Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and the state’s top jobs official toured Western’s new South Side welding facility to mark the occasion, part of a two-week tour of Wisconsin by lawmakers as they publicize more than $28 million in tech college grants.
The Weaver Building at 2860 S. 21st Place was still under construction as Kleefisch toured the former Trane facility with Western President Lee Rasch and Reggie Newson, secretary of the state’s Department of Workforce Development. Weaver will temporarily house Western’s welding classes when it opens this fall, while workers begin construction on a $32.6 million addition to the campus technology building.
Funding from the Wisconsin Fast Forward Grant program should allow Western to take 192 students off wait lists and teach them skills they need to find jobs with state and regional employers, Kleefisch said.
”Technical colleges help us triage the skills gap issue we have in Wisconsin,” Kleefisch said. “Our skills gap issue is very, very pressing.”