From “NTC Phillips Campus in midst of expansion” — An expansion project geared at better meeting the needs of one increasingly in-demand base for education in the Northwoods is moving forward at Northcentral Technical College’s Phillips Campus.

Each year, NTC completes two major capital projects, and current construction efforts at the Phillips Campus make up one of those projects for 2013.

The overhaul involves an expansion of the manufacturing lab along with the addition of 4,500 square feet of new classroom space to the southwest corner of the campus building.

“What it’s going to mean is that the Phillips Campus is going to be able to support more programs such as the machine tool and the manufacturing technician, which will complement our one-year and one-semester welding programs,” said NTC North Campus Dean Roberta Damrow.

The footings and floors for both areas of expansion are in. Now, the campus is waiting for segments of the actual building to arrive, something project leaders believe will happen in mid-January.

Damrow noted that these project aspects are expected to be wrapped up in April.

It looks like the new spaces will be useable in time for summer classes and then see full scheduling by fall semester of next year, as Damrow explained.

One really nice feature about the classroom addition is that the partition between two distinct classrooms can be opened up to create a larger area spanning 1,700-square feet, Damrow noted. This feature will help cover the campus’ increased need for face-to-face instruction to support expanded offerings in the manufacturing lab while at the same time providing a space different groups can utilize outside of school hours.

“We should be able to support community needs for large groups,” Damrow said.

Four new IVC (Interactive Video Conferencing) rooms will be added along with the large, connectable classrooms.

This will allow the North Campus of NTC to stream more courses offered at other campuses across the college system. Damrow sees this increased distance learning capacity being particularly useful when it comes to meeting community needs for continuing education, something that’s a cornerstone of work in the early childhood field or the food and beverage industry, to name a few career areas.

“Any sort of occupation that needs continuing education. We’ll be able to stream in more classes so people don’t have to travel as far to be recertified,” Damrow said.

Expansion plans also call for the creation of something called a net meeting room, which will hold 16 computer spaces for students taking online and Adobe Connect classes.

This allows for more flexibility in course offerings to meet the diverse needs of different learners.

A new set of bathrooms is also in construction plans for the larger classroom space.

In addition to the building expansions, contractors are putting up a stand-alone storage shed behind the main building to house equipment and materials for use in the manufacturing lab. This structure is on schedule to be completed before Thanksgiving.

“The Price County campus continues to see growth, and we attribute that to the newer campus and the newer programming that we continue to bring in…” Damrow said.

Area residents find in NTC a nearby institution where they can access a range of education options, as Damrow explained.

Instructors at the Phillips Campus sees a number of high school students “getting a jump on their college career” via technical college courses that are transferable to other colleges, as well as students who spent their first year post-high school at the campus and then transfer to Wausau or other colleges across the state.

“It’s a cost effective way to start your education. It’s also a cost-effective way to earn your first degree, and we know that lifelong learning is the way of the future, so we intend to continue to be innovative in offering things that are going to support the local industries,” Damrow said.

The campus is tentatively planning for a spring ribbon cutting to dedicate the new spaces.


From “Milestone reached in FVTC job search program” — APPLETON – The JobSeekers Network program at Fox Valley Technical College welcomed its 1,000th participant in November, making the free offering to the community one of the fastest-growing job search efforts in the Midwest.

JSN started as a support group at FVTC four years ago, and it has now grown into a curriculum-based job search program that teaches how to land a career using skilled networking practices and more.

The program also developed an optional textbook for participants and the community, the Human Search Engine, and its LinkedIn social media group has grown to more than 1,000 active members as well.

JSN if offered weekly at FVTC’s Appleton and Oshkosh campuses. For more information on the sessions, visit


WITC president receives honor

November 29, 2013

From “WITC president receives honor” — Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College president Bob Meyer recently accepted the District 3 National Council for Marketing & Public Relations (NCMPR) Pacesetter award.

The Pacesetter of the Year Award recognizes a community college president or CEO who has demonstrated special leadership and support in marketing and public relations. It is awarded annually in each of NCMPR’s seven districts, and district recipients automatically become a nominee for the national award, which is presented at the national conference.

“I am enormously humbled and honored to receive this recognition,” said Meyer. “This award also reflects on the many staff that have dedicated themselves to our students and contributed to WITC’s national ranking. Achieving such a high ranking really helps our marketing efforts.”

Throughout Meyer’s tenure, WITC has enjoyed a positive image in the media and community. He strove to advance two-year colleges regionally and nationally through advocacy. Last year, WITC celebrated its centennial, which provided media attention for the college, and the college was recently named fourth-best two-year college in the nation by Washington Monthly magazine. Meyer included this in his PR communications and advocacy efforts with key stakeholders and legislators.

To advance the college nationally, Meyer attends the National Legislative Summit in Washington D.C. every February accompanied by other administrators in the college to meet with Wisconsin senators and congressmen and women.

Under Meyer’s leadership, WITC added several new programs to respond to the needs of the community while expanding its online offerings.

“I regard this award as more of an acknowledgement of others accomplishments as much as my own journey,” said Meyer. “In fact, I’m more of a facilitator of a college full of pacesetters and a statewide consortium of pacesetters.”



From “Co-worker gives the gift of a lifetime” — It’s a gift that will last a lifetime, a selfless donation made to a co-worker. The gift is giving one Madison man a big reason to be thankful this holiday season.

This time last year Terry Webb found out his kidneys were failing, he and his doctors started the process to get on the donor list. A wait that could take 8 or 9 years. During that time, he started searching for a family member who might be able to help him out sooner.

“Judging by what everyone says to me now, I was pretty bad.” Starting dialysis, Terry says he wasn’t himself. “Progressively the disease got worse.”

Things started looking bad when family member after family member came back with a negative match.

“There’s only one that came back as a potential match and it was far from ideal.”
As provost at Madison College, Terry struggled both at home and at work.

“Well we could all tell that Terry was not doing as well as he could be,” says his co-worker, Keith Cornille.

So a few offices away Keith Cornille decided to step up.

“There’s a whole other side to this, what happened if I didn’t do something? What happened if I knew I was a match and could have helped someone and didn’t.”

Be it an act of fate, a miracle or just sheer dumb luck, he was a match.

“This was a really exceptional match. The likelihood of that happening when you’re sitting next to someone working with them everyday is something more stunning than anything else.”

The surgery was in June, and it went off without a hitch. Terry says he was lucky enough that his body didn’t reject the kidney at first, a common occurrence.

“I actually went to visit Keith in the hospital room that’s across the hall from me because it’s hard to believe that it made such a big difference.”

Counting his blessings everyday that he can return to life as normal.

“I can do things that I couldn’t do before, unfortunately that includes household chores, raking, stuff like that.”

“If I didn’t give him my kidney I was afraid he was going to ask me to come over and do all of his chores and I didn’t want any part in that I have my own leaves to rake!”

Keith says all kidding aside, it’s an amazing feeling to give someone his life back.

“To consider a donation of life to really think about what the impact of that donation could be on someone.”

Opening Terry’s eyes to the generosity of his co-worker, and the inspiring gift he’ll cherish forever.

“To be part of this entirely selfless act that really makes you look at doing the same sorts of things yourself more often.”


From “Youth Apprenticeship builds workforce of the future” — Mosinee High School has participated in Wisconsin’s Youth Apprenticeship, or YA, program since 1995. During that time, over 350 students participated in this unique work-based learning program. YA allows juniors and seniors to work part-time in a field they are considering for their future, while taking high school courses that support that career direction.

As the School to Career coordinator, one of my responsibilities is to supervise students in this program. From my perspective, this program has literally changed the lives of some of our students. They have learned to “walk the walk” and gain those skills necessary for success in the world of work while finding out if that career direction is right for them. I asked students to share their thoughts on participating in this program.

“I applied for youth apprenticeship so I could gain work experience in a professional environment. What I like most about my position is the face-to-face contact I have with customers. I learned I am very interested in the business field and would enjoy a career in it. After high school, I will be attending UW-Whitewater for business management with a minor in finance/insurance.”

— Kevin Zimmerman, BMO Harris Bank, Mosinee

“I work at the desk taking calls, doing health history updates and confirming appointments. I also help clean work stations, assist with sterilization, X-rays, charting, restocking and sealants. I applied for an apprenticeship because I was thinking about going into dental hygiene. I like that I am learning more about the field, and I like working with people. I’ve learned I can work really hard if I put my all into it, and that I work really well with people and as a team. After graduation, I plan to attend NTC to become a dental hygienist.”

— Rachel Schulte, Family Dental, Mosinee

“I help manage the school’s website and assist with technology problems throughout the district. I applied for YA so I could work in the field I want, as well as for the recognition that comes with YA. I enjoy working in a field that I am very knowledgeable about, and I can use my knowledge to efficiently do whatever task is at hand. I’ve learned how to manage and handle multiple projects at once, completing them efficiently and to the best of my ability. After high school, I plan to attend college for a degree in computer science.”

— Noah Warren, Mosinee High School

“I am a CNA on the Surgical/Orthopedics floor. I was interested in a job in healthcare and thought work experience now would help me gain an insight into what my future career might entail. At Saint Clare’s, witnessing the strength of people pushing through less-than-desirable circumstances to overcome obstacles has become the most inspirational thing in my life. I enjoy the interactions I have with people much more than I ever dreamed possible. I proved to myself that my communication skills are critical in the medical field. I plan to attend UW-Madison to pursue a degree in genetics and continue on to medical school with my ultimate goal to become a physician.”

— Halee Nieuwenhuis, Saint Clare’s Hospital, Weston

“I help design processing systems for many big name companies. I applied for YA because I wanted to learn first-hand what the work environment would be like in my selected field. My favorite aspect of my job is working with Auto-Cad. The most important thing I’ve learned during my YA experience is that I insist on being perfect at a lot of what I do. Once I graduate from high school, I plan on going to a four-year college to become a mechanical engineer.”

— Andrew Hilgemann, A&B Process Systems, Stratford

“I help prep food on Saturdays, and during the week I work up front helping customers. I applied for YA because I thought it would be a good experience, and it looks good on college and job applications. I like working with people and working “hands on” rather than just sitting behind a desk. I’ve learned that I work well with others in stressful times and what teamwork really is. After high school I plan on working until I find out what I would like to do with my life.”

— Morgan Plautz, Culver’s, Cedar Creek, Rothschild

As you can see, Youth Apprenticeship provides students with experiences that will benefit them throughout their lives, but YA also benefits every business involved with the program. Employers get direct access to a pipeline of motivated workers interested in building a career in their industry, and they have the opportunity to shape their future workforce. YA covers a variety of areas from agriculture to welding.

Employers interested in connecting with a student looking for an apprenticeship should contact their local high school YA coordinator or Donna Schulz at Northcentral Technical College in Wausau.

From “Job Center helps company add jobs quickly” — Some state officials are celebrating a jobs success story in Appleton.

Department of Workforce Development Secretary Reggie Newson and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch stopped by Clean Power today.

Company president Jeffery Packee says a partnership with the Job Center of Wisconsin, and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College helped his company hire new workers, quickly. He says they had to fill about 50 positions in just over two weeks, after they got a contract from Marinette Marine. Packee says the workers needed a variety of skills.

Packee says all of the jobs are full-time, and they’re now adding 34 more workers. He says Clean Power is using the job center again, to fill those positions.


From “WCTC helps Superior Crane achieve ISO certification” — Waukesha County Technical College helped Waukesha-based Superior Crane Corp. achieve its ISO-9001;2008 certification, and has featured the process in a video on its homepage.

The Center for Business Performance Solutions analyzed the company’s processes and provided a consultant to assist Superior each week as the company worked toward its goal. Click here to see the video.

As a result of the partnership, Superior’s machine shop became certified in July 2012 and its fabrication and parts department’s Quality Management Systems became certified in July 2013.

With its ISO certification, Superior has expanded its reach to serve the military and nuclear industries. Work processes, training, new personnel and equipment are now documented, while non-conformances are tracked and corrective/preventive actions are taken to prevent their recurrence.

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