From the Northwoods River News: “Nicolet College anticipates another enrollment jump in fall” — Nicolet Area Technical College is about two months away from the start of the 2011 fall semester, and already, enrollment numbers are on the trajectory for another increase.

The college’s Director of Admissions Susan Kordula said about 1,000 students are registered in one of Nicolet’s programs for the fall, an approximate 3 percent increase from what enrollment was at in June of last year. Kordula said about one-third of the college’s students enroll during the months of June, July and August, putting Nicolet on another projected enrollment increase once classes begin Aug. 24.

“The economy hasn’t really changed and in down times, people go back to school,” Kordula said.

Some of Nicolet’s programs are already filled. The Culinary Arts and Barber/Cosmetology programs have reached their capacity (each program is able to take in approximately 20 new students). Others (e.g. all the health-related programs) are filling up fast Kordula said. Even if a program is already full, students can still enroll and begin meeting some basic course requirements Kordula added.

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From the Journal Times:  “Youth offenders receive diplomas”

RACINE — Joseph Williams was all smiles Friday morning as he stepped up to receive his high school diploma. As family and friends cheered, the 22-year-old and 71 other graduates achieved a goal that for many had seemed impossible.

Williams and his fellow students are all inmates at the Racine Youthful Offender Correctional Facility (RYOC), 1501 Albert St., a medium security adult institution for male offenders between the ages of 15 and 24. RYOC offers inmates classes to build their skills to help them re-enter the workforce upon release.

Many of the men, like Williams, had not attended school for years prior to incarceration and relished the opportunity to improve their lives.

“I didn’t go to school before I got in here,” Williams said. “It’s not a good thing that I got in here, but it was a good wakeup call … My degree means when I get out of here I can keep going to school, better my life, get a job.”

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From the Post Crescent: “Communities try to remain optimistic jobs will return after mill closure”— KIMBERLY — Ontonagon, Mich., and Kimberly have something in common — both are grappling with the closure of paper mills and the loss of hundreds of good-paying jobs.

To passers-by, both sites appear capable of resuming production at a moment’s notice. But residents and leaders of the two villages wonder what the future holds as the Ontonagon mill is readied for demolition and Kimberly’s NewPage mill awaits the fate that will be decided by the scrap metal recycling company that now owns both mills.

The mill in Ontonagon, which operated for about 90 years, employed about 180 people when it closed in December 2009. American Iron & Metal Co. Inc., a scrap metal specialist from Montreal, purchased the Ontonagon mill in January and plans to tear down the facility.


Inside Newsroom of UW-Green Bay: “Initiative extends UW-Green Bay bachelor’s options for Wausau tech students”— A program starting this fall will make it easier for students from the Wausau-based Northcentral Technical College to transfer in at junior status and earn bachelor’s degrees from UW-Green Bay.

The two schools finalized the partnership this past spring in a signing ceremony at NTC’s main campus in Wausau. UW-Green Bay Chancellor Tom Harden and President Lori Weyers (above) represented their respective institutions.

Under the agreement, UW-Green Bay will offer some weekend classes at NTC and employ an academic adviser on that campus to help placebound NTC graduates earn their bachelor’s degrees either fully online or in combination with weekend offerings.

“What they’ll get from the program we offer is an opportunity to extend the application of those technical skills, to get a broader education,” Harden told reporters at the April announcement. “To think sometimes in a broader way, a different way, is something you find business leaders looking for in employees.”

A student who earns 60 credits from NTC can begin as a junior with UW-Green Bay, regardless of when he or she earned a degree from NTC.


From the Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin: “Moraine Park Technical College recognizes Board’s deputy director with Basic Education Award — Madison, WI — Moraine Park Technical College held its General Educational Development (GED) and High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED) graduation ceremony on June 16, 2011 at its Fond du Lac campus.

As part of the ceremony to recognize the accomplishments of GED/HSED graduates, Seth Lentz of the Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin was presented with the Friend of Basic Education Award. He also gave the congratulatory address to Moraine Park’s graduates at the ceremony.

The award was presented to Lentz for his work in driving adult basic education and career pathway development. Lentz began working with the Moraine Park Technical College-Beaver Dam campus in 2008 to develop and launch a short-term skills development and transition center to serve as an access point for dislocated, unemployed and underprepared workers in South Central Wisconsin. The platform design of the skill center includes case management, financial literacy, GED completion, and basic computer literacy services to help adults prepare for the high level of skills required for today’s jobs.

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From Fox 11: “FVTC: Agriculture careers on the rise”–APPLETON – A local tech school says jobs are booming in agriculture.

On Thursday, Fox Valley Technical College held a special boot camp to help students explore those opportunities.

“This industry is moving forward really fast,” instructor Jason Fischer said. He says you don’t need to be from a farm to take advantage.

The school held the day long camp to help people interested in agriculture explore their options and get some hands on experience.

“It was a lot of fun,” attendee Laura Sorenson said. “This was the first time I actually drove a tractor, so I had a blast.”

“I would like a career in agriculture, but I’m not quite sure what,” Jeremy Uitenbroek said.

Originally the free session was designed for displaced workers, but a grant helped widen the opportunity for anyone curious about agriculture.


From “Madison College: Instructor receives prestigious national award” — Madison Area Technical College information technology instructor Andy Czerkas and his wife Jenny, a Madison College graduate, received the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis award at the recent national Jefferson Awards in Washington, D.C.

Andy and Jenny founded The River Food Pantry in Madison about ten years ago. The pantry provides hot meals, groceries, clothing and household items to about 21,000 Dane County families that are struggling to make ends meet.

The Jefferson Awards are considered the “Nobel Prize for public service.” They are presented to unsung heroes for their extraordinary and selfless volunteer work.

The Czerkas’ were among a “who’s who” of award winners. Others receiving national honors at the Jefferson Awards ceremony included Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, sports owner Jerry Reinsdorf and actress Marlo Thomas.

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