Wrapping Up Another Year

As 2014 comes to a close, I look back on the many wonderful events and accomplishments of so many over the course of the year.  Time goes by so very quickly, and before we know it an entire semester is over or we’re approaching the next major holiday.

The holiday season is also a pretty incredible time here at the college as so many of our staff and students engage in fundraisers, food collections, Adopt-a-Family, and other major activities to support needy individuals and families here in the region.  I’d like to share just one of these remarkable efforts with you in this post. Continue reading “Wrapping Up Another Year”

Mike Rowe Makes a Dent in the Skills Gap

I’m sure you know who Mike Rowe is…the guy with the incredible voice, the guy who has hosted the TV show “Dirty Jobs” for many years.  What you may not know is that Mike Rowe has been a tireless advocate of technical education, the trades, and the occupations that keep this country making and moving.  He clearly understands the fact that there are great jobs and great careers available for individuals with technical skills and simply not enough people to fill them.  This is commonly referred to as the “skills gap” in America.  I’ve attached a short video clip here that provides a snapshot of his advocacy.

Mike Rowe scholarship recipient Jonathan Block
Mike Rowe scholarship recipient Jonathan Block

I received an interesting call recently informing me that the Mike Rowe Works Foundation was going to award 40 scholarships to students from across the country who were pursuing a technical education and that one of those 40 recipients was FVTC student, Jonathan Block.  Turns out that Jon, from Birnamwood, WI, submitted an application for this scholarship seeking the financial support that would allow him to reach his goal of becoming a diesel technician.  We were asked to see what we could do to provide some amount of match to the $6,200 scholarship award from the MRW Foundation.  I’m pleased to share that the FVTC Foundation stepped forward with a $1,000 grant and our terrific partners at NAPA Auto Parts provided Jon with $1,800 in tools plus an awesome tool cabinet.
Continue reading “Mike Rowe Makes a Dent in the Skills Gap”

Up Close and Personal With Rural Entrepreneurs

The culminating event of the College’s celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week involved a series of small business tours in Waupaca County.  We were very pleased that Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch joined us at the FVTC Waupaca Regional Center to kick off what was a great morning of tours and a look behind the scenes of six businesses that our Venture Center has assisted in some way in recent years.  Like so many things, it’s one thing to hear about the work our staff are doing and the impact we’re having, but to actually see the results in action is quite another thing.  What follows is a brief overview of our experiences that morning and some of the real gems that operate in rural Wisconsin.

First we heard Chris Wenzel’s story about how his business came to be.  He is the owner/operator of Fremont Bait & Tackle and First Cast Tournaments.  It was great to hear his excitement for the tourism that takes place on the Wolf River, particularly for the fishing that occurs from March through mid-May.

Continue reading “Up Close and Personal With Rural Entrepreneurs”