From “Tony Clark moves from gridiron to police beat” — People have wanted Tony Clark on their team since he was in middle school. High schools recruited him. Some 60 colleges, too. And when the NFL didn’t, the La Crosse Police Department did.

Clark, a 24-year-old Georgia native, traveled a circuitous path to becoming one of the city’s newest officers.

College instructors, professional coaches and police administrators rave about his ambition, athleticism and attitude.

“He’s got so much moral fiber it’s unbelievable,” La Crosse police officer Alan Iverson said.

Clark didn’t grow up intending to be a cop. He aimed for the NBA and the NFL – and it wasn’t a long shot.

Already an athletic standout in middle school, the young basketball star was recruited by Georgia’s Groves High School.

Clark was fast…

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From “Program teaches interpreters how to translate medical jargon with sensitivity” — Years ago, when Rodney Ramos came to the U.S. from Puerto Rico he was the first one in his family to learn English. So when he was 11 years old and his grandmother became ill, it fell to him to try interpret the doctor’s diagnosis that his grandmother had a detached uterus and possibly cancer.

It was an experience he never forgot.

“A child can’t be asked to do that,” he said, adding that he often served as his family’s interpreter.

Out of his experience as a child and then as an adult interpreter at a hospital in Racine, Ramos said he continued to be dissatisfied with the training and outcomes of interpreters trying to communicate between Spanish-speaking patients and doctors.

So after doing a lot of research and consultation, he developed a yearlong medical interpreter technician program that he has taught for the last seven years at Milwaukee Area Technical College.

Earlier this month, 18 students completed the two-semester program that teaches not just language fluency, but also medical terminology, cultural sensitivity, dialectical differences among various Spanish-speaking countries, ethics, values and nonverbal communication skills.

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From “Lincoln graduate’s culinary creation wins first place at state expo” — To say Miranda Peyketewa is a busy college student would be an understatement.

The 27-year-old alumnus of Lincoln High School in Wisconsin Rapids holds three jobs while seeking two associate degrees and two certificates in culinary arts at Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton.

And she’s hungry for more.

Peyketewa, who grew up in a family of five brothers and seven sisters, recently was rewarded for her hard work, taking first place honors in the cold plate competition during the Wisconsin Restaurant Association Expo in Milwaukee.

Entries in the category actually start out as hot dishes but are then covered with an aspic, or gelatin, and served cold. Peyketewa’s award-winning dish had multiple layers.


From WEAU-TV:  “Unemployment high, still most technical college grads find jobs” — Unemployment in Wisconsin peaked in 2009-2010, but a new report from the Wisconsin Technical College System shows a high percentage of its graduates continue to find jobs.

The Chippewa Valley Technical College attributes the students’ success to their technical skills and hands on learning experiences.

“The practicum experiences, the clinical experiences are giving those students applied experiences that prepare them for employment,” Vice President of Student Services at CVTC Margo Keys said.

After a slight job lull in 2009, more CVTC grads are finding work again. A 2010 graduate follow-up survey showed 91% of CVTC grads are employed. 86% are working in jobs related to their training and 85% work in Wisconsin.

“These institutions are funded by the local taxpayers and it’s good to know that those students are staying and working in the industry here,” Keys said.

Kim Carey and Culeen Hoehn are prime examples of successful graduates. Kim graduated in 2010 from CVTC with an accounting degree.

“They’re very on the job skill based so when you leave you’re up and running to be on the job site,” Kim Carey said.

Now she’s an accountant at Bolton Refuge House after spending six months searching for a job. “Every day I sent out thing and every day I looked through things,” Kim remembered.

Culeen’s a paralegal in Eau Claire. “I was actually doing my internship here my last semester and they hired me right on,” Culeen Hoehn said. It’s a job she says her classes thoroughly prepared her for. “It’s like you’re thrown into a law office setting without being in a law office. You’re drafting the documents. You have deadlines,” Culeen said.

Both say in these tough economic times a job is a valuable thing. They say their educations made it happen. “I feel fortunate and lucky to have a job myself, to be able to support my family and my kids,” Culeen said. “Of the students that I was in class with, all of them I know, found jobs,” Kim added.

Margo Keys with Chippewa Valley Technical College says students pay roughly $126 a credit and their programs run two years or less.

From WBAY: “Area Shipbuilders Find Strength in Numbers” — Seven shipbuilders from Marinette to Manitowoc say there’s strength in numbers. They are building more than a dozen ships for the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, Department of Natural Resources and others. And they expect even more work in the future. As the number of contracts grow so does the work force

6,000 people in the region already make a living in the ship building industry. That number will continue to grow as the builders ramp-up to fulfill contracts. And now there’s a new plan in place to train people to do those jobs.

Marinette Marine is among those shipbuilders ramping up for its contract with the US Navy. They’ll need a lot of manpower. “So this contract alone is expected to bring 6 thousand jobs to northeast Wisconsin, and many many of those people need training,” says Karen Smits from Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.


From Wausau Daily Herald:  “NTC honors record number of grads” —

Brittany Shotwell loves the classroom.

Shotwell, 20, of Tomahawk has a new associate degree in architecture from Northcentral Technical College. But instead of entering the job market, Shotwell will enter more classrooms, first at the University of Wisconsin Marathon County and then UW-Madison to obtain at least a bachelor’s degree.

“I could get a job now, but I love to learn and I’m excited to learn even more,” she said.

Shotwell was one of a record 823 graduates at NTC this year, and one of about 500 to walk across the stage at Wausau West High School this morning.

Shotwell’s mechanical design degree is one of several specialized fields that NTC President Lori Weyers said today is in demand among employers. Weyers said that bodes well for technical colleges like NTC that offer students a chance to obtain specialized knowledge beyond a high school education, but without the extra requirements of a four-year college.

From the New Richmond News: “Long road back: Non-traditional student ready for next challenge” — As a victim of the nation’s economic melt down, Jason Schutte was beginning to feel like he’d never scratch his way back into the work world.

But with his graduation from the diesel mechanic program at Chippewa Valley Technical College in Eau Claire on Friday, the New Richmond man has completed a challenging journey from unemployment to a contributing member of society again.

The journey began in the fall of 2008, when Schutte was laid off from his construction job with Halle Builders of New Richmond.


From Walworth County Today: “Blackhawk Technical College graduates pack commencement” — BELOIT — If you got to see a friend or a relative graduate from Blackhawk Technical College on Saturday, you truly were a VIP.

Anticipating a record turnout for graduates attending the 2011 commencement at the Dream Center in Beloit, Blackhawk Technical College limited each graduate to two tickets for family and friends, according to an admissions official at the college.

Remaining tickets were put into a lottery.


From “Milwaukee Area Technical College offers training seminar to help businesses with government contracts” — Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) will help area businesses learn how to locate contracting opportunities with the federal government at a training seminar to be held on Tuesday, June 14th. The training session will be conducted by the Business Procurement Assistance Center (BPAC) at MATC – Oak Creek Campus.

The Department of Defense offers some of the best opportunities for manufacturing sectors to do business with the Federal government.

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From Wausau Daily Herald: “Dislocated Worker Program sees success” — Meet Jacqueline.

Workforce challenge: Losing a job, being a single mom with a slight learning disability, and beginning the journey toward a new career path, made for a very stressful and busy life for Jacqueline.

Workforce solution: Shortly after being laid-off from a local stainless steel manufacturing facility in October 2008, Jacqueline met with LETC’s WIA, Dislocated Worker Program Employment and Training Specialist, John Peters and enrolled in the program. Through a variety of assessments, Peters determined that Jacqueline would benefit most by first enrolling in a prevocational basic skills class for the upcoming spring semester. She also enrolled in an Adult Career Awareness class and worked with Peters to further develop her employment plan.

Then, Jacqueline decided to enroll into the Surgical Technologist Technical Diploma program at Mid-State Technical College in Marshfield. Jacqueline’s goal was to complete the training program and obtain full-time employment.


From WTCS: “Technical college education leads to great jobs” — 

MADISON – Wisconsin unemployment figures peaked in 2009-2010, however technical college graduates continued to find employment, according to the Wisconsin Technical College System. The System’s new Graduate Follow-up Report indicates 88 percent of last year’s technical college graduates were in the labor force within six months of graduation, up two percent from 2009.

“This strong job placement is the result of technical colleges providing our graduates the skills Wisconsin employers need,” said Dan Clancy, president of the Wisconsin Technical College System. Technical colleges respond to local employers by designing programs to meet their particular needs. “Employees who may have been laid off are retraining and heading back to employment with relevant skills,” Clancy added.

The Graduate Follow-up Report by Wisconsin’s Technical Colleges details the median salary for new associate degree graduates as $35,700. The median salary overall for technical college graduates is $31,200; while graduates of high-demand service, technical and marketing-related careers invite the highest median salary. Information Systems Security Specialists call for a median salary of $72,500 and Industrial Mechanical Technicians garner a median salary of $55,300. The median salary of graduates working in Diagnostic Medical Sonography is $60,300.

Results show that Wisconsin only lost six percent of its technical college graduates to other states. The study also found 97 percent of respondents said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the education they received from their local technical college.

“After 12 years at a factory job, I decided I needed to change my future. The technical college instructors  are passionate about what they do and inspire you to do better. I hope to carry that on,” said Elisa Colson, Physical Therapy Assistant Program, Blackhawk Technical College.

The Graduate Follow-up Report survey was sent to 25,712 graduates from 2009 and 68 percent responded. It examines employment status, earnings, and other factors about six months after graduation.

From “Opportunity knocks at Gateway — Graduation ceremony held Tuesday” — 

RACINE – The last time Dawn Stombaugh was in school, she turned in paperwork she printed from a dot matrix printer.

The 43-year-old Racine resident graduated in 1991 from University of Toledo in Ohio, and moved to southeast Wisconsin in 1998 where she worked as a quality control manager in the next decade.

“Then the recession hit and I didn’t have a job,” Stombaugh said. “I tried to find other jobs in quality control but found nothing. I knew I needed to go back to school.”

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From WITC: “WITC students take top national awards” — 

Yet again, Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College students make it clear they are a force to reckon with when it comes to business competition. A group of six students from WITC-New Richmond recently competed in the national 2011 Business Professionals of America (BPA) National Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C.

Pat Roettger (Downing) placed first in Keyboard Production. Terri Rydeen (St. Croix Falls) placed third in Interview Skills.

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From WFXS, Fox55: “Green architecture program in Rhinelander” — Experts say the building industry produces about 40% of the waste in the US. A new program helps future architects at Nicolet College combat that statistic.

“The pace of change in the building business is very, very rapid, as it is in other areas of technology,” said builder Duanne Swift. “But we’re getting better and better at building homes.”

The green technology trend has been growing throughout the construction industry. Next fall, Nicolet College students will be able to learn more about integrating earth-friendly techniques into their work.

“If we can reduce waste in the construction portion of it, we’re really hitting three main concepts that align with the overall big picture,” said Nicolet College Building Trades instructor Jeff Labs.

Read more from WFXS,Fox55

News from Wisconsin Technical College System: “WTCS Board recognizes Johnsonville Sausage with “Futuremaker Partner Award” — SHEBOYGAN – Johnsonville Sausage received the “Futuremakers Partner Award” from the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) Board. The presentation was part of the WTCS Board meeting held May 10-11 in Sheboygan and Cleveland. The award recognizes organizations that partner with technical colleges in pursuit of strong futures through sustainable jobs.

System President Dan Clancy presented the award to Johnsonville Sausage for the company’s significant financial and workforce investment, which in turn, helps increase the economic vitality of the region. The award was made at the recommendation of Lakeshore Technical College (LTC), who works in close partnership with Johnsonville Sausage to improve student employability skills. Johnsonville employees participate on LTC program advisory committees and ensure student access to affordable education through support of student aid programs. Johnsonville Sausage has been a strong financial contributor to the LTC Foundation and has shared their business and management expertise on the Foundation Board.

“We are proud to recognize Johnsonville Sausage as a Futuremakers Partner Award recipient,” said Clancy. “LTC and Johnsonville Sausage have a long history of partnership that has improved the quality of LTC education and training programs and graduates and that has helped LTC grow and expand its enrollment and facilities.”

Johnsonville Sausage is the No. 1 producer of brats, Italian sausage, smoked-cooked links and fresh breakfast sausage. The company employs approximately 1,300 members, and its products are available in all 50 states and in about 30 countries.

“I am honored to accept this award on behalf of all Johnsonville Sausage team members, the majority of whom have received training from LTC,” said Don McAdams, director of organizational development of learning. “And I want to thank Lakeshore Technical College for helping to develop a true partnership, one that improves operations of both the college and our company and, as a result, increases positive economic outcomes.”

“LTC and Johnsonville Sausage share the same commitment to investing in and strengthening our local communities,” commented LTC President Dr. Michael Lanser. “Lakeshore Technical College faculty, staff and students have benefitted greatly from our partnership with Johnsonville Sausage and I look forward to continuing to work together to build bright futures for our residents and our communities for many years to come.”

From the Wisconsin Technical College System — Wisconsin’s Technical Colleges are assisting manufacturers in their quest to become more competitive. College representatives will deliver that message May 17 at the 2011 Manufacturing Matters Conference at the Frontier Airlines Center, Milwaukee.

“We have a lot of capabilities to help manufacturers in the areas of sustainability, supply chain management and the adoption of new technologies,” said Jim Mackey, Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) education director – manufacturing and engineering. “The colleges also offer corporate training programs customized to company needs.”

According to the most recent statistics from the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, manufacturing accounts for $49 billion in economic output—a 20 percent share of Wisconsin’s overall economy. Wisconsin ranks in the top ten nationwide in exports, and manufacturing accounts for 94 percent of Wisconsin’s exported goods.

However, manufacturers are feeling the pressure to use process improvement initiatives, such as lean production techniques, to produce more efficiently. Employees need to be brought up to speed in the newest production techniques and technology.

Fox Valley Technical College recently creating a customized training program for employees of Sturm Foods, a dry grocery manufacturer located in Manawa. Sturm Foods officials reported a six to ten percent increase in productivity after 255 employees took Lean Enterprise Project Certificate training.

Bruno Independent Living Aids in Oconomowoc uses Lean education from Waukesha County Technical Colleges’ Corporate & Community Training to significantly reduce lead-time and inventory while doing more business. The global manufacturer of accessibility products is also using Waukesha County Tech for effective listening, communication and problem solving courses for many of its 300 employees.

Wisconsin manufacturers also want to implement more sustainable production through waste and energy use reductions. Employee training has become essential to these goals, as many Wisconsin manufacturers are taking advantage of the business and industry training provided by the technical colleges. Courses are offered on-site, through distance learning networks or interactive computer/video on the Internet. Areas of focus include Continuous Quality Improvement, Organizational Leadership, and ISO/QS 9000 International Standards. WTCS instructors provide customized training for more than 100,000 employees each year.

From The Northwestern: “Fox Valley Technical College graduates: It’s never too late to go back to school” — Ted Lamers recites the date he was laid off with the same ease as his birthday.

“January 23, 2009. It always sticks in your mind,” Lamers said.

Lamers, of Kaukauna, was let go with 300 workers from Creative Converting in Appleton, a division of the Hoffmaster Group, he said.

After being out of school for more than three decades, the 52-year-old student at Fox Valley Technical College graduated Sunday at Kolf Sports Center with an associate’s degree in applied industrial and mechanical engineering.

From the Appleton Post Crescent: “What’s news” — WAUPACA — The city of Waupaca and Riverside Medical Center have partnered with Fox Valley Technical College to build a new garden on the hospital campus overlooking the Crystal River. The garden, to be named the “Riverside Reflection Garden,” also is an earth-friendly recycling project.

The garden is being built on top of the basement foundation of the old ThedaCare Physicians’ building, which has been transformed into an underground stormwater runoff treatment facility. The estimated 75-by-250-foot garden will feature walkways, benches, wild flowers, trees and shrubs. The park will also include a raised garden bed so patients in wheelchairs can also experience the flowers and plants up close from their vantage point.

From the Sussex Patch: “Hamilton to Continue Participating in School-to-Work Program” — 

The Hamilton School District will continue its participation in the Waukesha County School-to-Work Consortium in the 2011-12 school year.

The School Board has approved continuing the plan next year due to continued successes the district has seen in student participants.

“The Waukesha County School-to-Work Consortium provides our district with the grant funding that helps support co-op youth apprenticeship, work experience programs and K-12 related initiatives,” said Pete Ferge, associate principal and extended learning opportunities coordinator. “In addition, the consortium acts as a governing body that assists in education for employment and strategic planning efforts.”

The program, which is coordinated by Waukesha County Technical College, gives students in 12 area districts the opportunity to earn credits for programs offered by WCTC.

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From The Chippewa Herald: “Chippewa Falls woman aims for next step after graduating from CVTC” — EAU CLAIRE  — Flordeliza Hazelton of Chippewa Falls was one of 600 students to graduate from Chippewa Valley Technical College in a ceremony Friday at Zorn Arena on the grounds of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Hazelton is a surgical technician graduate, and still has a bit of studying ahead of her. She will spend the next two weeks preparing for her national board exams which she will take on May 23.

“Going to CVTC was an obvious choice for me,” Hazelton commented.

“The instructors were always so helpful and encouraged me every step of the way.”

Speakers at the graduation ceremony told the graduates about how to make the most of their future.


From “Green architecture program in Rhinelander” — Experts say the building industry produces about 40% of the waste in the US. A new program helps future architects at Nicolet College combat that statistic.

“The pace of change in the building business is very, very rapid, as it is in other areas of technology,” said builder Duanne Swift. “But we’re getting better and better at building homes.”

The green technology trend has been growing throughout the construction industry. Next fall, Nicolet College students will be able to learn more about integrating earth-friendly techniques into their work.

“If we can reduce waste in the construction portion of it, we’re really hitting three main concepts that align with the overall big picture,” said Nicolet College Building Trades instructor Jeff Labs.

Those three aspects include environmental, economic and social conditions — integral parts of the new Architectural Technology degree.

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From WEAU 13 News:  “CVTC students build new house” EAU CLAIRE–

A group of students from the Chippewa Valley Technical College have helped to revitalize a neighborhood, by building a new house.

The house helped replace an older, dilapidated building. Students did most of the carpentry work, while plumbing and electrical work were handled by private contractors. Instructors say projects like this make it easier for students to transfer their new skills to the real world.

Ryan Barth, an instructor at CVTC said “Students are able to learn the techniques and fundamentals of construction and learn it on an on site training location, then relate that to the industry when you graduate.”

The proceeds from the sale of the house will go towards future building projects.

View WEAU video

From Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune: “Mid-State Technical College students optimistic about future — While the job market hasn’t rebounded to pre-recession levels, some new Mid-State Technical College graduates are hopeful about their chances to land a job.

More than 530 students graduated from Mid-State Technical College across the school’s campuses in Wisconsin Rapids, Marshfield and Stevens Point on Thursday night.

Karen Fluegel, 48, Pittsville, graduated from MSTC in 1990 in the medical assistant program but returned to school four years ago to pursue a nursing degree after her children were grown.

“It was hard to get back into studying and hard to balance the working because I worked full time up until a year ago and then I went to 32 hours a week,” said Fluegel, who has been a communication specialist for Ministry Spirit medical transportation in Marshfield since 2003. “With nursing, I really like to take care of people, meeting different people, and to try to help them and their loved ones get through a difficult time.”


From the Green Bay Press Gazette: “Northeast Wisconsin Technical College faces tighter budget, staff cuts” — Despite growing enrollment, Northeastern Wisconsin Technical College administrators plan to spend less next year.  NWTC’s board of trustees Wednesday will review and likely vote on a proposed 2011-12 budget that calls for an operating budget of $112 million, down about 1.67 percent from $118 million for 2010-11.  The overall tax levy would dip slightly from about $59.1 million last year to $58.89 million for 2011-12. That small difference means homeowners shouldn’t see much change in the amount of property taxes they owe for NWTC — about $160 for the owner of a home valued at $100,000 last year.

From the Door County Advocate: “Northeast Wisconsin Technical College expands offerings at Sturgeon Bay campus” — Door County residents who want to prepare for their future careers close to home now have two more options. Starting in August, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College will offer the Business Management and Accounting Assistant programs at the Sturgeon Bay campus.

“More local learning opportunities like these mean more ways for the people of Door County to reach their career goals,” said Bob Loss, Sturgeon Bay campus dean. “With today’s gas prices, these programs are coming at the right time.”


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