Moraine Park Technical College has distributed over $8,000 in its third round Non-Traditional Occupations (NTO) grants. Last spring, the College started this initiative to benefit high school classrooms and encourage students to explore non-traditional career options. Non-traditional occupations are defined as careers that currently employ 25% or less of one gender.
High schools within Moraine Park’s district are eligible to participate in the grant program. Currently, partnerships are being formed to help influence the NTO exploration of skilled trade, health care, and early childhood occupations.
“It’s important to us that we introduce high school students to careers early on,” Ruback said. “There is such a high need for skilled workers, and our goal is to help fill the gaps in our local industries. Students who have the opportunity to take college credit classes in high school benefit in many ways; it’s more cost-effective, and they help develop life skills to be more self-sufficient and well-rounded adults.”
The fall 2021 grant cycle awarded West Bend District High Schools with funding used to purchase a shaken baby simulator, welding materials and nursing assistant materials; Waupun High School with medical and anatomy equipment; Fond du Lac High School with equipment for criminal justice and automotive training; Slinger High School with nursing assistant equipment, North Fond du Lac with a shaken baby simulator; and, Campbellsport High School with nursing assistant equipment.
“This has been such a powerful opportunity for us because we can help benefit the career path of our students before they are in college,” Ruback said. “The NTO grant money is awarded directly into the teacher’s classrooms and provides reimbursement toward the purchase of materials, supplies, textbooks, software applications, or equipment to enhance the dual credit learning environments.”
Moraine Park’s district schools interested in exploring dual credit options should connect with the K-12 Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.