February 4, 2014
From thenorthwestern.com: “Oshkosh schools working to build apprenticeship” – After years of lagging behind other districts, the Youth Apprenticeship program in Oshkosh is getting a push from the school district and chamber of commerce to offer high school students work experience in a variety of careers.
The Oshkosh Area School District hasn’t historically had a strong apprenticeship program, because the curriculum wasn’t developed enough to meet their requirements or there weren’t employers to sponsor them.
Still, businesses in Oshkosh have consistently been involved in employing students through cooperative education programs, or co-ops, Julie Mosher, OASD director of curriculum and assessment, said. The youth apprenticeship program asks them to take that partnership to the next level.
Wisconsin’s YA program is part of a statewide school-to-work initiative and integrates school-based and work-based learning. Students are simultaneously enrolled in academic classes and employed locally under the supervision of a skilled, worksite mentor.
Oshkosh’s effort to expand apprenticeships comes at the same time that Gov. Scott Walker is pushing to increase funding for the programs. Walker announced in January that Wisconsin’s Youth Apprenticeship, or YA, program would receive additional grants totaling more than $226,000, and Cooperative Educational Services Agency 6 in Oshkosh received $18,747 of those funds.
CESA 6 serves 42 schools in seven counties to coordinate programs and services between schools, districts and the state.
Tania Kilpatrick, CESA 6 career and technical education coordinator, said YA is an important opportunity for students to test drive a career.
“When you’re looking at a workforce, economics, building the pipeline of future employees,” she said. “Any opportunity that you can give kids options for education I think is important.”
Changes to the requirements for apprenticeship programs have changed, while the district’s strategic plan has an increased focus on ensuring students are college, career and community ready.
“With the new checklist and the new requirements that matched our curriculum and matched our philosophy a lot better,” Mosher said. “We felt that we could possibly start getting employers to match up with it.”
With that in mind, the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce stepped in to help create partnerships with local businesses.
Two apprenticeships were recently secured with Bergstrom Automotive.
Marc Stanga, a senior at Oshkosh West, is an apprentice at the Bergstrom GM division in Oshkosh. He works for a few hours each day after school and on Saturdays, where he’s learning alongside a mentor to become a GM-certified auto technician.
So far the 17-year-old has learned how to do oil and headlight changes, check fluids and more.
“It’s teaching me the basics of being an auto mechanic,” Stanga said, adding the mentor has been a key part to what he’s learning.
Stanga plans to attend Fox Valley Technical College, where he’s enrolled in the GM program.
“My whole life I’ve wanted to be an auto mechanic,” he said. He thinks the youth apprenticeship will be a big help to getting a job in the future and hopes to receive a scholarship from the program as well.
Stanga said he’s loving his apprenticeship because it’s really hands on.
“It’s like a paid internship,” he said. “You really can see if you really like to do what you were planning on doing.”
Stanga is also working on live cars in a lab at West for the curriculum part of his apprenticeship.
The college-level learning uses standards for 11 different areas that are put out from the national Automotive Service Excellence Certification, Mark Boushele, transportation technology instructor at West, said.
“The homework is all right in front of you,” he said. “So you actually see … the progress that you’re doing and working with.”
Apprenticeships have benefits for both students and employers.
Students gain a valuable, real-world connections between the curriculum and work. There’s no bad internship experience because of the skills one learns during it, Mosher and Patti Andresen-Shew, Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce education and workforce coordinator, said.
Even if students end up not wanting to go into the career, it teaches the importance of showing up on time, flexibility and adaptability, as well as how to work under pressures and stress, Mosher said. Plus, learning they don’t like something can be just as important.
A long-term investment
YA is a heavier load for both students and employers than co-ops because of the mentorship requirement and need to complete a checklist of requirements laid out by the state. Many different scheduling factors have to line up in order for it to work, Mosher said, which is why co-ops have worked out better in Oshkosh in the past.
Juniors and seniors have to apply for the program, and then they have to nail an interview with the employer to get the position. The courses for the program have to fit with the high schools’ schedules, and that has to line up with lab, clinical or work schedules. Students also need to complete a certain amount of hours working on the job.
“All these stars have to align,” Mosher said.
Though it’s a commitment for employers to train, mentor and pay the students, in many cases it’s a long-term investment.
The State Department of Workforce Development said 85 percent of YA students are offered jobs at the end of apprenticeships, which can be more effective than finding workers through recruiters or advertising. Employers have said it also inspires current employees to be even better workers.
“We like to hire locally and have had great success hiring people early in their work life, who can then learn and become a part of our culture and grow with our company over the course of their career,” Tim Bergstrom, President and COO of Bergstrom Automotive, said in a statement.
“The Chamber and our local school system have come together to provide us with a unique opportunity to find just this type of candidate to become a potential long-term team member,” Bergstrom said.
YA is not limited to any one kind of career or student, Mosher said. There’s room for all Oshkosh students, whether they go on to a two or four-year school, into the military or directly into the workforce.
Mosher and Shew would like to see the program expand to include more career paths. Agriculture, communications, tourism, and information technology are just some of the possible programs listed on the Department of Workforce Development website.
Shew and Mosher are actively looking for more employers to participate in YA, as well as students who want to explore their interests in an apprenticeship setting.
Career exploration is the most important aspect of YA, they said.
“We want our students to explore their career options and have a plan,” she said. “That plan may change, but at least they have a plan and they’ve done some thinking behind it.”
January 29, 2014
From woodworkingnetwork.com: “Teaching Wood Students Success at Fox Valley Tech” – By Matt Schumake -With each lesson in the Wood Manufacturing Technology program at Fox Valley Technical College, students routinely pull out calipers to check their work.
The goal: “To develop their sense of precision,” says instructor Mark Lorge. And paired with the students’ broad understanding of secondary wood processing, it creates a well-rounded knowledge base, which Lorge says is essential for a career in the industry.
An alumnus of the program, Lorge graduated in 1983 and went on to work with production and millwork companies such as Morgan Products Ltd., Elipticon Wood Products and Valley Planing Mill. Last year, Lorge celebrated his 20th year of instruction at Fox Valley Technical College.
Associate instructor Glenn Koerner leads the program with Lorge. Also a graduate, Koerner returned to Fox Valley Tech after more than 14,000 hours of industry experience.
The Wood Manufacturing Technology program is housed at Fox Valley Tech’s S.J. Spanbauer Center in Oshkosh, WI. There, Lorge and Koerner work with approximately 20 students each year, guiding them through five nine-week units of instruction.
“Some students come in with no prior understanding,” Lorge says. During the first nine weeks, they are introduced to the groundwork of every project — planning. They learn to read blueprints, prepare a parts list and production estimate. They also learn basic machining and wood identification.
The second block further develops students’ understanding of material, terminology, tooling and processes. They are introduced to an advanced level of setup and operation on woodworking machines, and demonstrate their psychomotor and cognitive competency of the process through a series of operation exercises.
It is during the third block that students become familiar with basic cabinetmaking processes. They design doors and drawers, build jigs and fixtures, and process materials to create laminate countertops. Cabinets completed in the program have been donated to Habitat for Humanity.
After approximately 36 weeks, students learn the principles of veneering, advanced machine joinery and CNC routing.
Through a partnership with Komo Machinery, the Wood Manufacturing Technology program has been provided with a VR510 Mach 1 S router, software for 21 seats and upgrades of RouterCIM and two seats of AutoNEST applications to operate the machinery.
“Most students embrace the CNC technology with enthusiasm,” Lorge says. By writing G-code, programming the router, setting tools, developing multiple tool programs and creating a gasketed fixture, students gain an understanding of the machine and its capabilities.
With these skills, the hiring rate for students is currently at 100 percent, Lorge says; over the past five years, the program has witnessed a 94 percent employment rate for graduates.
“A company needs employees who possess technical ability and a good work ethic — good training is one of the keys to success,” says Len Riebau, owner of Wisconsin-based WDL, and a member of the Fox Valley Tech advisory board. Industry feedback also has helped the program stay successful and relevant to today’s needs, he adds.
Currently, Lorge and Koerner are in the process of revising the curriculum for web-based delivery and to require tablet access for each student by August 2014. The two also are working with high schools on a curriculum with transferable credit to Fox Valley Tech, and to develop a basic-skills certificate program for students who cannot commit to the year-long program.
Under Lorge’s and Koerner’s direction, Fox Valley Technical College’s Wood Manufacturing Technology program already has received notice for its efforts. Not only is the school a past recipient of the “Educator of the Year Award” by the Woodworking Machinery Industry Association, but its students frequently receive awards from the Association of Woodworking and Furniture Suppliers.
January 14, 2014
From htrnews.com: “Finding a path: Area students take part in Career Expo” – CLEVELAND — Although the halls of Lakeshore Technical College are bare of college students this week, the classrooms are alive with the sound of high school students as sophomores forge paths toward careers after graduation.
Approximately 1,000 sophomores from highs schools across the county participated in a two-day Career Expo at Lakeshore Technical College. The career exploration program, which also continues today, was separated into three sections aimed at helping students find a career path suited to their interests.
“Today is a day that opens their horizons to look at many different facets of possible career choices,” Karen Szyman, executive director of The Chamber of Manitowoc County, said. “Hopefully it will get them on the path of thinking and choosing classes that are associated with those careers.”
The first section, a traditional career expo, allowed students to interact with 22 different business leaders in the community to discuss employment opportunities. Business leaders discussed skills needed for specific jobs and highlighted lesser-known careers students might be interested in.
“I think they look at a nursing home and think, ‘I’d have to be a nurse,’” said Tracy Miller, human resources director at Shady Lane Nursing Care Center. “I have to convince them there are many other areas. There are more things happening behind the scenes than just caring for the residents.”
Variety of ambitions
The approximately 500 sophomores at LTC on Thursday were mixed on their career ambitions. Some, such as sophomore Vanessa Bautista of Two Rivers, focused on a career, such as health care, while others, such as Autumn Conjurski, were not so sure.
“I would like to help people. I just have an interest in that,” Bautista said. “I’d always wanted to be a doctor to help people who were injured.”
Conjurski, also of Two Rivers, said she was considering a career in graphic design, but was looking at other options, too.
“I plan to help other people with my disability, autism, or be an animator or video game designer,” she said. “My brother plays a lot of video games and always asks me to make something. I always say, ‘sure, whenever I get the right skills to do it.’”
Her friend, Sheryl VanGinkel, was set on pursuing a career in the psychology field.
“I love the human brain and how people react with certain things,” she said.
The career fair provides benefits to both types of students, Heidi Soodsma, the finance and program manager for the Chamber, noted.
“The importance is career exploration for students,” she said. “For some, it is there first exposure to different career opportunities. A lot of schools do career planning, but this is an opportunity for students to talk directly to the experts in their field.”
In addition to the traditional career fair, human resource professionals were on-hand to educate students on employability skills, such as creating resumes or going to job interviews.
“Present a winning impression,” RaeAnn Thomas of Seek Careers Staffing in Manitowoc, told a classroom of students. “You are not the only one for a job interview, and you want to stand out.”
In other classrooms throughout LTC, students met with, and asked questions of, employees within their desired field. In total, 90 volunteers from local businesses attended the fair.
Eric Haban, a machinist at LDI Industries in Manitowoc, said the discussions provided students with valuable career information, but also allowed businesses direct access to potential future employees.
“We get a big pipeline of potential candidates into the welding and manufacturing field from this program,” Haban said. “I got a call out of the blue last year from a parent who said their kid watched our presentation and wanted to know more about industrial maintenance.”
Haban, who said he found his calling at the Career Fair years ago, returns every year to talk with students.
“I think what attracts me to come back every year is I remember sitting out here in 10th grade and thinking about the career options that were out here,” he said. “I want the students to know that manufacturing is thriving and is not a dying career. There are good opportunities to make a decent living in the skills area.”
Haban met with students, such as sophomore Sam Oswald, who said he was looking into a career in electrical engineering
“My dad works at Manitowoc Company, so I was checking that out,” Oswald said.
Organizers said they hoped the program inspired students to begin thinking now about their future career plans.
“Apply yourself now,” Jon Shambeau, an engineer at Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry, told a group of students. “Now is the time to do it, because other things will come at you way to fast. Today is the day.”
January 7, 2014
From wisconsinrapidstribune.com: “Column: Ring in a New Year with MSTC” — By Sue Budjac, president of Mid-State Technical College – I hope you had a joyful holiday season and wish you a happy New Year. This time of year is a culmination of sorts for many Mid-State Technical College students. An impressive class of 142 graduates gathered Dec. 19 for fall semester commencement ceremonies to celebrate a transition from their MSTC hands-on college education to new beginnings and enhanced opportunities in the workforce.
The solid reputation of this college and the impressive skill set of MSTC graduates are well documented. Nearly nine out of 10 MSTC graduates are employed within six months of graduation, and 95 percent of employers who hire MSTC graduates are satisfied or very satisfied with their education, training and skill set. These are some of the reasons why nearly 9,000 people make MSTC their preferred choice for education and training each year.
Yet statistics alone will not ease fear of the unknown. Anxiety sometimes can hinder our desire to achieve the skill set that enhances our career options. Fear ultimately “… holds us and binds us and keeps us from growing.”
However, success is often driven by a willingness to step out of our comfort zones and try something new. The following stories show how two students faced fear, made sacrifices, rolled up their sleeves and tackled the unknown.
Nancy, a 27-year-old mother of three from Stevens Point, was a small-business owner before undergoing an organ transplant, forcing her to give up her business to focus on her recovery. While taking classes on Stevens Point campus in spring 2012, she realized she wanted to pursue a career that empowered her to help others feel good about themselves; cosmetology was a natural fit. She graduated in December with a technical diploma in cosmetology and is currently readying to take her State Board licensing exam. Nancy isn’t going anywhere though; she plans to continue taking classes this semester in MSTC’s business management program.
Dan also stepped away from the status quo. While still a senior in high school, Dan completed paramedic technician program classes at MSTC. Dan since has finished his paramedic core courses, passed his National Registry exams and became licensed in Wisconsin as a paramedic — all before celebrating his 19th birthday. He subsequently was hired as a full-time paramedic, where he works today.
Maybe you know someone who needs encouragement overcoming a fear of trying something new, someone who will benefit from enriching skills they need to be successful in the local workforce. MSTC is the first stop on a path to a new or enhanced career. Our helpful and caring employees provide the custom support and assistance each person needs.
Ring in the New Year with small class sizes, hands-on instruction and engaging faculty with real-world experience. It’s not too late to register for MSTC’s spring semester — classes start Jan. 13. Stop by any of our four locations, call 888-575-MSTC (6782), or visit www.mstc.edu to learn more.
January 7, 2014
From htrnews.com: “Students will explore career interests” – Career Expo, hosted at Lakeshore Technical College, will be assisting more than 1,000 Manitowoc County high school sophomores in exploring future career interests while promoting the development of our future workforce.
This event is held in cooperation with the Manitowoc County public and private high schools, University of Wisconsin-Manitowoc, Lakeshore Technical College, Lakeland College and Silver Lake College of the Holy Family.
The high school sophomores will be involved in the following events:
• Career Exploration in 16 various Career Clusters
• Career Fair representing area Manitowoc County businesses
• Employability Skills Session
• Career Mapping Session
• Career Activities with their high school guidance counselors
Over 95 volunteers from across Manitowoc County will speak to students about their respective careers and opportunities for the future. The day program includes career presentations, employability workshops and a Career Fair.
At the Career Fair the students will be instructed to interview three representatives from the 22 businesses showcasing their career opportunities. The students will discuss potential careers, skills required in the field and the advantages and disadvantages of the careers.
The third workshop entitled “You, You, You” will focus on employability skills.
2014 Career Expo is being held Thursday and Friday beginning each day at 9 a.m. and concluding at 11:30 a.m.
It will be held at Lakeshore Technical College, 1290 North Ave., Cleveland. Career Expo will host Two Rivers, McKinley, Reedsville, Brillion, Kiel, Lutheran and Valders students on Thursday and Lincoln, Hilbert and Mishicot students on Friday.
October 21, 2013
From greenbaypressgazette.com: “Alliance works to change state’s manufacturing image, increase education” – When Northeast Wisconsin Technical College’s 44-foot mobile CNC lab made an appearance at Bonduel High School, the pieces fell into place for junior Race McClone.
McClone, 16, is planning a career in manufacturing. If he becomes a mechanical engineer and welder as he proposes, it will be another in an increasing number of successes for NEW Manufacturing Alliance, NWTC and other supporters of manufacturing.
October is Manufacturing Month in Wisconsin, and that’s more than just another in a rotisserie of months with special names. Indiana and Wisconsin regularly trade positions as the top manufacturing states in the nation. Statewide, 16.1 percent of Wisconsin jobs are manufacturing related. In the 14-county NEW North region, one in every four jobs is in manufacturing.
“That is one of the largest concentrations of manufacturing in the country,” said Ann Franz, NEW Manufacturing Alliance coordinator.
The Alliance was founded in 2006 to foster collaboration between manufacturers and educators in the promotion of manufacturing and development of a future workforce.
The Manufacturing Institute, affiliated with the National Association of Manufacturers, says that workforce is growing older at a greater rate than the economy as a whole, and the lack of qualified workers is beginning to impact manufacturers’ ability to compete in the global market. It says schools are not equipping students with the appropriate skills and in the necessary disciplines to contribute to the manufacturing economy.
The Institute says U.S. schools are not producing enough engineers, and the manufacturing workforce is growing older and is not as well educated as other sectors.
The Alliance is working to change that in Northeastern Wisconsin. It arranges tours of manufacturing plants — it sponsored 11 visits for students and teachers in October — and sends manufacturing representatives into classrooms. It is developing manufacturing-related math problems for use in middle schools, provided $20,000 in college scholarships last year, publishes a magazine, produces videos and hosts the annual Manufacturing First Expo & Conference, to which 200 students are invited.
Franz’s salary is paid by the Bay Area Workforce Development Board, which also helped pay for creation of NWTC’s Computer Integrated Manufacturing mobile lab. Much of the rest of the work is done by volunteers on five Alliance task forces.
Manufacturing jobs pay well, but an enduring image of workers standing on assembly lines doing the same things over and over again is discouraging to digital-age students, not to mention their parents. It doesn’t help that the image is totally inaccurate.
Nels Lawrence, technology education instructor at Kaukauna High School, said plant tours dispel notions of manufacturing as “dumb, dull and dirty.”
Northeast Wisconsin Chambers Coalition’s 2012-13 Fox Valley Wage & Benefits Study found that intermediate-level electrical engineers in Brown County earned an average $62,766 per year and electrical engineers at Fox Valley companies earned an average annual wage of $71,109. Again, the number of responding companies was not large (six in one case, seven in the other) and the respondents were self-selected. The average wage for senior electrical engineers was $91,028.
“One employer said to me, ‘You want to recruit kids. Take a look at what’s parked out in are parking lot,’” Lawrence said.
Franz and Lawrence said manufacturers are desperate to grow the workforce.
“More and more human resources directors are contacting me directly, looking to contact 16- and 17-year-olds,” Lawrence said. “If I had more students, I could find more openings.”
Franz said the increase in engagement between employers and schools is significant. Schools are calling the alliance — a 180-degree turnaround from seven years ago — and asking how they can partner.
As a sign of progress, Franz said NWTC graduated 19 welders in 2000, 28 welders in 2005 and 119 welders in 2010. It has more than 200 people enrolled in welding classes now, and last year enrollment in its manufacturing classes was up 19 percent.
Welding is just a tiny slice of manufacturing jobs, though in considerable demand in the region. Surveys by NWTC also identified electrical engineers, among others, in high demand.
“The message is resonating,” Franz said. “NWTC graduates more manufacturing degree holders than any other technical college in the state.”
Bonduel High School’s McClone had taken computer-aided-design and civil engineering classes in tech ed, but the arrival of NWTC’s mobile lab took his interest to a new level. The school also has a new welding lab.
“I’m really interested in the CNC program. If Bonduel didn’t have the trailer here, I probably wouldn’t have known about the CNC at all,” he said, talking on his cellphone from the lab.
He said Bonduel’s tech ed teachers themselves are enthusiastic about manufacturing, and promotional efforts are beginning to make an impact.
“People are starting to see this as a great opportunity,” he said. “There are all kinds of jobs. It can be pretty much anything.”
October 17, 2013
From ozaukeepress.com: “Grafton High students hit the street” – Career day talks can only go so far in inspiring teenagers to the varied job prospects in the work world.
The Grafton Area Chamber of Commerce and the Grafton Education Foundation were looking to fill that void on Wednesday, Oct. 16, when nearly 500 Grafton High School students hit the street for a first-ever Career Exploration Day.
During the day, buses transported students to job sites throughout the community to learn about career opportunities in manufacturing, health care, education and marketing.
The goal was to expose students to workplace settings and to provide prospective employees with information as they think about career possibilities.
More than a dozen local employers took part in the career day, with students boarding shuttling buses to visit two job sites during the day.
Participating businesses included Kapco Inc., John Crane Engineered Bearings, Waukesha Metal Products, RAM Tool, Blanking Systems/Oetlinger, Exacto Spring Corp., Axcesor, Gilman USA, Frank Mayer & Associates and Gauthier Biomedical.
Stops were also made at Concordia University Wisconsin and Milwaukee Area Technical College North Campus, both in Mequon.
The program was made possible through a $3,000 AT&T Wisconsin Innovation & Investment Award.
Grafton Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Pam King said the seeds for the program were sown, during a 2012 brainstorming session on ways to address the manufacturing skills shortage in Grafton.
From that session, the Grafton Manufacturing Alliance was formed. The group has hosted two manufacturing career fairs at the high school.
King said the AT&T grant allowed the group to bring students — freshmen, sophomores and juniors — to local job sites. Representatives from the Foundation helped write the grant proposal.
She said everyone involved agreed the on-site visits would open the eyes of manystudents.
“We believe that it will be much more impactful for our students to see and experience actual job sites rather than just hearing about them,” King said.
“With manufacturing in particular, it is important for our students to see what it looks like and all of the technology that is involved.”
Ken McCormick, principal of Grafton High School, said the tours are sure to make an impression.
“This event is a neat opportunity for our students to travel out into the community to explore potential careers and not only see firsthand the available jobs, but also begin to plan for their future academic and work careers,” McCormick said.
Foundation President Bob Hoffman said the program was a welcome opportunity to collaborate with the business community and to support the group’s slogan, “Quality Schools, Together.”
“Thanks to AT&T, this award will help us live our mission of connecting the community and businesses to our Grafton schools,” Hoffman said.
“I am hopeful this is just the first of many grants from local businesses that the Foundation can use to fund other Grafton School District programs.”
The AT&T Wisconsin Innovation & Investment Award program provides funding to organizations and programs that improve the community by advancing education, enhancing the environment, promoting economic development, or delivering other community services. This is the second year of the program.
“We are very proud to support the efforts of Grafton’s Chamber, business and education leaders to introduce students to the many exciting careers available in the Grafton community,” said Julie Tonkovitz, director of external affairs for AT&T Wisconsin.
“As a company, AT&T is committed to investing in education and helping prepare our young people for future success.”
October 17, 2013
From marshfieldnewsherald.com: “MSTC celebrating centennial Tuesday” – MARSHFIELD – Mid-State Technical College is celebrating its centennial from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Marshfield Campus, 2600 W. Fifth St.
MSTC is a leading provider of higher education and training in central Wisconsin. Smaller beginnings 100 years ago have evolved into a network of educational opportunities throughout what is now known as the Mid-State Technical College District, according to a MSTC press release.
Today, the college provides more than 100 associate degrees, technical diplomas, and certificates, including 10 Wisconsin Technical College System programs you will only find at MSTC, according to the release.
In celebration of the centennial, people throughout the college district are invited to attend centennial celebrations at each of MSTC’s four locations.
The MSTC Foundation kicked off the year’s celebration Sept. 14 by hosting a Centennial Bike Ride & Walk. This non-competitive event which included 100K, 50K, and 10K bike routes and a 10K walk option drew 150 bikers, walkers, and volunteers. Over $8,000 was raised with all event proceeds going to student scholarships. About 80 percent of all MSTC students receive some kind of financial assistance.
MSTC, one of 16 colleges in the Wisconsin Technical College System, serves a resident population of approximately 165,000 in central Wisconsin with campuses in Marshfield, Stevens Point and Wisconsin Rapids, and a learning center in Adams.
For more information about these centennial events or to learn more about MSTC’s history, visit www.mstc.edu.
October 7, 2013
From chippewa.com: “Counselors live what students will experience” – EAU CLAIRE – At McDonell Central High School in Chippewa Falls, it’s part of Jerry Van Dyke’s job to advise students on college and career selections and keep their high school experiences on track so they can reach their goals. He just got a little better at it.
Now Van Dyke will be able to tell his students from firsthand experience what they’re going to need in some of Chippewa Valley Technical College’s (CVTC’s) most popular programs.
“I’m here to learn about what young students in the program are experiencing right out of high school. It’s learning about it through practical experience,” Van Dyke said. He was one of dozens of high school counselors attending a recent conference at CVTC in which they were updated on requirements and expectations in the FireMedic, Paramedic/EMT, Criminal Justice-Law Enforcement and Paralegal programs.
However, the CVTC students who acted as instructors for the session did not just talk to the counselors about the credits required. They had them dressing in firefighter’s gear, holding a spraying fire hose, climbing ladders, tearing apart a wrecked car, checking vitals on a simulated patient, and many other activities that students in the programs face.
“I can advise kids so much better after today,” said Aaron Hass, the counselor at Mondovi High School. “I will have the practical experience to say, ‘I was in on that session, and you need (Advanced Placement) one and two.’”
Counselors from the area meet at CVTC once a year. “The purpose is to give them an overview of admission requirements and programs and update them on changes,” said Gayle Ostermann of Menomonie, an enrollment specialist at CVTC who works closely with the counselors. “This year was different because we decided to target one of our career clusters.” A survey of the counselors led to selection of the Law, Public Safety and Security cluster.
The CVTC staff planning the event decided to make it a hands-on experience, and to have students, who were so recently high school students themselves, conduct the sessions.
“The level of maturity of the students now in college was displayed to the counselors, who can talk about that with their high school students too,” Ostermann said.
Van Dyke sees the opportunity to take what he’s learned back to McDonell, where he can quickly dispel some of the misconceptions of students who think they don’t need this-or-that class to pursue a chosen career.
“One of the (Criminal Justice program) students pointed out the need for communication skills. That’s something 17-year-olds don’t realize,” Van Dyke said.
“The kids would be surprised by the amount of academics,” Hass said. “A lot of them want to skid through high school and think tech school will just be easy. (In Paramedic/EMT) they have to take anatomy and physiology.”
“In firefighting, they have to know physics, and do math right in the truck,” Van Dyke added.
“Math is so incredibly important. Kids need math skills and need to continue them because of the safety factor,” said Linda Mikunda, counselor at Barron High School.
Barb Van Doorn of Lake Holcombe High School had a different perspective. Academic requirements can be found in publications. “But we saw firsthand exactly what you need for FireMedic. You get a better idea of what students are going through. We are always so concerned about cognitive abilities, but with this program we learned what is physically needed, and what is emotionally needed.”
“We thought the sessions would energize them” said Ostermann. “There were a lot of smiles today.”
October 7, 2013
From beloitdailynews.com: “BMHS fairs expose students to career success ingredients” – Beloit Memorial High School was buzzing with activity on Thursday morning as the school held its first Wisconsin Education Fair in the field house and first Annual Career and Technical Education Fair in the Barkin Arena.
Juniors and seniors had a two-hour block to visit both fairs to learn about possible careers and the skills and education required to obtain them.
The Wisconsin Education Fair (WEF) featured four-year universities, colleges, technical colleges and other post-secondary schools. BMHS school counselor Erin Wolf said it was the first time WEF, the largest educational fair in Wisconsin, came to Beloit. Those at BMHS had tried for two years to get the school to be one of the approved sites. On Thursday, Wolf said there were 102 post-secondary options represented including two-year and four-year schools in addition to the military and cosmetology schools.
Representatives from universities and colleges from Iowa, Alabama, Minnesota, North Dakota and other states were represented.
BMHS senior Heather Miller, interested in biology and astronomy, was checking out a booth from Northland College, a small school in Ashland, Wis. She said she liked the idea of a college with classes as small as 12-14 students. She said having schools from across the state and country was a great idea.
“I don’t have to go visit all of them. To come here is pretty helpful,” she said.
Students Erica Dominguez-Martinez, Ann McKee and Kaitlyn Rivas were chatting with University of Wisconsin-Platteville Admission Advisor Katharine Caywood about their interests in psychology, foreign languages, animal science and business degrees.
Kaitlyn said she was interested in Platteville because of it’s forensic science investigation major as she hopes to become a coroner or medical examiner. Caywood told her Platteville also offers internships at the Rockford, Ill., Coroner’s Office.
Wolf said the fair was a great success, and that afterward school counselors were preparing to make individual contact with all the seniors to help them work on their college application processes.
Businesses involved in manufacturing, construction, welding, information systems, graphic arts, even tourism and hospitality were invited to set up a booth at the Career and Technical Education Fair. And on Thursday some were getting some hands-on experience.
Blackhawk Technical College Culinary Arts instructor and executive pastry chef Katie Thomas’s table was a hit with students as she offered them the opportunity to make little swan-shaped cream puffs. She said it was a great way to engage with students.
“Students feel like they’ve made something, and it gets their creative juices flowing,” she said.
Heather Warne, a human resource generalist, with Prent Thermoforming out of Janesville, said her company packages medical components. There is a strong need for engineers as well as machine operators as well as IT, finance and human resource professionals. She said students who come out of high school with some automotive training can be easily trained to work on machines.
University of Wiscoinsin-Platteville Professor of Electrical Engineering Dale Buechler, Ph.D., who works with engineering students at UW-Rock County, brought a miniature solar panel, paper plate turbine and a circuit board to entice students into pursuing engineering careers. He told them with Rock County’s partnership with UW-Platteville, there are classes in the evenings allowing students to work during the day while pursuing engineering. And advances in technologies have made much of the equipment more affordable and portable so students can spend less time on campus and more time working at home.
September 16, 2013
From StarJournalNow.com: “Trailer will bring Nicolet College to area communities” – The Nicolet Area Technical College district covers more than 4,000 square miles so for those living in the district it may not be easy to get to the main campus located just outside of Rhinelander for certain services.
The college has moved to remedy this with a new trailer that will be taken around to area communities to bring the school to prospective students.
“We can really do anything in the trailer that we can do in our office,” Kenneth Urban, Nicolet vice president of teaching, learning and student success, said. “The only thing we can’t do is testing. But financial aid, registration, we can do that in this trailer.”
Urban was one of the leading figures in trying to find a way the college could reach all corners of the district.
“Our district is 80 percent the size of Connecticut so we have a big area to cover,” Urban said. “It is not easy for people to sometimes get the services they need by coming to the main campus.”
The idea to bring those services to the district via trailer was the logical next step so the college began looking for a suitable vehicle.
Fortunately, they did not have to look far.
“Luckily the Wisconsin Technical College System Foundation is the organization that handles federal property in Wisconsin,” Urban said. “They had a FEMA trailer sitting in their lot in Waunakee.”
The trailer, Urban said, was just a typical camping trailer so the college needed to put work into it to make it a mobile extension of the college.
Again, the school did not have far to go to find qualified help.
“We have some very talented students and staff at this school,” Urban said.
Students and staff went to work on gutting the trailer and putting in the equipment and finishes needed to make the trailer function like the home office.
They removed the bathroom and made that they technology hub and electrical hub that feeds the two computer work stations in the area. They turned a couch into a work surface and installed an oak table with the college’s oak leaf logo.
On the outside, of the trailer, the students modified the main side window and inside built a storage case that houses a flat panel television, one of two in the unit.
“The idea is that you would pull up to where you are going to set up, you put the awing down and set up a table in front and have the television playing behind you with information,” Urban said. “We can customize the message to whatever we are doing that day. If we are there for financial aid sign up, we can have a video about financial aid playing. Or if it is a general visit, we can have a video of information about the school playing.”
Urban said the idea is to have at least two school representatives with the trailer when it goes to events in communities to help people with their needs. But he adds the college is still experimenting on how it best works in the real world.
“It has been out on one official event and that was Rediculous Dae in Rhinelander,” he said. “People really liked it. We learned thought that we need paper weights for the papers on the table outside. But that is where we are at right now, we are experimenting to see what we need and how the trailer works best.”
The trailer will be used for two more events this year though those dates have not been finalized but Urban said he is excited to get the unit out in the public.
“We want to take it where the people that will use the college the most will be,” he said. “We will stay away from tourist events, but you will see this trailer at high school football games where a couple of schools in our district are playing each other or other events where people that use the college will be.”
September 12, 2013
From bizjournals.com: “MATC launching water technician certificate through Water Council, MAWIB partnership” – By Jeff Engel – Milwaukee Area Technical College will offer a water technician certificate to serve increased demand for water industry professionals, according to a Wednesday press release.
The program was developed in partnership with Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board and The Water Council, which is officially opening its Global Water Center in Walker’s Point Thursday.
The certificate requires 17 to 19 credits and courses also count toward MATC’s environmental health and water quality technology associate degree and other related associate degrees and technical diplomas.
“Having a strong educational foundation for future professionals is essential for the continued growth of this industry,” said MATC president Michael Burke. “MATC is committed to providing the education and training area residents need to secure employment in water careers.”
The Water Council aims to establish the Milwaukee region as the world hub for freshwater research, economic development and education.
The program was developed through a $1 million grant to MAWIB from the U.S. Department of Labor as part of the Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge.
“Together, we worked with more than 50 water-related industry employers for input as to the fundamental skills needed to enter into water industry jobs,” said MAWIB president and CEO Donald Sykes. “We are pleased that this industry-recognized credential, in one of the most promising employment sectors, will serve as a foundation to water industry careers.”
July 29, 2013
From chippewa.com: “Chippewa Falls mom reinvents herself for new career” – EAU CLAIRE — In her early 30s, Mandi Leos found her life in crisis. With four children under age 10 at the time, she was going through a divorce and facing the prospect of living on her own and raising her children without a good enough job to bring in the income and benefits she would need. She had long-term concerns about her health, too.
Five years later and weighing 70 pounds less, Leos crossed the stage to receive her associate degree in radiography from Chippewa Valley Technical College. She’s ready to launch a new career, has high hopes for a job interview coming up next week, and has her eyes on a bachelor’s degree and saving some money for her children for college. Her oldest is now 14.
A great example of how to take control of one’s own life, Leos was the student speaker at the CVTC summer commencement ceremony, held at Memorial High School in Eau Claire. Leos, though, says she didn’t take control on her own, but let a higher power take the lead.
“My faith is what made me strong,” she said. I couldn’t have done it without faith.“
A 1993 Chippewa Falls Senior High School graduate, Leos took some training to be a hair stylist and worked in that field in Texas, where she and her husband lived for a time, and in Wisconsin. When her marriage ended, she realized the hair care business wasn’t going to cut it.
“You really can’t support four kids on that and help them with college or anything,” she said. “I thought to myself that I should look into the medical field. My mother is a nurse.“
She also thought she needed to be strong physically to meet the challenges of her changing life. There’s a history of diabetes in her family.
“I thought, if I am going to do this, I have to take better care of myself. I started running and changed my diet,” she said.
Leos explored the radiography program at CVTC and found some decisions she made in high school came back to haunt her. She was pretty light on the math and science credits. She then started attending CVTC to get the prerequisites she needed to attend CVTC’s radiography program.
“When I started I was terrified. I could hardly send an email,” she said.
Now, five years later, she’s one of the top graduates in the program and was selected as the student speaker for the ceremony.
“Whatever your field, this journey has not been an easy one,” she told her fellow graduates. “As a single mother of four, I can attest that this path has been perilous. I have had to expand my focus to include not just my family and current employment, but also my program requirements and future career path.
“When I chose to continue my education, it wasn’t just my decision, but a decision that required the support and patience of the people around me.“
The faculty speaker also came from the radiography program. Instructor Deb Kjelstad noted that all of the graduates were more self-assured and confident after two years in the program, and she predicted that Leos two years ago never would have dreamt that she would be the speaker.
“Knowledge gives us the inner strength and power to do things we never thought we were capable of,” Kjelstad said. “I have had the privilege of watching the graduates grow and develop into the future workforce and leaders of our community. Confidence is the companion of success.“
CVTC President Bruce Barker in his remarks to the graduates referenced a quote from Albert Einstein in urging the graduates not to settle for success.
“Don’t be satisfied with success,” Barker said. “Strive to be a person of value.“
June 14, 2013
From brookfield-wi.patch.com: “WCTC’s Career Quest designed for middle school students” – Waukesha County Technical College will host Career Quest, an opportunity for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students to get a closer look at what skills and qualifications are needed for the jobs of today and tomorrow.
The three-day summer exploration will take place on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 6, 7 and 8, at WCTC’s main campus in Pewaukee.
Middle school students will be introduced to a variety of careers – including those in Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, Metal Fabrication/Welding, Cosmetology and many more — and learn about the education and training needed for those jobs. Cost of the event is $100 per student. Sessions run from at 8:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; lunch and snacks will be provided. Registration ends June 28, and the sessions will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Space is limited!
From the options below, students can choose two career sessions to explore: • Future of Nursing (Nursing) • What’s Up, Doc? (Medical Assistant) • Authorized Personnel Only! (Surgical Technology) • To Protect and Serve — CSI style (Criminal Justice) • Emergency! (Firefighting/EMT) • Fuse it Together (Metal Fabrication/Welding) • Precision Parts (CNC Manufacturing) • Explore Robotics (Automation Systems Technology) • Baking Quest (Baking/Pastry) • Culinary Quest (Culinary Management) • The Art of Play (Early Childhood) • Spa Day (Cosmetology)
For details on career sessions, to learn more about Career Quest and to register, visit http://www.wctc.edu/career-quest. For questions, contact John Pritchett, Career Quest coordinator, at 262.695.7847 or email@example.com.
From wjfw.com: “Nicolet College holds career expo for seventh graders” – Rhinelander - You may not like hunting for jobs. And searching for a career is just as hard, but Nicolet College made the process fun for seventh graders today.
Nicolet College held their first Career Expo at the Rhinelander Ice Arena. About 700 seventh graders wandered through the tables.
“It is so important because I think there are so many great professions in our area that people just don’t know about. And especially at that seventh grade age, they’re just learning about careers and really starting to investigate maybe what direction they want to go,” says Teri Phalin, Nicolet Career Coach. The Expo showed off a wide range of careers from around the Northwoods. There were 42 careers showcased, including photographers, lawyers, EMT’s and many more.
“We have Ponsse who have a really great simulated logging machine. We have Dream Flight. We have PT offices. We have an exercise instructor,” said Teri Phalin.
Even Newswatch12 came out for some of the fun. But it was the students who enjoyed it the most.
“Students are loving this! Every student, I just said, has been walking past me with a huge smile on their face. They’re getting some really great information but they’re having fun while they’re doing it as well.”
Nicolet College Career Coach Teri Phalin said the Expo was a success and hopes to do it again next year.
From marshfieldnewsherald.com: “Retiring fire chief reflects on 31-year career” – Marshfield Fire Chief James Schmidt retires May 24 after more than 31 years of service to the Marshfield Fire and Rescue Department. I had a chance to sit down with him recently to reflect on his career and more than three decades of service to the city of Marshfield.
A Wisconsin native, Chief Schmidt grew up in the Fox Valley area and attended school in Appleton. His father worked for a large fire apparatus manufacturer in Appleton, and his uncle worked for a fire department in the Milwaukee suburbs. The seeds of a career in the fire service had been cast. Upon graduation, he enrolled in the Fire Protection Program at Fox Valley Technical College, graduating in 1981. He completed the cadet program a Grand Chute and Oshkosh Fire departments. Shortly after graduation, he landed his first full-time career in the fire service with the Kaukauna Fire Department.
A strong work ethic and a desire to serve the public in concert with all the ideologies of a new recruit were met with the realities of recession and budget cuts. After only six months on the job, the new recruit’s position was eliminated.
Newly unemployed in a recession that was affecting most municipalities in Wisconsin, Schmidt began testing state-wide for positions. On April 5, 1982, he accepted a position with the Marshfield Fire Department.
Clayton Simonson was the fire chief at the time. The Marshfield Fire Department was in the process of addressing a referendum regarding the Optional Powers of the Fire and Police Commission, the reorganization of the two platoon shift schedule, and a paid-on-call firefighter program. Firefighters had many questions for Schmidt about his time at Kaukauna, Oshkosh and Grand Chute and the schedules and operations at those locations.
He served as an acting lieutenant/relief lieutenant before being promoted to deputy chief of the Red Shift on Aug. 7, 2001. In that capacity, he was responsible for the city and county hazmat team, the Fire Investigation Team and specialized rescue programs. He secured a grant for the purchase of rescue vehicles, equipment and training as part of a Central Wisconsin Collapse Rescue Team. He was a fire investigator for the city and served on the Wood County Fire Investigation Task Force as secretary/treasurer and president.
Schmidt was instrumental in developing the regional training center in partnership with Mid-State Technical College. The training center is one of his proudest accomplishments. As a fire service instructor, he recognizes the complexities of emergency service response and making sure our rescue workers are prepared.
Schmidt is on the board of directors for the Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs Association, co-chairman of the Wisconsin Technical College System Fire Service Advisory Committee on Education and Training and chairman of the MSTC Fire Service Advisory Committee.
People always are curious about rescue workers’ most memorable calls.
“You remember a lot of calls for various reasons,” Schmidt said. “The calls that seem to stick with me are the untimely deaths of the young, whether it is by traumatic accident or illness.
“If pressed, I would say the Central State Supply fire on Depot Street early in my career was one of the more memorable because I was treated and released from the hospital for smoke inhalation and heat exhaustion,” Schmidt said.
“I also responded to a fatal fire that same year where a young child perished. I can still see vividly the image of the lifeless child being carried in the arms of another firefighter from a second-story closet.”
The downtown Magic Moments fire on April 1, 2005, was the largest multi-agency fire response Schmidt commanded.
In three decades of service, the biggest changes in the Marshfield Fire and Rescue Department from Schmidt’s perspective are the development of the paramedic ambulance service, the advancements in personal protective equipment, firefighter safety and the cost of vehicles.
When Schmidt started in 1982, the annual fire department budget was $800,000; this year it was just under $4 million.
Other notable changes are in training and education. We have a more educated workforce, and advancements in state and national standards have increased the need for more training to meet the many varied emergencies to which today’s fire departments respond.
“I am happy to say the fire service has become more proactive versus reactive,” Schmidt said. “The fire department culture has become more professional and less traditional.
“We have become the risk managers of our community,” he said. “We spend more time identifying potential threats, analyzing the risk, and assessing our vulnerabilities.”
“Through our fire prevention and training efforts, responsive fire codes, improved building design, and cooperation from the general public, the number of significant fires has been reduced,” Schmidt said.
“We still have far too many fires that could have been prevented by adherence to simple fire safety practices,” he said.
Two accomplishments he is proud of are the part he played in the development of the regional training center and the construction of the new fire station. However, he is most proud of his role in changing the organizational culture of the department.
“The high level of cooperation that currently exists within the organization has helped us overcome most any operational challenges we have faced over the past six years,” he said. “The fire service truly becomes your second family, and when the alarm sounds, regardless of any interpersonal conflicts, all members work as a team for the common goal of saving the life or property of someone they typically have never met.”
Schmidt said, “I’ll miss the camaraderie, and I am confident the department will continue to adhere to the basic philosophies: treat people the way you want to be treated, make decisions that are best for the community and department and do what you can to leave the department in a better position than we you got there.”
From wiscnews.com: “Car lover gets his career in gear” – Most young guys love hot cars. It’s been a passion that started when Henry Ford cranked his first engine.
But at 19 years old, Brady Beth of Reedsburg has found a way to turn his love of cars into what is already an award-winning profession.
Last month, Beth won the coveted first place award from Skills USA, once known as VICA, Vocational Industrial Clubs of America, for the second year in a row for his successful completion of auto body collision-related tasks.
He was competing against about 40 other entrants from technical schools around the state in his category.
It’s the first time in Madison Area Technical College-Madison history that any student has won a first place Skills USA award two years in a row.
Both years, Beth completed completed 12 welds with perfection, and repaired seven dents, two cracked fenders, and a crack and a tear in a plastic bumper.
There also were written tests and a mock job interview.
Just after that, he succeeded at a real job interview and got a position with Avenue Auto Body in Middleton, where he will go to work full-time after he graduates in two weeks.
“I like to make cars look new again,” Beth said. “To see something wrecked up, you can make it perfect again.”
He gives a great deal of credit to his MATC-Madison auto body and collision instructor, Tim Hoege.
“He’s really good at what he does,” Beth said. “He’s helped me a lot.”
Beth worked for Koenecke Ford since he was 16 alongside his dad, Dale Beth, another auto body technician.
“I was supervising and watching them,” Beth said with a smile. “But at 16, I actually started working on cars there.”
Not only did Beth take first place at Skills USA two years in a row, last year he place 13th at the Skills USA national competition in which he competed against contestants from 50 states, plus Puerto Rico and Guam.
He’ll try at the nationals again next month in Kansas City, Mo.
“It’s very difficult to win the state event twice,” Hoege said. “It’s quite a competition. Some people have the touch. Brady can see what has to be done and visualize it before it’s done. You need to visualize it completed in your head before it’s done. He can do that.”
Beth said he won’t be happy with 13th this year at nationals.
This year better be the top five,” Beth said. “This year I know what to expect.”
Last year he came in first place with the Specialty Equipment Market Association, or SEMA, Car Show competition in which contestants are selected based on an auto-body idea submission. Beth’s was chosen among the top five and he painted an image on the hood of a Honda Civic to gain first place.
The SEMA Show is touted as the world’s largest auto trade show event that is said to bring more than 60,000 domestic and international buyers together.
Hoege said many winners of the Skills USA competition are picked up by major auto market companies as sales representatives or executives.
“These companies want these winners because they know they have the passion and the drive to want the best out of themselves,” Hoege said.
Beth said future plans include dreams of owning his own business, but he’d like to stay close to home.
“I want to stay in the Reedsburg area,” Beth said. “I’d rather work here.”
April 16, 2013
From bizjournals.com: “MATC adds associate degree and technical diploma programs” – Milwaukee Area Technical College will introduce 12 new associate degree and technical diploma programs in 2013-2014 to address growing demand in a number of industries.
The new programs in the School of Business are eBusiness fundamentals technical diploma, financial services technical diploma, food manufacturing and processing technical diploma and food science technology associate degree.
In the School of Health Sciences there is a new health information technician associate degree. The School of Media and Creative Arts has a new audio production associate degree, creative advertising strategist associate degree, eProduction associate degree, mobile application developer technical diploma, and a mobile designer associate degree. In the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences there is a new early childhood education technical diploma.
“The new programs exemplify MATC’s response to the needs of area businesses,” said MATC president Michael Burke, in a press release. “Students will have an opportunity to prepare for careers in some of the fastest-growing industries.”
March 8, 2013
From lacrossetribune.com: “Morna Foy: Program lets students explore careers” – There was a time when a high school diploma was the ticket to many family-sustaining careers, allowing access to more than 70 percent of all jobs in 1973 according to Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce.
That is no longer the case, with the Center reporting that by 2020, 65 percent of jobs will require at least some education or skills training beyond high school.
That dramatic shift makes robust Career and Technical Education (CTE) partnerships all the more critical. These increasingly innovative collaborations allow high school students to explore career opportunities, experience the rigorous education needed to access them after high school and understand career progression potential.
CTE students often earn college credits and gain personal enrichment at the same time. Just as importantly, some students identify career fields in which they find they are not interested, saving significant time and investment after high school.
Throughout February, as part of CTE month, I had the chance to see first-hand impressive collaborations that Wisconsin’s technical colleges have with high schools throughout the state. I’m proud to support these partnerships. They consistently open doors to promising futures in agriculture, business, manufacturing, health care, marketing, information technology and engineering careers.
Wisconsin’s technical colleges provide education — and a graduate placement rate that consistently averages about 90 percent — in these and many other fields, preparing individuals for high-skill, high-wage careers.
Unfortunately, many high school students — and those they rely upon for guidance — often are unfamiliar with these opportunities.
All of us — parents, educators and employers — share responsibility for furthering career awareness and exploration. It can be as simple as helping students identify areas of ability and interest, with the help of online resources such as the Wisconsin Career Pathways website, or the Career Interest Questionnaire on the Wisconsin Technical College System website. You also might consider creating or supporting job shadowing opportunities or career days.
Perhaps most importantly, you can find a way to get involved with delivering, supporting or taking advantage of the many CTE options that exist for students, or that could exist with your vision or assistance.
For more than 20 years, Wisconsin’s technical colleges have been energetically engaged in middle and high school CTE programs, with more than 90,000 students participating. But there is a need to accomplish much more. We can do that, together, by promoting career awareness and college credit options every month of the year.
March 1, 2013
From marshfieldnews.com: “Column: Career, tech education a real-world way to learn” — By Brenda Dillenburg, dean of the Mid-State Technical College Marshfield campus – Career and technical education is a cooperative effort between technical colleges and employers. Students receive instruction and training in the classroom and also with local employers through internships, externships and clinical rotations. These real-world skills and experiences help graduates be better prepared to enter or re-enter the world of work.
Mid-State Technical College offers certificates, technical diplomas and associate degrees in more than 100 areas.
MSTC graduates enjoy careers in many industries and service areas in all of our communities. Some examples include law enforcement and corrections officers, surgical technologists, manufacturing and electronic technicians, welders, registered nurses, automotive technicians, accountants, cosmetologists, urban foresters, business managers, supervisors, marketing professionals, computer programmers, medical assistants, respiratory therapists and much more. As we look around at the businesses and industries in our community, it is easy to see the impact of career and technical education.
A technical college education is the training that is sought after and needed by employers in the 21st century. In fact, 93 percent of employers are satisfied or very satisfied with the education and training and would hire technical college graduates again.
The preparation provided at a technical college includes the necessary academic and technical skills to be highly productive employees in their field of choice.
The required technical skills are changing each and every year; many of these skills were unheard of a generation ago. We work with employers in our communities to stay abreast of changes and advances in technology so that these new tools and skills are incorporated into our programs.
In addition to offering programs of study to meet the workforce needs of tomorrow, technical colleges are well suited to offer just-in-time training and training aimed at upgrading employees’ skills.
Mid-State Technical College is your community’s college. Turn to us when you are ready to develop employee training or enter a program of study to earn your associate degree or technical diploma. MSTC’s Marshfield Campus is at 2600 W.Fifth St. in Marshfield. You may reach us at 715-387-2538 or visit our website at mstc.edu. Let us know how we can be of service to you.
February 27, 2013
From wispolitics.com: “Mobile lab lets Lakeshore Technical College bring skills training to students across Northeastern Wisconsin” – CLEVELAND – During a visit this morning to commemorate Lakeshore Technical College’s (LTC) new mobile manufacturing training lab, Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch commended the projects’ partners for efforts to connect Wisconsinites from across the region with skills training for jobs that are in demand.
“There are opportunities now to develop skills that we know manufacturers are seeking,” Lt. Governor Kleefisch said. “Communities across Northeastern Wisconsin will reap the economic benefits thanks to approaches like this new mobile training lab to address the skills gap and prepare individuals for good-paying jobs in today’s labor market.”
Lt. Governor Kleefisch joined Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Reggie Newson, Department of Corrections (DOC) Executive Assistant Dennis Schuh, leaders from LTC and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC), and private-sector partners to celebrate the completion of the new mobile manufacturing training lab.
The lab, modeled after a similar lab that NWTC and the Bay Area Workforce Development Board jointly launched in 2011, will travel to local high schools in the LTC district to provide on-site training in advanced manufacturing. The training will provide students instruction in industrial maintenance, programmable logic controls, and other components. Students will be able to complete a 5-credit technical college course that can be applied to LTC’s electro-mechanical technology program.
In addition to schools, the lab will also travel to DOC adult institutions in the region to help inmates learn marketable skills that will help them successfully pursue good-paying jobs upon their transition from prison back into the community. The vast majority of prison inmates will complete their prison sentences and one day return to the community. Successful employment is a key factor to help reduce recidivism.
The lab was developed as a partnership between DWD, DOC, Lakeshore and Northeast Wisconsin Technical Colleges, and several partners in the private sector, including Rockwell Automation, Curt G. Joa, Inc., and Plenco.
DOC Secretary Ed Wall said: “We are pleased to partner with Lakeshore Technical College on their mobile lab unit. The lab will give inmates the chance to learn skills that will help them get a job in the community. This partnership provides opportunities for offenders to change their behavior and make Wisconsin a safer place.”
DWD Secretary Newson said the training lab is reflective of the innovative approaches that DWD is taking under Governor Scott Walker’s leadership to address the skills gap and prepare Wisconsin residents for the modern workforce.
The “Wisconsin Fast Forward” bill (AB 14 / SB 23), which Governor Walker wants fast-tracked through the Legislature, would fund the development of a cutting-edge labor market information system, $15 million in worker training grants to be administered by DWD, and 4 positions in an Office of Skills Development to be created at DWD. The legislation is part of a larger $100 million investment in Wisconsin’s workforce that Governor Walker has proposed over the coming biennium.
“Governor Walker has committed significant resources to develop our state’s workforce and provide flexible resources to private-sector job creators,” said DWD Secretary Newson. “DWD and Wisconsin’s technical colleges are close partners in connecting Wisconsin job seekers to training opportunities and, ultimately, good-paying jobs in the private sector. This mobile lab is one more innovation that will empower job seekers to transition into good-paying jobs that promote independence and will help them pursue their dreams.”
February 25, 2013
From leadertelegram.com: “Annual event offers opportunity to explore careers, learn technology” – The Chippewa Valley Technical College annual Manufacturing Show lives up to its name.
The March 7 event features the latest and greatest when it comes to technology, from the application of micro technology in regional products to the use of sound to test welding quality to the formation of industry-education partnerships to prepare new workers.
More than 20 manufacturing companies will have displays about their role in their industries and in the Chippewa Valley economy and will use the opportunity to recruit new workers as well.
The public will be able to learn about the careers available in manufacturing at the event.
Joining those companies will be representatives of CVTC’s manufacturing programs: electromechanical technology, industrial mechanic, machine tooling technics, and welding/welding fabrication, as well as Manufacturing, nanotechnology and industrial engineering programs.
Together CVTC and its private-sector partners will present the modern face of manufacturing, with its increasing use of the latest technology.
“This year’s show will have a strong focus on the skills gap – the fact that there are a lot of manufacturing jobs but a shortage of people with the skills to fill them,” said Mark Hendrickson, special projects coordinator in the manufacturing area for CVTC. “We’re inviting employers in so they can tell about what they need in modern manufacturing employees.”
The event also will emphasize technologies involved in manufacturing today.
“People don’t realize how much of modern manufacturing technology is being applied locally,” Hendrickson said.
To demonstrate, presentations will be held during the event, from 3 to 8 p.m. at CVTC’s Manufacturing Education Center, 2320 Alpine Road, Eau Claire. Presentations will cover such subjects as the latest in metal-cutting technologies, the use of nano and micro technology to change properties of organic matter, and developments in types of metal surfaces.
R-Con, a Menomonie company, will demonstrate ultrasonic analysis of welds, using sound waves to look into the body of a metal weld. Realityworks, an Eau Claire company with a national reputation as a pioneer in simulation technology, will have a presentation on partnerships between industry and education. Participants will also be able to try their hand at welding on a simulator.
“The entire show will present a good overview of manufacturing careers in western Wisconsin,” said CVTC Dean of Industry, Agriculture and Energy Aliesha Crowe. “We have a great diversity of manufacturing companies in this area, many of them producing products that are getting attention worldwide. Attendees can learn more about these companies at the Manufacturing Show and how CVTC prepares workers for lucrative careers in manufacturing.”
Another event highlight will be the debut of an excerpt from the next Edge Factor video. The Edge Factor Show features action-packed episodes that unlock the exciting world of manufacturing, inspiring a new generation to explore careers in the field.
“We will preview the introduction to the latest video,” said Hendrickson.
Back from last year’s manufacturing show will be competitions involving area high school teams. For the Junkyard Battle welding competition, teams will create welded sculptures of their school mascots. A school logo design competition will demonstrate school teams’ machine tool skills.
In addition, two poster contests will focus on engineering technology, particularly micro and nano technology.
This summer’s NASCAR-themed STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) camp will be previewed at the manufacturing show, with a demonstration of the model cars camp participants will be working on during the June 17-21 event.
February 11, 2013
From riverfallsjournal.com: “Displaced workers poised to launch healthcare careers” – When the city of River Falls decided to stop enforcing parking meters for a year, for most people it meant saving some dimes and quarters on downtown visits.
For Eve Cole, it meant the loss of a job she held for more than 20 years.
“My job was eliminated,” said Cole, 52, of Ellsworth.
But Cole is getting set for a new career in healthcare, thanks to a program through Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) in cooperation with Workforce Resource.
Cole is one of dozens of displaced workers in CVTC’s 11-county district to be introduced to new careers in healthcare through the Healthcare Academy, part of the Bridges2Healthcare program that prepares displaced workers for specific jobs in the field.
A group of seven local participants in the Healthcare Academy graduated from the program Thursday, Jan. 31.
“I heard about Bridges2Healthcare when I was here at the job center,” Cole said. “They thought it was a good program for me to go through. I’m thinking about a career change.”
Bridges2Healthcare is the result of a federal grant made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the so-called stimulus bill of 2010.
The bill made money available for retraining displaced workers for the jobs available in their areas.
CVTC was one of a group of eight technical and community colleges in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa to receive a grant to transition workers to jobs in healthcare, according to CVTC Career Pathways Coordinator Brenda Scheurer.
“A lot of people were losing their jobs in manufacturing at the time,” said Scheurer. “We found a number of the skills they had could be applicable to the healthcare industry.”
In Bridges2Healthcare, educational institutions partner with local agencies that work with displaced workers. In the St. Croix Valley, that’s Workforce Resource Inc.
“We were contacted by CVTC to put on the Healthcare Academy and to recruit people for the Bridges2Healthcare program,” said Sue Lane of Workforce Resource.
Workforce Resource screens prospects for their interest and aptitude for healthcare careers.
Those selected enter the Healthcare Academy, a two-week session in which they explore the different aspects and opportunities available in the field.
“We go over medical terminology, regulations, safety, communication and time management,” Lane said. “They also become first-aid certified and do a lot of tours of local health care facilities.”
Through the process, the participants find areas of healthcare that interest them and are then channeled into further training programs, like Bridges2Healthcare’s Medical Office Receptionist or Geriatric Nursing Assistant, taught by CVTC instructors. Some enter regular CVTC programs like Nursing or Dental Hygienist.
Cole plans to enroll in CVTC’s Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program.
“I like Medical Assistant too,” said Cole. “I’m not quite sure yet.”
Bridges2Healthcare has been part of a new start in life for John Rutherford, 52, of River Falls. He had a job in parts supply at an assembly plant come to an end. Rutherford admitted that at his age it’s easy to get discouraged about the possibility of starting a new career, but he adopted a positive attitude.
“I tried to take care of myself better,” he said. “I dropped some weight. Today I feel better about myself and can meet new challenges.”
An injury to his mother-in-law and the care he helped provide to her led to an increased interest in the healthcare field.
Rutherford’s looking into the CNA program at CVTC, too, possibly as a bridge to work in occupational therapy.
Wanda Burgess of Ellsworth has had many jobs, having lived in 17 countries and 46 states in a life with a husband serving in the U.S. Air Force.
Burgess most recently lost a job as a seamstress and has settled in Ellsworth. She worked in assisted living and nursing care settings before.
“When I came to the Bridges2Healthcare program, I thought I didn’t want to do nursing work anymore, but the program changed my mind, and changed my life,” Burgess said. “So I’m going into the CNA program.”
A number of past sessions of the Healthcare Academy, introducing people to the field, took place last year, including one in River Falls. More are coming up in Chippewa Falls and Eau Claire.
CVTC is part of the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) and is one of 16 WTCS colleges located throughout the state.
January 30, 2013
From voiceofwr.com: MSTC students honored with statewide scholarships” – The Wisconsin Employment and Training Association offers two statewide scholarships and both have been awarded to Mid-State Technical College students.
Kristine Ahles and Matt Nievinski, both of Wisconsin Rapids, have each received a scholarship in the amount of $750. Ahles is pursuing Business Management and Administrative Professional associate degrees. Nievinski is seeking an associate degree in Information Technology-Network Specialist.
The scholarship application considers economic need, personal characteristics, school and community involvement, personal expression of training and career goals, academic achievement, Wisconsin residency, and two letters of recommendation. MSTC Financial Aid Supervisor and WETA member Mary Jo Green recommended both students for WETA scholarships.
“I am confident these two individuals will continue to achieve in the classroom and community,” said Green in a press release. “They are a reflection of the quality of students we have here at MSTC.”
Ahles originally enrolled at MSTC through the Workforce Investment Act Dislocated Workers Program and enjoys MSTC’s personable hometown friendly atmosphere.
“I look forward to coming to school and learning,” she said in a press release.
Nievinski chose MSTC because he had seen firsthand how much faculty and staff care about their students and foster student success.
“I like the fact that at MSTC you are not treated like a number,” Nievinski said in a press release. “Faculty and staff are friendly and want to help you succeed when you put forth the effort.”
WETA established scholarships like the Harmon Memorial Scholarship and the Brasch Memorial Scholarship to help students achieve their educational and career goals.
Dennis Harmon was a dedicated professional who spent most of his work life serving the needs of the poor and unemployed through the development, operation and management of education, employment, and training programs in Wisconsin.
John Brasch was one of the founders of WETA and remained an active member until his death. In his role as a technical college counselor, Brasch was deeply committed to working with disadvantaged students.