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.

 

Tech Ed Teacher Shortage

A new degree program that will assist in meeting an urgent need was recently approved unanimously by the UW Board of Regents. The new major, “Technology and Engineering Education” at UW Oshkosh, is designed to address a critical shortage of K-12 technical education teachers.

What’s unique about this program is that it includes completion of an associate degree (AAS) in one of our technical education fields as its foundation. The work on this academic partnership has been underway for a few years, and this program will be open to students this fall. Congratulations to the UW Oshkosh and FVTC leaders who have worked to champion this development!

If you know of anyone holding an AAS degree from FVTC in a technical field such as electronics, automation, or mechanical design, etc., and interested in pursuing a teaching career, be sure to let them know about this program.  It would also be an excellent educational path for a recent high school graduate interested in becoming a Tech Ed K-12 teacher.

Impact of Technical Colleges

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Last month I had the opportunity to once again participate in a WHBY radio interview, share information about the technical college system, and discuss some of FVTC’s work here in the region.  It was great to join Hayley Tenpas as part of her Focus Fox Valley program.  I’ve linked the segment here if you’d like to listen! https://www.whby.com/2019/06/27/83532/

Building on a Great Foundation

FVTC - CU Articulation 2Last week it was a pleasure to host a little signing ceremony at our S.J. Spanbauer Center in Oshkosh to celebrate a new 2 + 2 program partnership with Concordia University Wisconsin.  By 2 + 2 program, I’m referring to the combination of a 2-year associate in applied science (AAS) degree paired with 2 years of baccalaureate studies resulting in a bachelor of science (BS) degree.

In this case, the foundation for this new educational opportunity is our AAS degree program in Construction Management Technology.  Graduates from this very successful program will be able to transfer seamlessly into Concordia University’s newly developed bachelor’s degree in Construction and Trades Management.  And if an appropriate size cohort of students comes together, Concordia is positioned to offer their coursework right at the Spanbauer facility where the FVTC graduates completed their AAS degree.  What a great opportunity for those who wish to continue on to the bachelor’s level and for former graduates working in the area who may also take that next step.

The construction industry is in great need of skilled tradespeople in all areas including electrical, plumbing, framing, sheetmetal, etc., as well as project leaders, estimators, and construction managers.  Having educational programming at all levels available locally will go a long way in supporting the burgeoning needs of this industry.  We’re very pleased to partner with Concordia University in expanding these offerings.

If you know of anyone – a young person exploring career options, adults who want to enhance their skills, or an adult who is considering a career change, we have an upcoming opportunity to explore a wide range of trades and occupations in the construction industry – a Construction Trades Expo taking place on April 11th at the Appleton Campus.  Stop by to check this out!

 

Entrepreneurs – An Economic Force

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This is National Entrepreneurship Week, an annual designation that was congressionally chartered in 2006.  At that time, our congressional leaders recognized entrepreneurs as a key source of economic innovation throughout the history of our nation.  I certainly tip my hat to all of the entrepreneurs and small business owners across our region for all that they bring to the vitality of our communities!

I’m also very pleased to serve as the Board Chair for the National Association of Community Colleges for Entrepreneurship (NACCE – https://www.nacce.com).  Our member colleges all across North America are very committed to supporting both students and community members in exploring, launching or growing businesses in the communities we serve.  And as important, we are deeply engaged in continuing to develop as entrepreneurial colleges to maximize the programs, services and support we can offer our constituents.

Here’s to the entrepreneurial spirit in both business and education!  Is there an outstanding local entrepreneur you’d like to acknowledge this week?  Would love to hear about them.

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.