Wisconsin’s 16 technical colleges understand they must share the burden resulting from the State’s major budget deficit.  However, the 30 percent annual cut in state funding represents, by far, the largest proportional cut than what is proposed for any other level of education or local government.  This, along with a strict freeze on local revenue will inhibit responsiveness to job creators in our communities.

Wisconsin’s technical colleges help keep the economy humming. They are responsive to business leaders’ needs and provide students with bang for their buck. They’re so popular, in fact, that enrollment is up 40 percent statewide in the last decade.

There’s only one problem. The state is in a budget crisis, and technical colleges are facing cuts just like many other state agencies, communities and schools.

More of this editorial from postcrescent.com

Three Wood Tech students from Western Technical College recently excelled at the Wisconsin SkillsUSA Leadership and Skills Conference in Wisconsin Dells.

Adam Olson, of Arcadia, took gold in the Carpentry competition. The project was judged based on a written test, building a floor system, wall assembly, rafter layout and stair stringer layout. As a gold medalist, Olson will compete at the National SkillsUSA conference in Kansas City, Mo. on June 19-24.

Other notable finishes include Renee David, of La Farge, who took silver in the Carpentry competition, and Steve Rurup, of La Crosse, who took bronze in the Cabinetmaking competition.

More from Western Technical College

Milwaukee Area Technical College will host an opportunity for students to display their work Wednesday evening at Discovery World from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Read more from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

From businessweek.com: Turning Factory Hands into Skilled Workers” – The housing-market bust made Mark Johnson a casualty of the recession, as the downturn drained away the professional mover’s hours. Now, Johnson is counting on training in computerized machine operation to put him at the forefront of the manufacturing-led recovery. He’s hungry for the work. “They aren’t going to keep you if you aren’t making them money,” Johnson, 29, says of his potential employers.

Even with 1 in 10 manufacturing workers unemployed, U.S. companies can’t find enough people to run the smart machines that now dominate the factory floor. On May 13, Johnson and a dozen others will be the first graduates in two years from a “boot camp” meant to match that need: a program offered by Gateway Technical College of Kenosha, Wisc., that trains students in computer numerical control operations —CNC, for short.

They’ll have jobs waiting for them only if they can help local manufacturers boost productivity, says Jim Beere, president of Racine-based Pioneer Products, which make transmission components. “The same people we won’t hire now, we would have hired five or six years ago,” says Beere, 60, who employs past graduates of the training session, a partnership between Gateway and local job development centers. “Manufacturing has made a quantum leap over the last five to seven years. Just like our customers, we are raising the bar.”

More from Bloomberg Business Week

Is your business aware of all the opportunities that government procurement has to offer? Waukesha County Technical College is hosting a seminar that will help area businesses learn how to effectively compete for contracts to sell your products and services to the federal government at a training seminar to be held on Wednesday, May 25th at the Pewaukee Campus. The training session will be conducted by the Business Procurement Assistance Center (BPAC) of Madison College.

Read more at wisbusiness.com

STEVENS POINT — The state budget proposal could have unintended consequences that adversely affect economic development, even as Gov. Scott Walker touts a plan to create 250,000 new jobs, leaders said Wednesday.

During a panel discussion at the Central Wisconsin Alliance for Economic Development’s Regional Economic Summit in Stevens Point, leaders from both the public and private sector said sweeping cuts to education coupled with Medicaid reform could impact development indirectly, thus slowing recovery.


TOWN OF MENASHA — A new $25 million state-of-the-art flexible packaging plant will start up this fall in the northern portion of the former Kimberly-Clark Lakeview diaper plant that closed in December 2007.

Prolamina expects to hire about 70 full-time employees within the first year, eventually working up to more than 100 employees over time.


FVTC advisor profiled

May 6, 2011

Heather Vander Heyden, senior business developer for Fox Communities Credit Union, serves on the Fox Valley Technical College marketing advisory committee and is a regular speaker for the FVTC marketing department. She is among the Fox Cities Future 15.

Read more from postcrescent.com

FOND DU LAC – Moraine Park Technical College has announced a downsizing of staff and services to meet a projected $3.1 million shortfall in its 2011-12 budget.

The proposed budget will go into effect July 1.

The shortfall is the result of changes made by the budget repair bill.

Read more from Beaver Dam Daily Citizen

Moraine Park Technical College is proud to present the annual WTCS Tech Expo Conference on Thursday, May 26, as well as pre-conference meetings on Wednesday, May 25.

Tech Expo will be held at Moraine Park Technical College’s West Bend Campus, 2151 N. Main Street, West Bend.

This event is devoted to enhancing learning through the use of current and emerging technology. Keynote speaker Jeff D Borden, Senior Director of Teaching & Learning at Pearson eCollege, will address  “Education 3.0: Weeding Through The Hype.” This presentation will draw on educational best practices from past to present and even look to the future. Participants will  see examples of and hear theory specific to practical strategies for both presentation and assessment in the classroom.

Madison Area Technical College took fourth place and won a silver medal at the recent regional culinary competition in New Orleans. Madison College competed against teams from Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.


Pictured from left to right; Coach John Johnson, Aaron Miller, Nick Malovec, Mary Kastman, Marissa Bertram and Brad Grunewald.

“To put this into perspective, consider there are more than 700 culinary schools across the country and Madison College was one of nine schools earning the right to compete at the central region competition,” says Paul Short, chief instructor and program director of the College’s culinary arts program. “I’m very proud of what our students accomplished.”

The two-day event required culinary teams to make a cold platter, take part in a relay-type skills competition, and prepare a four-course meal in just 75 minutes.

Milwaukee Area Technical College president Michael Burke deplored an anticipated 30 percent cut in state aid as part of Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed state budget, telling a business group it comes at a time when enrollment has increased 16 percent and community interest is high in the tech school programs.

Burke, who took the helm of MATC in January 2010, told about 180 people at the Milwaukee Rotary Club luncheon on Tuesday that the cuts would slash an estimated $7.5 million from MATC, which served nearly 48,000 students last year — a student enrollment that Burke noted exceeds that of Ohio State University.

Read more from WisBusiness.com

GRAND CHUTE — Fox Valley Technical College faces significant budgetary challenges at a time when the success of its programs can most help the local economy pull out of the recession.

What’s more, FVTC has seen its enrollment of adult students needing education and training grow an unprecedented 30 percent over the past three years.

Read more from Appleton Post Crescent

The Wisconsin Innovation Network is planning a technology park to be located on 40 acres of land between Northland College and Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College in Ashland. They say construction will begin in two to three years.

Read more from BusinessNorth.com

Price County Manufacturing Leaders met with Northcentral Technical College (NTC) President Lori Weyers, Campus Dean, Bobbi Damrow along with Deans from the Technical and Trades Division and other College Executive Leaders on April 4, 2011. This collaborative session begins the process of defining current and future workforce needs in terms of skills, competencies and availability of workforce necessary to sustain and grow Price County’s strong manufacturing basis.


Fox Valley Technical College has seen demand soar for its welding program and pressed the welding labs into overnight service about 18 months ago as the student waiting list swelled. There’s been no letup since the school added a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. session to accommodate the continuing demand for workers proficient in welding and related skills.


Soren Nieminen, UW – Madison Communication Arts student, wrote an opinion piece for the Daily Cardinal asking “If we want to create jobs, why are we cutting the budget for technical schools?”

Read the whole article

Hailey Lundborg of Nicolet Area Technical College won the top prize in the Futuremakers Video Competition sponsored by the Wisconsin Technical College System.

Lundborg, a graphic design and digital media student and Prentice resident, impressed the judges with stop-motion animation using coffee beans, among other things, to illustrate how creativity takes shape in “Nicolet’s 1,875 Photos.” Lundborg, who received the top prize of $2,500 for her efforts, was one of three students who received prizes at an awards luncheon Friday in La Crosse.

Jimi Shaw, a Western Technical College visual communications student from Richland Center, received the second place prize of $1,000 for his video, “Meant to Be.”  Shaw’s entry shares how he is learning the skills that will one day put his name in the credits of a feature film. “My hopes come closer to reality everyday,” he says of his technical college experience.

Jonathan Gatzke of Ripon, a student in the electro-mechanical technician program, earned the $500 third prize. Gatzke’s video shows his journey from a four-year degree through several years of temporary jobs, before returning to college, this time through Fox Valley Technical College. He explains how he balances school, work and family life.

Technical college students from throughout the state entered three-minute videos sharing their experiences at the technical colleges and how they are making their futures.

The Aspen Institute is recognizing three of Wisconsin’s technical colleges for demonstrating high levels of student success. Moraine Park Technical College, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College and Milwaukee Area Technical College are among the top 10 percent of US community colleges in improving degree and certificate completion rates.

“This recognition shows the quality of our technical colleges and points out how hard college staff are continuously working toward the success of all students,” said Dan Clancy, president of the Wisconsin Technical College System.

MPTC, NWTC and MATC are now eligible to compete with 117 other two-year colleges for the $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. Sponsors of the prize include: Lumina and Joyce Foundations, JP Morgan Chase and the Aspen Institute. The purpose of the prize is to encourage and reward improvements in community college completion rates.


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