From “Local high school girls learn about male-dominated fields” — More than 50 girls from nine central Wisconsin highschools learned Friday what it would be like to be welders, mechanical designers, machinists and other professionals in the manufacturing and technical fields.

They were taking part in a program called Females in Technology & Trades at Northcentral Technical College. The idea was to expose the girls to professions that are in what have been traditionally male-dominated fields to ensure that they know of all the career opportunities available to them.

The program was organized by Laurie Schulz, a mechanical design instructor at NTC. Schulz worked as a designer for years and said she had no problems working in a male-dominated field, but not all young women know that such careers are even possible.

The F.I.T.T. program, Schulz said, was meant to change that by both exposing the girls to all of the programs NTC has to offer and giving them a chance to do some hands-on activities, such as welding.

Maddy Krueger and Katherine Russell, both juniors at Tomahawk High School, participated in the program to find out what they might do after graduation.

“I think this is really interesting,” Krueger said. “I’m in a shop class at school, and I’m interested in mechanical comprehension and design. So I thought that would interesting to learn.”

Russell wants to become a materials sciences engineer, designing materials that can do new things.

“There’s a need for more women in engineering fields, so I wanted to learn more about that. And I’ve never welded before, so I’m really nervous,” Russell said. “I really learned a lot today about what NTC had to offer. I didn’t know we had an engineering and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) school so close as Wausau.”

The program was beneficial for female students, Schulz said, so that “they can see what types of options are out there for them that are nontraditional, compared to what they may normally do.”


From “Governor Walker talks about jobs grants, casinos and more at appearance in Wausau” — Governor Walker made an appearance in Wausau at Northcentral Technical College today to discuss a new grant project called Wisconsin Fast Forward.

“Workers need to have access to the most up-to-date employment information,” Governor Walker said. “By providing quality worker training and cutting-edge labor market information, our workers will be best equipped to re-enter the workforce in places where opportunities are available.”

The funding will work to create new jobs and training in manufacturing and small manufacturing businesses with 50 or fewer employees, construction, and customer service representatives. Walker says business leaders tell him Wisconsin is a great place to place customer service positions. “It’s easy to understand folks in the Midwest. The people in the Midwest he found to be overwhelmingly pleasant and easy to get along with.”

The state is looking at continued growth in the customer service industry and Walker says they want to help that grow. “The Department of Workforce Development estimates that through 2020 there’s going to be a 15% growth in customer service jobs, and an annual basis, that means 2200 new jobs each year.”

During questions after the speech, Governor Walker says he’s not in a big hurry to make a decision on the casino project in Kenosha. “This project has been before the Bureau of Indian affairs at the federal government for 20 years. And I’ve got considerable time as governor to take this matter up and fully consider the implications on it.”

Walker also said he’d be in favor of tougher OWI laws if they make it to his desk. “Ways we can toughen up, particularly penalties for repeat drunk drivers is something I’ve been in the past supportive of. And presumably, I’d have to look at the individual bills, but would be open to consider.”

He also addressed the continuing issues with the new federal health care law. Walker says the state is stepping up to make sure residents in need will be covered before the enrollment period is up on the Affordable Care Act. “Under our plan, everyone in poverty will covered. In the past, under my predecessor, there was a wait list for some on poverty, going forward everyone will be covered under Medicaid in the state of Wisconsin.” He says state officials are putting together training for insurance agents in Wisconsin in order to help them get people signed up for the exchanges and for insurance before the enrollment period is up.


From “NTC students head back to class” — The first day of classes is now in the books at Northcentral Technical College in Wausau.

NTC’s campus is once again alive with students. That includes a 19-year-old transfer from UW-Milwaukee.

It’s a day of introductions, nerves, and learning

NTC in Wausau has officially begun its fall semester. School officials say about 4,000 students are enrolled this fall. That includes 19-year-old Emily Worden.

“Stuff is just so much different down there than it is here, it’s just a lot better quality here,” said Worden.

Worden is from the Wausau area. When she graduated high school she wanted to try something new. So she applied and got accepted to UW-Milwaukee.

“I decided I had enough of the small scene so I was going to go down to Milwaukee and I absolutely loved it down there,” said Worden.

But now one year later Worden transferred to NTC, a place she says will definitely help her in becoming a nurse.

“I’m totally a hands-on person so to be there and just sitting there and not having examples to work on it was just like making me crazy,”said Worden.

She says the cost of tuition and close communication with professors are big reasons why Worden transferred to the college.

“You can get the help that you need and sufficient help to help get you in the direction you want to go,”said Worden.

Worden says her new direction will be an adjustment, but it’s one she’s willing to make for a bright future.

“It’s a new start for me I’m really excited,” said Worden.

Worden says she plans on getting her two-year degree from NTC. She says she might go back to UW-Milwaukee for her bachelor’s degree.


From “Medical school announces new Wausau locations” — The Medical College of Wisconsin will train new doctors at Aspirus and Northcentral Technical College as it works in cooperation with all central Wisconsin physician groups, the school announced Tuesday.

The Aspirus space will house the medical education program’s classrooms and administrative offices, and NTC will share anatomy and simulation space.

The school’s board decided on the two locations after determining that the Liberty Mutual Insurance building on Wausau’s west side was too large to house operations.

Marita Hattem, interim president and chief operating officer for Aspirus Wausau Hospital, said health care is an important part of any community, and training and maintaining doctors in rural areas such as north central Wisconsin is crucial.

“It (will be) fun for us as employees to see students coming and going,” she said. “Anything we can do to encourage their education and support them in that as much as we can is important.”

The medical college will have 75 students a year once it is running at full capacity and will have dozens of employees, educators or physicians who will need places to eat, live and occasionally have fun, creating a need for restaurants, apartments and entertainment near the campus.

The college will begin training students in 2015 to participate in local residency programs at central Wisconsin hospitals. The hope is that those students will establish careers in the state’s rural areas to resolve a looming physician shortage in the next two decades.

In addition to Aspirus and NTC, the new campus also plans to partner with Ministry Health Care and Marshfield Clinic, along with the University of Wisconsin Marathon County.

Last fall, college representatives were approached by business and community leaders in Wausau to consider the former Liberty headquarters as the home for its community-based medical education program.

“We strongly considered the use of the Liberty Mutual Insurance building and are extremely grateful for the assistance of Liberty Mutual’s executives as well as numerous community leaders,” John R. Raymond Sr., Medical College of Wisconsin president and CEO, said in the release. “We regret that ultimately the beautiful building was just too large for the needs of the program.”

The medical college will make its temporary home in the third floor of an addition to Aspirus’ operating rooms. Hattem said hospital officials did not have a definite plan for the space, and are happy to allow the medical college to use the space for the short-term future.

Officials from Northcentral Technical College could not be reached for comment Tuesday; the school is closed July 1 through July 5.

The community medical education program addresses the need for providers in under-served communities across Wisconsin and uses a teaching model in which students receive core basic science and clinical experience in the community, teaching with other practitioners and encouraging students to practice in the communities where they train.

The medical college in coming months will begin design development for the facilities within both Aspirus and Northcentral Technical College. Student recruitment will begin in spring 2014.


From “Caring for Aging Population Seminar at NTC” — Northcentral Technical College (NTC) is providing an opportunity to learn the latest information on geriatric care with a seminar entitled “Caring for our Aging Population” on Thursday, May 16, from 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. at the NTC Wausau Center for Health Sciences Auditorium. The event will also be available at NTC’s Antigo, Medford, Phillips and Spencer campuses via Interactive Video Conferencing (IVC).

This seminar strives to support, educate and re-energize those serving in a caregiving role. It is designed for those involved in caring for the elderly professionally or personally, or anyone involved in caring for a loved one. Topics covered will include dealing with dementia and Alzheimer’s, and finding the resources you need to care for others.
A $59 value, the Caring for our Aging Population seminar will cost only $15.69 per person through the generous support of the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin. Continuing Education Unit (CEU) certificates will be available at the conclusion of the day, and lunch will also be provided.
For more information or to register, visit or call NTC’s Continuing Education department at 715.803.1230.


From “NTC Agriculture Center for Excellence making future bright for Ag” — Located just north of Wausau on Highway K, the Northcentral Technical College Agriculture Center for Excellence sits on 110 acres of land. It opened up in 2011. From the outside, it resembles your typical farm, but walk inside and you’ll find that something sets it apart from most. “The biggest difference here is because it’s a school but otherwise the rest of it is pretty much, we try to keep it as close to a regular family farm is what we can,” says Dan Radtke, a herdsman.

There are barns, pastures, and even equipment and let’s not forget livestock. There are 36 milking cows, 3 dry cows, 28 bred heifers, 18 yearling heifers, and 9 calves. “The need for Agriculture is always going to be there, whether it’s directly related to Agriculture through the production side of it or through the feed mills and cooperatives on that side of it,” says Katie Mihlbauer, the Ag Sciences Development Manager.

That’s why this center was built. Dozens of students enroll each year in four programs offered through NTC. They are Vet Science, Dairy Science, Agribusiness, and an Ag Equipment Technician program. “There’s a big variety of classroom followed up by hands on and that’s kind of the basis of the program and the whole idea to having this whole facility is that they get that hole hands on training that so much of them desire and that they need,” she says.

Students get to spend time with cattle, vaccinating and dehorning them, they even get to learn about the animals. “The biggest thing with the cattle is you have to listen to what they’re telling you, not everybody understands that part of it. See how this cow lies at an angle in this stall? She’s lying at an angle in this stall because there’s a wooden brisket board here and when she gets up she lunges ahead and she hits that brisket board so she tries to lay so she doesn’t hit the board,” says Radtke.

Students also get to learn some of the latest and greatest farming technology out there, including a robotic milker, robotic feeder, and even farm equipment with GPS. “The biggest challenge we have at the college is not to stay the same but to always have the vision to look ahead of what next is coming and anticipate so we can have the students ready when the technology is here,” he says.

But no matter how technology changes, or the challenges the Agricultural industry faces, one thing is certain. “People need to eat, and so the need for Agriculture is always going to be there. What scale it’s on, the education and the skills need to be there and they need to be taught,” says Mihlbauer.

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From “NTC online learning celebrates milestone” — Northcentral Technical College in Wausau is celebrating a milestone.

This month marks the first anniversary of a program allowing students to study online.

School officials say 100 students are enrolled so far. And they anticipate it will keep growing.

Earning a college degree online is nothing new. But a program at Northcentral Technical College in Wausau offers a different approach than others.

“There’s no confined assignment date for all the classes,” said NTC Vice President for Learning, Shelly Mondeik. That date doesn’t come until the end of the semester.

School officials say it’s NTC’s most flexible learning option.

“Lets say they have a child that is ill or something comes up and they have to go out of town for two weeks, they’re not penalized at all they basically can continue at their pace so they can actually finish a course in four weeks or they could take 16 weeks,” said Mondeik.

Katherine Welk is a virtual college student at NTC. She’s been enrolled three semesters, working toward an Associate’s Degree in Supervisory Management. Welk says this program is making that happen.

“I’m a stay at home mom and I know I need to have a degree to be able to provide for them so when I saw that NTC had their virtual college program that was great for me,” said NTC virtual college student, Katherine Welk.

The program was launched last February. School officials say it’s come a long way.

“We’re going to be having our first year anniversary, we actually started this last February where we offered a general studies certificate and now of course we actually have 6 Associate Degree programs in it, we’re very excited,” said Mondiek.

Even though it’s all online, Welk says she’s grown in the virtual classroom as well.

“It’s a really good environment, I don’t know, I just love it,” said Welk.

Going at her own pace is what drew Welk to this program. She hopes to continue her success, as just two more semesters stand between her and her degree.

College officials say they hope to have 150 students enrolled in the program by the end of the semester.

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