Grant program focuses on skills training, partnership

December 19, 2013

From “Great Lakes details Stevens Point expansion plans”  — Several community leaders joined Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation in Stevens Point to announce their future growth outlook.

Governor Scott Walker says the new customer service call center in the downtown business district is a perfect fit, and welcomes the anticipated 150 total new jobs. “They’ve got over twenty people they’ve hired thus far, and when they open up things beginning in the second quarter going into April, they’ll have about fifty long-term, and they’re looking within the next two years about 150 jobs, and they’re a cross section of folks directly on the phones, answering questions about student loans to administration and oversight.”

Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation’s Marc Storch says the hiring has already begun, and they are working at a temporary site. “Currently, we’ve hired twenty staff that will be line employees, along with three supervisors, a manager, a trainer, and a H-R (human resources) person, so we’re in good shape to kick this off. We’ll be hiring twelve more people right after the holidays, and then right before we move to the permanent site, we’ll hire twenty-four more.”

After moving, Storch says they can start training groups of 12 to 24 at a time, and also start hiring some students as part time help.

Storch says the choice of Stevens Point was made easy because of the efforts of city leaders and the knowledge of the community by a couple of long-time Great Lakes staff members. “It was actually five months that we spent exploring a variety of sites across the nation. We could have had sites virtually anywhere in today’s interconnected world, but it was the fact that coming here gave us the type of people and the type of community that we wanted.”

The temporary location is the former Sears and Shopko building at Church Street and Michigan Avenue. They are remodeling the former Dunham Sports building as their new state-of-the-art customer service center. Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation works with the U.S. Department of Education and private lenders to make college a reality for students, and assist those who take out student loans.

Governor Walker says the organization has also partnered with the state in an effort to close the skills gap, by launching the Wisconsin Workforce Partnership Grants. This three-year, $3.8 million grant program, focuses on skills training in the advanced manufacturing sector by fostering partnerships between the Wisconsin Technical College System and state businesses.


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