Budget preserves educational opportunities critical to growing Wisconsin's economy

by admin25. October 2007 19:00

"The Governor and the Legislature have recognized that Wisconsin’s ability to succeed against increasing global competition is dependent on the technical skills and knowledge of our citizens.” 


That comment was delivered Oct. 26 by the President of the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) Board, Mary Quinnette Cuene, shortly after Governor Jim Doyle signed the 2007-09 State Budget. “Throughout the budget process, Wisconsin employers, students, labor and community leaders agreed that now is the time we must invest in technical education to ensure our economic health and vitality,” she said. 


Quinnette Cuene noted how the technical college system has worked hard to exemplify responsive, transparent and accountable public service. A recent independent analysis of the economic impact of the WTCS, conducted by the nonpartisan Wisconsin Taxpayer’s Alliance, found that the technical colleges and their graduates contribute nearly $7 billion to the state’s annual output. Through the 2007-­09 budget, Wisconsin will gain from this rate of return by investing in incumbent worker training and small business development, hardworking disadvantaged students, and veterans and their families.


“We are very pleased that Gov. Doyle is continuing his strong support of Wisconsin's technical colleges and the Workforce Advancement Training Grants,” said Dr. Gayle Hytrek, Moraine Park Technical College president. “Over the past several years, the Workforce Advancement Training Grants have allowed Moraine Park to provide numerous companies within our district the training they've needed to maintain their competitive edge and sustain their economic viability.”


“The combination of new state funding, preservation of existing levy controls and continual local efforts to improve operational efficiency ensures that technical colleges can remain a leader in the state’s efforts to develop our economic potential in high-­technology industries of biomedical, nanotechnology, sustainable agriculture and renewable energy,” said System President Dan Clancy. “At the same time, Wisconsin’s technical colleges will continue to maintain the highest quality educational programs in health care, police and fire protection, manufacturing, automotive, business and information technology – the skilled professions upon which we all depend.”


In response to demands for expanded services, technical colleges are serving more students and producing more graduates than ever before. At the same time, technical colleges are, collectively, holding annual operating costs per student down and levying well below the existing statutory limit. The Colleges have saved millions of dollars annually through joint volume purchasing of software and hardware, operation of a mutual insurance group for property, casualty and workers compensation insurance, and collaborative educational programming.


“The Wisconsin Technical College System appreciates all of the hard work, thoughtful debate and tough negotiations that went into crafting the state’s financial plan for the next two years. With the Governor’s leadership and input from the Legislature, students, faculty, staff, employers and employees, the Wisconsin Technical College System looks forward to contributing to Wisconsin’s economic success,” said Clancy.


The Wisconsin Technical College System has 16 technical college districts throughout Wisconsin which offer more than 300 programs awarding two-year associate degrees, one- and two­-year technical diplomas and short­-term technical diplomas. In addition, the System is the major provider of customized training and technical assistance to Wisconsin’s business and industry community.


Moraine Park Technical College has campuses in Beaver Dam, Fond du Lac and West Bend and regional sites in Ripon and Hartford. The College offers more than 100 associate degrees, technical diplomas and certificates as well as apprenticeship training and customized training for business and industry. To find out more, visit www.morainepark.edu.