Walker visits Chippewa Valley Technical College

July 21, 2014

From leadertelegram.com: “Walker visits Chippewa Valley Technical College” — by Joe Knight – Cassie Blechinger, 26, of Boyceville had planned to start a nursing associate degree program at Chippewa Valley Technical College in January.

Thanks to the timely infusion of more than $1.2 million at the school by the Legislature and governor, she will be able to start this fall.

“It was a nice surprise,” said Blechinger, who said her long-term goal is to become a nurse.

Gov. Scott Walker visited CVTC’s Health Education Center Friday afternoon to announce the funding increase, part of $28 million going to state technical colleges that are expected to train 4,900 people for in-demand jobs.

The grants are allocated through the Blueprint for Posterity program administered by the state Department of Workforce Development. Legislation creating the program passed in March with bipartisan support.

The funding for CVTC will help 196 students start programs in fields such as nursing, public safety and truck driving.

The jobs will help students “get off the sidelines and into the game,” Walker said, and the students are being trained in areas where local employers have said they are lacking qualified people.

“I call it economic development,” said Walker.

Once the students are out in the workforce, they will provide services that are good for their careers and good for the local economy.

“This means not only more jobs, but a better state and better communities overall,” Walker said.

Walker said the technical colleges were “nimble” in quickly starting programs to meet local demand.

Bruce Barker, CVTC president, said the additional funds will increase the school’s ability to respond rapidly to the needs of students and employers.

“Shorter waiting lists in high-demand fields serve everyone’s interests,” Barker said.

Another part of the Wisconsin Fast Forward program is increasing opportunities for high school students to earn credits at technical colleges or “recognized creditionals” with businesses while still in high school.

Walker praised Eleva-Strum High School’s Cardinal Manufacturing program, where students studying manufacturing run a business producing and selling parts for area businesses. The students earn high school credit and credits for CVTC.

Walker said a high school in Green Bay was following Eleva-Strum’s example.

A number of area high schools have dual-enrollment programs where students earn high school and CVTC credits, which gives them a head start when they move on to the technical college, said Barker.

“We want more dual enrollment,” Walker said.

According to CVTC officials, the grant will be put to the following uses:

– $591,150 to train 24 in nursing.

– $117,075 to train 12 students to be dental assistants.

– $155,400 to train 64 students to be certified nursing assistants.

– $110,854 to train 32 students in manufacturing to be certified production technicians.

– $88,852 to train 48 students in public safety, emphasizing jail work.

– $160,209 to train 16 students in truck driving.

Barker said with the growth in sand mining in the area there has been increased demand for truck drivers.


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