IT grant to aid Southwest Tech

October 23, 2013

From “IT grant to aid Southwest Tech” — FENNIMORE, Wis. – Southwest Wisconsin Technical College is sharing part of a $23.1 million grant by the U.S. Department of Labor designed to address the emerging needs in the information technology sector.

Southwest Tech is one of 16 technical colleges in the state to benefit. It will receive $797,805 total for the next four years.

The $23.1 million applies to the third installment of a multi- year, nearly $2 billion federal initiative designed to increase community college credential attainment in high-priority economic sectors.

According to Barb Tucker, Southwest Tech’s director of institutional advancement, the grant is significant because it will enable all the technical colleges to cohesively establish common core computer literacy competencies for college success.

“This grant is also important because it enables the development of IT-related training along a career pathway,” she said. “Meaning that the training provided will be offered in training segments aligned with jobs within an IT-related industry, from entry level to advanced.”

Basic computer skill training will be offered within the technical college outreach sites, including Platteville, as well as the job center locations. It will allow potential students, Trade Adjustment Assistance recipients, Workforce Investment Act recipients, veterans and the general public to increase computer literacy.

Southwest Tech plans to develop career pathway training in supply chain management that will include a short-term logistics certificate and a two-year associate degree in supply chain management.

Tucker said that such training does not exist in southwest Wisconsin. Supply chain management is the management of the flow of goods. It includes the movement and storage of raw materials, work- in-process inventory and finished goods from point of origin to point of consumption.

Drew Petersen, Wisconsin Technical College System Board president, said this latest grant will allow the technical colleges to enhance and expand career pathways not only within “cutting- edge” information technology programs but also within other crucial sectors, including health care and manufacturing, that increasingly require workers with advanced information technology competencies.

“Our programs are uniquely industry-driven, and these funds will allow us to scale innovation in response to needs identified by our employer partners in the information technology space,” Petersen said.


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