From “IT job growth projected to rise; Nicolet College to hold career training info sessions” — With solid job growth projected for information technology in the Northwoods and across the state in coming years, Nicolet College is holding a series of information sessions for people interested in training for a career in this field.

In the Northwoods, computer user support specialist positions are expected to grow 6.5 percent over the next three years. Across the state, that position is ranked 27th in the Top 50 high demand jobs over the next five years.

Nicolet offers a variety of IT classes that provide flexible scheduling. These include more evening and online options and classes that require students to come to campus only twice a month. Student can also complete any one of several IT credentials in less than a year.

Information sessions are scheduled for:

• Monday, July 28, 3 to 6 p.m., just north of Tomahawk in the Bradley Town Hall, 1518 W. Mohawk Dr.

• Tuesday, July 29, 3 to 6 p.m., Tamarack Center 102, Nicolet College Campus, one mile south of Rhinelander just off of Hwy. G.

• Monday, Aug. 4, 3 to 6 p.m., Hwy. 70 Vilas County Business Park Incubator, 555 Enterprise Parkway.

• Wednesday, Aug. 6, 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., Minocqua Public Library, 415 Menominee St.

Interested individuals can stop by anytime during a session to learn about Nicolet’s many IT training options, what it’s like to work in the field, financial aid and scholarship opportunities, and the admissions process.

Michael Spafford graduated from Nicolet’s IT program in May and currently works in the IT department at Drs. Foster & Smith in Rhinelander.

“When I graduated I had many different employment opportunities,” Spafford said. “My instructors at Nicolet provided me with all of the help and resources I needed to be successful.”

In all, Nicolet offers seven college credentials in IT, ranging from short-term training certificates to two-year associate degrees. The college also has many credit transfer agreements with four-year colleges and universities that create a pathway for students to earn a bachelor’s degree.

For more information, visit and click on the Careers in Information Technology graphic at the top of the page or call the Welcome Center at (715) 365-4493, 1-800-544-3039, ext. 4493: TDD 711 or 1-800-947-3529.

From “Rhinelander college gets $1.9 million state grant” — Nicolet Area Technical College was awarded $1.9 million in state grants Tuesday to train up to 303 students for in-demand jobs, such as welding and nursing assistants.

The money comes from about $35 million earmarked to help Wisconsin technical colleges train nearly 5,000 workers for jobs that employers need filled, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch said during a stop announcing the grant.

Last week, Northcentral Technical College in Wausau received $2.3 million from the program Gov. Scott Walker calls his “Blueprint for Prosperity” to train another 160 in-demand workers, including for diesel transportation jobs.

Here’s a breakdown of the additional students the money will help at Nicolet Area Technical College: 16 in electromechanical technology, 92 in welding, 30 in computer support specialties, 50 in business management and marketing, 80 in nursing and 35 in early childhood education.

“The college has a long history of working in close partnership with area businesses to determine training needs,” Interim President Kenneth Urban said in a statement. “These grants will directly benefit our students by giving them the exact skills they need to be successful, while businesses in the region will gain a skilled workforce to drive economic development.”

From Nicolet Career Expo Draws Hundreds” — More than 600 middle school students learned about career options today in Rhinelander.  Seventh graders from schools around the Northwoods attended the Nicolet College Career Expo.

Organizer and Career Coach Kelly Anunson says it’s the second time Nicolet has hosted the event…that tries to draw a variety of exhibitors.

 “Our knowledge of careers in middle school are pretty limited to the dentists office, the doctors and our teachers. And we wanted them to have a chance to not only learn about other career options out there but also to get a hands-on feel for what it’s really about to be in that career.”

Most of the seventh graders seemed to be having a good time roaming the exhibits hosted by more than 40 organizations and employers.  Here’s Logan from Rhinelander.

“I think it’s pretty fun.  And there’s prizes here to win.  I really like cars, so I like the fire extinguishers that are outside and the firemen and stuff.”

DNR Conservation Warden Jim Young brought a pile of animal pelts that he says helps start a conversation with the kids.

“Now, still fairly young I mean these kids are in seventh grade so they’re not really thinking longterm.  But if it sparks an interest, that it’s something maybe they’ll consider pursuing.”

Others hits included make-and-eat-your-own dessert from Holiday Acres Resort…and hold a Madagascar hissing cockroach with the Northwoods Wildlife Center.

From “Nicolet College, UW-Stevens Point partner for education program” — A new program at Nicolet College, Rhinelander, will provide a smooth transition for students interested in completing a bachelor’s degree in elementary education at UW-Stevens Point. It begins in June 2014. 

The associate of science elementary education emphasis program will allow Nicolet College graduates to transition into the School of Education at UW-Stevens Point. 

Nicolet students who transfer to UW-Stevens Point after completing an associate degree will have satisfied all UW-Stevens Point general education program requirements plus 48 required credits toward a bachelor of science in elementary education. They will be on schedule to graduate with students who started their elementary education major at UW-Stevens Point. 

“We’re committed to providing our students seamless pathways to earning a bachelor’s degree that ultimately lead to multiple career options,” said Teresa Rose, Nicolet College transfer coordinator. “This collaboration is a perfect example.” 

“Both partners value the collaboration and thrive on enabling our students to be successful future educators,” said Patty Caro, head of UW-Stevens Point’s School of Education. 

Nicolet students will now be able to transfer to UW-Stevens Point and pursue a bachelor’s degree to teach middle childhood through early adolescence level, ages 6-13. A program for students to teach early childhood level, ages 0-8, regular education and early childhood special education has been in place between Nicolet and UW-Stevens Point since 2006. 

For more information, visit or call the Nicolet College Welcome Center at (715) 365-4493, or visit the UW-Stevens Point School of Education at

From “Survey finds more applicants lying on resumes” — Have you ever lied on a job application?

According to a recent survey by 18% of people say they’ve done it and 38% say they’ve stretched the truth on their job responsibilities.

Local hiring managers want to remind people that honesty is always the best policy when it comes to trying to get a new job, and they say technology is making it easier to make sure a resume is telling the truth.

“I have two weeks left and I’ll graduate from CVTC,” Luke Monson said.

Monson had his resume in hand as he talked with employers at the Chippewa Valley Employment Expo Thursday afternoon. Monson says he is ready to launch his career in information technology, landing that job though is a lot easier said than done.

“I think if you don’t stand out you’ll just be tossed to the side,” Monson added.

Kelly Services in Eau Claire says when it comes to hiring, businesses are expecting more from job applicants.

“It’s rare to find a position in manufacturing or other opportunities where you don’t need to use a computer to do your job,” Katie Reid with Kelly Services said.

The high expectations coupled with a more competitive job market are just one of the reasons why says more applicants are turning to lies on resumes. The Eau Claire Job Center says these days employers have a number of tools they can use to make sure what they see on a resume is what they get in an employee.

“Employers are doing more background checks. They are looking on CCAP and they are doing a background check and looking at Facebook and social media,” Eau Claire Job Center employment and training specialist Amber Hoffman said.

The Job Center in Eau Claire says lying on a resume can get you fired. In the long run, Kelly Services says misrepresenting your skills on an application won’t end up benefitting you or your prospective employer.

“You want to be honest and you also want to find the best fit for you and if an employer isn’t aware of everything you have to offer,” Reid said.

The Eau Claire Job Center does offer regular workshops for resume writing at its office. You can also get one on one help on resume writing with an employment specialist at the Job Center during regular business hours.

From “New technology promotes teamwork at Nicolet College” — Nicolet College believes today’s workplace requires a lot of teamwork. That’s why the college introduced new technology that promotes working together.

Nicolet College has 4 of the Collaboration stations. They’re high tech projectors that show an image on a tabletop. Group members can interact with the image using a special pen. Students enjoy using the new technology.

“When we have discussions in class mainly it gives us something to work around and kind of moves our discussion towards,” says Jordan Slominski, Nicolet College IT Student. “If there’s a certain subject that we’re trying to comprehend that not every member of the group is seeing what we’re talking about these displays, these projections can kind of give us an image to kind of base our discussions off of really.”

Nicolet introduced the collaboration stations last fall. They help promote teamwork among students.

“It promotes teamwork and whole group dynamics of things because especially in information technology and in most professions today it’s not that individual working out there anymore,” says Scott Biscobing, Nicolet College IT Instructor. “You have to be able to work in a team and work with other people to solve problems and do other things and this is just one tool we can use to promote those topics.”

Each of the collaboration stations costs around $2,000.


From “Nicolet College students participate in state legislative seminar” — Nicolet College student Ryan Raschke saw it as his personal responsibility to travel to the Wisconsin State Capitol to advocate for the students and the colleges in the Wisconsin Technical College System.

“It’s all about being an engaged citizen,” Raschke said. “It’s important to stand up for the great education we have in Wisconsin. For me, I wanted to do my part, to talk to legislators, to make sure the technical college system remains strong and intact so future students can benefit from it as much as I have.”
Raschke, who is studying natural resources in Nicolet’s University Transfer program, was joined by Nicolet Accounting student Craig Collins on the recent trip to Madison to participate in the Wisconsin Student Government Legislative Seminar. The annual event brings together student leaders from across the technical college system to learn first-hand about the legislative process and how to advocate for issues they deem important.

During their time at the three-day legislative seminar, the two attended numerous workshops and presentations that covered proposed legislation affecting the WTCS, tips for meeting with legislators, strategic partnerships and external relations, along with other topics.

Raschke and Collins were joined on their trip to Madison by six other Nicolet students who participated in a companion event, the student showcase. Held in the Capitol Rotunda, the showcase spotlighted service learning and classroom projects. The six who participated in the student showcase included:

– Business Management student LaceyLyn Statezny on a project her class completed to generate awareness and raise funds for multiple sclerosis;

– Graphic Design students Karli Radeka, Charolette Fohner and Ashley Pieper on their efforts to inspire high school juniors and seniors to pursue the arts;

– and Culinary Arts students Sean Craven and Kenneth Golden on their capstone class project where they catered an employee appreciation day event at a local business.

In all, more than 130 student leaders from all 16 state technical colleges participated in the legislative seminar and student showcase.

From “Nicolet College, Rhinelander Fire Department relish training relationship” — An employee at the Experia Paper Mill in Rhinelander crawls through the small opening barely large enough to fit one person and enters one of the massive boilers at the mill for routine maintenance.

But it turns out to be anything but routine as due to the unequal footing of tons of ash and debris, his foot slips and he breaks his leg.

Those on the outside are unable to reach the man in the dusty, poorly ventilated space so the call goes out for help. The Mill’s Rapid Response Team is on the scene and the Rhinelander Fire Department is on the way. In minutes, the man is being looked after by emergency personnel and not long after the call went out, he is in a Rhinelander Fire Department transport on his way to the hospital.

And all along, Mark England is standing by making notes, watching the whole thing unfold.

That was the scenario for a recent joint training between Experia, the Rhinelander Fire Department and Nicolet College, where England works as a safety and health specialist and conducts these types of trainings around the college’s district.

“We do these trainings all over the northern part of the state,” England said. “We go everywhere in the Nicolet College district.”

England said there is more involved than just the hands on experience to these training runs.

“What we typically do is take a look at the regulations, do a refresher course and a PowerPoint,” he said. “It is about 16 hours of training and classroom time.”

While the training may be lengthy, to be able to rely on the college to aid in training is something valuable to Rhinelander Fire Chief Terry Williams.

“It’s a great partnership to have,” Williams said. “They help us out tremendously. “Without their help we could not make our training budget stretch as far as we do.”

And that budget is under a lot of pressure as a fire department like Rhinelander’s has to undergo a lot of training during the course of the year.

“We have guys doing something every month,” Williams said. “We try to do the training on shift if possible. But some guys have to go to training on their own and then come back and teach the rest of us.”

Williams said they have five certified instructors on staff and five certified EMT instructors.

But it is trainings like the one recently at Experia where the partnership with Nicolet comes into play and Williams said having different eyes on a situation helps the learning process.

“There are always different ways to do things,” he said. “Hopefully they get easier over time. We definitely want to keep updating our skills.”

For England and the college, working with a professional fire fighting crew in Rhinelander helps their program as well.

“We are always learning new things when we go through a training,” England said. “I am relatively new to this position to listen to these guys with so much experience and to listen to what they are seeing as they go through the training is valuable.”

From “Conference honoring caregivers coming to Nicolet College” — Professional and family caregivers who provide direct care services at home or in long-term care settings are invited to attend the 8th Annual Direct Caregivers Conference next month at Nicolet College.

Sandy Bishop from Nicolet College is a member of the Northern Wisconsin Long Term Care Workforce Network. She says it’s a day to celebrate those who give care to others…

“…its a day for us to provide education, not only for certified nursing assistants, but also for other direct care providers and caregivers on all types of topics of interest to them…..”

Keynote speakers include Lynda Markut, author of Dementia Caregivers Share Their Stories: A Support Group in a Book; and Charles Schoenfeld, author of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Dementia Ward – Memoir of a Male CNA.

The conference is February 14 at the Northwoods Center at the Rhinelander campus. More information and registration is available by contacting the Nicolet College campus.

From “Nicolet College names welding student of the year” — Three weeks after starting Nicolet College’s welding program, Chad Lawfer, of Minocqua, was ready to quit.

Learning the tig welding process was proving to be more than a challenge.

“I have to say, there was one point where I had just had it,” Lawfer said. “I was ready to walk.”

But he didn’t, digging deep to persevere.

On Dec. 17, Lawfer was named Nicolet’s Welding Student of the Year.

“Lawfer definitely deserves it,” welding instructor Warren Krause said. “He could have taken the easy way out and just quit, but he didn’t. He stuck with it and one day everything just clicked for him and he was able to do all of welds.”

Not only was he able to do the welds, he did them to a very high standard, earning straight As.

As good of a student as he is technically and academically, he also has other talents called soft skills which employers seek out, according to Chuck Kopp, adjunct welding instructor.

“Lawfer always comes in with a positive attitude and is always willing to help other students,” Kopp said. “He has a strong work ethic, knows how to communicate well, and is just a great guy to be around. Manufacturers today want new employees with these traits and skills.”

Lawfer said his instructors deserve the credit for his success. “They’ve just been fantastic,” he said. “They take the time to work with you until you really understand what they are teaching. I owe it all to them.”


From “Gov. Walker signs Youth Apprenticeship bill in Rhinelander” — Governor Scott Walker has signed a bill in Rhinelander that he says will help employers get more skilled workers to companies. Youth Apprenticeship integrates high school-based and work-based learning to instruct students in skills defined by Wisconsin industries. It works with local school districts and the area technical colleges.

Stopping at Nicolet College to sign the Youth Apprenticeship Walker says the bill passed both legislative chambers with just one “no” vote, showing broad bi-partisan support. The program is already in action, but the new funding enlarges the program. 1900 students went through the program last year Walker says…

“….we were able to put a half-million(more) in each year…for a total of $4.6 million dollars that will be invested in this program. And in doing so, we’ll be able to place 550 more individuals into this youth apprenticeship program….”
Walker says manufacturing, agriculture, architecture, information technology and healthcare are targeted for apprenticeships. Walker says the business community needs skilled workers in these areas now…

 “….many of our employers across the state, particularly our small and mid-sized employers would add more work but they’re a little bit resistant to do that right now until they know they can fill the positions they have for things like high-skilled welders, CNC operators, machinists, tool-and-dye operators….”

Walker says manufacturing jobs pay more, have more benefits and workers stay longer than many other jobs.


From “Sixth graders visit Nicolet College for hard and soft rock tour” — Thirty-two sixth graders from Nativity Catholic School recently had the chance to visit the Nicolet College’s Geology Lab to examine the college’s extensive collection of rocks.

The igneous and metamorphic rocks a billion years old and more featured in the event are common in this part of the state, Nicolet Geology Instructor Paul Ehlers told the students.

“But in the southern part of the state, rocks that old are virtually non-existent,” Ehlers said. “Right around Wausau, the Canadian shield bedrock ends and you start getting a lot more sedimentary rocks, which aren’t nearly as old.”

During the course of their visit, Ehlers walked the students through the wide variety of rocks that are found in different parts of the state and explained the geologic processes that gave each its unique character.

“The kids were so engaged and interested in what they were looking at,” said Ehlers, who regularly gives presentations at PK-12 schools in the Northwoods.

From “Nicolet College students who transferred early to UW-Madison can now get Nicolet associate degree” — Nicolet College students who transferred to the University of Wisconsin-Madison before completing all of the requirements for a two-year associate degree now have a way to finish the Nicolet associate degree while attending UW-Madison.

Officials from both campuses recently signed a reverse credit transfer agreement that gives students the opportunity to receive a Nicolet associate of arts or associate of science degree once they complete required courses at UW-Madison.

“We found that many students were transferring to UW-Madison before they had completed all of the required courses for a Nicolet associate degree,” Nicolet College President Elizabeth Burmaster said. “What this agreement does is give students the opportunity to transfer their UW-Madison credits back to Nicolet and receive a Nicolet associate degree once all course requirements are met. This way they will have a recognized college credential as they continue working toward their bachelor’s degree.”

The agreement applies to students who transfer a minimum of 16 Nicolet credits to UW-Madison and have completed at least 15 credits at UW-Madison. The agreement applies to all new students as well as to those already attending UW-Madison.

Nicolet’s University Transfer Liberal Arts program is the largest academic program at the college, with more than 400 students enrolled every year. The program offers three different degrees: associate of arts, associate of science, and an associate of science with a natural resources emphasis.

In all, Nicolet has more than 70 transfer agreements with four-year colleges and universities. These include with all University of Wisconsin campuses and many private institutions, and a special agreement with UW-Madison that guarantees admission to Nicolet students who have at least 54 credits and at least a B average.

For more information about the reverse transfer agreement or other aspects of the University Transfer Liberal Arts program, contact the Nicolet College Welcome Center at 715-365-4493, 800-544-3039, ext. 4493; TDD 715-365-4448.

From “Heavy Metal” Appeals to Students” — WXPR’s Ken Krall took a look at the future with some Northwoods 8th graders  at Nicolet College in Rhinelander. He took the “Heavy Metal Tour.”

Not a rock band, but a job fair of sorts: the “Heavy Metal Tour” is sponsored by Nicolet College,  Northcentral Technical College, 27 manufacturing employers, and boards and alliances.

Rene Daniels from North Central Wisconsin Workforce Development Board says the goal is to give 8th graders a look at careers they might not have considered.

“We’re trying to catch students at a point in their lives -these are eighth graders – when they’re starting to think about those careers and what they could possibly do.  And we want to keep as many of our students here in the Northwoods as we can.  And so we want to expose them to an industry and occupations that are in their own backyard.  It really is eye-opening.”

Olivia from Minocqua said she had thought about a job in sports but saw other possibilities…

“I’m excited to find out more about the industry, cause I hadn’t really thought about a job there.  So it’ll be nice to see what’s out there.”

Nate from Mercer wants to fly, but realizes people need to build the planes.

“I wanted to be a pilot – so I was thinking there would be some stuff, maybe making things for airplanes or how things are made.”

The students toured Rhinelander-area manufacturers and heard about training at the two technical colleges. Promoters say manufacturing jobs have changed a lot over the last decades, requiring computer and math skills. October is Manufacturing Month.

From “Lac du Flambeau Tribe and Nicolet College form accredited tribal-technical college dental hygiene program” — The Lac du Flambeau Tribe is proud to announce the formation of the accredited Tribal-Technical College Dental Hygiene program. This premiere collaboration is the first of its kind partnership between an Indian Tribe and a technical college in the nation. Nicolet College, in association with Peter Christensen Dental Campus, has developed the accredited tribal-technical Dental Hygiene program.

Nicolet College recently received its initial accreditation approval from the national Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). The partnership allows students a hands-on educational experience in a state-of-the-art dental facility.

“This is great news, especially for the students currently in, or looking at entering the Dental Hygiene program,” Dr. Lenore Mangles, Dean of Health Occupations at Nicolet College, said. “In order for students to take their licensure exam to work in the Dental Hygiene field, they must graduate from an accredited program. We are thrilled students in the Northwoods will now have that opportunity.”

The rigorous accreditation process started nearly a year ago, and included a comprehensive review of numerous aspects of Nicolet’s program. The process included evaluations of course content, what skills students would learn, and a plan for students that ensured clinical training on patients of all ages.

To meet the requirements the college worked extensively with Dental Director Paco Fralick and other staff at the Peter Christensen Dental Campus to develop a curriculum that would meet the CODA requirements and provide accessible career opportunities for Tribal Members and students throughout the Northwoods region.

This past spring, five of the 10 students that enrolled in the dental assisting program were Native American. For the fall session, the program currently has 11 individuals enrolled in the program and five in the dental hygiene program. There are two full-time instructors and three part-time instructors for both programs.

Nicolet College received grant funding for the initial start-up and operation of the programs. Health Director of the Peter Christensen Dental Clinic Paco Fralick is optimistic that the programs will increase the number of Native Americans entering into the field of dentistry.

“I’m very proud of the work our staff and Nicolet College did to make this happen,” Fralick said.

Historically, Native Americans have been overwhelmingly under-represented in the field, with Dr. Fralick being only one of 150 Native American dentists in the nation.
“Now students looking for a career in dental hygiene or dental assisting can have the latest and most technologically advanced learning experience close to home,” Fralick said.

For more information about Nicolet’s dental education programs, visit Nicolet’s website, or call the college at 715-365-4451 or 800-544-3039, extension 4451.

From “Nicolet’s new Dental Hygiene program receives national accreditation” — Nicolet College’s Dental Hygiene program recently received its academic seal of the approval from the national Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted initial accreditation.

The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education.

“This is great news, especially for the students in the Dental Hygiene program,” said Lenore Mangles, Nicolet dean of Health Occupations. “In order for students to take their licensure exam to work in the Dental Hygiene field, they must graduate from an accredited program. We are thrilled students in the Northwoods will now have that opportunity.”

The rigorous accreditation process started nearly a year ago and included a comprehensive review of numerous different aspects of Nicolet’s program. This included an evaluation of course content and the skills students would learn, a plan for students to get clinical training on patients of all ages with a broad range of oral health issues, instructor credentials, and the college’s partnership with dental clinics.

To meet the last requirement, the college has worked hand-in-hand with staff at the new Peter Christensen Dental Clinic in Lac du Flambeau. Students in Nicolet’s two-year Dental Hygiene program will get much of their training in this state-of-the-art facility.

Mangles also noted that there is still room in dental classes for Fall Semester, which starts Monday, Aug. 26.

For more information about Nicolet’s dental training programs, visit or call the college at 715-365-4451, 800-544-3039, ext. 4451; TDD 715-365-4448.

From “Young people learn how to create arcade games” — Rhinelander – Video games are sounds most parents don’t want to hear during the summer time.

What they might not know is these kids are learning to create arcade games.

“It’s a lot more complicated that people give it credit for. In fact building videos games is probably one of the most complicated areas of computer science,” said Computer Programming Instructor, Ethan Blue.

“So starting to develop these skills in a kid friendly way with the software we’re using really helps them to develop critical thinking, reasoning, using resources, things like that.” Young people in this class are between the ages 10 and 13 years old.

At Nicolet College they learn how to control characters, objects and create backgrounds for four days.

Instructor Ethan Blue said he didn’t want the first day of class to be boring.

“Kids tend to get sort of bored when you just talk about the idea behind logic and things like that. They want to play,” Blue said.

“So we start them making games right away. They start putting graphics in. It starts off simple and as things progress through the four-day camp, things get more complicated as they go.”

Making the video games sounds pretty cool, but there’s a lot of mathematics involved.

“You have to pretty much know like the X and Y axis’s and negative and positive numbers,” said 12 year old, Sebastian Wittig.

“If you screw it up, the game won’t work right. You’ll go through walls.”

After the program is over, an aspiring game designer says he might have his family try out his new game.

“I think my personalized game is pretty good. When the class is over I’ll try to make my brothers play it.” 10 year old, Keagan Brown said.

One message Blue wants parents to know about this program is kids will be kids.

“Just encourage your kids to be kids and to play and that’s really how you learn. That’s how I developed a love for learning and how I became an instructor at a college,” Blue said.

“So don’t just throw away video games just because they’re games. You can get a lot out of them too.”

From “Industrial manufacturing skills training info session Aug. 15 at Nicolet College” — With high local demand for workers with solid industrial manufacturing skills, Nicolet College will be holding an information session will be held Thursday, Aug. 15, for anyone interested in learning about the skills and training necessary to enter the field.

The Industrial Mechanical Information Event will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. in the college’s Manufacturing Lab in Art Tech Center 108 on the Nicolet Campus.

Anyone interested can drop in any time that is convenient for them to tour the lab and meet with instructors.

At 5:30 p.m., area manufacturing employers will take part in a panel discussion to talk about the specific skills they need in employees, how people can get these skills, and how an individual can go about applying for a job at the various manufacturing facilities.

Grants to cover all tuition costs are available to qualifying individuals. Nicolet staff will be on hand to help people fill out the grant applications as well as fill out the application for admission to Nicolet College.

Nicolet staff will also be on hand to give tips on how to write a good resume as well as what it takes to perform well in a job interview.

Nicolet offers a manufacturing skills training program that starts with students earning the short-term Industrial Maintenance Fundamentals certificate. Credits earned can then be applied to the one-year Industrial Electronics Maintenance technical diploma which then ladders into the two-year Industrial Mechanical Technician associate degree.

Wages in the Northwoods range from $12 to $24 an hour, depending on experience.

For more information about industrial manufacturing training at Nicolet, visit or call the college at 715-365-4451, 800-544-3039, ext. 4451; TDD 715-365-4448.

From “Industrial manufacturing skills training info session Aug. 15 at Nicolet College” — With high local demand for workers with solid industrial manufacturing skills, Nicolet College will be holding an information session Thursday, Aug. 15, for anyone interested in learning about the skills and training necessary to enter the field.

The Industrial Mechanical Information Event will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. in the college’s Manufacturing Lab in Art Tech Center 108 on the Nicolet Campus.
Anyone interested can drop in any time that is convenient for them to tour the lab and meet with instructors.
At 5:30 p.m., area manufacturing employers will take part in a panel discussion to talk about the specific skills they need in employees, how people can get these skills, and how an individual can go about applying for a job at the various manufacturing facilities.
Grants to cover all tuition costs are available to qualifying individuals. Nicolet staff will be on hand to help people fill out the grant applications as well as fill out the application for admission to Nicolet College.
Nicolet staff will also be on hand to give tips on how to write a good resume as well as what it takes to perform well in a job interview.
Nicolet offers a manufacturing skills training program that starts with students earning the short-term Industrial Maintenance Fundamentals certificate. Credits earned can then be applied to the one-year Industrial Electronics Maintenance technical diploma which then ladders into the two-year Industrial Mechanical Technician associate degree.
Wages in the Northwoods range from $12 to $24 an hour, depending on experience.
For more information about industrial manufacturing training at Nicolet, visit or call the college at 715-365-4451, 800-544-3039, ext. 4451; TDD 715-365-4448.

From “SWTC + Nicolet = UWP” — By Robert Callahan – Proving the hundreds of miles between them is no obstacle, Southwest Wisconsin Technical College, UW–Platteville and Nicolet College will join forces per an articulation agreement signed last week.

The three institutions of higher learning will award an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree, otherwise known as a University Transfer Liberal Arts degree, to qualifying students.

UW–Platteville Chancellor Dennis J. Shields, Southwest Tech President Dr. Duane M. Ford and Nicolet College President Elizabeth Burmaster signed the agreement on the UW–Platteville campus Wednesday morning.

“We are thrilled at this prospect and all the opportunities it provides us,” said UW–Platteville Provost Mittie Nimocks Den Herder as she welcomed those in attendance.

Students earning the University Transfer Liberal Arts degree at Nicolet College will be eligible to have all credits transfer and meet the UW–Platteville general education requirements, with the exception of ethnic and gender studies.

Southwest Tech students will complete a year of coursework through the Fennimore campus and a subsequent year through Nicolet College classes taught online, enabling the student to remain in southwest Wisconsin instead of attending the Nicolet College campus in Rhinelander.

After the completion of the “1+1” program, students are awarded the Transfer Liberal Arts Associates degree. Students who maintain a minimum 2.0 grade point average in the program will be guaranteed admission to UW–Platteville.

“One of the things that all three of our institutions have in common is we are points of access to higher education in Wisconsin,” said Shields. “Many of our students that come are first-generation college students. Working together with institutions like Nicolet and Southwest Tech is part of our DNA at Platteville.

“This articulation agreement I think expands on the opportunity for us to serve those populations. The ability to get a bachelor’s degree working through our three institutions, staying close to home, gaining access to higher education, is what we are all about.”

In recent years, Ford discovered 125 students, residents of the Southwest Tech district, were pursuing a university Transfer Associates of Arts or Associates of Science degree at a different Wisconsin Technical College or adjoining states’ community college.

“We thought it would be a good idea to arrange for these students to have a local opportunity to complete that degree, and frankly, also serve to serve students who would probably love to follow that same pathway, but simply cannot move,” said Ford.

A discussion between Ford and Burmaster at a higher education conference was the impetus of the freshly signed articulation agreement.

“We are all about creating career pathways, which is really nothing more than pathways for students to follow throughout their life and their career to advance their learning, to get better and better, and to learn more and more competencies, to get more credentials to succeed in their life and their work,” said Ford. “By signing this agreement we are stacking one more path, one more opportunity, on top of the associates degree that we will be doing. Those students will now be able to come directly to UW–Platteville and work toward a bachelor’s degree.

“It works out extremely well for all involved. I think by partnering, by leveraging our resources and our unique missions, we can do much for our citizens without adding costs to the people who support us.”

The goal of the new agreement is to retain qualified southwest Wisconsin candidates who depart the district for other, approved transfer opportunities, such as the 125 students Ford has identified.

“This is all about student success, isn’t it? All three of us, as education leaders, but more importantly, all of the wonderful faculty, staff and administration that put this together,” said Burmaster. “This is very, very good for students. Students of all ages, students with all different educational experiences.”

UW–Platteville has 16 articulation agreements in place in Wisconsin, 15 in Iowa and 48 in Illinois. UW–Platteville recognizes associate degrees from all 13 UW two-year colleges plus Nicolet and the Madison and Milwaukee technical colleges. The Nicolet agreement is now in its 10th year.

More than 500 students on the UW–Platteville campus began their secondary education somewhere else before coming to UW–Platteville. Of those 500, 137 earned associate degrees from one of those 76 two-year colleges of which we have articulation agreements.

Might this most recent collaboration open the door for future partnerships between UW–Platteville, Southwest Tech and Nicolet College?

“It is an interesting thing,” said Shields. “We sometimes get criticized because we don’t have these things going on. When people take a closer look, there is a lot more effort to provide the opportunity to coordinate than is immediately obvious.

“We don’t see ourselves competing, but working together, so there will always be an opportunity.”


From “Nicolet offers new evening hybrid classes” — Rhinelander – Furthering your education might seem impossible to add to your already busy life. Nicolet College is trying to make it easier for adults to make it possible. The college now offers evening courses that are a combination of classroom and online classes.

“They get both the benefits of online learning as well as some face to face contact with their instructor,” says Rose Prunty, Dean of University Transfer Liberal Arts.

The classes meet one night a week and the rest is online. These hybrid courses are designed to make education an option for busy adults. “This is really to meet the needs of community members who maybe work during the day, who have all sorts of commitments during the day. So this flexibility allows students to adapt a schedule that works for them,” said Prunty.

There are more than 50 hybrid courses being offered this fall. Classes range from business, criminal justice, and culinary studies.

“I think it’s a way of getting a start. Taking one course and seeing what college is like,” says Prunty.

Class begins August 26th. Registration is open now through the start of classes. The courses will also be offered at the Lakeland Campus.

From “Grant helps Nicolet College manufacturing” — Rhinelander – Rhinelander – Paying for college can be hard.

New grants can help Northwoods manufacturing students get a head start.

Nicolet College got together with five employers to offer assistance grants.

Wausau Paper, P-C-A, Foster and Smith, Hypro and Printpack want workers.

The companies endorsed the Industrial Mechanical Technician Program as a way for students to get a foot in the door. “It’s a great career path. It can be rewarding,” said Trade and Industry Dean, Brigitte Parsons

“It can allow someone to stay in Northern Wisconsin, stay close to family to resources they grew up around. It’s pretty exciting.”

The average starting wages in manufacturing here range from 14 dollars to 24 dollars an hour.

Parsons has high hopes for the manufacturing industry.

“Regionally employers have identified a need for individuals with maintenance repair type of skills to work in manufacturing sector,” Parson said.

“So we can expect to see many jobs in the very near future with our grant partners.”

Fall semester classes will start August 26th.


From “Prepare for an increased demand in welding and fabricating jobs” — Looking for a new career? There’s one job in huge demand in Northern Wisconsin: Welding. To help fill those jobs Nicolet college is working with the Oldenburg Group and expanding their welding program.

Nicolet College’s Dean of Trade and Industry Brigitte Parsons says Wisconsin manufacturers are highly competitive in the world market. They’re getting more contracts, and need more workers.

“We’re seeing continued growth in this industry sector and an increased number of jobs in welding and fabricating and machine tooling,” said Parsons. Oldenburg Group, specifically, will be looking for more welders and fabricators to keep up with demand. “They just got a contract but they haven’t begun employing people yet. So right now is a good time to start thinking about if that’s a job that you might be interested in getting. Now’s a good time to get the skills,” says Parsons.

Nicolet College in Rhinelander offers a 9-month program for welding. They work closely with local leaders in industry like Oldenburg Group, so they’re teaching exactly what employers want you to know. Some of Oldenburg’s employees even teach part-time at Nicolet.

From “Nicolet College tax levy dollars to remain the same” — The Nicolet College Board of Trustees has approved a budget for 2013-14 that keeps the total tax levy for the college the same as the previous year.

The amount levied for the upcoming academic year will total $20,884,373. The new budget also reflects a slight reduction in staffing with a decrease of 1.4 full time positions. Since 2010-11, the college has reduced staffing by the equivalent of 22.2 full-time positions while at the same time making advances in several key academic areas, said Nicolet College President Elizabeth Burmaster.

“Nicolet has been especially competitive in securing new private, federal and state grant funding which has helped fund new initiatives at a time of levy freezes and state general aid reductions,” Burmaster said.

The most significant of these were grants totaling more than $1.3 million to boost manufacturing training. Nicolet is using this money to expand its welding program by 30 percent and also create a series of academic credentials in manufacturing that culminates in the new, two-year industrial mechanical technician associate degree, Burmaster reported.

“Even in these continued tight economic times, the college has been able to find ways to expand key academic programs,” she said. “The advanced training these graduates bring to the workplace will contribute to the overall economic development of the region.”

She also noted that the college’s occupational/technical programs posted an average job placement rate of 90 percent in 2012-13.

From “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.

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