Wisconsin’s Technical Colleges win $18.3 million in Federal Workforce Training Grants

by jbrezinsky26. September 2012 04:03

Moraine Park to use grant for welding simulation station
Wisconsin’s skilled workforce will benefit from $18.3 million in new federal funds awarded to improve and enhance job training, with $17.9 million targeted to innovative worker training for high-skilled jobs in advanced manufacturing.
     The 16 colleges that make up the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS), including Moraine Park Technical College, will share a $14.9 million grant award for the four-year “Making the Future” project. The project will expand and improve advanced manufacturing career pathways.
     Moraine Park will receive $647,000 from the grant, the majority of which will go toward equipment and support for five VRTEX 360 welding simulation stations. The simulation stations are designed for students to practice their welding technique in a simulated environment. The stations will reduce material waste, scrap and energy consumption associated with traditional welding training.  “The Welding Simulation Station will allow for flexible training times and experiences for our welding students,” said Sheila Ruhland, Moraine Park president. “Because this opportunity would not otherwise be available in a physical lab, we are especially grateful for the learning possibilities this new grant will provide.”       
     “These awards demonstrate federal recognition of Wisconsin’s leadership in successfully using innovative methods to improve the availability and quality of Wisconsin’s skilled workforce,” said WTCS Vice President for Teaching and Learning Kathleen Cullen. “By focusing on training Wisconsin workers for advanced manufacturing, we continue the long WTCS tradition as a major contributor to the growth of Wisconsin’s business climate. I want to personally thank the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development for its support in receiving these grants.”        
     "We are pleased to work with the technical colleges on this initiative," Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Reggie Newson said. "The manufacturing sector has seen the addition of thousands of good-paying, family-supporting jobs since Governor Walker took office, and we look forward to continued collaborations with the technical colleges, private-sector employers and other partners to address the skills gap and to grow Wisconsin's economy."
The federal grants were awarded through the U.S. Department of Labor as part of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grants with Fox Valley and Madison Technical colleges being awarded an additional $3,412,486 for manufacturing and bioscience-related projects. All of the grant projects include rigorous outcome evaluation requirements and education materials developed through the grants will be available for use by the public and other education providers. Additional information about the grants is available from the U.S. Department of Labor at http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/eta/ETA20121885.htm.