Governor Walker Announces Wisconsin Workforce Partnership Grant for Moraine Park Technical College

by jbrezinsky18. July 2012 02:39

     Governor Walker announced today the awarding of a Wisconsin Workforce Partnership Grant from the Wisconsin Covenant Foundation Inc. for Moraine Park Technical College.
     The College will use the $705,647 grant to provide specific training necessary to create new jobs at partnering businesses including Amerequip Corporation, Brenner Tank, John Crane Orion, and Mid-States Aluminum Corporation. 
     “This is the kind of collaboration that will get Wisconsin working again,” said Governor Scott Walker.  “Technical Colleges partner with employers who have a hands-on role in developing the educational programs so those pursuing this education will have the skills they need to get good, family-supporting jobs.   This grant will bridge the gap between people who want good jobs and employers who need skilled workers.”
     The grant will establish Manufacturing Skills Academies for both machine operation and welding training in a 15-week boot camp format.   This training will result in either an Entry Level Welding Certificate or a Computer Numerical Control Machine Operator Certificate.  Students will have options to connect to additional diplomas and certificates available from Moraine Park.   Upon completion of the grant, the partnership companies expect to fill 108 new positions with skilled workers.
     “Through the generosity of the Wisconsin’s Workforce Partnership Grant, funded by the Wisconsin Covenant Foundation, we are able to help move Wisconsin forward in closing the gap between Wisconsin’s middle-skill jobs and available workers,” said Dr. Sheila Ruhland, Moraine Park president.  “We are thrilled to be working with Amerequip, Brenner Tank, John Crane Orion, and Mid-States Aluminum as Moraine Park moves into the next century of innovative education and will continue to strengthen the pipeline between Moraine Park and employers throughout the district.”
     Wisconsin Workforce Partnership Program grants are privately funded by the Wisconsin Covenant Foundation Inc.  This Foundation program serves job creators and job seekers by using technical school education and targeting it to Wisconsin’s immediate employment needs.
     Governor Walker worked with the Wisconsin Covenant Foundation Inc. to create this grant program.  The program was announced in March of this year and in total $3.8 million in grants will be awarded to help fund programs like the one in Moraine Park and other Wisconsin Technical College System schools. 
     Moraine Park was established in 1912 and is one of 16 technical college districts that make up the Wisconsin Technical College System. With campuses in Beaver Dam, Fond du Lac and West Bend, Moraine Park offers more than 100 associate of applied science degrees, technical diplomas, apprenticeships and certificates. Moraine Park’s Economic and Workforce Development offers customized training, workshops and seminars to meet current and future workforce needs. Supporting entrepreneurship for small businesses, Moraine Park provides low-cost non-degree classes, free entrepreneurial workshops and entrepreneurial certification. To find out more about Moraine Park, visit



Moraine Park hosts manufacturing adventure camp

by jbrezinsky17. July 2012 09:04

Toolin’ it! allows local students to explore careers in manufacturing

     Students from area middle and high schools spent the week of June 18 through 22 at Moraine Park Technical College learning about manufacturing through instruction, hands-on activities and meeting leaders in the manufacturing business during the Toolin’ It! summer camp. The camp covered a range of topics in manufacturing from computer-assisted design and CNC, to electricity and welding.
     Sixteen students in ages ranging from 13 to 16 from Campbellsport, Fond du Lac, Hartford, Kewaskum, Rubicon, Slinger and West Bend filled the room on the first day of camp to learn about design. They were able to experiment with SolidWorks, a 3D mechanical CAD program.
     “It’s appropriate that students begin with design,” said Kim Olson, a tool design engineering technology instructor at Moraine Park. Design isn’t made in the shop. “Everything needs to be designed prior to being produced on the shop floor.”
     Tom Roehl, engineering technologist instructor at Moraine Park, taught the students on Tuesday about the concept of value added. “Adding value to a piece of material is the core of how manufacturers make a profit,” Roehl said. Roehl hopes that the students take away an interest in machining as a career possibility, an understanding of the benefits of manufacturing as a career and an appreciation for how manufacturers improve our society.            
     On Wednesday, Mark Wamsley, electricity instructor at Moraine Park, led the students in a project where they installed wiring to make a light bulb turn on.
     After discussing safety equipment and protocol on Thursday morning, the students suited up for some welding projects and worked in groups of two. For Alex Dean, a homeschooled tenth-grader from Campbellsport, learning to weld was something new, as it was for students at the camp. When they developed enough skills with tacking two pieces of metal together, they moved on to more complicated projects like welding together a model-sized motorcycle.
     Moraine Park welding instructor Jeff Beach said there is a shortage of quality welders, and there will be a lot of opportunities for students interested in welding and fabrication. There’s a misconception that all jobs in manufacturing are “low paying” and “unsafe,” he added. “That’s not the case.”
     The camp concluded on Friday with field trips to Craft Cast Company in Jackson; Kettle Moraine Coatings in West Bend; and Signicast, out of Hartford.
     Todd McDonald, president of Signicast, said the tour provided a way to educate students what is possible” in manufacturing. When asked what types of classes should students pay attention to if they want to work for this company in the future he answered by saying “every skill they’re teaching in school is used here” including math, science, and reading.
     Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs is an organization that provides manufacturing camps such as the “Toolin’ It” camp to encourage students to investigate a career in manufacturing. For more information, visit




Choose Moraine Park flavor in Culver’s custard contest

by jbrezinsky10. July 2012 10:18

Public invited to vote for favorite
     As Moraine Park Technical College continues to celebrate its 100th anniversary, a delicious contest has been added to the mix of centennial-related activities.          
     Moraine Park has partnered with Culver’s to create a Flavor of the Day that will be featured in celebration of Moraine Park’s Centennial. The final flavor will be announced with free samples of the custard flavor available for tasting at the Moraine Park Centennial Time Capsule Opening and Dedication Ceremony on Thursday, August 16 at the Fond du Lac campus. Everyone is welcome to vote by visiting and clicking on the Culver’s Vote Now! button.
     “We are thrilled to be a part of Moraine Park centennial celebration and salute the College for all it has done for our community over the past 100 years,” said Dan Lichtenwald, owner of Culver’s on Fond du Lac’s East-side.  In addition to sampling the winning custard flavor, the public is invited to participate in other centennial-related events scheduled for August 16. The event will run from 3-5 p.m., outside the O-entrance on the west end of the campus. Festivities include: Opening of the 1987 time capsule; dedicating the College’s new time capsules; a WTCX live remote; and fun games, activities and prizes.
     The three delicious custard flavors to vote on are: MPTC Maximus Crunch (Oreo cheesecake flavored custard with blue and white sprinkles on top); MPTC Wolf Pack Choc Attack (Chocolate custard with brittled chocolate coating and oreos); and MPTC Berry Innovative (Vanilla custard, blueberry, and brittled chocolate coating).
     Participants are encouraged to vote often, and voting will take place through July 31. For more information on this and other Moraine Park centennial-related events, visit


Moraine Park’s Ruhland appointed to Joint Legislative Council

by jbrezinsky3. July 2012 08:58

 Ruhland to help improve educational opportunities for State high schools
     Moraine Park Technical College President, Dr. Sheila Ruhland, will represent Moraine Park at the state level with her recent appointment to the State of Wisconsin Joint Legislative Council. The Council’s primary responsibility is to establish study committees to examine major issues and problems identified by the Legislature. Ruhland will serve as a Public Member of the Special Committee on Improving Educational Opportunities in High School.
     Ruhland is looking forward to discussing and recommending educational opportunities for students throughout the state. “The scope of this committee clearly aligns with my work experiences and interest in looking at options for high school students, specific to career and technical education, and determining ways to increase post-secondary enrollment,” Ruhland shared.
     The Committee is directed to develop legislation to create and enhance opportunities for both lower-and higher-achieving students in high school. On the Committee, Ruhland will evaluate post-secondary enrollment, including the Youth Options Program, examine both career and technical education and post-secondary enrollment options available to high school students in other states.       
     Ruhland will also help determine how to promote coordination between high schools, technical colleges, universities and employers to ensure that high school students have the skills necessary to meet the work force needs to employers in the state.
     “Over the years we have seen a decline in the number of secondary courses available to educate and train high school students in career and technical education,” said Ruhland. “I believe that these courses are a critical pipeline that encourage and make students aware of post-secondary educational training opportunities, which is necessary if we are to meet the current and future workforce training needs in Wisconsin.”
     For more information on the Joint Legislative Council, visit For additional information on Moraine Park, visit









Steiner commended for service to Moraine Park District Board

by jbrezinsky2. July 2012 03:02


   Robb Steiner of West Bend was sworn in to the Moraine Park Technical College District Board in July of 2009 as an employee representative. Steiner’s three-year term came to an end at the June District Board meeting, where he was commended for his dedication and service to the Moraine Park District.     
     Steiner brought extensive knowledge to the Board related to the field of electricity, project management and green energy. A 2005 alumnus of Moraine Park’s Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC) Electrician Apprenticeship program, he works for his family’s business, Steiner Electric in West Bend, as an estimator and project designer.              
    “Robb’s leadership on the Board, especially as it related to the maintenance and project side of things was greatly appreciated,” stated Jodine Deppisch, Board Chair.  “Robb was an active member of the Board who we came to rely upon to provide the Board with his valued perspective. We thank Robb for his dedication and service to the Moraine Park District; he will be missed,” Deppisch said.      
     Steiner stated that he was saddened to leave the Board. “I feel very honored and blessed to have been a part of the Board,” Steiner said. “The team that’s been built here is amazing. Everyone has been such great team members, all driven toward student success.”           
     During Steiner’s time on the Board, he promoted technical and adult education in order to meet the educational and training needs of the District’s citizens. The Board expressed their gratitude to Steiner for his loyal service, leadership and friendship.           
     Moraine Park was established in 1912 and is one of 16 technical college districts that make up the Wisconsin Technical College System. With campuses in Beaver Dam, Fond du Lac and West Bend, Moraine Park offers more than 100 associate of applied science degrees, technical diplomas, apprenticeships and certificates. Moraine Park’s Economic and Workforce Development offers customized training, workshops and seminars to meet current and future workforce needs. Supporting entrepreneurship for small businesses, Moraine Park provides low-cost non-degree classes, free entrepreneurial workshops and entrepreneurial certification. To find out more about Moraine Park, visit



Moraine Park holds GED/HSED graduation ceremony

by jbrezinsky20. June 2012 10:40

    Basic education instructor Greg Harding (on left) with graduate Karen Espinoza of Hartford and Dr. Sheila Ruhland, Moraine Park President.

 For some, work, family life and other obstacles have prevented them from graduating with a high school diploma. On Thursday, June 14, these students achieved the first step to educational success was celebrated at Moraine Park Technical College’s General Educational Development (GED) and High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED) graduation ceremony. Many graduates not only obtained their GED/HSED, but have solid plans to continue their education. 
     “To earn a GED, a candidate must demonstrate a level of skill that is rigorous and standardized to all graduating seniors,” said Sandra Huenink, Moraine Park dean of basic education. About 250 students completed the GED/HSED program at Moraine Park during the past year with 33 participating in the ceremony. 
    “This is a milestone to celebrate and enjoy,” said Huenink. “By obtaining your GED or HSED, you have opened new doors to your future and you should be proud of your success. Your journey does not stop here; always be looking for educational opportunities to continue learning.”  
     Jessica Wulff of Fond du Lac, who served as a student speaker at the ceremony, will continue learning this fall at Moraine Park. She is enrolled in the Engine Research and Development Technician Program and is looking forward to the next step in her education.
     “Moraine Park is here to help you continue your education,” said Sheila Ruhland, Moraine Park president. “I was told I was not ‘college bound’ and found support in dedicated faculty and staff to believe in myself and continue to learn. If you believe it, you can achieve it,” added Ruhland.
     The Friend of Basic Education Award was presented to Moraine Park’s staff of four Disabled Students Specialists.  “It is truly an honor for the Disabled Students Specialists to be recognized by the Basic Education Staff
and Faculty,” said Bonnie Bauer, who supervises the Disabled Students Specialists. “We truly enjoy working in a close and collaborative fashion with the Basic Education team in supporting student success.”    
    GED/HSED tests will be changing starting January 2014. Anyone currently working on their GED or interested in earning a GED is encouraged to complete all five GED tests no later than December 2013. If all five tests are not completed by that time, candidates will be required to restart testing with the new GED tests. Previous scores will not carry over to the new tests in January 2014. The new GED tests will be computer-based and will continue to be administered at Wisconsin Technical Colleges. For more information about Moraine Park’s Basic Education programs, call 920-924-3130.  



Moraine Park receives grant from Great Lakes Corporation

by jbrezinsky19. June 2012 10:12

Program designed to support disadvantaged students during financial emergencies
     Students who come across unforeseen financial emergencies will no longer have to give up their dream of achieving an education, thanks to Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation (Great Lakes). 
     Great Lakes has approved Moraine Park for up to $85,000 in Emergency Grant Assistance for Pell-eligible students. The grant, which was opened to colleges within the Wisconsin Technical College System, provides students in need with small grants to address unexpected expenses that too often get in the way of continuous enrollment and eventual program completion.          
     “This is a wonderful opportunity for students who may have unexpected financial needs after they begin their education at Moraine Park,” said Sheila Ruhland, Moraine Park president.  “Grant funds will help student retention and completion and, ultimately, ensure student success in reaching and obtaining their educational and career goals.”
     This grant opportunity is focused on students who have significantly demonstrated financial need and are more likely to leave college if confronted with a financial setback. Through the program, Pell-eligible students faced with urgent, unforeseen expenses can apply to receive small grants —typically from $200 to $500 — to cover costs that can get in the way of program completion.       
     Moraine Park has over 1,000 students currently on Pell grants. Ninety-eight percent of the students who have received funds through our current Student Emergency Fund are Pell grant recipients, so the College has seen demonstrated need.     
      "From a retention standpoint, we know that one of the main reasons students leave secondary educational institutions prior to degree completion is lack of available funds,” said Kelly Norton, Moraine Park Foundation director. “Emergency grant funds like this provide Moraine Park with the opportunity to get a student back on their feet and moving toward degree completion and academic success. In turn, these students become productive members of our society, contributing to our community’s strength and vitality.”
     Great Lakes awarded grants to Wisconsin’s 16 technical colleges with the goal of helping students remain in, and complete college and realize the many benefits completion brings to students and their families. The grants—up to $140,000 per college, based on enrollment—are made available through Great Lakes’ philanthropic Community Investments program. The $1.9 million, three-year initiative will also measure the effectiveness that emergency grant assistance has on student retention and graduation to inform future funding decisions.
     “This program is a perfect example of a public-private partnership at work,” said Daniel Clancy, president of the Wisconsin Technical College System. “Emergency assistance can make a real difference in students’ success. It’s great to see Great Lakes step up again to reinvest in technical college students and provide this level of customized support.”
     For more information on Moraine Park, visit


Moraine Park hosts Chic Geek event

by jbrezinsky19. June 2012 10:09

Hands-on workshop for high schools girls interested in information technology
     For all those chic geeks out there, we know you’re not afraid to break things! Moraine Park Technical College will be hosting Chic Geek on Wednesday, July 25, from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. on the College’s Fond du Lac campus. It’s a hands-on workshop that will walk incoming high school girls through breaking computers (both a laptop and a desktop) and putting them back together again. Participants and a partner (chosen the day of the event) will work together to disassemble and reassemble computers and load operating systems.
     Those who attend the workshop will also get a sneak peek at the new touch screen Windows 8 operating systems. Girls can see the benefits of careers in the Information Technology fields – the workshop will build knowledge, confidence and skills in girls who are looking to try something new. Registration is now through July 1 and costs $10 to attend.           
     To register or for more information, visit, or contact Renae Fischer, Moraine Park non-traditional occupation specialist, at 920-929-2477 or


Moraine Park President joins national forum to promote entrepreneurship

by jbrezinsky18. June 2012 04:32

     The National Association of Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE), the nation’s leading organization focused on promoting entrepreneurship through community colleges, has announced that President Sheila Ruhland of Moraine Park Technical College has joined its new Presidents for Entrepreneurship Forum.
     Through the program, presidents of community colleges throughout the country commit to increase the focus on entrepreneurship at their institutions and the impact these colleges have on the economic well-being of the communities they serve. Officials from six other Wisconsin Technical Colleges have also joined the new forum.                
     "Through our increased focus on supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses with the College’s new entrepreneurship initiative, we are pleased to join our peers across the state and the country in signing onto NACCE’s Presidents for Entrepreneurship Forum,” said Dr. Sheila Ruhland, Moraine Park president.     
     With the economy still lagging in many regions of the United States, 175 community colleges throughout the country have joined the entrepreneurship forum, and by doing so, have committed to playing a greater role in stimulating economic development in the communities they serve.      
     “As we have continued to make a more concerted effort to infuse entrepreneurship across the College and throughout the Moraine Park District, NACCE has been a valued partner providing key resources, networks, and support,” said Ruhland.  “We look forward to continuing a strong partnership with NACCE as we move along this important journey of promoting and supporting an entrepreneurial culture across the Moraine Park district."
     Moraine Park was established in 1912 and is one of 16 technical college districts that make up the Wisconsin Technical College System. With campuses in Beaver Dam, Fond du Lac and West Bend, Moraine Park offers more than 100 associate of applied science degrees, technical diplomas, apprenticeships and certificates. Moraine Park’s Economic and Workforce Development offers customized training, workshops and seminars to meet current and future workforce needs. Supporting entrepreneurship for small businesses, Moraine Park provides low-cost non-degree classes, free entrepreneurial workshops and entrepreneurial certification. To find out more about Moraine Park, visit


Moraine Park hosts Cancer Survivor Beauty and Support Day

by jbrezinsky11. June 2012 05:48

     There are more than 10.1 million cancer survivors in the United States, and Moraine Park Technical College is looking forward to honoring those survivors by participating in national Cancer Survivor Beauty and Support Day.  Free pampering (manicures, pedicures, facials, haircuts and scalp treatments) for cancer survivors will be available Thursday, June 21, from 7:30-11:30 a.m. at Techniques Salon and Spa on Moraine Park’s Fond du Lac campus.
     “Techniques Salon and Spa is participating in the Cancer Survivor Beauty and Support Day because we believe that volunteerism and community service are important to the success and growth of our students and the well-being of our community; we are delighted and privileged to take part in this special day for cancer survivors,” said Eileen Bouchard, Barber/Cosmetology instructor at Moraine Park.
     This year, more than 1.3 million new cancer cases will be diagnosed in the United States. While many public health initiatives address early detection, prevention and control of cancer, public health efforts to address cancer survivorship are relatively new.
     Salons, spas and schools can provide survivors a wonderful gift of support to honor cancer survivors by offering free services to women, men and children who have courageously fought their battle with cancer. Appointments are required – To make an appointment for Cancer Survivor Beauty and Support Day, call 920-929-2106. For more information on Moraine Park, visit