The Moraine Park Technical College District Board approved leasing a new College facility in Washington County’s Jackson Industrial Park during their Wednesday, Jan. 16, District Board meeting. The District’s mission includes a focus on responding to community needs and initiatives through partnerships such as workforce development.
The expansion is in response to requests from Washington County-area employers for job training in welding, fabrication and other advanced manufacturing trade skills beyond the existing offerings at Moraine Park’s West Bend campus.
Moraine Park’s Jackson facility will bring welding, fabrication and additional, customized Computer Numerical Control (CNC) training to Washington County with a CNC lab, welding lab, two classrooms, restrooms, a reception area, break room, two offices, and a conference room to complete the space. The welding lab will feature two VRTEX 360 welding simulation stations, purchased from a $647,000 U.S. Department of Labor grant. The facility will offer robotic welding training in the future.
“I’m excited for the expansion in Washington County for educational training to meet the current workforce needs and to provide training in new areas, like robotic welding,” said Dr. Sheila Ruhland, Moraine Park president. “This facility will also provide opportunities to our secondary partners to meet customized training requirements.”
In Washington County, 24.4 percent of the county’s jobs are in the manufacturing industry, which is the highest concentration in the county. “With advanced manufacturing as a driver industry in Washington County, our success at fully leveraging opportunities for that industry is directly tied to a company’s capability for rapidly responding to changing demands on the skills of their workforce,” said Christian Tscheschlok, executive director of Economic Development Washington County (EDWC).
“This training center provides Moraine Park with capability to quickly flex with the unique training needs of individual Washington County area manufacturers,” added Tscheschlok, who said the EDWC sees Moraine Park’s new Jackson facility as a potential game changer. “It offers a direct solution for enhancing the competitiveness of our area workforce and growth in companies in an ever-changing manufacturing environment.”
"I am very pleased that this facility will be available for the students in Washington County and also in our neighboring counties. This is something that has been requested by members of our community, and I am happy that we can provide it,” said Mike Miller, Moraine Park District Board member and Washington County Board member.
Moraine Park will negotiate a lease and start construction and remodeling as soon as possible with the goal of offering classes in September 2013. Moraine Park proposes entering a lease agreement for approximately 9,515 square feet of space, using 22 percent of a manufacturing building located in the industrial park.
We balance the needs of our students and employers with the resources of our taxpayers, and the leased Jackson facility is a win-win-win,” said Richard Zimman, Moraine Park District Board president. “Our students will receive the additional training they need, and our employers will receive the skilled workforce they need — all at a price our taxpayers can afford through the less costly lease approach Moraine Park is taking for this new training center. Zimman added that the Jackson facility will allow Moraine Park to be flexible so the College can adjust to market conditions and respond quickly to changing employment needs without a huge capital expense. The initial term of the lease is five years, from July 1, 2013, through June 30, 2018, with five, one-year optional extensions. The projected cost for the initial leasehold improvements is $800,000, and the operating lease is $4 per square foot for the base rent with additional costs for applicable common area maintenance fees. Total annual operating cost for the first year is projected at $53,060. The lease agreement will need to be approved as substantially completed and forwarded to the Wisconsin Technical College System Board for their review and approval after final details are defined.
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, and regional centers in Hartford and Ripon, Wis., 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 is also offered. To find out more about Moraine Park, visit morainepark.edu.