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From wiscnews.com: "Griesmer named MPTC Student of the Year" -- Tom Griesmer, of Rubicon, was recently named the Moraine Park Technical College Student of the Year. [...]
From wiscnews.com: “Griesmer names MPTC Student of the Year” – Tom Griesmer, of Rubicon, was recently named the Moraine Park Technical College Student of the Year.
Griesmer, who will receive his electrical power distribution technical diploma this May, was named student of the year following an intensive interview and presentation process.
Each year, one student is chosen to receive the Student of the Year award, according to Lisa Manuell, Moraine Park’s student involvement specialist.
“That student has excelled in and outside the classroom, made the most of his or her college experience, and modeled Moraine Park’s core abilities, or life skills,” she said. These skills include the ability to communicate clearly, act responsibly, work cooperatively and productively, adapt to change, demonstrate integrity, and think critically and creatively.
“I was caught off guard receiving the award,” said Griesmer, who enrolled at Moraine Park at the urging of his employer. “I believe that Moraine Park’s core abilities represent how people should carry themselves in everyday life. I didn’t think I was doing things that were out of the ordinary.”
Griesmer, who was among five other finalists – May Montezon of North Fond du Lac, Tanya Schloemer of Hartford, Austin Barten of Mayville, Becca Jahns of Beaver Dam, and Bonnie Weiss of Kewaskum – best fit award qualifications, according to a selection committee comprised of Moraine Park faculty, staff and a student representative.
It was his story that set him apart, according to Scott Lieburn, dean of students. As an older student with a family and full-time job, Griesmer enrolled in Moraine Park’s Electrical Power Distribution technical diploma program to further his knowledge and skills.
“I was sent to Moraine Park for cross training by the utility division of the City of Hartford,” he said. “I was really excited for the opportunity, but nervous because the program is mostly filled with younger students.”
Griesmer, who brought hands-on skills and knowledge to class, served as a mentor to his younger fellow classmates.He involved himself in the Electrical Power Distribution club on campus – working to gain as much skill and knowledge as possible.
“I had 23 years of working experience with a utility company, while most of my classmates came in from high school,” said Griesmer. “I was able to share my experiences with my classmates. They are a good group of guys who strive to do their best and are encouraging to each other. That helped me a lot, as well.”
Griesmer maintains his greatest challenge involved gearing up for the requirements of a college program.
“I had to get back into the classroom itself and switch my lifestyle from work back to homework,” said Griesmer. “I had to adjust to studying out of books again. The whole experience was wonderful. I got through it, did well with grades and made great friendships along the way.”
“More employers should send their employees back to school for training,” he said. “It’s been a mutual investment and commitment that I hope makes me a more valuable employee.”
From kenoshanews.com: "New approach to EMS training stresses continuity, mentoring approach" -- A joint effort among three community entities has seen success in a new approach to a traditional emergency medical service training program. Students this year have been exposed to the new training process organized by leaders from the Kenosha Fire Department, Gateway Technical College and the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. [...]
From kenoshanews.com: “New approach to EMS training stresses, continuity, mentoring approach” – A joint effort among three community entities has seen success in a new approach to a traditional emergency medical service training program.
Students this year have been exposed to the new training process organized by leaders from the Kenosha Fire Department, Gateway Technical College and the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.
Kenosha Fire Department’s Division Chief of EMS Jim Poltrock said in the past, Gateway had its students complete their field time with the department, but there was little organization and consistency to the process.
“The way the program was set up before was kind of chaotic,” he said. “There was no structure, and students were jumping shifts and were randomly assigned to work with different professionals each time.”
The new approach assigns students to work with a specific EMS person to establish a relationship and better develop their skills and evaluate students more accurately.
“Continuity is key,” Poltrock said. “While working with the same person each day, preceptors are able to monitor what their personal skills are and focus on areas the student needs to improve on. They also become more comfortable in asking questions, because they’ve established more of a relationship.”
Crista Kruse, mentor Kenosha/Racine manager at the University Wisconsin-Parkside, has been involved in the implementation of the new plan this year through the UW-Parkside Center for Community Partnerships. The center bridges the university with nearby communities through extended learning opportunities. She said the more formalized approach is beneficial to students.
“The mentoring approach is kind of a new trend, and research shows it works,” she said. “It’s beneficial to both the employer and the student, so it’s a win-win.”
Both students and preceptors have to go through an application process and meet specific requirements to be a part of the program.
“Our agreement within this joint effort is that we’ll provide our best, and they send us their best,” Poltrock said.
Students in support
Both students and preceptors said the changes are successful and beneficial to everyone.
Kenosha Fire Department Capt. Steve Allemand, an EMS preceptor/peer mentor, said the traditional training program used to be “hit or miss,” because students would come and go, riding with different paramedics at different stations.
“Now, there’s more ownership, so it’s almost like it’s your own kid,” he said. “You can actually keep a better eye on them for how they’re progressing along. It’s a huge difference.”
Allemand said he has always enjoyed teaching and coaching his own children, so he was interested right away in becoming a teacher and mentor.
“Fire and EMS is kind of a family affair, so it really helps out that you have the same person there with you the whole time to get the full experience,” said Steffanie Olson, 24, who is enrolled in the program and close to completing her ride time with the Kenosha Fire Department.
“This program helps build your confidence as a medic, and it also helps facilitate the fact that they know where you’re at with things,” she said. “(Allemand) knows what I’m looking for in my education to make me a well-rounded paramedic at this point.”
Olson was among those who responded to a rollover injury accident on Friday. It was the first time she had been involved with Flight for Life in Kenosha, but she felt prepared.
“I always feel that I have a good support team here,” she said. “Even if I’m not sure on something, I can just look over my shoulder and someone will be there to give me a little extra support. These guys run a good ship, so it’s easy to pick up and jump in.”
Students work with the same shift every day, so everyone on the shift contributes to the training, Allemand said.
“We all have slightly different perspectives due to our position, age and rank, so it helps to give students a full view of what EMS actually is,” he said.
Overall, Allemand said the program will help southeastern Wisconsin have better EMS care, because the students are better trained for the future.
“It’s a vision that’s long term, and it’s going to be something very positive,” he said. “It’s hard to break the traditions of how things were done, but once people see the benefits to this and the positive repercussions of it, there’s absolutely no way places could not do this.”
Sargento cheese guitar made at FVTC May 21 2013
From fox11online.com: "Sargento cheese guitar made at FVTC" -- GRAND CHUTE - Are you a cheese and music lover? Some area students mixed the two together for a special project. [...]
From fox11online.com: “Sargento cheese guitar made at FVTC” – GRAND CHUTE – Are you a cheese and music lover? Some area students mixed the two together for a special project.
Company officials from cheesemaker Sargento Foods made a visit to Fox Valley Technical College Monday.
They were collecting a customized cheese guitar.
The guitar will be put in Sargento’s lobby to help raise awareness on what initiatives around the region are going on to build skill sets.
Organizers say the students learned a variety of skills during the project.
“They start with a solid block of wood and they start exploring different careers like mechanical design and they have to design and cut out their guitar, after that you’re looking at wood science, there’s soldering, all the science of intonation and tuning so they cover about a dozen different careers that they explore,” said Steve Gallagher, FAB Lab manager.
A guitar building class is offered through Fox Valley Tech.
NWTC dental clinic to expand May 21 2013
From fox11online.com: "Dental clinic expansion could double patient capacity" -- GREEN BAY - It may be a little easier for certain people in Brown County to get care from the dentist. The NEW Dental Clinic on the Green Bay campus of Northeast Wisconsin Technical College has been serving low-income and uninsured people for about a year and a half. [...]
From fox11online.com: “Dental clinic expansion could double patient capacity” – GREEN BAY – It may be a little easier for certain people in Brown County to get care from the dentist.
The NEW Dental Clinic on the Green Bay campus of Northeast Wisconsin Technical College has been serving low-income and uninsured people for about a year and a half.
An expansion is expected to double the facility’s capacity.
Tammy Marcelle suffers from cerebral palsy and arthritis. She and her service dog Puppy checked in to the dental clinic Monday.
“Before I found this place, I haven’t been to the dentist in 20 years,” said Marcelle of Green Bay.
Marcelle met with her dentist Gretchen Evenson.
“A lot of these people have been trying to find dentists for years. No one sees the medical assistance. We’re happy that we devote our entire clinic to these people,” said Dr. Evenson, NEW Dental Clinic dentist.
NEW Dental Clinic provides dental services often free-of-charge to low income or uninsured people in Brown County.
The clinic was formally dedicated Monday morning. NWTC provided the space as part of a federal grant. St. Vincent Hospital and St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center provided $330,000 for equipment.
“Getting care and getting that taken care of also pulling the teeth when appropriate so it doesn’t abscess and can cause further health problems is really important,” said Bonnie Kuhr, NEW Dental Clinic CEO.
Bonnie Kuhr says another dentist will be hired Tuesday. Kuhr says 10 people will staff the expanded office and serve an estimated 6,000 people a year.
“You didn’t have to do that,” said Marcelle.
Marcelle and Dr. Evenson have formed a friendship, but an upcoming root canal may put that friendship to the test.
“I think she should just pull it so we don’t have to deal with it. But that’s not her attitude,” said Marcelle.
“Tammy’s a character. She’s had some dental work that was done, and then of course, once the dental work is done, then we want to continue to monitor these patients and make sure that they get the continued care they need,” said Dr. Evenson.
“It’s a relief that people with low incomes have finally a place they can come and get things done. They need it,” said Marcelle.
High school golfer follows passion to CVTC May 21 2013
From chippewa.com: "Cadott's Weiland brothers take different paths to the golf course" -- Twin brothers Scott and Eric Weiland are like typical twins in some regards. The two brothers hold many traits in common. [...]
From chippewa.com: “Cadott’s Weiland brothers take different paths to the golf course” – CADOTT — Twin brothers Scott and Eric Weiland are like typical twins in some regards.
The two brothers hold many traits in common.
They’re both competitive. They’re both passionate. They have common interests. Their personalities have specific quirks, but in general are quite similar.
However, on the golf course it’s a different story. Both enjoy the game, obviously.
But the paths they took in joining the Cadott boys golf team, and the paths they hope to take after graduating this year are markedly different.
Seniors on a Hornets golf team that hopes to advance to the WIAA Division 3 state tournament in June, Scott and Eric Weiland will be heavily counted on to do their share if Cadott is going to reach its ultimate goal.
Scott is the more experienced golfer of the two, having played as either the No. 1 or No. 2 player on the Hornets since he made the varsity squad as a freshman. So far this year, Scott has taken medalist honors at two Cloverbelt Conference meets and was just a couple strokes from qualifying as an individual for state a season ago.
Meanwhile, Eric is the No. 4 player, having joined the team a few weeks into the season last year after having tried baseball his first couple years of high school.
At first, both Scott and Eric began their golfing careers together in middle school, learning from Cadott golf coach Brad Rogers at a summer junior program. In fact, according to Scott, Eric was the better golfer when the two were just starting out.
But Scott soon developed a deep passion for the sport that made it a primary focus in his life, while Eric liked to try other activities, enjoying golf more as a pastime.
“Even back then (in middle school), Scotty was more of a student of the game. He really just ate it up, was studying it, was really serious,” Rogers said. “Pretty much all the time, Eric had his driver and was bombing for the fence.”
When the two began high school, Eric decided to go out for the baseball team instead of joining the golf team. After a couple years in baseball, Eric, at Scott’s urging, decided to join golf.
“I had a lot of things I wanted to do and I wanted to try them, see if I did like them,” Eric said. “That (baseball) is one of the things I tried quick. I ended up not liking it at all so then I went back out for golf. Scott helped me out a lot with everything.”
Not only did Scott want Eric to join golf because he thought he may enjoy it more, but the Hornets also needed a guy who could shoot consistently after a few seniors graduated from the year before.
“I thought it would help the team because we were losing a couple of our golfers that were seniors, graduating,” Scott said. “We needed a solid No. 4/5 seed and I thought he would have the talent to do it.”
However, when Eric joined the team midway through last season, the rust of not having played golf for a couple years was apparent. In his first practice round, he shot a 63, leaving Rogers a bit deflated. But, four-iron in tow (Eric doesn’t currently carry a driver), he got his game back into shape and has become a steady player for the Hornets.
“He really worked on the game, was consistently working on it,” Rogers said. “By the end of the season, he was shooting high 40s. That was all within a matter of about three or four weeks. He’s a quick learner, stuck with it.”
This year and beyond
As Scott and Eric finish up their high school careers, their paths will once again diverge.
With plans to attend UW-Stout in the fall, Scott wants to have a career in golf — his passion since his cousin Ray Weiland, Jr. took him out on the course about six years ago. Between taking lessons with Cadott golf pro John Pozarski, working at Whispering Pines Golf Course and spending his free time on the links, Scott has devoted much of his life to the sport and wants to keep it that way.
Meanwhile, Eric hopes to start a career as a fire medic and is already a volunteer firefighter. Enrolling at Chippewa Valley Technical College following the school year, saving peoples’ lives and helping out in any way he can is Eric’s goal in life.
Unfortunately, that goal will also mean that the Cadott golf team’s road to state could be a bit bumpier.
Eric begins an EMT class on Tuesday — the same day of regionals for Cadott, meaning the Hornets will need to manage without a player who has developed into a consistent performer for the team.
But with the way Scott — who Rogers believes will make it to state as an individual at the very least — and the rest of the team has been playing, a trip to state is still within the realm of possibility even if Eric isn’t available for regionals.
It is fitting that this is how it played out though. As unfortunate as the timing is, Eric is simply following his passion. Scott is following his.
The golf course brought them together as brothers for the past two years, but the real world will once again send them in different directions, albeit maybe a bit sooner than they would have liked.
Said Rogers: “Eric pretty much lives for firefighting and fire rescue, while Scotty lives for golf.”
From whattheythink.com: "Fox Valley Technical College welcomes NPIRI Printing Ink Technology Course" -- National Printing Ink Research Institute (NPIRI) will be hosting its annual Printing Ink Technology Course July 14-19 in Appleton, Wisconsin. NPIRI is offering this unique course at Fox Valley Technical College and it will provide comprehensive, in-depth yet flexible coverage of printing ink and printing technologies. [...]
From whattheythink.com: “Fox Valley Technical College welcomes the NPIRI Printing Ink Technology Course” – National Printing Ink Research Institute (NPIRI) will be hosting its annual Printing Ink Technology Course July 14-19 in Appleton, Wisconsin. NPIRI is offering this unique course at Fox Valley Technical College and it will provide comprehensive, in-depth yet flexible coverage of printing ink and printing technologies.
The course is carefully designed to bring new employees up to speed quickly; and provide more experienced employees the fundamental understanding necessary to improve, update and expand their skill sets.
“The NPIRI Summer Course is an exceptionally unique educational opportunity which appeals to both experienced ink technicians and those new to the field. The scope and depth of the course is unmatched by any other course or seminar. This is the course to learn about printing ink,” said George Fuchs, Director – Environmental Affairs and Technology for NAPIM.
Attendees can expect an ‘immersion’ type environment in which introductory and advanced concepts are reinforced with multiple practical/hands-on applications in an informal and interactive format. This course is also an exceptional value among training courses of its type.
The course is presented by industry experts from both ink companies and suppliers who know the language of the industry and the fundamental science.
This course has been conducted by NPIRI since the mid-1960s. Over time it has been modified to include newer technologies and instructional techniques but one thing hasn’t changed – the all but unanimous positive reviews from its attendees.
From wuwm.com: "New College Grads May Be Entering An Improving Job Market" -- Thousands of local college students graduated over the weekend. UWM and Marquette were among those holding commencement ceremonies. More grads will pick up their diplomas next weekend, including at MSOE and MATC. [...]
From wuwm.com: “New College Grads May Be Entering An Improving Job Market” – Thousands of local college students graduated over the weekend. UWM and Marquette were among those holding commencement ceremonies. More grads will pick up their diplomas next weekend, including at MSOE and MATC.
The last few years have been tough for college grads. They entered the labor force amid a slow-moving economy, when employers were hesitant to hire. And the competition often included experienced people, laid off during the recession. Dennis Winters says now however, there are hints the job hunt may be a bit easier. He works for the state Department of Workforce Development.
“The economy is growing slowly and the employment situation is a bit laggard yet, but I think things are picking up throughout the rest of the year and in the future, so graduates have something a little better to look at,” Winters says.
Another agency that sees promising data is Milwaukee-based Manpower Group. It tracks hiring trends.
“There was healthy hiring last quarter, so I think we’re going to see continuous improvement. It’s certainly not going backwards,” says Chris Layden, who heads one of the Wisconsin divisions of ManpowerGroup. He says some new grads have an advantage over experienced people looking for work.
“Companies are looking for fresh talent out of college, particularly leading companies within the Milwaukee market that are always trying to bring in fresh perspectives and hiring potential.”
Layden says the greatest demand for graduates remains in the STEM fields: science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
The trend puts graduates from the Milwaukee School of Engineering in good standing. Erik Oswald works in MSOE’s careers office. He says employers sought out the school’s students throughout the economic downturn.
“Even in the height of the recession, our students were getting jobs. They maybe were just having one offer at a time. But as things are recovering, the biggest thing we’re seeing is that students are able to choose between two or three offers again,” Oswald says.
Oswald says the pay is good, even for those just entering the workforce.
“The average starting salaries for the 2011-2012 class for all of our graduates was $55,368,” Oswald says.
On the other edge of downtown, Marquette University reports high demand for its grads, across the spectrum. Andy Brodzeller is spokesman.
“One anecdote is that involvement in our career fairs that we host in the fall and spring semester — we’ve seen additional participation by companies and employees. This past year, actually we had to turn down employees, because we simply didn’t have enough space for them in the ballrooms at the career fair,” Brodzeller says.
Brodzeller says grads with a leg up are those who participated in internships and got work experience. The head of UW-Milwaukee’s career development center echoes the sentiment. Cindy Petrites says students’ resourcefulness outside the classroom can be as important as their field of study.
“The person graduating today is probably looking at over a dozen job changes over the course of their lifetime. So it’s really important for us to be helping students to be really nimble in the way they are developing their skills, in the way they are thinking about how they can be marketable — not just for the jobs of today, but for the jobs of tomorrow,” Petrites says.
Another local institution has seen first-hand the changing employment picture graduates face. Mike Kuehnl is with MATC, who says “4,500 of our students already have bachelor’s or master’s degrees and they’ve come to MATC to get the skills that employers are looking for.”
Kuehnl says graduates in the greatest demand are those in the fields of information technology, manufacturing and health care.
Mother, daughter earn tech-college degrees May 20 2013
From riverfallsjournal.com: "Mother, daughter earn tech-college degrees" -- When Ashley Colbeth came to the Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) River Falls Campus a couple of years ago to take a placement test in typing, her mother, Susan, came along with her. [...]
From riverfallsjournal.com: “Mother, daughter earn tech-college degrees” – When Ashley Colbeth came to the Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) River Falls Campus a couple of years ago to take a placement test in typing, her mother, Susan, came along with her.
At that point Susan wasn’t even thinking about attending CVTC herself, but layoffs from two jobs led her to give a lot of thought to her future.
Now the future has come into focus for both mother and daughter as both crossed the same stage last Thursday night and accepted diplomas in the same program, from the same school.
The Colbeths were among 67 graduates in six programs honored at the May 9 CVTC commencement ceremony at River Falls High School.
They were among seven graduates in the Administrative Professional program, both receiving scholastic honors.
Though Susan, 52, and Ashley, 22, are at different stages in their lives, they came to CVTC for the same reason, one shared by so many CVTC graduates — a need for a new career direction.
Ashley took a Certified Nursing Assistant class at CVTC a few years ago. She was working in the field in River Falls before attending Carroll University in Waukesha to study physical therapy and exercise science.
The university didn’t work out, partly because of the distance from her support network of friends and family. So Ashley moved back home.
“I got my old job back, but I wanted something more behind-the-scenes, in office work instead of patient care,” said Ashley, about enrolling in CVTC’s Administrative Professional program.
Susan, a 1979 Ellsworth High School graduate, worked at Smead Manufacturing in Hastings, Minn., for 25 years before becoming being laid off in March 2011. She found work at a solar panel firm in Prescott, but got laid off there, too.
About two weeks before the fall 2011 term started, Susan decided to enroll in CVTC, choosing the same program as her daughter.
“It was kind of awesome at first,” Ashley said. “She was a good study buddy.”
Added Susan: “We’re good support for one another. We have a pretty good relationship.”
Ashley was particularly helpful bringing her mother up to speed on the use of today’s essential educational tool — the computer.
For a while Susan wasn’t sure if she would make it.
“It’s a big adjustment to go from factory work your whole life to school,” Susan said. “But Ashley told me to give it two or three weeks. I started feeling pretty comfortable.”
Ashley had challenges of her own, continuing to work full time while going to school.
There hasn’t been much rivalry over bragging rights to the best grades in the Colbeth household, but now the real work of finding post-college employment begins.
“I’m excited, but nervous about graduation,” Susan said. “But I really am optimistic that I’m going to find a job.”
Ashley has signed on with an employment service in Minneapolis.
“Hudson Hospital is putting a big addition on, so I am hoping to get in there,” said Susan.
“No, that’s mine,” Ashley replied with a smile.
As with any graduation, there were plenty of thanks, congratulations and best wishes expressed both during and after last Thursday’s CVTC ceremony.
Student speaker Paul Copeland of the Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement program thanked instructors, a number of them by name, for their selfless dedication.
“We are brothers and sisters raised in an education environment by those who have given their time to see that we are successful, that we are ready, and that we are the best,” Copeland said. “We have been given a proud torch to carry, that we can continue to keep lit with our skills earned here.
Faculty speaker Kristina Novek, a math and science instructor, praised the graduates for taking risks. She challenged them to continue to do so.
“Memorize how you feel at this moment,” Novek said. “Remember the pride and sense of accomplishment that graduation gave you. Strive for this feeling in all aspects of your life. To do this, you will have to take more risks,”
The Chippewa Valley Technical College system has campuses located in Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Menomonie, Neillsville and River Falls.
CVTC serves an 11-county area in west-central Wisconsin and is part of the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS).
Continuing education part of Amerequip success May 20 2013
From postcrescent.com: "Kiel equipment maker succeeds with power" -- Change can be good for an organization. Just ask the management team at Amerequip Corp. [...]
From postcrescent.com: “Kiel equipment maker succeeds with power” – KIEL — Change can be good for an organization. Just ask the management team at Amerequip Corp.
A couple of years ago, executives said that if the maker of custom equipment for the lawn, landscape, agricultural and construction industries remained owned by its workers through an employee stock ownership program, the company either would have gone bankrupt or been sold.
That’s not the case today, said Mike VanderZanden, president and CEO at Amerequip, who said the company now is on a growth path with a goal of reaching $100 million in annual revenues and boosting its employment from 155 to 500 employees by 2020.
“We as a team began looking at the cost of being an ESOP company and determined that it was becoming a drain on the business,” VanderZanden said. “It just limited the amount of money we could invest back into the business.”
In February 2011, VanderZanden and about a dozen company executives purchased the business from the ESOP to keep the business locally owned.
“When it came down to it, we just have a strong commitment to our team members at Amerequip and they’re more like family now,” he said. “Our mission is to become a significant employer of choice, and what’s exciting for us now is we believe by doing the right things for our team members, we believe we will have nothing but strong profitability and financial success.”
The company’s niche is working with some of the world’s largest power equipment manufacturers — John Deere, Caterpillar, New Holland and Case — and doing work for Oshkosh Corp.-owned McNeilus, which produces refuse trucks and cement mixers.
Amerequip is an original equipment manufacturer, which means what it produces is ready to be sold and put to use.
Where the company is focusing its strategy is doing more work for existing customers, VanderZanden said.
“When we talked about where we wanted to take the company, one way was to try and secure between 50 and 100 customers and do a variety of work for them, but we chose instead to work more closely with a few customers that are large global organizations and find ways to push deeper into each one,” he said. “The idea is providing great service to those customers, better than anyone else could do.”
Diversifying its production mix with its larger customers who make assorted equipment with varying uses, also can shield the business from downturns in the economy, VanderZanden said.
Much of what Amerequip does is in house, from painting, fabrication and assembly as well as designing and engineering products for its customers. The company recently invested about $3 million to expand and upgrade existing facilities.
“It’s what makes us unique,” VanderZanden said. “We have a lot of the capabilities of some larger OEMs but because the decision makers are on site, we can be faster on the turnaround.”
People contribute to the company’s success, VanderZanden said. It has partnered with Moraine Park Technical College to provide training to its employees, which allows them to keep their skills current.
“Continual education is a critical part of our success,” VanderZanden said. “Investing in our employees to ensure we remain on the cutting edge and relentlessly improving, is vital to our long-term strategies.”
Keeping up with economic trends and other factors that influence business operations including health care reform and the regulatory climate, is important to shaping the company’s direction.
VanderZanden said the company’s board is composed of executives from other business sectors, who provide insight on issues that could influence operations. The board also supports the model of strengthening ties and seeking opportunities with Amerequip’s major customers.
“We’ve taken the approach that as long as we focus on revenue growth and growing the business, we will be all right,” he said.
On the horizon
Tim Dorn, vice president of sales and engineering at Amerequip, said building stronger ties with its pillar customers is a cornerstone of the company’s growth strategy.
“We are focusing on diversity, not only customer to customer, but within each customer,” he said.
Dorn said Amerequip’s major customers are experiencing modest but sustainable growth.
“As we look out in 2013, I think it’s going to hold tight,” he said. “We’re not expecting a major uptick because things still feel a little sensitive and people seem to want to hold off on things to see where things go, but we are working to diversify our markets to drive our own growth as best as we can.”
VanderZanden said Amerequip’s primary customers are expecting moderate growth during the next 12 to 18 months.
“Right now there is some softness as a result of the poor spring we had,” he said. “But as we look out 18 to 36 months, it’s definitely sustainable. No one is predicting double-digit growth but at least we can expect continued improvement.”
From wausaudailyherald.com: "Older NTC graduates reflect on economy, need for lifelong education" -- More than half of Saturday’s Northcentral Technical College graduates were age 25 or older, telling a compelling story of the impact of a ragged economy and the need for lifelong education. [...]
From wausaudailyherald.com: “Older NTC graduates reflect on economy, need for lifelong education” – More than half of Saturday’s Northcentral Technical College graduates were age 25 or older, telling a compelling story of the impact of a ragged economy and the need for lifelong education.
About 430 students — out of a total of 754 who graduated from NTC this spring — participated in the college’s commencement ceremony in the field house of Wausau West High School. Of the total number of graduates, 55 percent were 25 years old or older. About 43 percent were ages 16 to 24, according to college statistics, with 2 percent unknown to the school. Almost 10 percent of the graduates were 50 and older.
One of those people was Susan Thiel of Elcho, who at age 54 received a medical coding degree from NTC’s Antigo campus. She returned to school after 35 years because she was downsized from a job in the manufacturing industry. It wasn’t easy for Thiel to get back in the academic swing of things; math was particularly difficult, she said, but she was happy Saturday morning.
Future job prospects were bright, she said, and in the long run, losing her job and struggling through school was “positive, very positive,” Thiel said. “I’m confident that I can do it.”
Saturday’s ceremony is not the endpoint for education, NTC President Lori Weyers told the graduates.
“Learning is a lifetime commitment,” she said.
And as technology, the world and “your interests change, you’ll find yourself seeking more education,” Weyers said.
Carolyn Xiong, 30, of Rothschild, wasn’t financially able to attend college after she graduated from high school in 2000. Instead, she went from job to job in fields such as fast food and customer service. It wasn’t until she was laid off from a collections and customer service position, and qualified for financial aid for displaced workers, that she was able to attend college.
She graduated with an associate degree in business management, and she already has made plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in business or international business, through either the University of Wisconsin-Stout or Upper Iowa University.
Xiong was wearing a gold cord and yellow sash around her neck, the cord signifying that she earned a 3.5 or higher grade point average. The sash meant she was a member of Phi Theta Kappa, an international honor society for two-year colleges.
“I’ll be honest, I wasn’t that great of a student in high school,” Xiong said. “But here, I tried harder. I was 1,000 percent motivated.”
From chippewa.com: "CVTC grads move on, pursue opportunities" -- EAU CLAIRE — Jason Koger of Elk Mound didn't have any problem finding a job, and right in his home town, after graduating from Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) on Friday, May 10. In fact, he was working at the Lawrence Transportation Services facility in Chippewa Falls while still completing the Diesel/Heavy Equipment Technician program at CVTC. [...]
From chippewa.com: “Diesel Technician students land jobs before graduation” – EAU CLAIRE — Jason Koger of Elk Mound didn’t have any problem finding a job, and right in his home town, after graduating from Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) on Friday, May 10. In fact, he was working at the Lawrence Transportation Services facility in Chippewa Falls while still completing the Diesel/Heavy Equipment Technician program at CVTC.
His fellow graduate, Josh Gagner of Chetek, also landed a job well before graduation, at the Lawrence facility in Barron.
Koger’s and Gagner’s experience is typical of students in the program. A shortage of diesel mechanics in the area has companies recruiting CVTC students well before they earn their technical diplomas.
“I was always interested in diesel engines,” said Koger. “I liked the smoke, but I learned that’s not the power.”
“I wanted to drive (trucks) at first,” said Gagner. “But when (CVTC instructors) talked to me about fixing them instead of driving them, I was sold.”
Gagner had been working relocating utility lines, but decided to look for a job with a little less stress. He loves diesel mechanic work and sees himself working in the field his entire life. There’s plenty of opportunity.
“I had two job offers and I only applied for two jobs,” Gagner said.
“I didn’t have any problem getting into Lawrence,” Koger said.
Most CVTC graduates are not as heavily recruited as the Diesel/Heavy Equipment Technician students, but statistics show 92 percent of them will be employed or continuing their education in the coming months.
CVTC honored 626 graduates in 47 different programs Friday night, with 375 graduates receiving associate degrees and 251 receiving technical diplomas. On Thursday night, CVTC honored 67 graduates at its River Falls campus, including 60 receiving associate degrees and seven receiving technical diplomas.
The most popular programs among this spring’s graduates are Nursing, with 60 graduates, Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement with 54 graduates, and Business Management with 53.
Among the graduates was Randi Johnson of Eau Claire, in the Dental Hygienist program, who was chosen as the student speaker. She urged the graduates to get out of their comfort zones.
“Being willing to step out of our comfort zones led us here,” she said. “Now that we’ve gotten to this point in life, we should push ourselves to keep improving. We will feel uncomfortable in the future, whether it’s in an interview for our dream job or buying our first house. But the moments where we feel unsure usually turn out to be the ones that change our lives and help define who we are.”
Faculty speaker Steve Chronis, from the Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement program, urged graduates to take advantage of opportunities.
“Life is all about deciding to answer the door when opportunity knocks and what you decide to do with the opportunity,” Chronis said. “My hope for each and every one of you is that the education you received at CVTC has opened a door of opportunity for promise and discovery that will last a lifetime.”
Featured speaker Paul Gabriel, executive director of the Wisconsin Technical College District Boards Association, put a new twist on the notion of wishing graduates “good luck.”
“For years, I’ve heard graduates refer to themselves as ‘lucky’ to have made it here,” he said. “But, what’s luck really got to do with it? … If you feel fortunate to be here, it’s not luck at all. It’s the success that you have created for yourself.”
Gabriel told the graduates to make their own fortune. “You make it by realizing your potential, by living and thriving and being happy.”
From wjfw.com: "Nicolet College holds career expo for seventh graders" -- 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. [...]
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: "Former Whiting Mill employee charts new course with IT degree" -- Dawn Zieher never considered working anywhere other than a paper mill. A Pittsville native, Zieher said she had family that worked in the paper industry, and she began thinking about it in eighth grade. [...]
From marshfieldnewsherald.com: “Former Whiting Mill employee charts new course with IT degree” – Dawn Zieher never considered working anywhere other than a paper mill.
A Pittsville native, Zieher said she had family that worked in the paper industry, and she began thinking about it in eighth grade. At 19 years old, she was hired at NewPage Corp.’s Whiting mill, where she worked for more than 26 years. When the mill closed in February 2011, she was working as a rewinder operator, cutting up rolls of paper into smaller sections.
“I was shocked,” Zieher said of the closure. “I had to figure out something to do. I always thought about going back to school, but I had been doing shift work, which didn’t really give me a chance to.”
Zieher, 48, of Stevens Point, said she had a general interest in computers, and settled on Mid-State Technical College based in part on location and cost. On Thursday, she will graduate with other students from the Stevens Point campus with an information technology-network specialist degree.
“I liked the classes they offered, and how the faculty treated students,” Zieher said. “I wouldn’t have thought a couple of years ago that I would be graduating with this kind of degree, but this was a great choice for me.”
Kathryn Doar is an instructor of IT-network specialist courses at MSTC, and she has been at the college for 51/2 years. Of the 15 students graduating with that degree this week, Doar said four, including Zieher, are displaced workers.
“Those kinds of students come in here with a great past work experience and a real drive to learn everything they can,” Doar said.
Doar said Zieher is regularly among those students who put in extra hours to learn, whether it is fixing computers in the college’s PC Clinic or volunteering to work on networks for the Rosholt Library and Big Brothers Big Sisters. She also has helped set up the new IT-network specialist lab at Mid-State’s new downtown Stevens Point campus, scheduled to open in January 2014.
While she’s involved now, Zieher admits that college wasn’t always so easy for her.
“It was a total 180 for me. When I was in school the last time, it was paper and pencil, and we used to look things up at the library,” Zieher said. “I felt overwhelmed, but the instructors here made a big difference because they were always very willing to answer any question I had.”
Zieher said she isn’t exactly sure what her next job will be, but that she’s interested in possibly working with computer servers and would be willing to move if necessary. She will benefit from the college’s near 100 percent placement rate for graduates in her field.
“I’ve been able to get a lot of experience at school, so I feel like I have options,” Zieher said.
Dreams come true for local CVTC grads May 15 2013
From chippewa.com: "Dreams come true for local CVTC grads" -- Friday night was a dream come true for Lori Hruza of Chippewa Falls and Devyne Gass of Cornell. Their paths were longer and a bit more winding than many of their fellow Chippewa Valley Technical College graduates, but they all came to the same place together: walking across the stage to receive their diplomas. [...]
From chippewa.com: “Dreams come true for local CVTC grads” – Eau Claire — Friday night was a dream come true for Lori Hruza of Chippewa Falls and Devyne Gass of Cornell. Their paths were longer and a bit more winding than many of their fellow Chippewa Valley Technical College graduates, but they all came to the same place together: walking across the stage to receive their diplomas.
Hruza, 42, and Gass, 45, received associate degrees in nursing. They are now well prepared to pass their exams and become registered nurses, opening up greater career opportunities than they have experienced before in their lives.
“Dreams do come true,” said Hruza. “I always wanted to do nursing, and after my third child I decided to go back to school.“
Hruza has been many places in her adult life, as her husband pursued a military career. She worked in child care and taught preschool, at one point in Hawaii. But she always dreamt of becoming a nurse.
“It’s interesting learning about the human body, and I always enjoyed helping people,” she said. It became easier to pursue her dream after her children were older, and she chose CVTC’s nursing program.
Now, ready to enter the nursing profession and after seven years living in Chippewa Falls, she’s excited about a new adventure. “We’re moving to Hawaii!” she said.
Gass has already been working as a licensed practical nurse at a nursing home in Ladysmith. She attended Northcentral Technical College in Wausau some years ago for that training. She’s been wanting to advance her career.
“I wanted to get into a school that’s closer,” she said. “But it took a while to get back into the program.“
Now she’s on the verge of being an RN. It won’t mean an immediate change of scenery for her, but Gass knows it will open up many more employment possibilities.
“It’s been a long time coming,” she said.
That feeling was shared by hundreds of people at UW-Eau Claire’s Zorn Arena, which hosts the CVTC graduation each fall and spring.
CVTC honored 626 graduates in 47 different programs Friday night, with 375 graduates receiving associate degrees and 251 receiving technical diplomas. On Thursday night, CVTC honored 67 graduates at its River Falls campus, including 60 receiving associate degrees and seven receiving technical diplomas.
The most popular programs among this spring’s graduates were nursing, with 60 graduates, criminal justice/law enforcement with 54 graduates, and business management with 53.
Among the graduates was Randi Johnson of Eau Claire, in the dental hygienist program, who was chosen as the student speaker. She urged the graduates to get out of their comfort zones.
“Being willing to step out of our comfort zones led us here,” she said. “Now that we’ve gotten to this point in life, we should push ourselves to keep improving. We will feel uncomfortable in the future, whether it’s in an interview for our dream job or buying our first house. But the moments where we feel unsure usually turn out to be the ones that change our lives and help define who we are.“
Featured speaker Paul Gabriel, executive director of the Wisconsin Technical College District Boards Association, put a new twist on the notion of wishing graduates “good luck.“
“For years, I’ve heard graduates refer to themselves as ’lucky’ to have made it here,” he said. “But, what’s luck really got to do with it? … If you feel fortunate to be here, it’s not luck at all. It’s the success that you have created for yourself.“
From madison.com: "MATC students go to flight school building unmanned drones" -- Hovering just feet above the gym floor at Madison Area Technical College: what some see as the future of flight and others see as a scary vision of a future without privacy. [...]
From madison.com: “MATC students go to flight school building unmanned drones” – Hovering just feet above the gym floor at Madison Area Technical College: what some see as the future of flight and others see as a scary vision of a future without privacy.
At first, it looks like a rudimentary model aircraft — two aluminum tubes flared in a V-shape with eight tiny propellers spaced evenly atop the tubes and four padded wiffle balls below as landing gear. It has powers — remotely scanning and recording product labels — that have businesses drooling at the possibilities for doing warehouse inventory. It’s operated by Gregory Kolaske of Fitchburg.
“This is a hobby gone crazy, a hobby gone wild,” said the soon-to-be-graduate in supervisory management and industrial maintenance. “The sophistication is amazing. It’s cutting-edge.”
It’s also controversial. The craft Kolaske was flying, part of a class of planes called unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, has generated such widespread privacy concerns that it has brought together state Republicans and Democrats in opposition.
Last week a bipartisan group of state legislators introduced a bill to require police to obtain a search warrant before collecting evidence with a drone and disqualify evidence gathered by a drone if a warrant wasn’t obtained first.
“Drones are no longer multimillion-dollar machines and can now be bought by anyone at hobby shops,” said Rep. Chris Taylor, D-Madison. “Our laws must catch up to technology to ensure the public’s right to privacy.”
Despite their infamy as instruments of war abroad and privacy invaders at home, drones are seen by some as a massively expanding technology for use by businesses, researchers and government agencies for peaceful, non-controversial means.
Real estate companies could offer advance tours of high-rise buildings. Police departments could conduct missing-person searches in remote wilderness areas. Environmental groups could deploy them each spring for population counts of threatened species.
UW-Madison researchers have, after obtaining permits, found the craft extremely effective in monitoring coastal hurricanes and collecting environmental data on streams in rural Wisconsin. An industry group projects growth in spending in the technology to total nearly $90 billion in the next decade worldwide, the bulk of it in the U.S.
Thomas Kaminski, a former NASA computer engineer and instructor of industrial maintenance at MATC, sensed the growing opportunities in the field. This spring, for the first time he offered a class for students interested in designing and flying the craft.
Three local businesses — JH Findorff & Son builders, Sanchez Industrial Design, a Middleton environmental monitoring firm, and Matrix Product Development, a Sun Prairie technology firm — donated money for materials and equipment. The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers of Madison gave an additional $1,000 educational grant.
“This technology is important,” Kaminski said. “It gets you into the air like a bird.”
What’s new is the ability to attach high-tech gadgets to the planes that essentially allow them to fly themselves, usually at lower altitudes than piloted craft can reach, using computer-generated models. While aloft, they can collect a vast array of data, whether through high-tech cameras or sensors.
Another change: the cost. Kaminski held up a half-dollar-sized black chip called a microcontroller that serves as the devices’ navigation and guidance system.
“Thirty five years ago, this would have cost half a million dollars,” he said. “Now, it’s $50.”
The 12 students in the class worked in teams to build four drones, splitting up duties that included heavy doses of electronics and computer programming plus the mechanical tasks of constructing and repairing the planes.
Their task was to design each plane with a specific industry task in mind. For example, the plane Kolaske was flying on Friday was rigged up with a product scanner to take inventory remotely.
They took advantage of freely available software online.
“It’s amazing how much work people have done to make this software available to everyone,” said Bernard Brauer of Middleton, who’s graduating this week with a degree in electrical engineering technology. “I’m taken aback by that.”
On Friday, the class took their creations to the college’s gym to go flying. The Federal Aviation Administration currently bans flying drones for commercial purposes or within three miles of an airport, forcing the students to stay inside. It might have been for the best.
“We’re all fairly green flyers,” Brauer said shortly after a classmate’s drone crashed with a fairly spectacular thud into one of the gym’s walls. They created a “wall of flame” to display all the mangled parts from flights gone wrong.
By last Friday, most of the flights got off the ground and landed safely, a sign they’d overcome their early struggles.
“We’ve had some spectacular crashes,” said Matt Filutowicz of Madison. “It takes months to gather the confidence and skill to do this well.”
The planes are designed to be hybrids, able to be controlled remotely like traditional model aircraft but also programmed for autopilot with no human at the controls.
None of the class’ craft quite got up to piloting itself, though the plane designed by Brauer and partner Rahim Errouhi of Fitchburg came close.
The students reported learning a lot about the expanding technology and having plenty of fun along the way. They’re not likely to be able to use their skills in the near future, as the FAA isn’t expected to lift its current ban on drones for commercial uses until 2015.
First Urban Farm student joins Gateway grads May 15 2013
From journaltimes.com: "First Urban Farm student joins Gateway grads" -- A Kenosha woman accepted her diploma Tuesday night, becoming the first student to graduate from Gateway Technical College’s Urban Farm advanced certificate program. [...]
From journaltimes.com: “First Urban Farm student joins Gateway grads” – KENOSHA — A Kenosha woman accepted her diploma Tuesday night, becoming the first student to graduate from Gateway Technical College’s Urban Farm advanced certificate program.
Diana Haglund was joined by about 340 fellow Gateway graduates at the ceremony held at the University of Wisconsin–Parkside Sports and Activity Center, 900 Wood Road, in Kenosha, that recognized those graduating from the 2013 spring and summer semesters.
“It’s really nice to see someone who grabs something like this and takes off with it,” said Gateway Urban Farm Director and horticulture instructor Kate Jerome about Haglund, the first person to receive a certificate from the program which started in the spring of 2012. Haglund also received two associates’ degrees in horticulture, according to Gateway spokesman Lee Colony.
The ceremony recognized 770 prospective students from the 2013 spring and summer semesters. The total number of students in this year’s class is lower than previous years because Gateway held its inaugural December graduation ceremony in 2012, which recognized 527 students, according to Colony.
The 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award was presented to Waukegan Fire Department firefighter and paramedic Nathan Skewes, of Yorkville, who graduated in 2006 from the college’s Fire Science program. Skewes has been recognized for his excellence by his employer and recently qualified for the world finals of the Firefighter Combat Challenge, in which contestants compete against one another in a physically demanding course that simulates on-the-job situations.
The night’s keynote address was delivered by Jean Moran, CEO of Label Makers, Inc., who is credited with introducing a number of programs designed to grow the company and empower employees, including continuing education and tuition reimbursement programs.
Earlier on Tuesday, a ceremony was held for the college’s high school graduation and HSED/GED completion.
A student from each county’s campus was awarded the Second Effort Award and a $250 Gateway scholarship. The recipients were Nick Greening from the Racine campus, Shenendoah Doran from the Kenosha campus and Darien Martinez from the Elkhorn campus.
Walker stops at NWTC for Jobs Tour May 15 2013
From nbc26.com: "Walker stops in Green Bay for Jobs Tour " -- Governor Scott Walker talks manufacturing and jobs Monday at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. [...]
From nbc26.com: “Walker stops in Green Bay for Jobs Tour” – Governor Scott Walker talks manufacturing and jobs Monday at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.
He was part of a round-table discussion at NWTC. The Governor says his main goal Is to make it easier to create jobs In our state. “Manufacturing is still our bread and butter,” Walker explained. “It’s about 20 percent of the state’s GDP. It’s a little bit higher here in the northeast, and so today is important.. working with the chamber here and our regional partners to talk about manufacturing.”
The Governor says he plans to take part in similar discussions all throughout Wisconsin.
target="_blank">From dailyunion.com: "Madison College-Fort welds relationship with industries" -- Job seekers in Jefferson County are finding more opportunities to be trained in programs that allow them to enter the workforce quickly, thanks to the expanded Madison Area Technical College campus in Fort Atkinson. [...]
From dailyunion.com: “Madison College-Fort welds relationship with industries” — Job seekers in Jefferson County are finding more opportunities to be trained in programs that allow them to enter the workforce quickly, thanks to the expanded Madison Area Technical College campus in Fort Atkinson.
In September, a ribbon-cutting saluted completion of a $1.9 million campus renovation and expansion that was part of the larger $134 million vision of growth within the college’s 12-county district.
Madison College’s $134 million Smart Community Plan for new facilities, renovations and upgrades at the affiliated campuses was approved by voters in the November 2010 election. The referendum received nearly 60 percent of the ballots from electors in the technical college district.
The plan called for meeting the increasing demand of local residents who need affordable education and job training during a time of struggle in the economy while Madison College’s student enrollment and waiting lists are at all-time highs, and interest rates and construction costs are low.
The Fort Atkinson project consisted of remodeling 3,000 square feet of existing space and adding 6,000 square feet of new space. The centerpiece of the expansion was the 3,000-square-foot metal fabrication/manufacturing lab.
Lynn Forseth, executive director for economic and workforce development in Madison College’s Eastern Region, said that starting with the spring semester, the Fort Atkinson campus has been able to provide degree-credit classes for the welding and industrial maintenance mechanic programs, customized contract training for area businesses and a middle college program for high school-aged students.
“It has really taken off,” Forseth said. “I do believe that what we constructed through the referendum was a good opportunity for this campus. It is serving our local industries.”
For many years, Madison College’s Fort Atkinson campus had been fortunate enough to be able to use nearby Fort Atkinson High School’s technical education lab for welding and manufacturing classes. Since 2001, evening classes were offered at the high school.
Prior to that, when the Fort Atkinson campus first was built, there was a welding lab. Over the years, the equipment and ventilation system grew old, prompting administrators to clean out that space and work with the School District of Fort Atkinson when the high school was built nearby.
However, at the high school, the Madison College courses had no room to expand and were limited to flexibility in scheduling. Another concern related to equipment maintenance.
With the addition of the 3,000-square-foot metal fabrication/manufacturing lab at Madison College’s campus, training opportunities have increased dramatically.
“All of the effort that went into providing the training needed by our industrial members is paying off,” said Fort Atkinson Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Dianne Hrobsky. “The facility and the quality of the training that we are getting out of the Fort Atkinson campus is removing some of the obstacles that have impeded growth for so many businesses.”
She noted that the industrial sector is strong in this area and is vital to the community’s overall economic base.
Classes are offered at the Fort Atkinson campus in computerized numerical control, welding, oxy-fuel/plasma cutting, manual machining, programmable logic controllers and metal fabrication.
Planning sessions recently were held with various industries along the State Highway 26 corridor to determine their needs. Forseth said the top skills sought are welders, machinists, CNC operators and industrial maintenance mechanics.
“We’re serving all of those needs with this lab and we would like to continue to provide that level of instruction,” Forseth said.
Through only one semester of instruction, students who have taken classes in the new lab already have been hired by area companies. One Janesville-area company hired three of the Fort Atkinson campus’ students.
Forseth said Madison College already is looking ahead to the potential next step, which is development of a new program offering in overall metal fabrication.
Currently, the welding program is a one-year diploma program, and some students, many of whom also have a job, struggle to have the time to take all the required classes while maintaining employment.
She said schedules are designed to accommodate those working adult students as much as possible.
Generally, the jobs that are available are in more customized manufacturing.
“You need people to be able to read blueprints and make those modifications and make adjustments to meet the customers needs,” Forseth said. “We know most of the manufacturing and production is going to be customized work that requires a higher level of skill.”
Kondex founder heads MPTC commencement lineup May 14 2013
From fdlreporter.com: "Kondex founder heads MPTC commencement lineup" -- Jim Wessing, co-founder and president of Kondex Corp. in Lomira, will be the keynote speaker at commencement ceremonies for Fond du Lac’s Moraine Park Technical College. [...]
From fdlreporter.com: “Kondex founder heads MPTC commencement lineup” – Jim Wessing, co-founder and president of Kondex Corp. in Lomira, will be the keynote speaker at commencement ceremonies for Fond du Lac’s Moraine Park Technical College.
Graduation will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 18, at the Fond du Lac High School Field House. MPTC President Sheila Ruhland president will preside over the ceremony.
“I am both humbled and honored to be the keynote speaker at MPTC’s 2013 Commencement Ceremony,” said Wessing, who noted his wife, Sue, earned three separate degrees from Moraine Park while they were raising their family and growing Kondex. “I have experienced firsthand the feeling of accomplishment by Sue as our children and I applauded her each time she walked across the stage, realizing the completion of another milestone in her life.”
Associate of applied science degrees, technical diplomas and certificates will be presented by Moraine Park District Board Chair Dr. Richard Zimman, Vice Chair Vernon Jung Jr., and board members Donna Goetz and Shirley Kitchen.
Wessing is a trustee of the University of Wisconsin Memorial Union Building Association and Ag Sector Board Director of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. He is past president of the Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association and the Wisconsin Buy Recycled Business Alliance.
Wessing, who received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is also a member of The Executive Committee and a long-time Junior Achievement instructor. His awards include FEMA’s Golden Presidents Club and C.P. Nicholson Memorial Award. Wessing was the 2000 CCLT Distinguished Graduate and in 2009 was named the Lomira Future Business Leaders of America Business Person of the Year.
Kondex was presented with the 2013 C.L. Greiber Award of Merit by the Moraine Park Association of Career and Technical Education in recognition of contributions to the improvement, promotion, development and progress of career and technical education in Wisconsin.
From greenbaypressgazette.com: "Mother of 8, battling melanoma, earns paralegal degree" -- Most days Carol Pingel concentrates on chewing the ear of the elephant rather than trying to eat the whole thing. [...]
From greenbaypressgazette.com: “Mother of 8, battling melanoma, earns paralegal degree” – Most days Carol Pingel concentrates on chewing the ear of the elephant rather than trying to eat the whole thing.
It’s a catchy reminder to focus on small, manageable goals. And it is something that has helped the mother of eight complete an associate degree at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College while cancer slowly kills her. She graduates with honors Thursday.
Pingel has Stage 4 melanoma. She sometimes feels too ill to get out of bed. She has worked on homework in the bathroom and she has thrown up on her laptop’s keyboard. She used a feeding tube last month. She’s had crying jags.
“But I needed to finish, “ Pingel said. “If you make a goal, it is doable. That’s such an important message I want to pass on to my kids.
“Eventually, they’re going to have to be without me, and if I can leave any lasting memory, it’s that fighting, goal-getting, reaching for your dreams, you can do it. That’s what I would like my legacy for them to be.”
In high school, Pingel — now 44 — dreamed of becoming an attorney, but said “eight kids later, decided a two-year paralegal degree was the next best thing.”
Pingel lives with her husband Jeff in Embarrass. Four of her eight kids — who range in age from 5 to 26 — live at home.
The busy mom completed a mix of online and in-class courses to earn her degree. She also interns with the Brown County District Attorney’s Office, and would like to work in a public defender’s office.
Pagel receives her diploma on Thursday night, but money is tight, and a friend helped Pingel buy her cap and gown. And another covered her fee to enter the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society.
Not giving up
About a year and a half ago, Pingel learned she has a melanoma that eventually will take her life. Doctors don’t know how long she has, and Pingel said her goal is to live long enough to see her youngest child, now 5, graduate from high school.
“I don’t know if that’s possible,” she said, with tears in her eyes. “But that is my goal.”
Pingel acknowledges her cancer, but she has plans for the future.
“My degree was one of the things I wanted to finish. I’m hoping to find a job, with an employer who is willing to work with my illness.”
Pingel takes 27 pills a day and she said intravenous chemotherapy treatments every other week are painful. Yet it’s the medications and treatments that are keeping her alive, she said.
“One morning I wake up fine,” she said. “The next day I wake up and I can’t move.”
Pingel has battled cancer for about half her life. She was diagnosed with cervical cancer 21 years ago, and went in and out of remission for years. About four years ago doctors found cancer cells on her cervix, ovary and uterus. She had major surgery and thought she would be free of cancer. But a routine biopsey check uncovered the melanoma — inside her body.
Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Tumors often resemble moles, and some develop from moles. Melanoma kills about 8,790 people in the U.S. each year, according to the nonprofit foundation.
The American Cancer Society estimates that about 120,000 new cases are diagnosed in the U.S. each year. More than 68,000 of those cases were invasive melanomas in 2010, the most recent information available. More than 29,000 cases were diagnosed in women.
“I think the worst part is the side affects,” Pingel said. “The chemo sores on my face and arms, the scarf or bald head, those are the things that make people start to look at you weird.”
Pingel’s oldest son, 26-year-old Joseph Reese serves in the Wisconsin National Guard and is stationed in Afghanistan. Her daughter, Sunshinnia, 22, will graduate with honors from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire three days after Pingel receives her diploma.
Daughter Rhondalay, 20, is a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and will be home for the summer.
Her other children include 10-year-old Laurel, described as a hugger by Pingel, and 13-year-old Jeffrey, a protector. Five-year-old Johnathon has autism, and 23-year-old daughter Chandra Reese has two daughters of her own.
Pingel said her children have been a big help, including 15-year-old Teddilyn, who helps manage the household. The family often eats spaghetti or macaroni and cheese as easy meals.
“If it’s a good day, I’m up early getting ready for my internship and school, “ Pingel said. “Later, I help the kids with homework, everything from geometry to kindergarten assignments. At 7 p.m., when the kids go to bed, I take my night medications and hopefully I’m in bed by midnight.”
Completing college became important when she realized her cancer had no cure, Pingel said.
“There were certain things I wanted to do in life,” Pingel said. “I got a bronze medal in ballroom dancing. I got a motorcycle license. Now I will have my degree.”
The Pingel family doesn’t splurge much, but spends time playing board games and watching movies. Carol Pingel has long loved ballroom dancing and met Jeff more than two decades ago on a dance floor. Now she watches as her children ballroom dance.
“I gave it up two years ago when my heart started acting up,” Pingel said. “But dancing has always been a part of me, and now it’s being passed on.”
And she hasn’t checked off all the items on her bucket list. She’s looking to find a paying job, and would love to see the Grand Canyon.
“I don’t care about New York or Disney World, but I’ve always wanted to see the Grand Canyon,” she said. “I’m sure it’s beautiful.”
Sharon Chacon, a behavioral science teacher at NWTC, said she shared a part of Pingel’s story with one of her classes during preparation for an exam.
“I wanted to help them keep from getting too upset over one test in the greater scheme of things,” Chacon said. She told Pingel that after the class discussed her story, “The mood shifted. Students that had stopped trying, began trying again. There was more laughter and helping.”
Pingel takes it all in stride.
“I just want everyone to know, everybody gets dealt a hand in life,” she said. “This is the one I’ve been dealt.
“When life gives you a bald head, grab a scarf and move on.”
GTC offers ‘fab lab’ for small-business use May 13 2013
From jsonline.com: "Gateway Technical College offers its 'fab lab' in Sturdevant for small-business use" -- When Pioneer Products Inc. was asked to make the tooling for a boat part that was designed in Germany, cast in Missouri, for use by a manufacturer in Florida, the Racine company used three-dimensional printing for a prototype that could be shared by everyone in the manufacturing process. [...]
From jsonline.com: “Gateway Technical College offers its ‘fab lab’ in Sturtevant for small-business use” – When Pioneer Products Inc. was asked to make the tooling for a boat part that was designed in Germany, cast in Missouri, for use by a manufacturer in Florida, the Racine company used three-dimensional printing for a prototype that could be shared by everyone in the manufacturing process.
With 3-D printing, objects can be replicated by laying down successive, ultrathin sheets of plastic, metal or other materials from a computer drawing.
It’s like using a hot glue gun that’s controlled by a computer.
The process, more correctly called additive manufacturing, is already widely used in industry. Elaborate “printers” construct sophisticated parts, not just with plastic, but also with metals.
For the rest of us, a basic 3-D printer, fed by spools of plastic filament, can be bought for as little as $1,300.
As the cost of the technology comes down, more manufacturers, inventors and artists are using it to make either prototypes or finished products.
Three-dimensional printing can save a lot of time and money in the design process, said Dan Defaut, a manager with Pioneer Products, a machine shop that does work in a variety of industries including automotive, marine, medical and aerospace.
Gateway Technical College, in Sturtevant, has partnered with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and other colleges on rapid prototyping projects that use 3-D printing.
Manufacturers – and anyone else – can use Gateway’s design fabrication laboratory for training or building a prototype with the latest technologies.
“A company like S.C. Johnson has a full slate of 3-D printers and experts on staff, so they can handle this. But smaller companies are working with us so they don’t have to buy all of this equipment,” said Greg Herker, fabrication lab program coordinator.
“We are targeting small and midsize companies. We also are trying to target more artists, architects and others, because that’s how the real world works. Products aren’t just designed by engineers,” Herker said.
An array of uses
Gateway is part of a not-for-profit program aimed at developing and expanding industry in southeast Wisconsin and northern Illinois.
That program, called the State of Ingenuity Initiative, funds a business incubator and laboratory in Rockford, Ill., that does rapid prototyping with 3-D printing using materials not yet available at Gateway.
“Our function in life is to help businesses grow so they can hire more people,” said Mike Cobert, director of the Eiger Lab, in Rockford.
Three-dimensional printers are now making all kinds of things, including medical devices, replacement parts for airliners, architectural models, jewelry and customized salt shakers.
Eiger Lab was hired to replicate museum artifacts in Italy because, by Italian law, the original items could not be taken from the museum for traveling exhibits.
The copies were sent to an Illinois company that cast them in bronze.
Eiger did something similar for the U.S. Capitol, where officials wanted to replace a chandelier. It also has done work for large companies that want 3-D printing for projects but don’t want to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on the advanced equipment required for that type of work, partly because the technology is constantly changing.
Three-dimensional printing is well-suited for short production runs, one-off items where setting up a full production line wouldn’t be practical or affordable, and to make items suitable for sales pitches and meetings with investors.
It’s used for making customized prosthetics, where an exact fit is critical.
“Originally, this was just a model-making program. But right now, I think we are at the point where we are seeing many of the things that can be done with 3-D printing,” Herker said.
Affordable printers are lowering the cost of entry into manufacturing in the same way that e-commerce lowered the barriers to the sale of goods and services, according to Gartner Inc., a Stamford, Conn., firm that follows technology trends.
Printers for hobbyists, who want to make things like jewelry and craft items, cost less than $2,000. Recently, the office supply retailer Staples began offering a 3-D printer that can produce objects in 16 colors and is aimed at the small-business market.
“It’s not that hard to operate the equipment. Once you have the design file, it’s almost like sitting at your computer and selecting the ‘print’ button,” Herker said.
The technology has spawned businesses such as 3D Creations, a Milwaukee firm that envisions a world where people have a printer at home that could download and make a replacement part for something like a vacuum cleaner.
The printers also are useful tools for inventors, said Jesse DePinto, co-founder of 3D Creations.
“It’s kind of like the do-it-yourself culture on steroids. There are people who want to make their own products, either to save money or because they can’t find what they want at the store,” he said.
Three-dimensional scanners, which scan objects and create the drawings used by 3-D printers to make things, are advancing the technology in ways now only imaginable.
“Ten years from now, assuming there’s a utopia where everybody has their own printer, not everybody will know how to design things with CAD (computer-aided design) software. So the easiest way would be to have a hand-held wand where you could scan something and replicate it,” DePinto said.
3-D PRINTED GUNS
A Texas company recently said it used a 3-D printer to make a plastic gun capable of firing real bullets and passing unnoticed through metal detectors, and that it posted the schematics online for anyone to use.
Critics say the technology means someone could open a gun factory in their garage, and that plastic guns could be manufactured by terrorists using readily available 3-D printers.
In theory, anyone could download the plans and use them to manufacture a weapon.
Grants to WTCS for alternative fuel training May 13 2013
From madison.com: "Grants help fuel CNG growth" -- Since 2009, the Wisconsin Clean Transportation Program has been promoting and doling out $15 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Energy to aid government and private companies with alternative fuel programs. [...]
From madison.com: “Grants help fuel CNG growth” – Since 2009, the Wisconsin Clean Transportation Program has been promoting and doling out $15 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Energy to aid government and private companies with alternative fuel programs.
The grants have helped build 13 private and four public alternative fueling or electric charging stations and has deployed 278 vehicles, with another 35 planned.
Officials estimate the program will displace over 1.6 million gallons of petroleum a year.
CNG-converted vehicles from the program include 19 for Dane County and 26 for the city of Milwaukee.
Another series of grants totaling more than $1.2 million from the Department of Energy is also helping CNG development.
It includes a $500,000 grant for planning, training and infrastructure development in a partnership with the Wisconsin Technical College System and over $764,000 for the Lake Michigan Corridor Alternative Fuel Implementation Initiative that includes Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana.
From starjournalnow.com: "More Northwoods students earn Nicolet College credits" -- Northwoods high school students are increasingly taking advantage of the chance to earn college credits while still in high school through Nicolet College. [...]
From starjournalnow.com: “More Northwoods students earn Nicolet College credits while in high school” – Northwoods high school students are increasingly taking advantage of the chance to earn college credits while still in high school through Nicolet College.
The fastest-growing and increasingly popular option is through Nicolet’s transcripted credit classes, which has seen enrollment jump 75 percent in the past four years. Currently, 461 area high school juniors and seniors are on track to earn college credits in the 2012-13 academic year. The program started between Nicolet and Rhinelander and Elcho high schools in 2009 with 264 students.
“This is a fantastic way for high school students to get a jump start on their college education,” said Nicolet College President Elizabeth Burmaster. “We’re very excited with the success of the program and expect it to grow in the future as more Northwoods high school students take advantage of this valuable opportunity. By taking transcripted credit classes, students can shorten the amount of time they are in college. This allows them to enter the workforce sooner and also typically save money on what they pay for a college education.”
Credits earned count toward both their high school diploma and college degree. These college-level courses are taught right in the high schools by instructors who meet specific certification requirements, said Teri Phalin, PK-16 coordinator and Career Coach at Nicolet. Currently, Nicolet offers transcripted credit classes in business, accounting, welding, automotive technology, and medical assistant, and recently added classes in the University Transfer program, she explained.
Statewide, more than 21,000 high school students take dual credit classes through the 16 colleges in the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS).
To celebrate this success, Gov. Scott Walker declared Tuesday, April 30, as Dual Credit Day in Wisconsin. WTCS President Morna Foy and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers commemorated the day at a special event at Lomira High School, the site of the first dual credit career prep program.
“These partnerships not only ensure that the students know what to expect in college,” Foy said, “but the college credits they earn can also result in cost savings and an accelerated career path.”
With an estimated 65 percent of available jobs over the next 10 years requiring skills provided by technical education, the state’s economy depends on students being college- and career-ready upon high school graduation.
“We need every child to graduate from high school prepared for success in college or career,” said Evers. “Dual credit programs allow kids to earn college credit at their high schools with no cost to their families, all while gaining valuable skills that serve local communities and businesses well.”
FVTC graduates follow their dreams May 13 2013
From thenorthwestern.com: "FVTC graduates follow their dreams" -- Molly Willis tried the traditional four-year college route. But after struggling to find the path she wanted to follow, the 25-year-old Oshkosh woman left the university behind, taking a job as a reception with the Bergstrom Automotive group. [...]
From thenorthwestern.com: “FVTC graduates follow their dreams” – Molly Willis tried the traditional four-year college route.
But after struggling to find the path she wanted to follow, the 25-year-old Oshkosh woman left the university behind, taking a job as a reception with the Bergstrom Automotive group.
Working closely with the administrative assistant, Willis realized that was what she wanted: a job that kept her busy every day, but never doing the same thing.
The Brookfield native began taking classes at Fox Valley Technical College in the administrative professional program, while she continued to work full-time.
“I knew what I didn’t want,” Willis said. “But (FVTC) had the administrative professional program and I thought that would be perfect for me and what I was looking for.”
Willis, along with nearly 1,000 others walked across the stage and collected their diplomas at Fox Valley Technical College’s spring commencement ceremonies at Kolf Sports Center Sunday.
Some of the graduates started at FVTC after graduating from high school, others waited before finding the path they wanted to go down and still others were switching career paths.
“Its never too late to follow your dream. You just have to have it. With the right amount of determination you can accomplish anything,” student commencement speaker Chandra Riley, a graduate of the culinary arts program, said. “All you have to do is set your mind to it. Visualize yourself achieving your goal and the steps to get there will fall into place on their own.”
For Abu Muhit, that dream involved a trip across the ocean and the realization of the vital role automobiles play in the United States.
The 25-year-old Oshkosh resident came to the United States from Bangladesh in 2008. Upon arriving, he realized that it was very common to have an automobile for everyday use and transportation.
“The place I’m from, we never had any cars,” said Muhit, who will be working at CarX in Fond du Lac as a technician. “I wanted to know about cars and how they work.”
Muhit originally enrolled at FVTC to improve his English. He eventually began taking classes in the automotive technology program, with hopes of owning his own auto shop in the future.
“You’re going to walk off this stage today and start a new life,” said Catherine Tierney, the president and chief executive officer at Community First Credit Union, who gave the commencement address.
For Willis, the new life will involve continuing her job at Bergstrom Automotive, where she will work as executive assistant to CEO John Bergstrom. It also means the possibility of continuing her education at a later date.
“Just having my associate’s degree, my options are much more open,” she said. “I’m seeing where the chips fall now.”
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. [...]
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.”
County donates semi-tractor to NWTC May 09 2013
From greenbaypressgazette.com: "NWTC students will use donated semi-tractor from county" -- The Door County Highway Department has made a donation to Northeast Wisconsin Technical College that the school says will advance diesel training in Northeastern Wisconsin. [...]
From greenbaypressgazette.com: “NWTC students will use donated semi-tractor from county” – The Door County Highway Department has made a donation to Northeast Wisconsin Technical College that the school says will advance diesel training in Northeastern Wisconsin. The Department presented a Peterbilt Model 378 semi-tractor for use in NWTC’s Diesel Equipment Technician and Diesel Equipment Technology programs. Both programs are offered on NWTC’s Sturgeon Bay campus.
The donated tractor will offer students exposure to all aspects of truck systems repair, including electronic diesel engine technology, power trains, electrical systems, steering, brakes, suspension and air conditioning.
“The key to the success of our Diesel Equipment programs is offering our students a chance to work on modern equipment,” said Joe Draves, NWTC associate dean of trades and engineering technologies. “NWTC recognizes the importance of this donation and appreciates the support of the Door County Highway Department in developing future diesel technicians.”
With the diesel industry on the upswing and the current work force aging, demand for skilled technicians is high. The Department of Labor expects diesel technician positions to grow 15 percent by 2020.
“The Door County Highway Department is pleased to assist the NWTC Diesel program, which is an extremely valuable part of our community,” said John Kolodziej, Door County Highway Commissioner. “We are giving back because many of our employees have gained valuable training and education from the NWTC program.”
NWTC offers both a two-year technical diploma and a two-year associate degree in diesel equipment. Graduates of the programs are equipped to diagnose, service and repair a variety of diesel-powered equipment.
From leadertelegram.com: "New CVTC dental hygienist grad focuses now on charity work" -- Randi Johnson's luggage and passport will be ready at home while she crosses the stage at Friday evening's Chippewa Valley Technical College commencement ceremony. [...]
From leadertelegram.com: “New CVTC dental hygienist grad focuses now on charity work” – Randi Johnson’s luggage and passport will be ready at home while she crosses the stage at Friday evening’s Chippewa Valley Technical College commencement ceremony.
Just hours after getting her associate degree, the 22-year-old Eau Claire woman and others from CVTC will be on a plane to Mexico to use their skills as dental hygienists to help children at an orphanage in Puebla, near Mexico City.
She’s hoping this is just her first trip of many to provide charitable dental care.
“My main thing is, I wanted to do mission work,” said the 2009 Eau Claire Memorial High School graduate.
The mission trip will last from Saturday through Thursday of next week, during which she and five others from CVTC’s dental hygiene program will educate 75 children and teenagers in oral health and provide a standard cleaning.
Milwaukee dentists had been making the trip for years to do routine checkups. Megan Douglas, a 2011 CVTC graduate, suggested the idea of adding dental hygienists to give the children tips to keep their teeth healthy.
“What kids haven’t had is the prevention piece,” CVTC dental hygienist instructor Debbie Schumacher said.
Schumacher, Douglas, Johnson and three more CVTC students will be the first dental hygienists to make the journey.
After getting to know the children on Sunday, they will do 75 cleanings during the following three days.
“This isn’t vacation, and we know that,” Schumacher said. “Our mission is to provide care for all of the kids.”
They’ll bring donated dental supplies and money for toothbrushes along with them.
Johnson’s five years of middle and high school Spanish might come in handy, though she notes that the Mexican orphanage has English classes for the children. The CVTC team also has a cheat sheet of common dental terms translated into Spanish.
This is Johnson’s first foray into mission work, though she has raised money for charity, and her family sponsors a couple of children in India.
Johnson hopes to fit at least one mission trip in per year during her career as a dental hygienist. She’s had an interest in oral hygiene since she’d enjoyed going to the dentist as a child.
“Once I was in high school, I knew that’s what I wanted to do,” she said.
With only a dozen spots in each year of the CVTC dental hygiene program, Johnson got on the waiting list during her senior year at Memorial.
The program currently has a 120-name-long waiting list to get in, Schumacher noted, but it usually ends up taking three to four years for a student to get to the top of the list.
There used to be 18 spots for students each year, she said, but that was exceeding the CVTC area’s need for dental hygienists.
“At about 12, we’re seeing people are getting jobs,” Schumacher said.
After graduating this week, Johnson plans to continue her education through online classes to achieve a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene.
State officials pitch apprenticeship program May 09 2013
From lacrossetribune.com: "State officials pitch apprenticeship program" -- What do you want to be when you grow up? It’s a question asked of every child, and the answers aren’t encouraging for manufacturers. “Wisconsin is facing a skilled workers gap,” said Jonathan Barry, deputy secretary of the state Department of Workforce Development. [...]
From lacrossetribune.com: “State officials pitch apprenticeship program” – What do you want to be when you grow up? It’s a question asked of every child, and the answers aren’t encouraging for manufacturers.
“Wisconsin is facing a skilled workers gap,” said Jonathan Barry, deputy secretary of the state Department of Workforce Development. “We constantly run into business owners that are having trouble filling skilled positions.”
Barry visited Trane’s Engineering Technology Center in La Crosse on Wednesday to promote the state’s apprenticeship program, a state-school-employer partnership that aims to increase the pool of skilled workers.
“Employers want to hire people who have experience,” Western Technical College President Lee Rasch said, which leaves applicants wondering, “If you don’t have experience, how do you get experience?”
The apprenticeship program allows employers to target promising candidates and offer their own on-the-job training combined with classroom study. Workers get trained while earning wages; the average apprentice made $161,000 during their tenure, which lasts between two and six years.
Here’s how the program works:
The DWD lays out core training and job experience standards for several industries and then customizes the process for each employer. Employees spend about 80 percent of their time on the job and 20 percent in theoretical classroom training, usually provided by the Wisconsin Technical College System.
But sometimes there’s just not interest.
“There’s a mantra that manufacturing is dumb, dirty,” Barry said. “It’s simply not the case. It’s not just bending metal all the time.”
Begun in 1911, the program is nothing new in Wisconsin, but it’s taking on new urgency as more companies lament a skilled worker shortage.
Enrollment dipped by about a third, down to about 10,000, in the past decade, a slide that mirrored general economic trends.
A Georgetown University study found that the skills gap will leave almost a million jobs vacant, most of which already exist and would need refilling after retirements.
A recent La Crosse School District survey cited by Rasch found that only 2 percent of students planned to pursue manufacturing careers.
“Everyone has a dream of going to college,” the district’s Career and Technical Education Coordinator Annette O’Hern said. “And when you have a dream of going to college you don’t think about manufacturing.”
Much of Wednesday’s event focused on finding ways to introduce manufacturing to students in middle school and high school.
“I really believe that’s where it’s at,” Trane’s La Crosse plant manager Brad Tacheny said.
Barry emphasized that the program isn’t trying to squelch four-year colleges but offer a realistic, necessary alternative to the “college paradigm.”
“We need to expose young people to the full range of their choices as early as possible,” he said.
The La Crosse School District is hoping to ramp up that exposure. They plan to introduce an Engineering Academy — also covering manufacturing and architecture — next year. The academy will partner with Trane to provide real-life context and expose kids to manufacturing plants.
The district already offers classes in welding and manufacturing, but they’re not always popular.
“We can’t always get a lot of students interested,” O’Hern said. “We’d like that number to be bigger.”
Parents worry about job security and have encouraged children to pursue white-collar studies and a traditional four-year education.
Karen Morgan, director of the Bureau of Apprentice Standards, called on businesses to take initiative.
“We don’t have enough employers that are actually using the apprenticeship programs to train,” she said.
Barry said schools and state programs shouldn’t be the only ones reaching out to students.
“We in the business community need to be doing some of that,” he said.
The apprenticeship program isn’t just for manufacturing. It offers three trade sectors — construction, industrial/manufacturing, and service, which cover careers from plumbing to cosmetology.
The continuing education helps reinforce that such careers have advancement options, Morgan said.
“It’s only the beginning of their career,” she said. “It’s not a dead end.”
From news.wpr.org: "La Crosse college will build homes with advanced energy efficiency" -- Western Technical College will soon be building three “passive homes”: buildings with a rare design that significantly reduces the amount of energy use. [...]
From wpr.org: “La Crosse college will building homes with advanced energy efficiency” – Western Technical College will soon be building three “passive homes”: buildings with a rare design that significantly reduces the amount of energy use.
A La Crosse neighborhood filled with quaint, single-family houses will become the home for three new, three-bedroom passive houses. In a passive house, heating energy usage can be reduced up to 90 percent. The wall insulation is much thicker than what’s found in a standard home.
Western Technical College architectural technology instructor Mike Poellinger says the air tight windows play a key role in the design.
“The windows actually become part of the heat source. We have a great amount of window glazing on the southern exposure as we’re collecting that heat. It’s minimized on the northern exposure; usually it’s there for lighting a stairwell or secondary lighting, and we minimize on the east and west.”
Poellinger says passive homes are quieter since they don’t have active heaters.
Western is hiring a contractor to start building the first passive home this summer. Western building system technology instructor Josh VandeBerg says students and instructors will be able to study the home as it’s built.
“We’re on this lesson here, talking about air tightness. Ding! Let’s go to the passive house and take a look at it in action. Not only is this house bringing my students to the passive house and the community to the passive house, but it’s also an opportunity to for my students to learn some of the very principles we’re talking about in the classroom.”
The Western Technical College Foundation will sell the homes. There are two other certified passive homes in Wisconsin.
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. [...]
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.”
From leadertelegram.com: "CVTC students learn house construction on the job" -- A group of Chippewa Valley Technical College students is getting hands-on experience building job skills for their futures while helping prospective home buyers at the same time. [...]
From leadertelegram.com: “CVTC students learn house construction on the job” – CHIPPEWA FALLS — A group of Chippewa Valley Technical College students is getting hands-on experience building job skills for their futures while helping prospective home buyers at the same time.
For the past three years CVTC has partnered with the Chippewa County Housing Authority to provide homes for low- to moderate-income residents. CVTC students help build the homes, which are sold to people who may not otherwise be able to afford them.
The homes will be listed for sale at $165,000 apiece, said Ruth Rosenow, Chippewa County Housing Authority director. Purchasers of the homes built by CVTC students must earn at least $22,600 annually but cannot make more than $36,600, she said.
“This program helps CVTC students and, at the same time, the people buying these homes,” Rosenow said.
On Tuesday Matt Burke, a 20-year-old CVTC student from Chippewa Falls, worked on a deck of one of two homes he and 13 college students have built in Chippewa Falls along Stump Lake Road on the city’s east side.
Burke had never worked in construction before signing up for the class. He’s pleased with the finished product and the skills he has learned.
“It’s nice to see what you can accomplish,” Burke said. “I just like working outside. You’re in different places, and you are always doing something different.”
Joe Dahmer, 19, a CVTC student from Menomonie who has helped construct the homes, said he has worked construction jobs with his father since he was 13. He has even traveled to Mexico to build homes as part of church mission trips.
“I really enjoy construction,” Dahmer said. “I decided to go into the program because it’s hands-on, and you can’t do that anywhere else.”
Brian Barth has taught the CVTC residential construction program for the past nine years. He said his students are quick learners who enjoy their work.
“They get the sense of accomplishment at the end of the day,” he said of students building homes.
Students are putting their hands-on construction experience to good use. Of his 14 current students, 11 have construction jobs lined up for after they graduate, Barth said.
“The construction industry, there is going to be an extreme shortage of workers in the next few years,” he said, noting the sector is recovering after several slow years.
Rosenow said her organization purchased eight lots in a neighborhood on the east side of Chippewa Falls to be used as sites for homes built by CVTC students. The two 1,300-square-foot homes built this year have identical floor plans.
The housing authority financed the $235,000 project, with home sale proceeds to go toward the housing authority’s revolving loan fund. Neither of the two homes has been purchased yet, but they would be ready for someone to purchase by Friday, Rosenow said.
From fox11online.com: "Preparation key in search for missing" -- FOND DU LAC - Investigators say having a plan in place to deal with an abduction before it happens is key. [...]
From fox11online.com: “Preparation key in search for missing” – FOND DU LAC – Investigators say having a plan in place to deal with an abduction before it happens is key.
“If something is going to happen, it’s going to happen in the first 24 hours and the quicker we can get on it, the quicker we can get the information out to the general public, the better chance we have of resolving it,” said Lt. Cameron McGee with the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Dept.
McGee says having that plan in place helps allocate resources to the search effort quickly and effectively.
“These things have a tendency to explode very quickly and if we have a plan in place up front, it’s easier to manage, easier to do that because these things they get very big, very fast.”
It’s the kind of training Fox Valley Technical College’s Criminal Justice Training Center provides. Center director Brad Russ trains law enforcement officers on search techniques in missing persons cases.
“Time is of the essence. When we do our training, we talk about the need to mobilize everyone immediately,” said Russ.
McGee say technology helps spread the word of possible abductions quicker than ever before.
“We have Amber Alerts now, we have the resources of the National Center for the Missing and Exploited, other agencies out there today that we didn’t have back then, 10, 20 years ago.”
And Lt. McGee has a warning for those who would even think about harming children…don’t do it in Fond du Lac County.
“If that means calling in state resources or federal resources or whatever it takes, at least around here these cases are dealt with in the absolute highest priority. We have to tolerate a lot of things around here, but when it comes to messing with our children, we don’t have any tolerance for that whatsoever.”
Each February, Fox Valley Tech hosts a national missing persons conference.
The FBI’s most recent report indicates 87,000 active missing persons cases; more than one third of them are children.
Upcycling project at Fox Valley Tech May 09 2013
From nbc26.com: "Upcycling Project at Fox Valley Tech" -- Interior design students at Fox Valley Technical College are re-using what's already been recycled. [...]
From nbc26.com: “Upcycling project at Fox Valley Tech” – Interior design students at Fox Valley Technical College are re-using what’s already been recycled.
Some of this semester’s final designs included “upcycled” art as part of a textile drive for Goodwill Industries. The students use of the art is also aimed at improving understanding of where those textiles come from.
FVTC Interior Design Instructor Kris Figy says, “We learned that there’s a lot of textile waste and we want to bring that to the attention of people, so we wanted a public awareness campaign. So we’ve created a display in our hallway talking about some of the facts.”
The group decided to partner with Goodwill because they have a large amount of resources available to help recycle clothing and textiles.
From sheboyganpress.com: "Lakeshore Technical College celebrates 100-year mark" -- Lakeshore Technical College celebrated its 100th anniversary Wednesday afternoon with an hour-long program that included a student’s tearful testimonial, a Lakeside Foods representative toasting the college with a can of the company’s peas, and two retired LTC presidents helping to unveil a plaque that will be used on an outdoor centennial monument. [...]
From sheboyganpress.com: “Lakeshore Technical College celebrates 100-year mark” – CLEVELAND — Lakeshore Technical College celebrated its 100th anniversary Wednesday afternoon with an hour-long program that included a student’s tearful testimonial, a Lakeside Foods representative toasting the college with a can of the company’s peas, and two retired LTC presidents helping to unveil a plaque that will be used on an outdoor centennial monument.
“I never thought I would say it, but I love being in college,” said Alyssa Young, a student in the Administrative Professional program. “I love going to class and that I don’t really mind doing my homework. And it’s all thanks to amazing staff and faculty here at LTC. My teachers are very understanding, and if I have to miss class because my son is sick … they understand because they’ve been there, too. … This place is like a second home to me and it’s going to be … a sad day when I graduate, but I will always be proud to say that I’m a Lakeshore Technical College graduate for the rest of my life.”
Young decided to enroll after seeing her mom and sister graduate from LTC last year. She said she hadn’t been making enough money to support her 5-year-old son and herself, and when she saw her family members graduate she decided she wanted to earn a degree.
“I want to be able to support my son and give him a better future,” she said.
“Please know that you are the reason that we do what we do,” LTC President Mike Lanser told Young after her emotional remarks.
Dean Halverson, CEO of Leede Research, which has offices in Manitowoc and Minneapolis, attributed the direction his life has taken to his time at LTC. After earning an associate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Manitowoc in 1980, Halverson decided he wanted to pursue a career in marketing, and someone suggested what then was called Lakeshore Technical Institute.
“A lot of people say something changed their life, but I can honestly say it did change my life,” he said.
As a student, he worked on market research surveys for WCUB radio two years in a row and decided he enjoyed it. The day after graduating in June 1982, he typed 96 letters to Wisconsin radio stations announcing the formation of Leede Research. The company will celebrate its 36th anniversary in June and has a staff of just under 85.
He attributes his ability to make a living through his own company “to what happened here, and really what happened here that was so unique was bringing together students, instructors and thebusiness community and doing it in a way that was very hands-on.”
Richard Opie, an instructor in the paralegal program, speaking on behalf of the faculty, said technical colleges are “uniquely adaptable to the changing needs of the community. We come up with new programs … within six months of their request. … If there’s a need in the community we come up with it.”
Technical colleges also are open to students of all ability levels and allow students to meet their goals within a year or two, Opie said.
Tom Reilly, senior vice president-human resources for Manitowoc-based Lakeside Foods, which has been in operation for 125 years, provided employer remarks.
“What Lakeside and LTC know is the secret for longevity and success, and that is satisfying your customers, especially with their changing expectations and demands,” Reilly said.
Lakeshore Technical College achieves success through “phenomenal facilities” and “a terrific staff,” he said just before toasting the college with a can of Lakeside peas.
Retired LTC presidents Dennis Ladwig, who served in that capacity from 1988-2003 when Lanser took over, and Fred Nierode, who was president from 1967-88, assisted with the dedication of a plaque that will be used for a centennial monument. The monument will be part of a garden that will be designed and developed by the school’s horticulture students on the west side of the Lakeshore Building “that we hope to have in place by the fall,” Lanser said. A time capsule will be placed under the monument.
LTC used the occasion to present its first TopTech Awards, which will become annual and are designed to recognize K-12 educators. This year’s recipients from Manitowoc County are Ron Schneider and Dave Teske from the Kiel Area School District, and from Sheboygan County the recipient is Ed Hughes from Sheboygan Falls.
The celebration also included the national anthem sung by LTC student Ruby Garcia; presentation of the governor’s proclamation of May 8, 2013, as Lakeshore Technical College Day in the state of Wisconsin by Reggie Newson, secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development; remarks by LTC District Board Chairman John Lukas and Wisconsin Technical College System Board President Mark Tyler; and comments from LTC alumna Shirl Breunig and support staff representative Kelly Carpenter.
From biztimes.com: "Walker names Council on Workforce Investment" -- Gov. Scott Walker has named the new membership of the Council on Workforce Investment, a federally mandated panel that will advise Walker and the Department of Workforce Development on the allocation of federal workforce development funds. [...]
From biztimes.com: “Walker names Council on Workforce Investment” – Gov. Scott Walker has named the new membership of the Council on Workforce Investment, a federally mandated panel that will advise Walker and the Department of Workforce Development on the allocation of federal workforce development funds.
The council will be responsible for approving the Workforce Investment Act plan each state is required to create each year. It coordinates the efforts of Wisconsin’s 12 regional workforce investment boards.
“As we look to target substantial investments to develop the workforce and help Wisconsinites successfully pursue family-supporting careers and find true independence, the Council on Workforce Investment will provide valuable input with representatives from business, education, legislative and other key groups,” Walker said. “My administration’s continued focus on creating jobs will guide the work of the Council as we look to address the skills gap and fill employers’ current and future labor market needs.”
Mary Isbister, president of General Metalworks Corporation in Mequon, will serve as chair of the council. She has experience service on the boards of several organizations, including the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce and the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership, and was formerly the vice chair of the Council on Workforce Investment.
Mike Laszkiewicz, vice president and general manager of Power Controls at Rockwell Automation, will be vice chair. He is currently the chair of the national Manufacturing Council, which advises the secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce on manufacturing issues.
Reggie Newson, secretary of the DWD, will serve as executive director.
The other members are:
- David Brukardt, associate vice president for economic development, University of Wisconsin System, Madison
- Alan Petelinsek, president and CEO, Power Test Inc., Sussex
- County Executive Allen Buechel, Fond du Lac County
- Rep. Warren Petryk, Wisconsin State Assembly, 93rd District
- Jeffrey Clark, president and CEO, Waukesha Metal Products, Sussex
- Dawn Pratt, human resources and EEO officer, Payne & Dolan, Fitchburg
- Morna Foy, president, Wisconsin Technical College System, Madison
- Mark Reihl, executive director, Wisconsin State Council of Carpenters, Madison
- Sarit Singhal, president and CEO, Superior Support Resources Inc., Milwaukee
- Grailing Jones, director of owner/operator small business development, Schneider Finance Inc., Green Bay
- Howard Teeter, president and managing partner, Anteco Pharma LLC, Lodi
- Theresa Jones, vice president of diversity and inclusion strategies, Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, Brookfield
- Sen. Tom Tiffany, Wisconsin State Senate, 12th District
- Sen. Julie Lassa, Wisconsin State Senate, 24th District
- Rep. Robin Vos, Wisconsin State Assembly, 63rd District
- County Executive Daniel Vrakas, Waukesha County
- Terrance McGowan, president, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 139, Milwaukee
- Brian White, president, General Electric-Waukesha Gas Engines, Waukesha
- Dan Mella, principal, Plymouth High School, Plymouth
- Wyman Winston, executive director, Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority, Madison
- David Mitchell, president/COO, Monarch Corp., Milwaukee
- Rep. Josh Zepnick, Wisconsin State Assembly, 9th District
- Alan “Kent” Olson, president, Olson Tire and Auto Services Inc., Wausau
Changes in GED bring diploma scams May 07 2013
From gazettextra.com: "Changes to GED program could make it harder to get degree" -- If there’s an urgent need, somebody will concoct a scam to exploit it. That’s what’s happening with upcoming changes in the GED, or General Education Degree, the program that helps people get high school diplomas. [...]
From gazettextra.com: “Changes to GED program could make it harder to get degree” – JANESVILLE — If there’s an urgent need, somebody will concoct a scam to exploit it.
That’s what’s happening with upcoming changes in the GED, or General Education Degree, the program that helps people get high school diplomas.
The tests that lead to this alternative diploma will change next January. Anyone who has started taking the tests but has not finished by the end of this year will have to start over.
That’s the urgency. Here’s the scam: Shady organizations are offering high school “diplomas,” for a fee.
A local woman recently tried to enroll at Blackhawk Technical College with such a diploma.
It wasn’t the first time, said Terese Tann, the college’s testing coordinator.
Tann said she has encountered this about 10 times in the past seven years. Twice, she’s been able to help.
“I call and threaten the people to give them their money back. I’ve been successful with that,” Tann said.
The diploma mills change their phone numbers frequently and are often offshore, so they often disappear, leaving victims who have paid $250 to $1,300 with nothing to show for it, Tann said.
A General Education Degree costs $75. Classes are free at Blackhawk and other locations around the state. The fee is for the battery of five tests, but a new state grant program will even cover the fee for those who enroll soon.
Tann said some people pass the tests within two weeks, while others can take up to six months.
In Rock and Green counties, more than 1,100 adults have begun the tests but have not completed them, Tann said.
Others might be considering getting their diplomas, but if they wait until next year, they’ll face new tests that are taken on computer.
People without computer skills could find the new tests challenging, but if they start now, they can still take the paper-and-pencil tests, Tann said.
Other differences between the new and old tests:
– Two essay questions instead of one.
– The new tests are aligned to the Common Core Standards, which are supposed to help students be college- or career-ready.
– The new diplomas will state whether the holder is a high performer or something less than that. The current diplomas say only that the person passed the tests.
The General Education Degree program, commonly called GED, has been around since the 1940s. It was started to help military veterans returning from World War II.
Tann said studies have shown that having a high school diploma can make a difference of $1 million in earnings over a lifetime. A college degree adds to that total.
The advantage is not just measured in dollars. It can also be an inheritance.
Tann tells of her own mother, who got her diploma late in life and went on to get a degree at Blackhawk Tech.
Education was always a focus for her mother, Tann said, and all her siblings graduated from high school or college.
“It’s usually just the beginning for families, not the end,” Tann said.
To apply for GED program
People who have not begun the General Education Degree process or who are interested in completing their diplomas this year can attend upcoming information and assessment sessions.
The four-hour sessions will help people determine if they qualify for a free program in which they will take Blackhawk Technical College classes and be able to complete the five tests.
Books, meals and calculators will be provided.
The sessions are scheduled for:
– 4:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 7, in Room 414 at Blackhawk Technical College-Monroe, 210 4th Ave.
– 4:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 8, in Room 127 at Blackhawk Technical College-Beloit Center, 50 Eclipse Center.
– 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Friday, May 10, in Room G at the Rock County Job Center, 1900 Center Ave., Janesville.
– 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Friday, May 17, in Room G at the Job Center in Janesville.
An applicant will need to provide a Wisconsin driver’s license or a state identity card.
Those accepted will qualify for classes at the Job Center from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. May 21-31 or from 4:30-9 p.m. May 29-June 20 at Blackhawk Technical College-Monroe or Blackhawk Technical College-Beloit.
Register in advance for the assessment and information sessions by contacting Wendy Schultz at 608-757-7726 or at email@example.com.
From starjournalnow.com: "Nicolet upgrades workforce training to boost economic development" -- The economic recession of 2008 and 2009 caused a seismic shift in the American landscape. Perseverance, adaptation and resilience were all key to make it through the economic downturn. [...]
From starjournalnow.com: “Nicolet upgrades workforce training to boost economic development” – The economic recession of 2008 and 2009 caused a seismic shift in the American landscape. Perseverance, adaptation and resilience were all key to make it through the economic downturn.
“It was a time of dramatic change that happened relatively quickly,” said Nicolet College President Elizabeth Burmaster. “With everything that was happening in the economy, we knew at Nicolet that we were going to have to change how we approached workforce skills training as well.”
The recession deepened and enrollment at Nicolet surged to record levels as the unemployed sought job training for new careers. Employers realized existing employees needed higher skill sets for companies to be efficient and profitable.
“More was being expected of employees and we had to adapt to that in the type of workforce training we provided,” said Sandy Bishop, director of Workforce Development at Nicolet. “Technical skills have always been important and always will be. But along with solid technical skills, we were seeing more demand for employees with what some call soft skills. Knowing how to effectively work as a team, solving problems independently and quickly, communicating effectively, resolving conflict and adapting to change are all skills that many businesses require in their employees.”
Nicolet adapted by placing greater emphasis on these skills in classroom curricula, not only in credit classes, but also the whole complement of short-term, non-credit workforce development workshops that Bishop oversees.
“Employers have raised the bar on what they expect from their workforce,” Bishop explained. “In many ways, it’s like instilling the mindset that every employee is personally responsible for the success of the business. Everyone has to work together responsibly and effectively to be successful.”
Bishop stressed that teaching the latest technical skills is still at the core of what is taught in classes and workshops, and adding this extra level of soft skills was largely driven by what the college was hearing from area employers.
“Nicolet puts a strong emphasis on working in close partnership with area employers and this change is a great example of the effectiveness of these relationships and how the college can adapt to changing needs,” she said.
The numbers show that employers like the training Nicolet offers. Last year, 105 Northwoods employers contracted with the college to provide workforce development training, sending nearly 3,000 registrants to dozens of different workshops, classes and certification seminars.
Entrepreneurship and business development
Another recession-driven growth area for Nicolet has been in the areas of helping entrepreneurs launch businesses, and assisting existing new and small businesses in growing their operations.
“These two areas are key to lifting the Northwoods out of recession and growing the local economy,” said Michelle Madl-Soehren, Nicolet Business Development coordinator. “Many of the new jobs that are being created are coming from small business.”
To help fuel this growth, Madl-Soehren and others at Nicolet have developed a series of laddered workshops that offer increasing levels of instruction and advice for entrepreneurs looking to start a business and those looking to grow an existing business.
In the past year, Madl-Soehren has held 15 Explore Starting a Business workshops throughout the Northwoods to introduce students to the idea of business ownership.
“Starting and building a successful business is a step-by-step process and all the pieces have to be in place in order for any business to do well,” she explained. “In these workshops, we identify the critical components and then work with individuals to help them bring all the pieces together.”
The workshops–which are offered for free–have been held throughout the Northwoods in many different communities including Tomahawk, Minocqua, Eagle River, Crandon, Lac du Flambeau and Rhinelander. More than 50 people have attended these workshops.
As a follow-up for those wanting more detailed business development information, Nicolet recently launched the new 10-session E-Seed Innovative Entrepreneurship Training Program.
“Instruction covers practical, real-world management and planning tools that include all of the basics of starting a business,” Madl-Soehren said.
Specific topics include determining if business ownership is right for each individual, feasibility testing, business concept development, creating a business plan, bookkeeping and accounting systems, and legal issues facing business owners. Expert guest speakers also share their insights on running a successful business. Today, 10 students are enrolled in the E-Seed series currently offered by Nicolet at the Vilas County Business Incubator in Eagle River.
For more information about workforce and business development training opportunities at Nicolet, contact the college at (715) 365-4493, (800) 544-3039, ext. 4493; TDD (715) 365-4448. More information is also available online at nicoletcollege.edu. Once there, click on the Continuing Education link in the upper right corner of the page.
Course helps caregivers understand dementia May 06 2013
From wxow.com: "A walk in the shoes of a dementia patient" -- More than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease. The number could rise to as many as 16 million by 2050. Alzheimer's is the largest category of dementia. [...]
From wxow.com: “A walk in the shoes of a dementia patient” — More than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease. The number could rise to as many as 16 million by 2050.
Alzheimer’s is the largest category of dementia. Dementia is not a disease, but a term used to describe symptoms caused by disorders affecting the brain. Seven of 10 Alzheimer’s patients live at home, but many caregivers aren’t equipped to deal with the symptoms.
In the Coulee Region, The Alzheimer’s Association provides assistance to families.
“I think it’s definitely a difficult disease for caregivers to understand because it effects every person differently,” said Brett Williams of The Alzheimer’s Association. “So someone can learn about Alzheimer’s Disease, but until you really learn how each person is going through it, there’s no way to really understand it.”
At Western Technical College, students entering healthcare fields have a tool allowing them to walk in the shoes of a dementia patient. The virtual dementia tour is part of an Alzheimer’s training course. Participants are asked to perform simple tasks but with limitations that simulate those of a person suffering from dementia.
“It helps the worker communicate effectively and communicate appropriately,” said Linda Schneider, an adjunct instructor at Western.
The course limits all your senses, from sight to motor skills to hearing, so even listening to the instructions is difficult. There are even inserts in the participants shoes to create a pins and needles sensation dementia patients experience.
“Dementia is not normal aging at all,” Schneider said. “Dementia is a problem happening in the brain. It’s a disease within the brain.”
And it’s a common disease, according to the National Institute on Aging, half of those over 85 suffer from some type of dementia.
“One thing I learned on the dementia virtual tour was how confused I was,” said Jacquelyn Ross, a Western student who went through the simulation. “I just couldn’t’ believe how much was really going on and then still expected to act like a normal person.”
Experiencing just how frustrating it can be to just fold a sheet, helps caregivers understand the struggles their patient faces.
“A lot of people need to know,” Ross said. “Not enough people know.”
Despite being told exactly what to do and having an instruction sheet, when News 19′s Kristen Barbaresi only managed to do one of the five tasks correctly. She set the table for two instead of four, filled both glasses instead of just one and wrote a letter about her family, instead of a letter to her family.
“Help with the expectation that they have of working with a person that’s got these kinds of cognitive impairments as well as impairments of aging with hearing and feeling,” Schneider said.
27 percent of Alzheimer’s patients suffer from minor depression and 22 percent have major depression and the course helps participants understand why.
“I’ve put myself in their shoes,” Ross said. “You know that there’s no cutting corners. It’s just what it is.”
The Alzheimer’s course is funded by the Bridges to Healthcare grant Western received in 2011. The course is the result of feedback from employers who said personal care workers need more training in dementia, especially with the aging population.
The course isn’t only helpful for students. The idea is expanding to the community and professions dealing with the elderly.
“We’re looking at doing some additional training in the next year,” said Sandra Schultz, Bridges to Healthcare Grant coordinator. “We’re doing a foundation course with the Alzheimer’s association. And we’re also looking at doing specific training with various groups such as the law enforcement and we’re looking at the EMT group.”
WITC president honored May 06 2013
From newrichmond-news.com: "WITC president honored by group" -- Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College President Bob Meyer was recently selected as a recipient of a Wisconsin Association for Career and Technical Education’s 2013 President’s Award. [...]
From newrichmondnews.com: “WITC president honored by group” – Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College President Bob Meyer was recently selected to receive a Wisconsin Association for Career and Technical Education’s 2013 President’s Award. This award is presented each year to outstanding professionals in career and technical education.
“I’m humbled and appreciative to have received this recognition because of the high regard I have for the Wisconsin Association of Career and Technical Education,” Meyer said.
The Wisconsin Association of Career and Technical Education combines the efforts of more than 800 professionals from all levels of education in Wisconsin, as well as business and industry partners, to promote Career and Technical Education. WACTE’s focus is on professional development of its members and development of CTE leadership statewide.
“As we consider the vital role CTE plays in our economy preparing ‘job ready’ individuals, I am grateful for WACTE’s role in advocating for the importance of CTE across Wisconsin,” Meyer said.
“Bob set aside funding for WITC employees to attend CTE events at a time of unprecedented budget cuts,” said Leslie Bleskachek, WACTE’s president, who also serves as WITC academic dean, Business Division. “He also attended and participated in many of the organized events during the year. The fact that he set aside time in his very busy calendar demonstrates his commitment to CTE, its stakeholders and students. In addition, he clearly places a priority on these supportive events, which serves a model for our other members, who might claim it is difficult to find time in their schedules for CTE support. If a president can find the time and resources, others can as well.”
Meyer received his award April 11 during the annual Professional Development Conference in Middleton, Wis.
Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College serves the educational and career needs of more than 25,000 residents.
Outlook bright for trucking industry careers May 06 2013
From wisconsinrapidstribune.com: "Outlook bright for trucking industry careers" -- The improving economy means manufacturers are busy and need to get their products out to customers. That means shipping goods out by truck, which translates to steady demand for both regional delivery as well as cross-country drivers. [...]
From wisconsinrapidstribune.com: “Outlook bright for trucking industry careers” – The improving economy means manufacturers are busy and need to get their products out to customers.
That means shipping goods out by truck, which translates to steady demand for both regional delivery as well as cross-country drivers. The state projects between 2,000 and 3,000 positions will be available annually in Wisconsin through 2020.
“The outlook suggests that (trucking companies) are looking aggressively to fill the needs they have,” said Jeff Sachse, a labor market analyst for the state Department of Workforce Development.
He said for the next several years, truck driving will be among the fastest growing job sectors in the state.
Numbers from Fox Valley Technical College’s truck driving program in Grand Chute suggests graduates have little trouble finding work. In 2012, about 94 percent of FVTC’s 173 trucking program graduates found a job within six months of graduation.
Rob Behnke, chair of FVTC’s truck driving program, said the college annually graduates between 200 and 215 drivers, who will have a commercial driver’s license after completing the program, which can take up to 18 weeks. FVTC, Waukesha County Technical College and Chippewa Valley Technical College in Eau Claire are the only three schools in the Wisconsin Technical College System that offer a truck driving program.
Today’s long-haul truck drivers on average are in their mid-50s to early 60s, Behnke said. Retirements during the next five years means demand for drivers only will increase.
“Opportunity is out there, especially for the entry-level driver,” he said.
Sachse said truck drivers only are one facet of a complex national logistics network. Demand also exists for warehousing and inventory specialists who can track cargo and ensure it arrives at its destination.
“Logistics in general is an area of strong demand because of the variety of jobs in that sector,” he said.
Dispatchers and people skilled in supply chain management are among the assorted jobs showing steady long-term growth, Sachse said.
Because Wisconsin is not a main distribution hub, but is home to many goods producers, those companies depend on the trucking industry to ship products, he said.
This has benefited Ashwaubenon-based Schneider National, one of the nation’s largest trucking companies.
“Manufacturing growth has a two to one impact on the trucking industry,” said Mike Hinz, vice president of driver recruiting at Schneider. “When the country is going through a manufacturing recovery, it means demand increases for raw materials and getting those finished products from the plants to distribution centers.”
Hinz said drivers in general should have little trouble finding work today. However, finding people to consider jobs in the industry can prove challenging.
The National Association of Publicly Funded Truck Driving Schools reported people seeking training has dropped. The association said its members in 2005 were training about 18,000 students annually but by 2012 that number fell 22 percent to 14,000.
Behnke, who is president of the association, which represents about 130 schools nationally, said some prospective students find the working hours and the possibility of being away from home for extended periods a deterrent.
Hinz said Schneider partners with FVTC to recruit and train drivers. It also has relations with the military who works with service men and women seeking employment after completing a tour.
“We have to take multiple angles to find drivers but we want to make sure we’re out there telling people trucking is a viable career option,” Hinz said.
The Department of Labor said the average national annual salary for a truck driver in 2011 was $54,154. In Wisconsin, the average annual wage was $41,276.
Behnke said FVTC trucking program graduates, who get entry-level work, may earn close to $40,000 annually. Hinz said entry-level drivers at Schneider may earn between $39,000 and $42,000 annually.
Many students in FVTC’s truck driving program are people seeking second careers, those in their early to mid-40s. Behnke said.
Hinz said someone new to the industry but with a good work history is an attractive employee to Schneider.
“We do see a lot of second career folks but these people do bring other skills like problem solving and have been in many situations that can help them,” Hinz said.
CVTC students build affordable homes May 06 2013
From chippewa.com: "Collaboration hatches new, affordable homes" -- Yellow vinyl coats the one-story home that sits empty on a corner lot in the flats in Chippewa Falls. The three-bedroom house is on the market through Woods and Water Realty, but not every interested buyer will qualify. [...]
From chippewa.com: “Collaboration hatches new, affordable homes” – Yellow vinyl coats the one-story home that sits empty on a corner lot in the flats in Chippewa Falls.
The three-bedroom house is on the market through Woods and Water Realty, but not every interested buyer will qualify.
This newly-constructed home and its neighboring sister home were built as a collaborative effort between the Chippewa County Housing Authority and Chippewa Valley Technical College to provide new homes to low- and moderate-income families.
The partnership began in 2011, when a group of students at CVTC tore down and rebuilt a larger home on West Hill.
The next year, the housing authority used funds from the buyer to finance the building of two smaller homes.
Ruth Rosenow, executive director of the CCHA, said the program was set up for the new homeowners to inherit a mortgage through the housing authority. But now the CCHA has devised a new system to increase productivity.
“Instead of us being the long-term financer, they have to go to the bank to get a loan and we accumulate a lump sum,” Rosenow said, adding that the money earned can be turned over quickly to fund the construction of additional homes.
Are you eligible?
The home on Stump Lake Road is listed for $165,000, but income restrictions will weed out prospective buyers.
The restrictions vary based on the number of household members, but for a four-person family, the recommended minimum income limit is $32,250 and the maximum, non-negotiable income limit is $52,250.
Rosenow said generally the CCHA looks for low- or moderate-income people with good credit and good work history.
“The first family able to put together a loan, we accept their offer,” she said.
The CCHA is able to defer up to $50,000 at 1-percent interest, similar to a second mortgage. A family could be eligible as long as it could secure $115,000 from the lender.
“We would get $115,000 right up front and use that for next year’s projects,” Rosenow said. “It helps the family get over that hump.”
She said this is particularly helpful for families who generally wouldn’t be able to afford new construction.
“It’s the best kind of home for them because they don’t have a lot of reserve money,” Rosenow said, adding that older homes tend to eat up savings and are harder for the family to keep up.
“By the time these homes need maintenance, they will have had time to accumulate money for that.”
Brian Barth is an instructor for CVTC’s residential construction program. He said 14 students are currently enrolled in his class to obtain a technical diploma for residential construction.
Barth said the students are in class approximately 35 hours a week, spending about half of that time on the site.
“CVTC teamed up to build smaller-scale houses that meet the competencies that students are trying to achieve,” Barth said.
The students will finish the home this week in time for the May 10 open house.
Many students come into the one-year program with little experience, Barth said, though some have learned the ropes through classes at a university or through hands-on work with a contractor or even their parents.
“We treat it as though they know nothing and bring them up to speed,” Barth said.
Private contractors complete excavation and concrete, electrical, plumbing, HVAC and drywall services after being awarded bids. Barth’s students handle the carpentry work.
“The kids’ labor really goes towards the community,” Rosenow said. “We’re very excited about it.“
“It’s a good partnership,” Barth said.
From wjjq.com: "High School Students Take Advantage of Tech School Credits" -- High School Students here in the Northwoods are increasingly getting jump starts on their college careers. [...]
From wjjq.com: ” High School Students Take Advantage of Tech School Credits” – High School Students here in the Northwoods are increasingly getting jump starts on their college careers.
According to Nicolet College, the fastest growing and popular option is through their transcripted credit classes.
The program has seen enrollment jump 75 percent in the past four years. Currently, 461 area high school juniors and seniors are on track to earn college credits this academic year. The program started in 2009 between Nicolet and Rhinelander and Elcho high schools.
The credits earned count towards both a high school diploma and a college degree. The college-level courses are taught in the participating high schools, and range from business and accounting to welding and automotive technology.
In fact to celebrate this growing trend in the entire state, Governor Scott Walker recently named April 30 Dual Credit Day.
Nicolet College President Elizabeth Burmaster summed it up by saying, “This is a fantastic way for high school students to get a jump start on their college education.” She expects the program to grow in the future as more students take advantage of the opportunity.
Statewide, more than 21,000 high school students take Dual Credit classes through the 16 colleges in the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS).
From chicagotribune.com: "Corporate Leaders at Harper Event urge Community College Presidents to "Talk to Us" " -- Executives representing some of the largest manufacturers in the U.S. urged community college presidents to reach out and form partnerships to help them train desperately needed middle skills workers. [...]
From Chicagotribune.com: Corporate Leaders at Harper Event Urge Community College Presidents to “Talk to Us” – Executives representing some of the largest manufacturers in the U.S. urged community college presidents to reach out and form partnerships to help them train desperately needed middle skills workers.
Middle skills workers fill positions that typically require more than a high school diploma but less than a bachelor’s degree.
The recent resurgence in American manufacturing has created steep demand for middle skills workers with math, communication and problem-solving skills, especially in today’s high-tech manufacturing environment. Some middle skills jobs pay more than jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree, with median salaries often eclipsing $50,000.
“Assembly and manufacturing positions are among the toughest roles to fill,” said Alan May, Vice President, Human Resources at Boeing Defense, Space and Security. “Finding this talent is key to meeting increasing customer demand for our products while helping to improve the U.S. economy and bring down unemployment.”
The call for closer college and corporate partnerships came at a skills summit at Harper College in Palatine, which brought together human resources executives from Fortune 500 companies and community college leaders from across the country. In addition to manufacturing, the summit attracted human resources executives from other sectors, including retail, health care, logistics/supply chain and information technology, who also reported difficulties in filling middle skills jobs. The conference was sponsored by The HR Policy Association’s Workforce Development Roundtable, Motorola Solutions, Harper College and the Community College Auto Communities Consortium.
Corporate leaders said part of the disconnect between employers and colleges may stem from the difference between their fast-changing business environment and, what they say is the often slow pace of changing curricula and programs to meet their needs.
“Frequently we talk about our speed and education’s speed,” said Molly Steffen, Recruiting Manager at Caterpillar. “We’ll have a [training] program, then suddenly the technology changes and the job is different.”
Community college presidents acknowledge cumbersome academic processes can be frustrating for both sides, but they say working to close the time gap and collaborating closely with corporate partners to stay ahead of the technology curve can pay off for everyone.
“The stronger the relationship and the communication is between community colleges and employers, and the more we struggle though this journey together, the better opportunity we have to be the right side of the curve.” said Dr. Steven Ender, President of Grand Rapids Community College.
Bruce Brda, Senior Vice President of Motorola Solutions, said the explosive growth of high-tech communications and mobile applications and platforms means he can’t predict what his workforce needs will look like in the next five years, but said active communication with community colleges is critical to make sure new employees have skill sets they need to be successful.
“Work is changing drastically and at an even faster pace than previously seen in business,” said Brda. “The skills for future employees continue to evolve, and the only way to stay aligned is to communicate our needs with educators.”
Employers say finding workers with the right technical skills is only half the battle. They say they often find newly hired employees can’t pass a drug test or turn out to have a poor work ethic.
You can be the best welder we have, but if you don’t show up every day, obviously that’s inefficient for us,” said Steffen. “Especially people new to their careers, they have the world in front of them but they may lose that opportunity if they are unable to fulfill their commitment to work.”
To help combat the problem, community colleges such as Gateway Technical College in Wisconsin have begun emphasizing soft skills including interviewing, personal presentation and communication skills along with technical training.
“We tell our students they’re not applying for a job when they graduate from college, they’re applying for a job when they enroll in college,” said Bryan Albrecht, President and CEO of Gateway Technical College. “They have to be constantly thinking about what it takes to be successful, and that starts with professionalism, the way you respond to your teachers, businesses on campus and the community.”
To help close the skills gap and evaluate a student’s work ethic, companies are looking at supporting more paid internships similar to those offered through Harper’s advanced manufacturing program, which promises a paid internship with local manufacturing partners after a student completes four classes. The program recently was awarded a $12.9 million federal grant to replicate the partnership throughout Illinois.
Executives and college presidents say finding and training middle skills workers of the future cannot be ignored any longer. A recent report by Georgetown University predicts the U.S. will be short at least 3 million high-tech workers by 2018. Summit attendees say the need to find solutions and act quickly has never been more urgent.
“One of the messages of the summit is this: if we are to have a real partnership and a real relationship with corporations, we have to deliver,” said Harper College President Dr. Kenneth Ender. “We can’t over-promise, but whatever we take on, we have to deliver.”
From wearegreenbay.com: "Dual credit helps students enter the workforce sooner" -- A dual credit program that's been around for twenty years has allowed students to finish college and enter the workforce faster than their peers. [...]
From wearegreenbay.com: “Dual credit helps students enter the workforce sooner” – A dual credit program that’s been around for twenty years has allowed students to finish college and enter the workforce faster than their peers.
Technical colleges are promoting these programs, that are offered a some local high schools.
Local Five’s Donald Robinson takes us to Fox Valley Technical College and interviews a student from Appleton West High School to show us why the programs are growing more popular with students.
Employers visit classes at MATC May 01 2013
From jsonline.com: "Etiquette, networking skills on college seniors' plates" -- Milwaukee Area Technical College offers weekly "Meet the Business" sessions that are informal opportunities for students to have face-to-face interaction with employers, who come to their classroom and have an open dialogue about job openings and what types of employees they are looking for. [...]
From jsonline.com: “Etiquette, networking skills on college seniors’ plates” – The banquet table has eight place settings positioned close to one another. Crystal glasses crowd the space above china plates, and rolls sit nearby, atop small plates.
But which roll goes with which plate? And which plate with which glass?
“BMW,” advises Margery Sinclair, etiquette coach and author. “From left to right: Bread and butter; meat and main; wine or water.”
That might not seem like college-level work, but with students getting ready to head off to interviews, internships and jobs, schools are setting aside some time – and some courses – to prepare them in ways beyond technical and management skills.
Sinclair is regularly called on to help students; earlier this month, she was featured at a Backpack to Briefcases luncheon put on by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She sees lunch or dinner as a way for prospective employers to wean candidates out.
“A lot can be determined by the way you conduct yourself,” Sinclair said, explaining that if candidates have good manners while eating, it most likely means they conduct themselves appropriately in other aspects of their life.
At UWM, business students can take an entire class on how to land their dream job and how to maintain it. The class covers networking, interviewing do’s and don’ts, appropriate work attire, résumé and cover letter coaching, and etiquette.
Greg Krejci, director of career services at the Lubar School of Business, said 205 students signed up.
“This class is not just fitting for graduates but also for second-semester sophomores and juniors who are looking for internships,” Krejci said. “Oftentimes, the employees that assist with the course are actively recruiting companies.”
Students in the class have been known to walk away with internships and full-time jobs in their back pockets.
“We have some employers that will meet some students at mock interviews and then set up actual interviews,” Krejci said. “We have had students, like those in supply-chain management, saying, ‘I couldn’t have done it without this class.’ “
The course also devotes time to the importance of benefits, how to properly invest and what ways students can pay off their student loans.
Employers visit classes
Other area schools have similar resources, or schedule special events to assist their students.
Milwaukee Area Technical College offers weekly “Meet the Business” sessions that are informal opportunities for students to have face-to-face interaction with employers, who come to their classroom and have an open dialogue about job openings and what types of employees they are looking for.
“This absolutely generates employment,” said Jenny McGilligan, student employment specialist at MATC. McGilligan said many students have résumés on hand for these sessions.
MATC hosted a professional forum three weeks ago for transportation students where six employers spent an hour and a half speaking with students about how they can be hired in the industry and what they should be doing to be hired.
“Teachers can tell students what to do, but when you get the hiring manager telling you this is what you need to do, all of a sudden they pay attention,” McGilligan said.
Don’t wait too long
One problem schools warn against is showing up for help just weeks before picking up a degree.
Laura Kestner-Ricketts, director of Marquette University’s Career Services Center, said she is not concerned with her “superstar students” who are active early on in the career search.
“I have had students who have had jobs since October, students who have been persistent and devoted,” Kestner-Ricketts said. “Our superstar students are just fine.”
But she is concerned with the students who are just starting the job process and are showing their anxiety.
“It’s the students who are coming to see us for the first time now – that have no internships, never written a résumé – that are having a much more difficult time,” she said.
The Career Services Center has assisted 538 seniors, 34% of the graduating class, this year, not to mention students from other classes. It uses Q&As with professionals from designated industries, speed-networking events, workshops on how to effectively use LinkedIn and more – all with the idea of arming students to transition to the work world.
Career center employees say it’s all part of building a package – education, interviewing skills, networking abilities, résumés that inform and sell. And yes, negotiating that lunch table setting.
Thank-you notes are key
One final word from Sinclair: Send a thank-you note. The recruiter and potential employer are doing you a favor, Sinclair said, and they deserve gratitude.
“Be short, sincere and specific,” she said. “Three sentences at the most, otherwise it’s a letter. Out of 10, maybe one or two send a thank-you note.”
The note draws attention – in a more memorable way than grabbing the wrong roll.
AT&T sponsors mobile manufacturing lab May 01 2013
From greenbaypressgazette.com: "AT&T pays for lab at Ashwaubenon" -- AT&T contributed a $5,000 Innovation & Investment Award to make Northeast Wisconsin Technical College’s mobile manufacturing lab available to Ashwaubenon High School for a semester. [...]
From greenbaypressgazette.com: “AT&T pays for lab at Ashwaubenon” – AT&T contributed a $5,000 Innovation & Investment Award to make Northeast Wisconsin Technical College’s mobile manufacturing lab available to Ashwaubenon High School for a semester.
NWTC’s Computer Integrated Manufacturing Mobile Laboratory is a 44-foot trailer housing 12 CAD/CAM computer stations and two computer numerical control (CNC) machines, a lathe and a mill.
An event marking the grant held Monday included tours of the lab for students and educators.
AT&T Wisconsin Innovation & Investment Awards provide funding to local organizations that enhance and give back to their communities.
NWTC cuts continuing education courses May 01 2013
From fox11online.com: "NWTC cuts continuing education classes" -- GREEN BAY - One local tech school says it is eliminating some of its non-credit classes. And Northeast Wisconsin Technical College says the remaining hobby-based classes could cost you a little more. [...]
From fox11online.com: “NWTC cuts continuing education courses” – GREEN BAY – One local tech school says it is eliminating some of its non-credit classes.
And Northeast Wisconsin Technical College says the remaining hobby-based classes could cost you a little more.
Fewer needles may be whirring in continuing education classes offered by Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.
The college says it is cutting costs by cutting out some classes, like specialty sewing.
“The classes that have been most effected are those that we call avocational, hobby leisure courses. All of the non-credit occupational courses, we’re still offering,” said Jeffrey Rafn.
In all, 80 to 90 classes won’t be back. The reduction will save the college 160 thousand dollars in instructor fees.
That has some instructors like Jana Anderson-Laes worried.
“I could lose my job, so we really need people to sign up for these classes,” she said.
Continuing education classes that are popular, like jewelry making, will still remain. But there may be consolidated times or locations. And NWTC says it’s still focusing on skills that can be used for a business.
Long-armed quilting, shown in the video, will also still go on.
But prices will go up.
Those 62 years and older had paid roughly $4 for a class.
The rate could increase to $60.
“I have similar classes at the quilt shop I own,” said you’re still getting your money’s worth.”
The majority of the continuing education classes are attended by older adults.
But many in the plus 50 crowd say they are turning to the tech school for something besides quilting or wood working.
“That’s something for a hobby, great. But guys like me, people my age. We’re not ready to lay down. We want to continue working,” said Robert Cram, a supply chain management student at NWTC.
NWTC says it will offer more computer-oriented classes like Microsoft Office as non-credit courses.
All changes to other classes could begin in the fall.
If you’re concerned about a class being cut, you have a chance to voice your opinion.
NWTC will hold a listening session about its budget Wednesday May 8th at 4 pm.
From wbay.com: "Fox Valley Tech introduces dual credit program for high school students" -- Fox Valley Technical College begins a new initiative to connect students to available jobs in less time. Calling it a "Do the Dual" event, officials highlighted an effort to connect high school classes to technical college credits. [...]
From wbay.com: “Fox Valley Tech introduces dual credit program for high school students” – Fox Valley Technical College begins a new initiative to connect students to available jobs in less time.
Calling it a “Do the Dual” event, officials highlighted an effort to connect high school classes to technical college credits.
Fox Valley Tech says the emphasis is to fill open machinist positions in the area.
“That’ll give you about a semester-and-a-half, two semester head start, which is very helpful because the faster you get in here, the faster you can leave, and the faster you can get back into the workforce, and showing the skills you just learned is very beneficial to your employer and yourself,” Brillion High School graduate Ryan Gieger said.
High school officials we talked with say programs like this help get students to viable careers in less time and in sectors where jobs are available.
Caring for Aging Population Seminar at NTC May 01 2013
From ntc.edu: "Caring for our 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. [...]
From ntc.edu: “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).
Dual-credit program benefits students May 01 2013
From fox11online.com: "Dual-credit program benefits students" -- Tuesday was a dual-credit day at technical colleges across the state as they promote the kind of program four-year universities have long used. Schools like Fox Valley Technical College in Grand Chute highlighted programs to help high school students earn college credits. [...]
From fox11online.com: “Dual-credit program benefits students” – Tuesday was a dual-credit day at technical colleges across the state as they promote the kind of program four-year universities have long used.
Schools like Fox Valley Technical College in Grand Chute highlighted programs to help high school students earn college credits.
The initiative is meant to foster better partnerships between tech schools and high schools.
“I’m still trying to wrap my mind around how I’m only 19 years old but yet things are really starting to come together,” said Fox Valley Technical College student Ryan Geiger.
Geiger graduated from Brillion High School and was hired as a machinist by the Ariens Company. He says thanks to dual-credit courses, he’s working on two different degrees.
“I was really surprised how you can be a machinist and have the mindset you do and love what you do and being paid what you are. It’s just awesome.”
FVTC officials say Geiger is just one example of what educators hope becomes a trend of successful students taking dual-credit courses and filling in-demand jobs.
“It’s going to give them an opportunity to get an understanding of whether or not they would like to pursue this as their main field,” said Fox Valley Technical College Dean of Technologies Steve Straub.
The dual-credit classes are also free to high school students, meaning they are getting more specialized training and paying less for it.
“I really feel like we needed to be more aggressive in helping our students get one foot into post-secondary education,” said Appleton West High School Principal Greg Hartjes.
To do that, Appleton West hopes to start a machine technology charter school in the fall of 2014. Students could earn 24 credits toward a degree at Fox Valley Tech.
“These are high need areas that the community has said we don’t have enough employees, we don’t have enough people going into these areas and that is what we are trying to fill,” said Hartjes.
“I just love doing technology stuff, I just knew that’s what I always wanted to be,” said Geiger.
Providing students an open door to a bright future.
The number of high school students throughout the state taking college credits in high school has doubled in the last five years.
Fox Valley Tech says 21,000 Wisconsin students have an average of at least six college credits before graduating high school.