Western Tech administrator praises bi-partisan bill

June 19, 2013

From wxow.com: “Western Tech. College praises Doyle/Nerison assembly bill” — An administrator at Western Technical College praised a bill that recently passed the Wisconsin State Assembly Tuesday.

Assembly Bill 226, co-authored by Rep. Steve Doyle (D-Onalaska) and Rep. Lee Nerison (R-Westby) cleared the assembly one week ago on a voice vote.
It’s now awaiting passage in the senate.
The bill pertains to yearly small business grants doled out by the state technical college system board.
The grants, which were established eight years ago, are given to partnerships between businesses and technical colleges.
Doyle said, on average, a grant is “a few thousand dollars.” The money is awarded in July of each year and can be used as needed through the following August, said Patti Balacek, Director of Business and Industry Services and Life Long Learning at Western Technical College in La Crosse.
Balacek said grant money is currently used exclusively to train workers.
But the Doyle-Nerison proposal would change that — and allow the money to also be used for “market expansion” and/or “business diversification,”
“We’re opening up a new market by helping them see what steps they need to take to get to a new market,” Balacek said.
“It might involve exporting, for example, to a business that has never looked at selling overseas,” she said. “So we can help them research what they need to do and write a plan to help them do that.”
Training employees is vital, Balacek said, but “it’s not always what a business needs.”
Doyle and Nerison said in a joint news release last week they’re hopeful the bill will pass the senate and be signed into law.
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