From “FVTC, UW-Oshkosh hope to make a dent in projected pilot gap” — By Noell Dickmann – A dark cloud is looming above the aviation industry: A predicted shortage of pilots by 2022 will affect everyone who travels by air.

Jared Huss, Fox Valley Technical College Aeronautics Pilot Training Lead Instructor, said a shortage of pilots will mean fewer planes in the air and fewer seats for passengers – pushing up the cost of air travel.

“Everything’s kind of pointing to that perfect storm of that happening,” Huss said.

In response to the shortage, colleges are making changes to get more pilots into the work force faster. In Oshkosh, FVTC and the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh established a partnership to help meet the demand for pilots.

Huss said there are a number of reasons for the shortage, including mandatory retirements and duty time regulation changes in the wake of Continental Flight 3407s crash into a house near Buffalo, N.Y. in 2009 that killed 50.

Pilots must now have more uninterrupted rest between flights and are required to have an ATP license, or Airline Transport Pilot license, which mandates 1,500 flight hours as a pilot. Regional airlines could previously hire pilots with 250 hours, but now legally cannot, Huss said.

The 1,500-hour qualification poses a problem for pilot-training graduates, who in general come out of aeronautics programs with 250-300 flight hours.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) forecasts that 18,000 pilots from major airlines in the United States will reach mandatory retirement age by 2022. The GAO also forecasts that regional airlines will need about 4,500 pilots per year for the next decade to fill the void.

However, studies show the flight-training industry can only support between 2,500-3,000 pilots per year.

To help fill that void, graduates from two-year schools with programs that are approved by the Federal Aviation Administration can qualify for a restricted ATP at 1,250 hours instead.

FVTC is applying for that certification. Students will have the option to graduate with a technical diploma in two years, and can return for a third year to earn their associate’s degree and flight instructor certificate. The changes will give FVTC the ability to double its capacity, graduating an average of 16 pilots per year.

“I realize that when there’s a demand for 4,500 pilots a year that’s…a drop in the bucket, but we’re doing what we can to stretch that and grow our capacity,” Huss said. “And if all the other flight training programs out there can do something similar to scale, then hopefully we can ramp it up for the need.”

The typical path of graduates is to go on to be a flight instructor and build the hours they need, then move up to a regional airline, continuing to build hours and work their way up to a major airline.

“We send graduates all over, anywhere from those commercial type of jobs, like [pilots for] the skydiver, crop dusting, aerial photography, all the way up to corporate pilot and airline pilot as well,” Huss said.

In the long run, a new collaboration with UWO could be recognized for a restricted ATP at 1,000 hours as well.

The partnership between the schools allows FVTC graduates to earn a Bachelor of Applied Studies degree with an emphasis in aviation management from UWO online, and they can do it while they’re working. It allows them to get in the work force sooner and build more flight time.

Take Kodye Shier, who graduated from FVTC in 2011 and went on to be a paid flight instructor intern at FVTC for two years. He built up about 1,000 hours of flight experience, and is now a corporate pilot for Menards based in Eau Claire.

Originally from Rice Lake, the 24-year-old now has 1,600 flight hours under his wings and flies Menards staff all over the Midwest on a daily basis.

He said taking the route he did has put him ahead – on average he has about 250 more flight hours than other pilots he sees with the same level of experience.

Shier is working part-time toward his bachelor’s degree through the online program with UWO. He said the degree will help him when looking for jobs.

“I think with aviation timing is everything,” Shier said. “And I feel like where I’m at right now is a very comfortable spot as far as timing.”

Huss said not all FVTC graduates want to be airline pilots – actually, he sees many going the corporate route like Shier did for stability.

“We just want to have our program and partnership with UW-Oshkosh to be as best set up as possible so that if our graduates want to go that route, that they’re set up and ready to go as best as they can.”

From “FVTC receives $3.6M state jobs grant to expand classes” — Fox Valley Technical College will use a $3.6 million grant from the Wisconsin Fast Forward program to train workers for high-demand fields including transportation, health care, manufacturing and logistics.

FVTC president Susan May said the money will allow the college to train up to 856 workers with the technical skills needed in today’s regional economy. FVTC will train additional truck drivers, personal care workers, production welders, automation technology workers, operations specialists and phlebotomists.

“Fox Valley Technical College and the Wisconsin Technical College System are incredibly passionate about building skills for careers that are in demand, both locally and around the state,” May said in a statement. “Economic development needs partnerships that are innovative and strategically aligned with the intricacies of a new economy. ”

Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, who was at FVTC’s Grand Chute campus Wednesday to award the grant, said the money will help address the skills gap in Wisconsin.

“The investments we are making in Fox Valley Technical College under Gov. Walker’s leadership will enhance opportunities for working families in the Fox Valley region and help employers find the workers they need,” Kleefisch said in a statement.

The money comes from Walker’s Blueprint for Prosperity initiative, which provided more than $35 million to expand the Department of Workforce Development-operated Wisconsin Fast Forward program. The initiative focuses on reducing the waiting lists at state technical colleges for high-demand fields, increasing opportunities for high school students to earn industry-recognized credentials and enhancing job opportunities for workers with disabilities.

Technical colleges submitted lists of programs for grant consideration earlier this year.

From “Collaborating on success: Colleges, businesses team up on new engineering technology degree” — by MaryBeth Matzek – Input and feedback from regional manufacturers played an integral role in an innovative education program rolling out this fall at 13 educational institutions in the New North.

Northeast Wisconsin Educational Resource Alliance, a consortium of New North schools, announced plans last year to create a regional bachelor’s degree program in engineering technology. The program allows students to enter at any of the NEW ERA schools and then finish up the program at University of Wisconsin campuses in Green Bay and Oshkosh. The degree program is the first of its kind in Wisconsin and fills an important void for employers.

“These are important skills manufacturers need to fill. We have jobs for students coming out with these degrees,” says Scott Kettler, general manager of Plexus’ manufacturing facilities in Neenah. “It’s been a great collaboration between educational institutions and businesses how they came together to address the need.”

Collaboration also was a must between the participating schools. Led by UW-Oshkosh Chancellor Richard Wells, who retires in August, Fox Valley Technical College President Susan May and other college leaders, NEW ERA members looked at the available offerings and worked together on creating the new program.

The three new bachelor’s degrees being offered are in electrical engineering technology, environmental engineering technology and mechanical engineering technology. The degrees were approved earlier this year by the UW Board of Regents and the Higher Learning Commission, opening the door to students to enroll in the program starting this fall. The degrees use programs and classes already in place at participating schools, which created new classes to fill in the gaps.

Employers helped craft the program by participating in listening sessions and advisory committees, says Greg Kleinheinz, associate dean of the College of Letters and Sciences and director of the Environmental Research and Innovation Center at UW-Oshkosh.

“We talked to them and listened to their needs. We worked with them on how to tailor the program and what it should include,” he says.

That kind of feedback is important, Kettler says. “Manufacturers were asked what kind of skills we were looking for and helped develop the curriculum,” he says. “That way, the students coming out will be right for what’s needed.”

The new program differs from current offerings in the New North, Kleinheinz adds. Engineering technicians are more hands-on than a traditional engineer who may be concerned with design, but have more in-depth studies, such as in management, than students who pursue an associate’s degree at a    local technical college.

Kleinheinz predicts there will be two types of students who enroll in the program: those already possessing an associate’s degree from a technical college who are out in the workforce and want to receive their bachelor’s degree; and a traditional student who may start the program at a local technical college or two-year UW school before finishing up in Oshkosh or Green Bay.

“In many cases, I’m guessing we’ll have students coming out of technical colleges with an associate’s degree, get a job and then the employer will help pay for this program so they can further their education and expand their skills,” he says. “It will be a win-win for employer and employee.”

While all program graduates will be in high demand, the ones with the environmental engineering technology degree will especially be sought after since that is a new and growing field, Kleinheinz says. A report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 14 percent increase in environmental engineering technology positions between 2010 and 2020. Students with that degree can find work in industries outside of manufacturing, including biotechnology, water and wastewater management and agribusiness.

In Wisconsin, only UW-Stout and the Milwaukee School of Engineering offer bachelor’s degrees in engineering technology.

“You’re taking that technical skills base and adding more analytical thinking and problem-solving skills,” Kettler says. “Those are all important skills to have in addition to that applied, hands-on education. It’s great we are able to develop and nurture these skills in the region.”

NEW ERA Members
In the new engineering technology program, students may enter at any of the 13 NEW ERA colleges including: College of the Menominee Nation, Fox Valley Technical College, Lakeshore Technical College, Moraine Park Technical College, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, University of Wisconsin Extension, UW-Fond du Lac, UW-Fox Valley, UW-Green Bay, UW-Manitowoc, UW-Marinette, UW-Oshkosh and UW-Sheboygan.


From “Photo tour: Fox Valley Technical College Health Simulation and Technology Center” — The new $12 million Health Simulation and Technology Center at Fox Valley Technical College (FVTC) in Appleton, Wis., provides career training to new and existing healthcare professionals in nursing, medical assistance, health information technology, occupational therapy, and personal care. The center’s design integrates sophisticated technology, such as human simulators, to help students better prepare for real-world situations.

The dual-functioning facility was created through a collaborative process between the healthcare and education design teams at Eppstein Uhen Architects (EUA). When considering the spectrum of simulation buildings, from fidelity (realism) to flexibility (allowing multiple functions), the college wanted maximum flexibility to help meet evolving healthcare training needs. This was a key driver to the final design, and the EUA team developed a solution that blended the two elements: Glass doors and supply servers provide realism, while adaptable rooms and movable partitions allow for a variety of teaching scenarios.

The new-build, three-story, 60,500-square-foot building features substantive glass and serves as a prominent entrance to the campus. Each floor of the building supports different teaching functions, as follows:

  • First floor, simulation center: Designed as a virtual hospital toreplicate real-world clinical experiences.
    • Eight ED/hospital rooms, with realistic equipment and raised control/observation rooms with patient simulators
    • Debriefing rooms that feature instant video replay of medical scenarios performed in the hospital rooms, allowing instructors to give students real-time feedback
    • A mock ambulance bay for EMT training
  • Second floor, clinic and laboratory: Student gathering spaces, plus other simulation areas.
    • A replicated six-room outpatient clinic
    • Mock doctor’s office with reception area
    • Functioning phlebotomy lab
    • Two computer labs
  • Third floor, rehabilitative therapy and home healthcare: Designed to help students learn adaptive home care strategies.
    • Simulated home settings such as kitchen, bathroom, living room, and bedroom
    • Size-adjustable classrooms with physical and occupational therapy equipment.

The primary challenge with this project was that health simulation is an evolving curriculum. The FVTC administrative team, teaching staff, and EUA design team drew on successful simulation center best practices, and applied knowledge of healthcare and learning trends to provide flexibility for the future needs of the program.

From “Jared Huss: Oshkosh should leverage its many strengths to help it succeed” — When we critique ourselves, what do we focus on? Our weaknesses, right? When we have to complete a task that we don’t necessarily enjoy, we put it off and stress out about it, right? And when we receive a performance appraisal, we tend to fixate on and attempt to improve upon our weak areas, don’t we?

Think about a time when everything was clicking for you; whether that be playing basketball and making every shot, learning a language, mastering your golf swing, helping out with your favorite charity, networking with new people, and the list goes on. Capture that moment; reflect back on what was going on around you. What kind of environment were you in that allowed that powerful feeling of success to surround you? What over-arching strength were you using to sink every shot, master that new language, or effortlessly dialogue with complete strangers? Do you spend the bulk of your time in that strength environment?

I have enjoyed the distinct privilege and pleasure of working for an organization that creates an environment just like that. Fox Valley Technical College (FVTC) is innovative when it comes to leveraging the strengths of people, and creating a culture that focuses on the growth of those strengths. At FVTC we have a very unique opportunity to live and work in our strength zone. By focusing on our strengths, we achieve more, enjoy more, and succeed more.

FVTC takes the talents of people and uses those traits to build innovative curriculum and dynamic partnerships, internally and externally. The results of this approach to employee development is directly tied to enhanced student learning and workplace training. It’s simply a trickle down; the more we all enjoy our jobs, the more success our students enjoy.

When I look at Oshkosh, I see incredible potential aligned with this type of fundamental mindset. Our community is exemplary when it comes to events, cultural attractions and history, unique waterways, strong educational institutions, and of course, aviation-related initiatives, to name a few. Those involved in leading these areas could ignite a strengths movement to make an even greater impact.

I have learned firsthand that leveraging strengths not only contributes to better results and a greater impact on people, but the concept alone builds leadership. I have been on both the receiving end and the giving end of an environment that promotes the strengths we each have. Naturally, as people learn how to turn their strengths into successes, they realize new found confidence, independence, and value in who they are as unique individuals.

As a leader, I see the best come out of our team in times of adversity. Should one of us stumble, we quickly pick them up and focus on solutions rather than blame. We break through the “ya-but” and into the “how-to.” Then, we turn the “how-to” into actions, dispatching each team member into their strength zone of the collective goal. With the right team, nothing is impossible.

As an ancient philosopher once said, “When the best leader’s work is done the people say, we did it ourselves.” This captures perfectly the culture and leadership I have experienced at FVTC. Again, on both the receiving and giving end of this, I can say firsthand how effective an environment this creates to develop leadership at all levels of the organization. This empowering atmosphere allows each individual’s strengths to be harnessed and contributed to the collective goals of the organization and community.

For Oshkosh, our community leaders and hard-working citizens are well positioned to take the next step in personal and professional development if we simply allow for more opportunities to apply their strengths. Think back to that captured moment of success, and imagine how each of us could augment one success into another success just by having the chance to showcase what we do best. Whether it be working with our hands, growing community relationships, or thinking of new and exciting opportunities, what matters is that we do what we’re best at.

Here is my leadership philosophy: Every success I’ve been fortunate to experience over the years is because of the people I work with every day. The team, organization, and community that I’m a part of is very special, and I’m fortunate each day to take on challenges and go after opportunities, side by side with them. And of course, as with any individual who enjoys success in his or her professional life, I would be remiss without recognizing how important a loving and supportive family is as well.

From “Fox Valley Technical College and APICS” — Fox Valley Technical College (FVTC) and APICS are celebrating 10 years of collaboration in May 2014. FVTC has been our trusted online partner for certification review course delivery and rely on them to provide our certification candidates and with an exceptional learning experience. Over these 10 years, hundreds of professionals have completed their preparation courses through FVTC’s online learning environment, and they give FVTC consistently high ratings on their experience.

FVTC understands the needs of APICS members and has shaped its programs accordingly, like the corporate cohort program that enables students at locations across the country to participate in a course simultaneously. The online delivery format provides 24/7 access, and also reduces ancillary expenses associated with training such as travel, housing, meals and time away from the office. This is especially relevant when supply chain and operations teams are dispersed across the country or around the world.

APICS Director of Corporate Services, Dominic Longo, CSCP, works with organizations to implement training, education and certification. He says, “The team at FVTC does a great job for our corporate clients who opt for private online training for the CPIM and CSCP programs. Supply chain leaders all see the need for professional development, but some just can’t afford to have employees away from their desks four to six days per class. Other clients find the courses to be a great way to pull together individuals who are geographically dispersed and create an online community for training. Great instructors and flexible course timelines have made FVTC an integral part of our delivery strategy.”

FVTC was joined by APICS Director of Professional Development, Bob Collins, CFPIM, CIRM, CSCP, at their anniversary celebration in Appleton, WI on May 14.

From “FVTC program a new path to restarting a troubled life” — Mike Bartelt decided it was time for a change. A big one.

After dropping out of school at 16, struggling with a longtime alcohol addiction, an attempted suicide and two stints in prison — the most recent ending in October for his fifth OWI — the Appleton man said he was “sick and tired of being sick and tired.”

“I need to make something out of my life because I have a daughter and three grandkids,” said Bartelt, 50, a recovering alcoholic. “I’ve been a loser all my life and I’ve got to change. No one’s going to change it for me.”

Bartelt may not be able to create a new beginning to his life, but he’s taking a shot at a better ending thanks in part to a new program at the Grand Chute-based Fox Valley Technical College that helps Adult Basic Education (ABE) students by breaking down barriers that exist outside of education.

Bartelt is working on his GED, and on May 15 will be certified as a transport trailer service technician through FVTC’s 18-week program. He has been recruited by Master Fleet, and has been working second shift there for more than six weeks while finishing out classes.

After living most recently at the COTS men’s shelter in Appleton, Bartelt has moved into his own apartment in Neenah that’s close to his job.

“That’s what I get for asking for help,” he said with a laugh.

Bartelt’s pathway to success was made possible by a Barriers grant from the J.J. Keller Foundation that was awarded to FVTC last fall. The foundation was looking for an out-of-the-box idea to support with a $46,000 grant for a pilot cycle.

“We brainstormed, and after talking, we thought, we can pay for tuition but what about the things that prevent students from getting to school like clothing, haircuts and hygiene products,” said Chuck Wachter, FVTC client reporting and grants specialist and a member of the ABE leadership team.

Or simply having enough gas in the car to make the trek to class.

“We look at it as there is no barrier except your motivation,” said Wachter, who carries and answers the “barriers” cell phone 24/7.

The program fits well with the J.J. Keller Foundation’s mission to serve economically and academically disadvantaged students.

“It is designed to provide (students) with the skills necessary to gain and maintain employment that provides a life-sustaining wage,” Keller Foundation executive director Mary Harp-Jirschele said.

Bartelt received grants to pay for school, but needed funding for the tools required in the transport trailer program as well as other needs. That’s when he learned he was eligible for a Barriers grant, which provided more than just funding.

“Normally ABE students are kind of on their own,” Wachter said. “By grouping them together we’ve seen them grow such a tremendous bond with one another and they are using each other to overcome barriers. It just blew up and it was amazing. It’s not even the money that we had to put towards it. It’s the money and the attention and putting this group together.”

Participants in the program also are required to pay it forward by mentoring the next group of students and volunteering at area nonprofits. Bartelt volunteers at Loaves & Fishes of the Fox Valley through his church, Trinity Lutheran in Appleton.

The pay-it-forward philosophy is one of the most compelling reasons the Keller Foundation backed the Barriers program.

“Students have taken it upon themselves to volunteer at local agencies, which not only allows them to give back to the community, but to gain self-confidence and self-empowerment in the process,” Harp-Jirschele said.

Wachter, who has learned how to make dollars stretch, knew a new set of tools for Bartelt would retail for about $6,000, but “one way or another we were getting Mike these tools,” he said. “We get him through this education and his only barrier is the tools? We’re going to power through this one.”

Wachter bought tools that were going up for auction at FVTC for $200. It was about 75 percent of what Bartelt needed. The rest was supplemented through the Barriers grant.

“The money saved can now go back to other students,” said Wachter, who’s also lined up a deep discount at Kohl’s for students in need of work clothing and a dentist to offer discounted exams. Aerotech, a staffing agency in Appleton, has agreed to interview each student and offer individual feedback.

“The whole goal is to get them working and doing things on their own,” Wachter said.

Based on the success of the Barriers program, the Keller Foundation has agreed to a $45,000 grant for the second cycle.

“The results of the first year of the program was evidence that our investment in the second year of the program was not only warranted but critical to success in the long run,” Harp-Jirschele said.

It’s literally changed Bartelt’s life.

“From the first day of class moving forward he just kept accelerating and doing a lot bigger and better things,” said Nathan Krepline, Bartelt’s instructor in FVTC’s diesel technology program. “The way we have the classes set up here is it’s all stepping stones so that way the students would be able to build their confidence and build their level of success here.

“Mike has taken full advantage of that. … Everybody that is connected with this story sees the same thing. If he didn’t come to the college, where would he be? What would he have done?”

When Bartelt applied for the job at Master Fleet, he naturally asked to use Krepline as a reference.

“They never called me,” Krepline said. “I never even talked to the employer and (Mike) thought I did all this magical behind-the-scenes work. And I didn’t.”

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