Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Rod Nilsestuen announced a Wisconsin Technical College System Workforce Advancement Training (WAT) grant that is helping Moraine Park Technical College provide training to 124 associates of Grande Cheese Company in Lomira and seven other Wisconsin locations.
Nilsestuen presented the grant on behalf of Governor Jim Doyle during a ceremony at Grande’s Rolling Meadows facility in Fond du Lac on Oct. 22. The $28,689 grant will provide Gold Belt, advanced leadership and project management training that will reduce turnover and waste and increase operating efficiencies.
As he addressed representatives from Moraine Park and Grande Cheese, Sec. Nilsestuen recognized Grande for their ongoing commitment to helping Wisconsin maintain nationwide prominence in dairy and agriculture. “Grande helped remake the mold for Wisconsin's reemergence as a vital dairy power in the U.S.,” he said.
Nilsestuen also noted the importance of businesses and educational institutions such as Grande Cheese and Moraine Park in developing partnerships to provide training to help build and maintain a competitive and educated workforce. “Human capital is Wisconsin's number-one resource,” he said. “(The governor) recognizes that and knows that one of Wisconsin's comparative advantages is its highly trained, highly educated and highly motivated workforce.”
Grande Cheese CEO Wayne Matzke cited Grande's Bryan Gill, director of total rewards, and JoAnn Hall, Moraine Park executive dean of economic and workforce development, as being pivotal in coordinating the efforts to provide training to Grande’s associates. “The training we are able to provide to our associates through these grants is very, very important to retention,” said Matzke. “It’s a wonderful program and allows our associates to position themselves to achieve their career goals within the Grande organization.” Matzke also recognized Nilsestuen and Gov. Doyle for their vision and for being catalysts not only in the dairy industry but also in agriculture. “Through your leadership you have helped position Grande in a place of pride in the country and globally.”
“These Workforce Advancement Training grants are a prime example of how collaboration among the state, businesses, and Moraine Park allows us to continue to meet the training needs of businesses and industry throughout the Moraine Park District,” said Dr. Gayle Hytrek, Moraine Park president.
The other local grants are as follows: KLH Industries Inc., Germantown, $45,979 for training 45 staff in Lean culture to improve on-time delivery, profitability and machine utilization; Richelieu Foods Inc., Beaver Dam, $15,698 for 30 supervisors, managers and lead people to receive in-depth knowledge of Lean principles, Kaizen, value-stream mapping, and leadership fundamentals and for 270 general laborers to receive a Lean overview; Combination Door Co., Fond du Lac, $10,178 for 64 staff to receive training; and Signicast Corp., Hartford, $6,830 for leadership development training for 30 supervisors and managers.
In all, the five grants total $107,374 and provide training for 547 area workers.
WAT grant applications are made by technical college districts in partnership with local employers, which must demonstrate training needs, the importance to the local or regional economy, measurable outcomes (including improvedproductivity and competitiveness) and increased employee wages and career opportunities. The training may include any combination of academic, occupational and career topics or courses.
Moraine Park Technical College, with campuses in Beaver Dam, Fond du Lac and West Bend, is one of 16 technical colleges throughout the state that make up Wisconsin’s technical colleges. Moraine Park offers more than 100 associate of applied science degrees, technical diplomas, apprenticeships and certificates delivered in a variety of formats — classroom, online and blended. Training and technical assistance for businesses are also offered. For more information about Moraine Park, visit www.morainepark.edu.