May 29, 2014
From waow.com: “Wausau’s Northcentral Technical College hiring more teachers” — A central Wisconsin college is adding jobs to help students prepare for the working world.
Northcentral Technical College is looking to fill about 30 positions.
Darren Ackley, the dean of the Technical and Trades Division, said there are more jobs out there than NTC graduates can fill.
He says adding more instructors means they’ll be able to teach more students skills that are in demand.
“Our business community has been telling us that we need more welders, we need diesel technicians, we need [certified nursing assistants], we need nurses,” said Jeannie Worden, the vice president of college advancement. “We know in our IT area that we do not have enough graduates for the IT jobs that are there. Welding, we know, is the same issue.”
The leaders of NTC want to fill that need.
“We go out to our employers to find out what their hiring needs are,” Worden said.
“We definitely try to take notes from them on what we need to do and try to accommodate however we can,” said Ackley.
Part of their solution is to add about 30 new positions, including around 10 teachers.
“We’re really focusing on increasing the number of students we can accommodate here and with that, we need more instructors, so we’re definitely having an exciting time here where we’re hiring lots of people,” Ackley said.
Ackley says they’re looking for “somebody that has some occupational experience that has been out in the industry, working, that knows what they’re doing out there.”
It’s a quality students say is helpful in the classroom.
“They have worked for huge companies or they have been managers in other states here,” said Adelio Ortiz, a student from El Salvador. “They not only bring the theory of the class, they bring real experience.”
It prepares students for life after college because Ackley says they can tailor the curriculum to what the industry needs are.
To help pay for these new positions, the school received a $6 million grant from the federal government.
From thenorthwestern.com: “University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh among partners for new engineering degrees” — The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh will soon be one of two four-year UW institutions to offer a new collaborative degree program aimed at meeting the demands of local employers.
Members of the Northeast Wisconsin Educational Resource Alliance announced Wednesday the creation of Bachelor of Science programs in electrical, mechanical and environmental engineering technology developed by faculty members at the alliance’s 13 institutions and colleges and regional manufacturers.
The program aims to make the training more accessible to students in northeast Wisconsin and to fulfill a growing need in the region for “well-prepared engineering graduates.”
UWO, along with UW-Green Bay, will serve as the four-year institutions where students can finish the program and earn their degrees, although students can begin their academic studies at any of the 13 NEW ERA institutions and colleges, said UWO Chancellor Richard Wells, who also serves as founding chairman of the alliance.
“That’s what makes it especially exciting and innovative and very accessible both for people who already have, say, an associate degree and extensive work experience as well students coming in right out of our high schools in the state of Wisconsin,” Wells said.
A consortium of executives from the region’s four technical colleges, five UW two-year colleges, two comprehensive universities, the College of the Menominee Nation and the UW Extension, NEW ERA serves as a vehicle for collaboration among higher learning institutions, economic and workforce development agencies and business.
The new degree programs will teach students the skills necessary to become engineering technologists in a variety of industries including manufacturing, construction, operational engineering, water and waste-water management, agribusiness, biotechnology and engineering service firms.
Through the use of existing laboratory facilities, such as UWO’s Environmental Research and Innovation Center, technical college instructors and university professors alike will be able to build on existing associate degree programs in hopes of supporting employees and employers in manufacturing and other industry sectors, said Mark Weber, dean of trades and engineering technologies at Green Bay-based Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.
Although many manufacturers in northeast Wisconsin already employ such graduates, they often lack a connection to the region and in some cases, the state, Weber said.
“Unfortunately, they were coming from universities outside of our region,” he said. “Additionally, several employers have indicated that they are encouraging many of their existing employees to return to school to complete these new programs.”
The effort serves as an example of the positive work higher education institutions can accomplish when they collaborate toward a common goal, said John Short, CEO and dean of UW-Fond du Lac.
“We were able to work together to meet the needs of our area,” Short said, noting leaders will continue to work with employers and others in the region to adapt to their changing needs. “This program is truly unique. It breaks down barriers, it brings together partners and it really meets the economic development needs of this area of the state.”
May 28, 2014
From htrnews.com: “LTC a vital part of local educational mix” — The Lakeshore area features many unique educational opportunities. There are public and parochial schools, specialty schools, charter schools, two-year colleges and four-year universities.
Between now and June 8, hundreds of students of all ages will graduate from these institutions of learning, or at least advance to the next grade level. Many already have done so and have either begun searching for a job or are enjoying summer vacation — or both.
One area school is so unique that it required three separate graduation ceremonies to accommodate its students. Lakeshore Technical College in Cleveland held — on three separate dates — a “regular” college graduation ceremony, one for about 60 GED/HSED students and a banquet recognizing 29 students in the school’s apprenticeship program.
In apprenticeship programs, workers earn while they learn the practical and theoretical aspects of highly skilled occupations. LTC’s registered apprentices are sponsored by employers and paid hourly wages to attend LTC in their specific trades.
LTC also offers unique programs unavailable at other schools in the area, including hazardous materials training, dairy herd management, nuclear technology and many others.
Studies have shown Lakeshore area schools are doing a good job in training young people for the next steps along their way. Test results are generally good at the grade school and high school levels, and opportunities for quality higher education abound.
LTC is an option more families are turning to as the costs of higher education skyrocket. The school has a solid track record of placing graduates in jobs, often exceeding 90 percent in certain fields. About 87 percent of the 550 graduates this year will find jobs in the Lakeshore area, a not insignificant number when many local employers complain of “brain drain” and a lack of skilled workers to fill their open positions.
Yet LTC often is overlooked during graduation season because its students don’t receive “real,” four-year degrees or gain the academic accolades other institutions often bestow. That is a mistake.
Hundreds of local employers and employees make solid contributions to the local economy because of past and present ties to LTC. Many of the school’s graduates are working in local jobs that likely would go unfilled without the influence of LTC and its programs.
We are thankful for all of the quality educational opportunities our area has to offer — from preschool to graduate school. It takes variety to provide this kind of quality, and we hope that Lakeshore Technical College is recognized as a vital player in that mix.
May 28, 2014
From wiscnews.com: “RAHS seniors graduate college” — By Julie Belschner – Reedsburg Area High School seniors Maura Machovec, Terra Kauffman and Payton Legner have graduated from Middle College. A graduation ceremony was held May 13 at Madison Area Technical College-Reedsburg campus to honor their accomplishments in the healthcare track of the program.
Graduation ceremonies were held across the South Central Wisconsin region to honor 40 high school seniors from 12 school districts graduating from the healthcare and manufacturing program tracks. The graduates are now preparing for paid summer work-experience opportunities with local businesses as part of the Middle College program.
Founded in 2010, Middle College is a dual-credit career pathway program targeted toward high school juniors who are interested in advancing their education in targeted industry sectors. Students study concepts in healthcare or manufacturing during the regular school year at participating Madison Area Technical College or Moraine Park Technical College campuses. The program track allows for students to take college classes while they work to complete their high school graduation requirements. Students may earn up to 30 free college credits upon successful program completion and have the opportunity to participate in up to two paid work experiences with local companies as part of the program.
The program is administered by the Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin, which partners with technical colleges to provide technical college training and curriculum for the program. Upon enrollment into the Middle College, participating high school students achieve college status and enrollment with the technical college. The board collaborates with employers and employees in Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Jefferson, Marquette and Sauk counties to promote a healthy economy; it continually seeks innovative solutions to the economic challenges that face today’s workforce.
From haywardwi.com: “Demand rises for home health care workers” — by Patty Murray, Wisconsin Public Radio – The move to keep older people in their own homes as long as possible has meant more demand for home health care workers — a job that is not only tough, but that can be low-paying as well.
Home health care workers go into an older or disabled person’s home to help them with tasks that range from the mundane, like shoe-tying, to the intimate, like baths and going to the toilet.
It’s work that Shelly Waltman enjoys.
“It’s not like a job over there,” said Waltman. “It’s just like having another family out there.”
Waltman is a certified home health provider who works through N.E.W. Curative, a nonprofit based in Green Bay. Four mornings each week, she works with a couple who are in their 70s.
“Right now I wouldn’t call them ‘elderly,’ but aging,” she said.
The husband has Alzheimer’s disease. She gets him cleaned and dressed and monitors his medication.
Waltman has done the work for years and said it takes patience and compassion.
“One minute, like a lamb — the next minute, you could be getting hit,” she said. “So, you’ve got to be able to take the tough with the good.”
Caregivers like Waltman might be hired by family members who need a break, or they could be the client’s main source of help. They can work through private companies, or places like N.E.W. Curative.
All in-home caregivers need some level of certification. Green Bay’s Northeast Wisconsin Technical College graduates 700 certified nursing assistants each year. Students can also get a short personal care worker certification.
Cindy Theys, the school’s associate dean in the health sciences department, said the work is rewarding, but nursing assistants deal with people when they’re not at their best.
“You can’t curl up your nose if something doesn’t smell pretty, because that’s what is going to happen,” said Theys. “Even the ability to touch other people — there are people who are very uncomfortable being touched, and there’s people who are very uncomfortable touching others. But you will have to be touching people.”
NWTC claims an 85 to 90 percent placement rate for its health care graduates. Starting jobs pay between $10 to $12 an hour.
Those numbers sound good to Erica Huettl, who is pursuing a registered nursing degree. She is looking to get experience dealing with patients and is considering a job as a nursing assistant in either an in-home setting or at a nursing home. She said there’s a lot to choose from, and it’s a good way to get experience — but not to get rich.
“Obviously, with more education and the higher you go with nursing, that pay goes up,” she said.
Using a CNA as a launching pad can pay off over time. A recent NWTC survey of its graduates shows RNs can make about $50,000 dollars a year within five years of graduation.
For those who aren’t pursuing a higher degree of nursing, home health care seems to be more of a lifestyle than a career. Shelly Waltman said it’s easy to get attached to clients, even those who are rather difficult.
“Watching somebody fail; knowing that some types of the things they’re going through will progress,” she said. “(Knowing) how hard of a time the family has with it and being able to empathize. Because I did have a grandma who had issues like that. That’s the hard part.”
May 27, 2014
From kfiz.com: “Veterans service expanding with new entrance at MPTC” — Moraine Park Technical College has received a grant that will help fund a veteran’s representative at the Fond du Lac campus. Sally Ruback is the Enrollment Services Manager for MPTC. She says that representative will be located near their new entrance when it opens next January. She says there is a growing veteran’s population in the community and funding is available for them to continue their education so they needed someone near the entrance to fill them in on those opportunities.
With the new location will be an expanded students services area including an area for the new veteran’s representative. She says the new entrance will be a great way for the college to show its support for veteran and students alike. Ground will be broken for the addition June 2nd with a targeted completion date of November 28th.
May 27, 2014
From livinglakecountry.com: “Playhouse provides opportunities for MHS students” — Building trades students at Mukwonago High School had a wealth of experience outside of the classroom this year. The team focused the beginning of the year on completing the School-to-Work house Fox River View subdivision, which sold this spring. This semester, the group worked on the playhouse/garden shed, which residents might have seen traveling around the area in recent weeks.
Associate Principal, School-to-work coordinator and Rotarian Mark Blodgett has been a key liaison in having the Mukwonago Rotary Club sponsor these opportunities for students.
“After we built our first (School-to-Work) house during the 1999-2000 school year, the instructor and I were trying to come up with some project ideas for the class to do during the ‘off’ year of house building,” Blodgett recalled. ” I had just been to the Metropolitan Home Builders Show in downtown Milwaukee, where a handful of contractors had built playhouses to be auctioned off. I took the idea to the (Rotary) Club, and it has become our biggest fund raiser.”
The building trades class is a one-year, two-hour-per-day course that allows students to earn two high school credits and fits within the Waukesha County Technical College program so students also earn four credits toward WCTC’s construction program. This year 14 students took advantage of the program.
“The benefit to our students is that both the house and playhouse projects help them meet the WCTC competencies in knowledge and skills sets to get them college- and career-ready for after high school,” Blodgett said.
The playhouse project has students start construction at the start of the new semester in January. It uses about $2,400 worth of material that is purchased largely thanks to community contributions. The playhouse is 10 feet square and could also be used as a garden shed.
The Rotary Club sells raffle tickets to raise money to offset remaining costs and put more seed money into future to School-to-Work projects to offer future students the same opportunity.
Rotarian Rick Debe helps to coordinate Rotary members each weekend from Palm Sunday to mid-June to sell those raffle tickets for the playhouse.
“Two of the key components of Rotary International’s mission is vocational service and education. This project touches both and instills both pride and confidence in young men and women,” Debe said. “We know that not all students will embark in a career in the trades, but we are certain they will use these skills as adults as they move through their life with homes and families.”
This year’s drawing will be June 12. Tickets will be available next weekend, May 31 and June 1 at Pick ‘n Save from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. The last opportunity to get tickets will be at Maxwell Street Days on June 7 and 8.