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.
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.
Congratulations to Oshkosh Corporation on receiving the 2018 Futuremaker Partner Award from the Wisconsin Technical System Board for its longstanding partnership and collaboration with Fox Valley Technical College. I had the pleasure of joining members of our State Board, along with other System and college leaders from across the state, in honoring this exceptional company from our region during a dinner program this week. The award was presented by State Board Chair, Mark Tyler, to Oshkosh Corporation President and CEO, Wilson Jones. Several other key leaders from Oshkosh Corporation were also in attendance.
The College’s work with Oshkosh Corporation extends decades in areas such as workplace training initiatives to build a stronger regional workforce and the development of key training programs related to the use of Oshkosh Corporation and Pierce Manufacturing equipment at our Public Safety Training Center. We’ve also worked together for many years in developing resources for Pierce University, an extensive learning management system of digital training modules. The company’s support of the FVTC Foundation with equipment donations and scholarships to make college affordable for everyone has been terrific.
Pictured next to me are Wilson Jones, Mark Tyler, and Dr. Morna Foy, System President.