The Moraine Park Foundation has received support from a long-time community partner, the National Exchange Bank Foundation, with a $50,000 contribution to benefit low and middle-income students.
Each school year, students in Moraine Park’s Mechanical Design, Process Engineering Technology, and Electromechanical Technology programs take a course together and work in teams to complete a large-scale project. This year’s projects were to manufacture a pen in Moraine Park’s Automated Workcell, and to build a robot for the TechBot competition.
Students designed and manufactured a pen using automated processes and 3D-printed tooling, with the majority of the manufacturing and assembly being done with automation. There were also eight TechBot teams, building robots within a 15 lb weight limit designed to destroy each other in an 8’ x 12’ cage. Another team designed bike racks to be built and used in the West Bend area.
For more information on these programs, as well as others, go to morainepark.edu/programs/.
Moraine Park Technical College hosted an open house for their new Energy Education Center, located at the Beaver Dam Campus, on Wednesday, May 9.
Attendees had the opportunity to view and tour the new Energy Education Center, learn about the new Gas Utility program, speak with Moraine Park representatives, and network with community peers.
The event included a brief program, where Beaver Dam Chamber of Commerce and Moraine Park Technical College officials, as well as major donors for the project, participated in a ceremonial ribbon cutting.
Recently, due to an aging workforce, the demand for gas utility technicians has grown much faster than the supply of skilled workers. Moraine Park Technical College, with help from generous donors, was able to find a solution, the Energy Education Center. Major donors include Alliant Energy, KS Energy Services, Madison Gas and Electric, Michels Corporation, We Energies, and Wisconsin Public Service.
“Michels has a long history of being a leading gas distribution contractor and employer, locally and throughout the country,” said Sean Nicholson, vice president of health, safety, and environment at Michels Corporation. “We are proud to be in a position to support programs that will teach the skills required of the next generation of gas utility technicians. This is important and much-needed work; safe and reliable gas distribution infrastructure is essential to everyday life.”
This fully functioning state-of-the-art gas utility lab will house the Gas Utility Technician program and will serve as a critical pipeline for skilled workers to companies in natural gas, utilities, gas contractors, and propane suppliers over the next decade.
“The Energy Education Center isn’t just another classroom. Inside is a fully functioning gas utility lab and outside is a hands-on Training Neighborhood,” said Bonnie Baerwald, Moraine Park president. “Students in this program will work through real gas utility scenarios in the Training Neighborhood, have access to the latest technology, and undergo thorough training to get them ready for the field.”
Donors contributed a combined total of $325,000 to make the Energy Education Center and the Gas Utility Technician program a possibility.
“We are proud to support Moraine Park Technical College’s efforts to enhance training and skills development for students through the Energy Education Center,” said Vern Peterson, vice president of field operations for We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service. “It is vital for us to have a highly-trained workforce so that we can continue to provide safe and reliable energy to our customers. The addition of the Energy Education Center will help us meet this growing need for many years.”
Reuben Srinivasan, vice president of human resources at Alliant Energy, said “This new program will create the next generation of energy workers. We’re excited about our investment in these students, and we can’t wait to congratulate the first graduating class.”
The first cohort, starting this June, is at full capacity. This means that soon there will be skilled workers to fill the needs of the industry.
Information on the second cohort, set to begin June of 2019, will be available in fall 2018.
For more information on Moraine Park programs and service, visit morainepark.edu.
Moraine Park Technical College has a longstanding commitment to providing accessible, affordable and quality education. We know that the technical education we provide here will enrich our students, and in turn, will enrich the workforce and our communities.
The hard work and academic achievement of Moraine Park Technical College students was recognized during the College’s annual Student Awards Banquet held at The Golf Club at Camelot in Lomira on May 11, 2018.
“My name is Jacob Reck and I’m from Fillmore, Wisconsin. I have a younger brother, he is planning to attend Moraine Park to study nursing. My hobbies consist of doing anything outdoors. I love to hunt, fish, and train hunting dogs. I currently have a 1-year old Chesapeake Bay Retriever that I spend a lot of time with.
May 19 was a momentous day for the nearly 350 graduates who participated in Moraine Park Technical College’s commencement ceremony, held at the Fond du Lac High School Field House. In all, the College had nearly 800 graduate candidates eligible to receive their associate of applied science degrees and technical diplomas.
Keynote speaker, John Torinus Jr., praised students for their impeccable timing, stating that the job market is heavily looking for skilled and educated workers. He also impressed on the graduates to never stop learning and challenged them to always keep moving forward.
“To be adaptable, you will need to keep on learning. Your degree is a couple of steps toward first base, but there will be other bases to round, either at the same company or in a new career choice,” said Toriunus. “Learning is fun, it keeps us young in mind and at heart. I thoroughly believe that the day you stop learning, is the day that you start hearing harp music from afar. For that reason, I never intend to retire.”
Joseph Jaeger, a nursing graduate and Moraine Park’s 2017-18 Student of the Year, was the featured student speaker at the event. He also encouraged graduates to keep learning, and through telling his own story, reminded everyone that it’s never too late to go after your dream career.
“We work too long and too hard in this world to be doing something we don’t find joy in. Every day isn’t going to be great, but why not go to work with an honest smile on your face because you really don’t mind being there,” Jaeger said. “I have come to realize that if you want something bad enough, and are willing to dedicate the time and energy it takes, you really can accomplish anything. I urge everyone to dig deep and stop ignoring the truths you know about yourself. It’s never too late to find yourself. It’s never too late to try something new.”
Dr. James Eden, vice president of Academic Affairs, presided over the presentation of candidates with the conferring of degrees and diplomas done by Moraine Park President Bonnie Baerwald. Dr. Kristen Finnel, dean of Health and Human Services, and Dr. Fred Rice, dean of Applied Technology and Trades, announced the graduate candidates. From the Moraine Park District Board, Chairperson Mike Staral, Employee Member Cindy Fields and Additional Member Cindy Laubenstein recognized the graduates.
Staral, who welcomed the Class of 2018 and their guests to the ceremony, congratulated the graduates and their families on their accomplishments and encouraged them to keep moving forward.
“This ceremony is symbolic in many ways. It does mark the fulfillment of your commitment to earn a credential. It proves that the hard work, perseverance, and dedication has paid off. It does mean a lot to those who have supported you through this journey. They’re proud of you, and today is a celebration for them as well,” said Staral. “This ceremony does not end your education. Moving forward in your career means constant learning and growing. Work hard, be open, and embrace this! You’ll be surprised where it will take you!”
President Baerwald extended her congratulations to the graduates and extended her personal gratitude to the commencement speakers, Moraine Park District Board, Moraine Park faculty and the President’s Cabinet.
Moraine Park Technical College 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, the College 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.
To learn more about Moraine Park, visit morainepark.edu.
To view more photos from the 2018 Commencement Ceremony, go to facebook.com/moraineparktech.
Moraine Park Technical College students from both the CNC Tool and Die and Electricity clubs recently participated in the 2018 Wisconsin SkillsUSA State Leadership and Skills Conference at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, WI.
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