Student Leaders Make a Difference

 

This morning I had the pleasure of welcoming to FVTC the Wisconsin Student Government, made up of elected student leaders from each of the 16 technical colleges in our State.  Serving in these roles, students hold a great responsibility to effectively represent the student bodies at their respective colleges, as well as have the tremendous honor and privilege to do so.

In my remarks I shared some thoughts about advocacy and how to be successful advocates, focusing on four key elements:

  • Building positive relationships
  • Having credibility
  • Effectively conveying a message
  • Following through and keeping promises or commitments

It’s always great to interact with such impressive student leaders.  Their work does make a difference both for their colleges and for the Wisconsin Technical College System.  My hats are off to them!

 

Great Opportunity for Entrepreneurial Veterans

It was great to welcome to campus Governor Evers and Secretary Mary Kolar of the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs last week for a check presentation to the FVTC Foundation.  Thanks to the generous support of the WI DVA, almost $100,000 will fund new cohorts of veterans in an “Innovation Accelerator” program offered by our Venture Center.  This program is designed to provide entrepreneurial training and technical support, networking opportunities, one-to-one mentoring and seed funding for start-up/growth expenses for veteran-owned businesses.

We are very pleased to be able to continue our partnership with the WI DVA this year in offering Innovation Accelerator to more veterans.  Over the last two years, 37 veterans have completed this customized entrepreneurship training, a group that has gone on to launch 25 successful new businesses and expand 8 existing businesses.

Recently, I crossed paths with one of those businesses – Iron Alliance – which focuses on all aspects of personal health and well-being, including organizational cultures and how leadership factors into a work culture.  Iron Alliance is owned and operated by a couple of very impressive young men trying to make a real difference in people’s lives.  They asked me to be part of their podcast series.  Check out their website at https://www.teamironalliance.com.

And if you’re interested in listing to my Iron Alliance podcast, here’s a link:  https://www.fvtc.edu/news/Story/college-president-on-leadership

 

Great Day for a Golf Outing Fundraiser!

IMG_0494I was pleased to welcome 156 golfers to the FVTC Foundation’s 31st annual golf outing yesterday at Royal St. Pat’s golf course in Wrightstown.  Funds raised from the day will be used for student scholarships, and I’m quite sure this event will hit an all-time record for the Foundation. That means more students will benefit from its support.

I can’t say enough about the many sponsors and prize contributors for this event – this simply couldn’t happen without them.  Special thanks to our largest sponsors:

  • Presenting Sponsor:  Miron Construction
  • Gold Sponsor:  Marco
  • Silver Sponsors:  Oshkosh Corporation, Robert W. Baird & Company, and Silver Star Brands

Latest Collaboration Supports Health Care Partner

Recently I had the pleasure of welcoming Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes and Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Caleb Frostman to our Health Simulation Technology Center to highlight how one of our health care partners is filling a critical skill shortage.

ThedaCare needs more medical assistants to serve at its many clinical sites, and thanks to a DWD Fast Forward grant, the organization is developing a talent pipeline by training its incumbent workforce. The training includes both classroom and hands-on practicum provided by FVTC instructors, and completers will receive a Medical Assistant Technical Diploma.

This partnership exemplifies an innovative way to utilize the talents of an existing workforce to meet other emerging needs with an organization. Congratulations to everyone involved in making this initiative a reality.

 

Webelos Everywhere!

This coming Saturday, November 10, the Appleton Campus will be hosting about 400 Webelos and adult leaders – 4th and 5th grade Webelo Scouts from the area’s Gathering Waters district of the Bay-Lakes Council Boy Scouts of America.  It’s known as their Pin Day where these young people can earn Adventure Pins to work toward rank advancement in Scouting.

The kinds of pins typically offered at these events include “Adventures in Science,” “Fix It,” “First Responder,” “Game Design,” and others.  The older Boy Scouts will be involved in teaching many of these activities, providing a great leadership opportunity as well.

As both president of the College and currently the Council President for the Bay-Lakes Council, it is just great to see the wonderful opportunities to learn and grow being made available to the young people of the area.

Exploring Career Opportunities

The college held its annual open house on October 2, and once again the event welcomed nearly 3,000 visitors at all of our campus locations in the area.  I always look forward to this fall event to witness the connections our faculty and staff make with prospective students and their families to not only build promising futures, but also lifelong relationships.

The energy at this year’s open house was electric. Our strong economy has ushered in a great opportunity for both career starters and career changers to find a rewarding career path, while we continue to work toward addressing the critical workforce needs of our region’s employers.   

Technical skills and technical careers are clearly the focus of this growing economy and it was terrific to see so many people exploring these tremendous career opportunities.    

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Visitors to our annual open house always create an electric atmosphere. 

Wautoma — a New College Town?

 

Wautoma Pix 1
Wautoma Regional Center
Ribbon Cutting Pix 2
… L to R: Tom Rheinheimer (Wautoma Area School District Superintendent), Tony Gonzalez (Board Chair), Jackie Weber (Foundation Board Chair), Chris Brown (Wautoma Regional Manager)

On September 18 a large gathering of community leaders, school district representatives, elected officials, and other partners joined us for a special dedication ceremony of the college’s new Wautoma Regional Center. This welcoming facility located adjacent to Wautoma High School brings fresh technologies and innovative learning spaces to a part of our district that we’ve been serving for 40 years; however, facility upgrades and expanded services to meet regional workforce demands and employment opportunities were needed.

A new industrial bay and health care lab, along with an expanded welding lab, were big hits by those who toured the center before and after a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony. The faculty and staff were literally gleaming when showing off their regional center, which also houses the Wautoma Area School District administrative office and a regional office for the Fox Valley Workforce Development Center.

I couldn’t be more grateful for the support for this project by the FVTC Foundation.  Fully half of the funding to make this center a reality came from the Foundation.  It was great to see Foundation Board Chair, Jackie Weber, side by side and cutting the ribbon with the Chair of our Board of Trustees, Tony Gonzalez.

What really struck me during the dedication ceremony of the 12,000-sqaure-foot facility was observing the enthusiasm on the faces of our speakers and those in attendance. It felt like a college town had emerged from the commitment of the people in attendance—one that is poised to support and complement the unique educational needs of the greater Waushara County area.