Partnership will train new engineers in Northeastern Wisconsin

November 5, 2013

From fox11online.com: “Grants will help fill in-demand jobs” — OSHKOSH – Some local colleges are working together to addressed the supposed manufacturing skills gap.

Thanks to a grant, three new engineering technology degrees will help train students to fill in-demand jobs.

Educating engineers of the future is the goal behind three new engineering technology programs.

“This was brought to the universities to fill a need to have bachelor prepared engineering technologists,” said John Koker, UW-Oshkosh.

In a program that could start as early as the spring of 2014, students would enroll in one of three new technology degree programs in electrical, environmental and mechanical engineering. Students could do the first two years of the four-year program at any of the four Northeast Wisconsin technical colleges, seven UW System schools or the College of the Menominee Nation. The students would then have to enroll at UW-Oshkosh or UW-Green Bay for the final two years of the program.

“This is something we really want to provide for our students and we want to provide it in a convenient way, a really high quality program,” said Koker.

The collaboration between schools in Northeast Wisconsin began more than three years ago. The programs will bring students and employers together to work side by side in training the next generation of engineers. A $2 million grant from the UW System will help hire the faculty and provide the equipment and facilities.

“This individual can solve problems, help transform industries and create new opportunities to innovate. So it’s a very much hands-on, high-demand, high-quality degree here,” said Linda Bartelt, executive director at Northeast Wisconsin Educational Resource Alliance.

“Then they take that broad based skill that they have learned at the university and they go to a company and they can be trained and learn the specific needs of that individual company,” said Koker.

To fill high tech jobs in in-demand fields.

The programs have been approved by the University of Wisconsin System and are expected to receive accreditation status in the next few weeks.

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