From “Moraine Park offering CNC Machinist Boot Camps” — Moraine Park Technical College is combating the skilled worker shortage by launching manufacturing skills academies in a series of 15-week boot camps.

In July, Gov. Scott Walker announced a Wisconsin Workforce Partnership Grant from the Wisconsin Covenant Foundation, Inc., for Moraine Park.

The college will use the $705,647 grant to provide specific training necessary to create job opportunities at partnering businesses including Amerequip Corp., Brenner Tank, John Crane Orion and Mid-States Aluminum Corp.

Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Machinist Boot Camp information sessions will be held on Moraine Park’s West Bend campus. They are scheduled from 3 to 4:30 p.m. and 5 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 4; and from 8 to 9:30 a.m. and 10 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 6.

Each session will include business partner presentations, job placement opportunities, entrance requirements, program fees and CNC Machinist Boot Camp schedules.

Boot camp basic requirements include people who are currently unemployed, people not currently employed as a CNC machinist or people employed in a field unrelated to CNC. Additionally, participants cannot be current employees of any of the four covenant grant partner companies.

The boot camps are part of the Wisconsin Workforce Partnership Grant.

Those interested in attending one of the free information sessions must RSVP by emailing or calling 920-929-2117.


From “Success on the GED Test is now just clicks away in Wisconsin” — In striving to provide more adult learners throughout the state with a high school credential and basic technology skills, Wisconsin is partnering with GED Testing Service to offer the GED test on computer. Online registration and scheduling will be available to test-takers in select areas. Testing began on August 21, 2012.

“As society integrates technology into almost every facet of life, and the job market continues to be shaped by technology, adults will need basic technology skills to be successful,” said Randy Trask, president of GED Testing Service. “Moving the GED test to computer helps adults demonstrate necessary basic technology skills and makes their testing process easier and more efficient. We are so pleased that Wisconsin is our partner in this important endeavor.”

Several new services will streamline the testing process and benefit adult learners who often need to move very quickly into jobs or training programs. These benefits include:

Online scheduling and registration that is available 24/7

  • More testing flexibility for test-takers: They can choose when and where to take their test
  • Instant unofficial score reports: Faster results mean adults can apply for jobs or immediately begin studying if they need to retake a subject area
  • Enhanced test security

“Wisconsin is excited to launch the first two of 76 sites that will be offering computer-based testing for the GED test,” said State Superintendent Tony Evers. “Wisconsin’s technical colleges and community-based organizations are partners with us to help those who have not graduated from high school gain a GED credential or other credential. For many, this is their first step to family-supporting jobs or further education.”

Wisconsin’s GED program will be fully functional with computer-based tests by Fall 2013. As Wisconsin’s elected State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Evers administers the GED test and High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED) program. The state issues just under 9,000 high school completion credentials a year to adults; about 76 percent are based on completion of the five GED tests.

According to state GED program leadership, the computerized test is initially being offered in two locations before it is expanded across the state. The testing centers offering computer-based testing are located at:

  • Mid-State Technical College, Wisconsin Rapids
  • Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Green Bay

Since the national launch in January, more than 9,000 computerized GED tests have been delivered in at least 23 states and test-takers have taken advantage of the new benefits. “The computer test was easy to use and the instant score report helped motivate me to finish the rest of the sections,” said Eric Martinez, who was one of the first individuals in Nebraska to take the GED test on computer. GED Testing Service expects more than half of all states to offer the test on computer by the end of the year.

The GED test on computer is the same test currently offered on paper and pencil. Whether a candidate takes the test on paper or computer, it must be taken in person at an official GED testing center.  The GED test is never offered online.

States currently offering the GED test on computer are preparing for the new 2014 GED test, which will only be available on computer. Offering the test on computer before January 2014 allows testing centers to become familiar with the new system and better prepare test-takers.

For adults interested in taking or learning more about the GED test on computer, please visit

From “Moraine Park students place in national electricity competition” — Max Paulus of Fredonia and Istvan Biro of West Bend had a powerful performance in the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference held June 23-27 in Kansas City, Mo. Each competing with about 25 other students, Paulus placed 8th and Istvan placed 12th in the Electrical Construction Wiring and Industrial Motor Control competitions, respectively.
“The students spent time preparing prior to the competition and both seemed very confident going into the competition,” said Mark Wamsley, electricity instructor at Moraine Park. “After experiencing the national competition, we all have ideas on how to improve for next time.”         

From “Greenville dedicates 9/11 memorial” — Lt. Joe Torrillo knows these dirty, bent beams all too well.

“I come here today and I see those beams and it reminds me of all of my friends, the other 343 firemen who made the supreme sacrifice you know and marched into heaven all together and left me behind,” he said, in his thick New York accent.

The retired New York City firefighter survived the collapse of the World Trade Center on September 11th.

He was rescued from the rubble days later.

Saturday, he came to Greenville, a town in Outagamie County, with other survivors to share his story and dedicate the town’s new 9-11 memorial.

“I’m glad everyone was able to get together today. I think some people started some healing,” said Town of Greenville Chairman Randy Leiker.

People in Greenville say they wanted to showcase a real reminder of 9/11 in their memorial. Firefighters applied for the beams to be donated through a group in New York City that has memorial pieces from the World Trade Center wreckage. The beams arrived last year.

“When these beams showed up, with the stains on them from the fire, plate steel torn apart like aluminum foil, they became reality,” said landscape architect James Beard.

Beard designed the memorial around the two beams. With help of his Fox Valley Technical College students and plenty of volunteers, the memorial was completed in the past three months.

The memorial sits adjacent to the Greenville Veterans Memorial in front of the town’s municipal complex. A path of memorial bricks, bearing the names of local soldiers, pivots sharply towards the east. It heads in the actual direction of Ground Zero in New York City. The path ends at a stone pentagon. The designers of this memorial wanted to incorporate images of all three sites of the terrorist attacks on 9/11.

“The pond itself is symbolic it’s commemorating the hole in Pennsylvania made by Flight 93 crashing,” explained Beard. “The water in the waterfall connects in an audible and visual way to the waterfall at the memorial in New York City.”

“I think it’s unimaginable what it means to them if it means this much to me,” said Leiker, who became emotional at several points during the dedication ceremony.

Torrillo says the way Greenville came together to make this memorial happen can inspire people across the nation.

“I’m begging the people of the United States of America: don’t give up on our country,” he pleaded.

He says these words written on the memorial—Never Forgotten—Continue to ring true in this small town.

The Greenville 9/11 Memorial is estimated to cost $10 to 15 thousand. Community donations funded the project.

From “MATC, DWD announce manufacturing apprenticeship to address skills gap” — The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development and Milwaukee Area Technical College on Monday announced a new entry-level Industrial Manufacturing Technician Apprenticeship to help address the skills gap many Wisconsin manufacturers say they’re facing.

The program gives entry-level workers an overview of manufacturing, from operating equipment to understanding industry trends. The 18-month program follows a hybrid model of on-the-job learning and related instruction, according to a press release.

The program is expected to open up a career pathway to other industrial skilled trades for the entry-level workers. The average annual wage in manufacturing is more than $51,000, compared with approximately $40,600 for all jobs, DWD said.

The apprenticeship is the first developed in partnership with MATC and the fifth of six programs under the $6 million Sector Alliance for the Green Economy grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. The Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership/BIG STEP helped develop the program, designed to meet manufacturers’ production worker needs, particularly metal and plastic manufacturers, and food processors.

“Manufacturing is leading Wisconsin’s economic recovery, adding more than 12,000 jobs in the past year,” said Lisa Boyd, administrator of the DWD division of employment and training, in a written statement. “The new apprenticeship training program will help this sector expand further by providing manufacturers the skilled workers they need.”

Nick Triscari, MATC apprenticeship coordinator, said school officials are looking forward to offering the new apprenticeship.

“We believe this training will ease the skills gap reported by many employers in the industrial and manufacturing sectors,” Triscari said.

From “National award for Venture Center Grad” — David Lindenstruth, owner of Appetize, Inc., the largest operator of Mongolian grill restaurants in Wisconsin, was named recipient of the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) “Alumni Entrepreneur Award” for 2012.

Lindenstruth currently owns and operates five HuHot Mongolia Grill restaurants located in Appleton, Eau Claire, Green Bay, Kenosha, and Madison, in addition to two restaurants in Indiana. He received his business start-up and entrepreneurial growth training through the Venture Center at Fox Valley Technical College. These experiences consisted of both the Venture Center’s E-Seed and Pro-Seed training sessions.

The recognition is one of four annual award categories of the NACCE that honors individuals for their hard work and commitment to entrepreneurship. Lindenstruth will receive his award at the national NACCE Conference in Chicago on October 9.

From “Social media in politics” —  Social media is rapidly becoming an essential in politics. But Steve Noll, an instructor and expert on social media at Madison College, said Twitter and Facebook aren’t the place to check for serious analysis of politics. “A lot of people are turning to Facebook, and especially Twitter, for national events, and conveying information really almost more information and not for serious political discussions,” he said.

Noll expects that to be the case now that the national political conventions are upon us. Noll thinks politicians can use social media as a “rapid response” to their own gaffes, or misinformation being reported about them. “The can turn to social media to try to correct that information as quick as possible, before this domino effect potentially could escalate something out of control,” he said. “That’ the smart way to use social media in politics.”

Of course, many have staff who update their Twitter feeds and Facebook pages. Noll said he’s a little concerned with that – and thinks those politicians may not understand just how powerful a tool social media can be.

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