From “BMO Harris Bradley Center buys MATC parcel” — The BMO Harris Bradley Center is expanding its footprint.

Arena officials and the Milwaukee Development Corp. announced Thursday a partnership that will enable the BMO Harris Bradley Center to purchase property owned by the Milwaukee Area Technical College at the southwest corner of N. 4th St. and W. Juneau Ave.

Under terms of the agreement, the arena will purchase the half-acre property with funds from a low-interest loan from the MDC.

The purchase price is approximately $1 million.

Steve Costello, president and CEO of the Bradley Center Sports and Entertainment Corp., said in a statement that the arena plans to work with city officials to continue the existing 30-car parking operation on the northern end of the site and begin planning to demolish the MATC building on the southern end of the purchased property.

“This is a good business move for the current BMO Harris Bradley Center and our operations,” Costello said in a statement. “The terms of the MDC loan are such that we can pay for it with revenues generated from the parking that already exists on the site.”

Costello said the purchase agreement gives the BMO Harris Bradley Center complete ownership of the property between N. 4th and N. 5th Sts., and W. State and W. Juneau Ave.

Costello said that, no matter what happens with talk of a new arena in Milwaukee, having additional property is critical.

“We are pleased to work with the MDC on this important effort,” Costello said. “This move helps us extend the life of our building and maintain the BMO Harris Bradley Center as the crown jewel of the downtown Milwaukee entertainment arena.”

From “WITC offers free adult basic education” — Free basic education classes for adults are available at the Superior campus of Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College. This summer the Student Success Center in Room 213 is open 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays through July 24. Fall classes will resume Aug. 19, and the Student Success Center will be open 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays and 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Whether students want to prepare for college, earn their GED/HSED or enter the workforce with confidence, they can brush up on basic skills — reading, grammar, science, social studies, basic computer skills or math — in the Student Success Center. Most courses are self-paced with instructor assistance. Students can enroll any time.

The GED/HSED tests change Jan. 1 to a new computerized testing format. Individuals who have started, but not completed, the current written battery of GED tests, will need to finish by December or start over with the new test. Beginning Jan. 1, students will be required to follow the new computerized testing format.

For more information, call 715-394-6677, ext. 6210.

From “Blackhawk Tech’s Milton facility on track” — “I think we’re on a good roll.”

Blackhawk Technical College President Tom Eckert was upbeat on June 19 as he talked about the college’s plans to open a new manufacturing education center in Milton.

He appeared at the Milton Area Chamber of Commerce’s monthly general membership meeting in Newville to give a presentation on the proposed BTC Advanced Manufacturing Training Center.

The Wisconsin Technical College Board in March gave approval for Blackhawk to lease the former Burdick/ANGI Energy System building at 15 Plumb St. to serve as the new facility. Eckert said last week the lease on the property had been secured and engineers were beginning to look at the building to evaluate needs.

The Milton Plan Commission will also hold a public hearing on July 9 at 5 p.m. to consider a conditional use permit (CUP) request for the facility. The meeting will be held in the City Council chambers at 430 E. High St.

Eckert said he anticipates the college’s big manufacturing programs – precision machining (CNC), industrial maintenance, electromechanical technology, welding and metal fabrication – to begin classes in the new facility in the fall of 2014. The remaining manufacturing programs would relocate to Milton in the fall of 2015.

He said modern manufacturing is “no longer dirty and dark” and manufacturers are using more automation. The manufacturers are in need of employees who can master the new technology.

“It’s good for our economy to make things,” he said, touting the importance of keeping manufacturing in the United States.

The Advanced Manufacturing Training Center will be designed to allow more cross-training, creating well-rounded graduates, Eckert said. There will be double the number of welding booths compared to current setup at the central campus in Janesville and more space to take on bigger projects.

Eckert said the “capstone” project for students will be to create a manufacturing line that makes a product.

Moving the manufacturing program to Milton will also free up much-needed space at the central campus for other programs.

From “NWTC and Oneida Tribe formalize partnership” — A charter formalizing a partnership between the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College was signed on Thursday, June 20 on NWTC’s Green Bay campus.

The document, endorsed by Oneida Nation Area Manager of Education and Training Norbert S. Hill and NWTC President Dr. H. Jeffery Rafn, outlines the long-term goals of collaboration between the nation and College. Goals include increased post- secondary educational attainment for tribal members, more cooperation on higher education policy and programming, and ultimately, sustained economic vitality for the Oneida Nation.

“This builds on a relationship between an institution and a nation,” said Hill. “It starts with students, but education is also the vehicle to help Oneida build a nation.”

“We talked about how we could do more together, and this really commits us to increasing the educational level of tribal members, making sure people have the access that they need, and most importantly, that they’re successful,” said Rafn.

Approximately 100 Oneida students attend NWTC per year, making it one of the most highly attended higher education institutions for tribal members. Still, Hill and Rafn see opportunities to increase degree completion and to strengthen community relationships.

“We’ll be working together to only to assess how successful students currently are, but also how we can continue to improve the overall success of their students,” said Rafn.“We sit right on reservation land, right across the street is the Oneida Nation. It seems to me that we have a great opportunity to do some really good things together.”

Other goals contained in the document include increased employment for tribal members, improved student satisfaction, and more collaboration on workforce development issues, internships, and grants.

The charter builds on two recent partnerships between NWTC and Oneida that included the Food Sovereignty Summit in April, and visits to Oneida Nation High School by NWTC’s Mobile Manufacturing Lab.

“We’re holding each other accountable to achieve some specific goals,” said Hill.

“It’s really more than just sending kids to school and achieving a diploma or a two- year degree. It’s much more than that, it’s saying ‘how do we make this work?’ and it could be a model for other tribes across the nation.”

From “Supervisors get insight into leadership training for department heads” — Fourteen Columbia County supervisors Tuesday got what Mike Baldwin called a “crash course” in the management and leadership training that county department heads have undergone since the beginning of this year.

Baldwin, business and industry services account manager for Madison Area Technical College, said role-playing, case studies and conversations among the department heads have been just some of the tools used to help department heads discern the distinctions between leadership and management.

Management, in a nutshell, entails putting out fires, Baldwin said, whereas leadership entails considering ways to keep fires from igniting in the future.

County Board Chairman Andy Ross had invited all supervisors, but particularly those who lead the County Board’s 13 governing committees, to get a glimpse of the training that department heads are receiving through MATC.

There was $20,000 set aside in the county’s 2013 budget, according to Ross, to offer management-leadership training for department heads, including those who hold elected posts.

For next year’s budget, Ross said he will propose setting aside an additional $20,000 to extend the training to employees in supervisory positions who report directly to a county department head.

And, County Board members — especially those who might be elected to their first term in April 2014 — likely will undergo some form of leadership training, Ross said. For the last two County Board election cycles, newly elected supervisors had an orientation session that lasted a few hours; Ross said he’s looking for something a little more in-depth than that.

Baldwin said one of the things he heard frequently from county department heads during their training sessions was that County Board members, too, should have leadership training.

Supervisor Susan Martin, chairwoman of the County Board’s human resources committee, said she would like to find a way to quantify the extent to which department heads use the abilities gained in the training, and incorporate them into the annual evaluation that each department head undergoes with his or her governing committee.

Supervisor Fred Teitgen, chairman of the planning and zoning committee, said there are times when department heads need the skills of a manager to accomplish day-to-day tasks, and times when they need the skills of a leader to create a long-term vision for their departments.

“You need to know when to utilize those two roles,” Teitgen said.

Baldwin said all department heads were interviewed individually, and underwent an online evaluation of their leadership skills, before the department heads began monthly group training.

Ross said he does not have the data from either the interviews or the online evaluations, because he does not want department heads to fear that any of them are being targeted.

Trust, Baldwin said, has emerged as a value that department heads hold as vital. They’re not saying that there is a lack of trust between the department heads and elected officials who oversee their work, he said — only that maintaining trust is important.


From “Original food biz concepts feature natural, Wisconsin ingredients” — Finalists of this year’s Hottest Kitchen Entrepreneur Challenge have something in common – they all incorporate Wisconsin-made ingredients. This challenge to find Wisconsin’s next great food entrepreneur is sponsored by Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC), Reliable Water Services a local provider of commercial water heaters, boilers and water softeners and FaB Milwaukee, an industry network for the food and beverage cluster of SE Wisconsin.

Aspiring chefs and home cooks entered by submitting a short application and photo of their concept. Finalists were selected based on the originality and viability of their concept and appearance based on an initial photo. Three finalists include:

• Andrew Bechaud– Milwaukee, Wis. – Bechaud Elixing Co., a line of handcrafted small batch beverages made with Wisconsin agricultural ingredients. Tempting flavors include Chocolate Chai Veloute and Spring Blossom Cherry Soda. His dream is to start a small production facility and sell to local upscale grocers such as Sendik’s or Whole Foods.
• Pete Cooney –Milwaukee, Wis. – Pete’s Pops – Handcrafted Ice Pops, a frozen treat made with fresh fruits and natural sugars in flavors like Strawberry Basil and Pineapple Jalapeno. Cooney wants to produce through a commercial kitchen, start selling via a push cart at local events and ultimately distribute through area grocers.
• Marcus Thie –Shorewood, Wis. –Sauceformations, a line of gluten-free and Paleo-diet friendly organic sauces for home chefs including Tomato Choka, a recipe from Trinidad packed with flavor and nutrients. He wants to launch StreetBeet, a food truck where he can promote locally grown food and showcase organic recipes featuring his sauce line.

Finalists will compete for the grand prize in a Food Network-style judging event at MATC’s student-run restaurant Cuisine located at 1015 N. 6th St on the MATC campus on Wednesday, July 31th at 3 p.m.

The grand prize winner will receive $2,500 in seed money from Reliable Water Services; a comprehensive entrepreneurial consultation package from MATC; $500 of professional cookware from Boelter Superstore and a two-hour private meeting with food industry executives serving on FaB Milwaukee’s Advisory Council. Judges for the contest include:

• Jan Kelly, owner and chef, Meritage restaurant, Milwaukee
• Angela West, co-founder/publisher, Alcoholmanac Magazine, Milwaukee
• Betsy Gilmore, general manager, Bel Air Cantina/Wauwatosa
• Jack Kaestner, chef instructor for Milwaukee Area Technical College
• Lynn Sbonik, co-owner of Beans & Barley Deli, Market & Full Service Café
• Eric Olesen, owner and president, O&H Danish Bakery of Racine
• Peter Gottsacker, president of Wixon, a manufacturer of seasonings, flavors, and technologies for the food, beverage, and meat industry.

“We were impressed with the level of creativity and passion of the many entries we received,” said contest judge Eric Olesen, owner and president of O &H Danish Bakery and council co-chair for FaB Milwaukee. “Our three finalists stood out as having concepts that would not only be delicious but also marketable in our community.”

From “Next batch of cartoonists a quick study” — A professional artist teaches kids in his hometown of Madison as a way to give back to the community. Jeff Butler remembers the beginning of his career in the early 1980s when Madison was a “hotbed” of comic book art, a phenomenon that has since waned. The artist, whose work spans from comics to video games, decided recently to start teaching as way to “pay back some of the stuff I had learned.”

Butler teaches, at Madison College, a daily four-hour Boot Camp for Cartoonists for middle school and high school students. “I’m absolutely flabbergasted at how good these students are,” says Butler, an alum of Madison College and UW-Madison.

Butler says a reason these kids pick it up so quickly is due in large part to the internet and the information accessible from it. He also teaches adults in a separate continuing education course but admits it’s the kids who learn really quickly.


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