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.
Visitors to our annual open house always create an electric atmosphere.
… 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.
The Appleton Even Start Family Literacy program celebrated a remarkable milestone last week – 25 years of serving parents and children through a terrific partnership between the Appleton Area School District and Fox Valley Technical College. Adults come to this program to learn English and earn a high school credential, as well as employability skills. Parenting skills are also a significant component of this program.
At the same time, the young children of these adults ranging in ages from 6 months to 5 years are served at the center through early childhood education experiences. Having parents and their children participating in interactive literacy activities has proven to be very effective in supporting the growth and development of both child and adult together. Today this program is located at the Community Early Learning Center in Appleton.
Parents and children are also exposed to many aspects of the community including field trips to the Appleton Public Library, the Building for Kids, local farms, and others. Special events such as Octoberfest and the Appleton Christmas Parade, as well as families participating in swimming lessons, are also among the many experiences involved in this program.
Hundreds of families in our community have been served by the Even Start program over the years, having been strengthened by their experiences, advancing their education as parents and adults, and ensuring that children get off to the best start possible very early in life. Congratulations to our partners at the Appleton Area School District and to our FVTC faculty and staff who have been so dedicated to the success of participants over the years. It’s always a joy to visit this program!
Program instructor, Susan Hunsader, reflecting on this milestone shared the following: “Our community is blessed to have a program that educates the whole family and allows for parents to not only gain an education for themselves, but to learn that they are their child’s first and most important teacher.”
Five Fox Valley Technical College students took home first place in the 2018 American Culinary Federation Student Team National Championship in New Orleans this summer. More than 1,500 chefs, cooks, students and foodservice professionals attended the event. Other teams that vied for the national accolade included Orange Coast College, Alamance Community College, the Culinary Institute of New York at Monroe College, and the Joint Center of Excellence – U.S. Military. Congratulations to both our students and terrific instructors. In a highly competitive ACF national championship, what a wonderful milestone for our college, community, and state!
IN PHOTO (from left): Students Morgan VandenLangenberg, Kirk Reilly, Grace Claussen, Regina Hueckman, Gage Dawiedczyk and Instructors Julia Steinhiser, Richard Williams, RC Schroeder
I recently came across an article in an Oshkosh West High School publication that noted “19% of its graduates are going to Fox Valley Technical College in fall of 2018.” We were humbled to be the number-one post-secondary choice for these graduates to find what’s next in their lives.
Perhaps what’s next is here because our latest Graduate Employment Research Report cites a 17-year high 95% graduate employment within six months for our alumni. The same study reveals an impressive average annual salary of more than $52,000 for FVTC graduates in the workforce after just five years. The time couldn’t be better to find what’s next for you or someone you may know in the shape of a great career.
I had the opportunity to attend last week’s open house for our latest home project that engaged the hands and minds of at least 60 students. Each year through property owned by the FVTC Foundation, students build a home with partial proceeds from its sale used to support related student projects. While primarily built by students in our Residential Building Construction program, other programs involved included Electricity, Wood Manufacturing Technology, Horticulture and Interior Design.
There is tremendous demand for skilled workers in the construction industry right now, so these students will have remarkable opportunities. Kudos to all involved in building such a quality, beautiful home in north Appleton
What a beautiful day it was this past Sunday—not only the weather and the fact that it was Mothers’ Day, but celebrating with the 475 graduates participating in FVTC’s spring commencement ceremony. The future looks very bright for these graduates, along with about 2,300 additional grads throughout this past year.
How bright does the future look?
95% graduate employment—the highest in 17 years
$39,000 + average yearly salary for graduates after six months in the workforce
$52,000 + average yearly salary for graduates after five years in the workforce