Global Entrepreneurship Week

Photo taken pre-pandemic. Amy Pietsch, FVTC Venture Center, and Mick Walsh, Sketchbiz

Looking ahead to next week, November 16-22 is designated as Global Entrepreneurship Week.  Certainly, with the numerous challenges posed by the pandemic, entrepreneurs and small businesses continue to struggle and are challenged like countless other organizations.  Our Venture Center stands ready to assist and continues to offer learning and advancement opportunities for the times.

In fact, our Venture Center team is supporting “Startup Wisconsin Week” which kicked off on November 11 and will run through Wednesday, November 18. Startup Wisconsin Week is virtual this year and the specific Startup Appleton Week sessions can be found here:

The Venture Center, Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce, and Envision Greater Fond du Lac have also partnered this year to offer the Fast Pitch competition again, which will take place on Tuesday, November 17. First and second place winners from this event will advance to the regional New North pitch event on December 3.

Like so many departments at the College, the Venture Center has gone virtual with almost all of its programs and added a few new offerings to the mix to address more immediate needs of existing business owners.  These include:

  • Use WordPress to Build Your Website
  • Email Newsletters with Constant Contact
  • Create Your Online Store
  • Finance Your Business the Right Way

Check out the opportunities on the Venture Center’s website: Staff continue to meet virtually with prospective or current entrepreneurs, providing guidance, support, and technical assistance.  The Venture Center is alive and well during these trying times, transforming to meet the moment! 

Not Your Typical Open House!

After decades of welcoming thousands of guests to an annual fall open house at our campus locations, FVTC will be hosting its first ever virtual open house event on Tuesday, October 20, from 2:00-6:00 p.m.  This will be quite different than the typical Zoom or Microsoft Teams meetings we’ve become accustomed to experiencing in recent months.  This virtual experience will be very interactive and offer participants the opportunity to explore our programs and services with over 250 of our faculty, staff and current students all in one event.  Part of the interaction will occur by using the “chat” feature to communicate and our staff are always willing to follow-up as needed to support our guests.

Given that we can’t convene a large open house teeming with people, this convenient virtual event is a great substitute in supporting anyone in our region (or beyond) looking for educational opportunities that will help start or advance careers!  Families with high school students could gather around a home computer to explore ideas together.  Working adults may look for ways to enhance their skills and be more competitive for their next career move.  Those recently laid off from industries unlikely to recover quickly may want to consider new career fields for their futures.  And so many working adults are underemployed, meaning that by attaining some additional knowledge and skills, could be employed in much higher paying jobs.  Perhaps you or someone you know is considering starting their own business in the near future.  We have resources to assist and support in each of these scenarios and many more.

I’ve included a few screen shots and brief video here so you can see what to expect.  We will be waiving the typical $30 program application fee on the date of this event and anyone who applies to a program will be entered to win one of three $200 tuition certificates.  I hope this will be a helpful and engaging experience for everyone “attending!”

Fighting Our Nation’s Wildfires

Photos submitted by Luke Pautz

Watching the news of the western wildfires over the last several weeks, and thinking about millions of acres of scorched earth and lives lost has been unimaginable to me. Every fire season I think about our Wildland Firefighter graduates who are working so hard to get these fires under control. The son of one of our own staff members has been serving our country in this role recently and I’d like to share a little of his story with you.

Luke Pautz graduated with an AAS degree in Wildland Firefighter in May 2019. From June-October 2019 he worked on an engine crew in the Fremont-Winema National Forest in Oregon. From January-April 2020 he relocated to an engine crew in the national forests of South Carolina and then headed back to Oregon for the summer fire season May-September 2020. Starting next month, employed by the U.S. Forest Service, he will take an assignment in the Mark Twain National Forest headquarters in Poplar Bluff, Missouri on their engine crew.

During Luke’s early career assignments he has worked on two major fires thus far: the Saddle Mountain Fire in Washington state in July and the August Crane Fire in Oregon that involved 14 days straight of 5 a.m.-8 p.m. duty. When not working a fire, this role involves night patrols through forests and grasslands looking for signs of wildfires caused by lightning, maintaining or repairing equipment and gear, and working out at the ranger station to stay in shape. As you might imagine, this work requires exceptional physical fitness and passing arduous fitness and stamina tests as a contingency of being hired on each new assignment.

Luke spent 2-1/2 years of study at the university system before coming to Fox Valley Technical College and discovering a career path that he was truly passionate about. Each of us can be very grateful for all of the men and women like Luke who have the passion, the skill, and the willingness to serve us in such an important and challenging role. If this is something you or someone you know should explore, here is a direct link to the program information: FVTC – Wildland Firefighter Program. Wishing Luke and all of his crew members the very best! Please stay safe.