two-hour written exam.
Apprentices worked on projects from specifications and blueprints; they focused on performing assigned tasks while employers, instructors, judges and others looked on. The competitors were scored on skill, workmanship, safety, and efficiency. The written, safety, and practical scores were then combined to determine the top three competitors in each trade.
March 11, 2014
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 firstname.lastname@example.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 wbay.com: “Tech schools educate construction workers to address shortage” — Nearly two dozen expansion or renovation projects have been taking place over the last 18 months across the Green Bay area.
A few include the Schreiber Foods Headquarters in downtown Green Bay, the Medical College at St. Norbert College in De Pere and the Lambeau Field atrium.
Not including the Highway 41 project, these equal $400 million worth of expansion, they created more than 2,100 jobs and 2.1 million square feet of floor space.
Experts predict there aren’t enough workers to keep up with this growing trend.
“There is a shortage of skilled construction workers and there is a tremendous need,” says Todd Kiel, Apprenticeship Manager at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.
He says two things are creating the demand. First, aging workers who will soon retire. And two, the improving economy.
Now that the economy has picked up again since the recent recession, construction projects are moving forward, and companies need the workforce to complete the job.
NWTC’s answer is to fill up their classrooms.
“We’re going to bring out a Construction Technology Associate degree in fall of 2014,” said Kiel. ”We just started accepting a couple weeks ago … we’re up to 40 to 45 (people) already.”
Mitchel Mergener, 20, is considering being a part of the inaugural class. He’s weighing the difference between going for a certificate or this two-year degree.
“If it’s going to get me, not an easier job, but a job that’s better paying or better opportunities, I think it’s a good investment,” said Mergener.
Paul Werth is an example the extra year in school pays off.
Just three years after completing Fox Valley Tech’s new two-year Construction Management Technology degree, he’s now a supervisor with Miron Construction.
And he says there is such a demand from companies, some can’t wait until students finish their programs.
“I get to see that people I’ve met in the program are getting job offers before they graduate,” said Werth.
Experts predict 30,000 construction jobs will be created across the state over the next few years.
March 10, 2014
From fox6now.com: “Veteran settles into his dream job after switching careers” – Getting a job with nothing but a high school diploma can be difficult. Starting a career without a high school diploma can be nearly impossible. That’s the challenge many of our military members face when they leave the service — but one veteran was able to turn his Army experience into opportunity.
“Ever since I was 10 years old, my grandpa brought me to my uncle’s welding shop, and after seeing that atmosphere, you know, guys welding, grinding metal, flames — it just seemed like a really cool job to do and I was like ‘man, I want to do that,’” Jeremy Jurkiewicz said.
But life’s blueprint for Jurkiewicz put him on a different path out of high school. At the age of 19, he sought to wear the badge of a police officer. He started by joining the Army’s Military Police Corps.
“I enlisted to serve and deploy and just for a job,” Jurkiewicz said.
For the next three years, he experienced the life of a cop, including a year-long deployment to Afghanistan. It was during this time Jurkiewicz says he discovered policing wasn’t for him.
His love of welding was reignited when he left active service, but starting a new career from scratch is no easy task. Like many of his peers who are former military, Jurkiewicz faced a choice — jump into the job search with what experience and education he had — or retrain himself.
“If there`s something that you want to do, pursue it. Go to school or look online, see what classes they have to offer. Something sparks your interest, go for it. Pursue it,” Jurkiewicz said.
Jurkiewicz credits his motivation and mettle to his time in the Army. It’s that mettle which helped him to get into “Welding Boot Camp” at Gateway Technical College in Racine. He eventually graduated, and landed a job at Metalworld Incorporated.
“When they talk about a skills gap, it’s not so much the hard skills as far as finding guys that know how to weld, like to work with their hands. It’s really guys that are willing to do that five days a week on a week-to-week basis,” Metalworld Inc. President Gary Meier said.
“Anyone can get a job, but not everyone can get a career and a career that you want to do and you love doing every day. I don’t get up every day and be like ‘oh I gotta go to work.’ I’m excited to go to work, work, learn and progress in my skills and just become the best welder and fabricator I can become,” Jurkiewicz said.
Jurkiewicz is still serving as an Army Reservist. His welding career has progressed since he last spoke with FOX6 News. He no longer works at Metalworld in Racine — after taking a job with Compo Steel Products in Milwaukee.
March 10, 2014
From beloitdailynews.com: “BTC’s manufacturing facility takes shape quickly in Milton” – By Shaun Zinck – MILTON — The new Blackhawk Technical College advanced manufacturing facility in Milton is on schedule and on budget, said college President Tom Eckert.
A year ago in February the college announced it had leased a building at 15 N. Plumb St. in Milton to house several of its advanced manufacturing programs.
Work began on half of the building in the fall with plans to move three programs by the 2014-15 academic year. Eckert said about 50,000 square feet of the 105,000-square-foot building is currently being remodeled.
“We are putting in general classroom in the front of the building for general education course. Also that is where the office complex will be located for staff,” he said. “Each of the labs will also have their own specialized classrooms.”
Once work is complete this summer, equipment will be transferred over to the building just in time for students in the welding, industrial maintenance and precision machining (CNC) to occupy that half of the building this fall. Work on the second half will continue during the academic year, Eckert said.
The other programs — heating, ventilation, air conditioning/refrigeration technician, mechanical design technology, industrial engineering technician and computer systems technology — will start holding classes in the 2015-16 academic year.
Gary Kohn, marketing and communications manager for the college, said the new space will bring all the programs closer together to allow for more collaborative projects between the students.
“So you might have a CNC student working with a welding student working with an industrial maintenance student,” he said.
Kohn said a lab station will be built as a connection between another building during the second phase of construction and renovation.
The entire renovation cost will be about $12 million, Eckert said. He said nothing unexpected has come up during the first phase of renovations.
“They did a really great job predicting exactly what it would take to do the job,” he said.
The welding program at BTC has been in high demand as of late. The college had to add a third welding section in order to increase the number of students it could admit into the program. The college currently has about 105 welding students in three different sections. The new facility will double the capacity for the programs, however, that doesn’t mean double the students just yet, Eckert said.
“We don’t know how many students (the building will hold),” he said. “We are still in decision-mode on what shifts we will have for each program.”
The college entered into a 10-year lease at the location, and can exercise two five-year renewals. Last year, the college said it would pay about $1.47 per square foot for the lease space or about $155,125 for the first year. The second year the rate increases to about $2.88 per square foot or about $302,688 per year.
Prior to choosing the Milton location the college looked into locating the facility at the Ironworks campus in Beloit. Funding the project proved too costly, Eckert said at the time.
From pricecountydaily.com: “School Board learns of transcripted credit classes for CHS students” — At its regular meeting in Glidden on February 25, the Chequamegon School Board heard a report from Bobbi Damrow, Regional Dean of Northcentral Technical College (NTC). Damrow gave background on the relationship that has developed between the NTC Phillips campus and Chequamegon School District over the last few years giving CHS students the opportunity to take classes that are recognized both by NTC for their degree programs and by CHS toward their high school diploma.
Currently junior and senior students are offered courses in the Industrial Electronics and Maintenance Technician Academy. This program is intended to provide a pathway or career for students in the industrial electronics maintenance field. The classes, taken at CHS, are taught by CHS teachers utilizing curriculum provided by NTC. Students have the potential of obtaining 12 college credits and applying those credits toward an associate’s degree at NTC after high school. Students also have the option of transferring the credits earned in high school to other four-year college or university’s toward completing their bachelor’s degree.
Damrow thanked the school board for approving and supporting this cooperative venture that benefits both the school district and NTC. She pointed out, “Last year Chequamegon students earned the equivalent of 153 college-level credits and the families of those students saved $20,574 in tuition costs that they would otherwise have paid to NTC for the courses.” This year students, and their families, are on track to save over $46,000 in tuition costs. In addition to the Academy, courses taught for transcripted credit include Introduction to Business, Marketing Principles, Desktop Publishing, and Employment Skills for Technicians, to name a few. Next year and new Health Academy will be introduced to CHS students who have an interest in pursuing a career in the health field. This will build on the Medical Terminology and Body Structure courses already offered and include a possible summer field experience at Flambeau Hospital.
Damrow indicated that an Information Technology Academy is currently being developed to be introduced in the not too distant future. Board president Adam Hoffman stated, “This partnership with NTC is an example of how two schools working together can provide great opportunities for our students and their families.”
March 10, 2014
From sheboyganpress.com: “Traffic safety courses planned at LTC” — Lakeshore Technical College is offering two Tractor Safety for Youth courses that will address both tractor/farm implement safety and farm-related safety practices. The first session will be held on Saturdays, March 29 through April 26; the second session will be held May 17, June 9, June 11 and June 13. The class will be held at LTC’s Cleveland campus in the Agriculture and Energy Building.
The course is intended for youth ages 13 and older. It will prepare participants for successfully completing the Wisconsin written exam and tractor driving demonstration toward certification that permits 14-year-olds to drive on public roads and work for non-family farm operations.
The course meets child labor requirements in agriculture under the Fair Labor Standards Act pertaining to employment of youth ages 14 and older on farms not operated by their parents or guardians.
A parent or legal guardian must accompany the student for the first two hours of the first class. The fee is $139, which includes the book.
The registration deadline is 10 days prior to the first day of class. Class size is limited to 20 students, and early registration is encouraged. To register, call 1-888-468-6582, ext. 1366.