From “NWTC to hold Artisan and Quilt Show” —  Artwork by area residents will be on display during the first annual Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Artisan and Quilt Show on Saturday, October 15, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the NWTC Hillcrest Artisan Center, 915 Second Street, Kewaunee. This event is free and open to the public; donations of non-perishable food items for the local food pantry are requested.

The show will feature pieces by students who are eager to present their projects. “Students in the quilting and sewing classes have made such wonderful progress in the variety and quality of their projects that the time is right to feature their work,” said Mary Gaye Rank, NWTC instructor.

One student whose work will be on display is Betty Panten of Green Bay. “The classes are a great deal of fun and the instruction is excellent,” said Panten, who has been quilting since 1965 and joined the group of quilters at Hillcrest in 2007. “There is always something new to learn.”

Proper produce prepping

September 30, 2011

From “Proper produce prepping” —  Rhinelander – The recent listeria outbreak in cantaloupes has many people thinking twice before reaching for that favorite produce item.

Here’s some tips to keep you healthy.

Sometimes bacteria and pesticides make it from the farm to the store.

Jim Bonjean is the Assistant Manager at Walmart and says they have to inspect their produce before it makes the shelves. “For instance beets come in and they’re dirty, we wash it and then we put it on the counter.”

At Nicolet College, Culinary Arts Instructor Kevin Brown deals with produce everyday and has a few tips for you.

Bacteria not on your hands, like listeria, will hide in the grooves of our fruits and veggies. “If you have a vegetable that has grooves in it like potatoes and melons, for instance, use a gentle brush on them.”

Brown also says to run cool water over them with your hands, and to not fill up your sink and let them sit in the water. “It won’t clean it, it needs the action of the cool running water with your hands to rub it away.”

But some veggies harbor bacteria in different places.

“For instance if your washing lettuce, lettuce may have some bruised or cut edges on it, bacteria love to hide in those spots.” Brown says to remember not to cross contaminate your veggies when working with other raw products by keeping them separated and keeping you healthy.

Brown also says bacteria can be transferred into the center of melons by cutting it without washing first.

From “College celebrates 100 years” — One hundred years may seem like a long time to many people, but to MATC it is only the beginning. From September 2011 to September 2012, MATC will be celebrating 100 years of changing people’s lives.

A year long celebration may seem like a long time to show recognition, but to Kathleen Hohl, Director of Public Relations, a year is just what we need. “We need to ensure we commemorate 100 years in a number of ways to include the many different stakeholders – current and former students, current and former faculty and staff, community partners. Spreading our celebrations over a calendar gives us that opportunity.”

And this opportunity is not just for the staff, but also for the students. Hohl added, “Students will have the opportunity to learn about the history of the college and, hopefully, appreciate the contributions of former students, faculty and staff made to creating a premier technical college.” Right now, we see MATC the same way many men and women saw it when it first started: a great opportunity for many Milwaukee residences. The only difference between current students and past ones are the changes that we have seen at MATC as a school. Back when MATC was starting off in 1912, many students were learning the same things current students are learning right now.

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From “Wausau man puts high school struggles behind him” —  Joel Rogina of Wausau likes to carry around his last high school report card.

It’s not very impressive. It’s sprinkled with Ds and Fs and shows that Rogina ended up with a lackluster 1.79 grade point average when he graduated from Kingsford (Mich.) High School in 2000. Rogina is 30 now, and he has a kind of pride in the report card because it shows just how far he’s come.

As a teenager, he was an unfocused student who didn’t care much about grades, a kind of kid who teetered along the lines of delinquency.

Now he’s a full-time nontraditional student at Northcentral Technical College, studying human services and aiming to be a social worker who works with at-risk kids. He’s in the second year of the program, and so far he’s earned a 4.0 grade point average.


From “Green Bay-area colleges see higher enrollment, increase in adult students” — Students continue to enroll at local colleges in record numbers, although school administrators say growth has slowed since the height of the recession.

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay welcomed 6,598 students this fall, according to early reports. That’s up slightly from 6,579 in 2010, and 5,791 in fall of 2006.

St. Norbert College has 2,173 undergraduates this year, one more than last fall. In 2006, the school had 2,015 undergraduates enrolled.

Meanwhile, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, which calculates numbers differently, has enrolled the equivalent of 3,900 full-time students for fall compared with about 3,963 last fall. Its calculations vary from other colleges because full-time equivalency equals 30 credits of enrollment, which means full-time students can represent several taking classes on a part-time basis.

The technical college served the equivalent of 7,561 full-time students for the entire 2010-11 school year, compared with 6,175 in 2006-07. School officials do not expect growth in full-time students this year, although they do expect growth in the actual number of students taking courses.


Women in trades event at NWTC

September 29, 2011

From — Women in trades event at NWTC” — Video shows event designed to expose middle school students to non-traditional careers.

From “Manufacturers keep ‘help wanted’ sign out” — The orders keep coming in at Ace manufacturing, but owner Brian Lakari says, “I can’t find people fast enough. Right now we need to hire 16 more people… today.”

Manufacturing companies in Northeast Wisconsin are having a hard time filling positions requiring skilled labor. It stems from a lack of interest in the field.

Lakari and his employees are struggling to keep up.

“We need to operate the machines and hope to take the workload off everybody,” Ace employee Marc Freeman said.

“We ran mandatory 48s for most of the summer, and that just becomes counter-productive after a while,” Lakari said.

Lakari says he brought in machines two weeks ago for a new customer but he doesn’t have anybody to operate them.

“We get a lot of applicants, but most of the people who come in and interview are lacking basic math skills, blueprint reading skills, basic mechanical skill,” Lakari said.

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College president Jeff Rafn says his enrollment numbers reflect the lack of interest in machining than anything, down 20 percent from last year.

“It’s not a capacity issue for me. It’s an issue of students wanting to get into manufacturing,” Rafn said.

Rafn said many people have a misconception it’s a dirty occupation without long-term potential. Lakari says today machining is a clean, high-tech career with a promising future.


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