Moraine Park Presents Business and Industry Partner Awards

Moraine Park Technical College awarded its annual business and industry partnership awards, recognizing valued partners of 2021. The College’s Economic and Workforce Development (EWD) recognizes five partnership awards each year: Excellence in Partnership, Employer of the Year, Innovation, New Partner of the Year, and Workforce Development Champion. 

The Excellence in Partnership award is given to an organization involved in several areas of the college including advisory committees, Foundation donations, Handshake, EWD contracts, and boot camp internships. The 2021 award recipient is J.F. Ahern. Ahern is actively involved in MPTC’s program advisory committees, contributing their industry knowledge to the growth of the College’s students and program curriculum. They are generous donors to the Foundation’s annual scholarship fund, the Forming Alliances to Cultivate Talent (FACT), and the Promise program scholarships. Ahern is also a major donor for Moraine Park’s Fond du Lac Automation, Innovation and Robotics (AIR) Center project efforts. They were collaborators with EWD in creating an online programming and sponsoring the Live2Lead professional development training. Finally, Ahern understands the importance of educating our youth on the vital careers needed in today’s manufacturing and trades industries. They achieve this by partnering with many K-12 schools throughout the state to support curriculum development and facilitation, offer job shadowing and facilities tours, and give presentations to high school classrooms on the benefits of joining the trades. 

The Employer of the Year award is given to an employer who has made a significant investment in their staff through a partnership with Moraine Park Technical College. The 2021 award recipient is the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, for being a valued and consistent partner with Moraine Park.  

The Innovation Award is given to an organization that implemented an innovative solution to a workforce challenge. The 2021 award recipient is The Boys and Girls Club of Fond du Lac, for their participation in the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) assessment. This partnership with Moraine Park provided opportunities to connect with the community and the youth through the development and growth of the Boys and Girls club team members. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) work is imperative for community growth and development of all people, and the Boys and Girls Club took an impactful step with this partnership and the work they continue to do around DEI to better serve our youth and the community.  

The New Partner of the Year award is given to an organization that supports Moraine Park through contributions, sponsorships, or involvement for the first time. The 2021 award recipient is Whisker formerly known as AutoPets. Whisker has been a strong new partner with MPTC as a Workforce Advancement Training grant partner to run multiple Supervision courses in 2021. They were a major sponsor at the Dodge County SHRM DEI conference, and employee and MPTC alumnus, Tyler Soto, is a great advocate and ambassador for the college.  

The Workforce Development Champion award is given to an individual focused on improving the skills and retention of personnel in the region and has positively impacted workforce issues around recruitment, training, and career development. The 2021 award recipient is Jesse Zahn, head of maintenance at MSI Express. MSI’s facility is equipped with automated machinery for filling beverage containers that will eventually find their way to internationally known chain coffee shops and restaurants. To ensure his staff is fully skilled in reducing downtime, Zahn sends multiple associates to the Industrial Maintenance boot camp each year. He now has developed an educational pathway and established a plan of advancement with his employees who complete the boot camp. In addition, some of his associates have expressed interest in seeking an electromechanical degree from Moraine Park and Zahn is committed to helping them achieve this goal through a combination of tuition assistance and help in facilitating the enrollment process. 

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Written by Kristina Haensgen
Marketing | Public Relations | Strategy | Communications | Professional Storyteller