Wisconsin’s employers and workers will benefit from a $23.1 million investment by the U.S. Department of Labor, which announced a grant to Wisconsin’s 16 technical colleges to address emerging needs in the Information Technology (IT) sector.
The successful grant application applies to the third installment of a multi-year, nearly $2 billion federal initiative designed to increase community college credential attainment in high-priority economic sectors. In the previous round, the technical colleges won an $18.3 million grant to expand innovative programs that produce high-skilled workers in advanced manufacturing.
“Collaboration within our system has allowed us to leverage more than $41 million to address the strategic needs and priorities we’ve identified with our workforce and economic development partners,” said Wisconsin Technical College System President Morna Foy. “That’s pretty exciting for Wisconsin.”
Southwest Tech will receive $797,805 for the next four years. The Southwest Tech initiatives will include the following:
- Develop and offer a suite of basic competencies which includes: basic computer skills (common course developed across all colleges for basic computer competencies); soft skills/employment skill competencies; minimal logistics competencies that when combined with basic computer and employment skills will prepare someone for basic entry level employment in a logistics related job; develop credit for prior learning assessments to enable individuals to prove knowledge in competencies already possessed.
- Develop and offer a competency based logistics certificate (approximately 18 credits) that include competencies in the areas of Enterprise Resource Planning, Lean Operations Management, Logistics/Supply Chain Management, Negotiations, Purchasing, and Transportation Management. The training would be developed by competency and in an online format.
- The Logistics Certificate will be the first segment of a new Supply Chain Management Associate Degree and will articulate into the Business Management and Agriculture Business Management Associate Degree programs. Credit for prior learning of the logistics competencies will be built into the Business Management and Agriculture Business Management programs.
- The competencies taught in the Enterprise Resource Planning portion of the certificate will provide students with the skills needed to successfully enroll in and complete the SAP training at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville which provides completers with a recognized credential in SAP.
The most recent grant will allow the colleges to enhance and expand career pathways not only within cutting-edge IT programs, but also within other critical sectors – such as health care and manufacturing – that increasingly require workers with advanced IT competencies. Drew Petersen, President of the Wisconsin Technical College System Board and an executive with TDS Telecom said, “Our programs are uniquely industry-driven, and these funds will allow us to scale innovation in response to needs identified by our employer partners in the IT space.”
Wisconsin’s technical colleges received one of the largest single awards from the Department of Labor’s investment, and the collaboration makes the technical college system one of the few applicants to receive back-to-back grants. Grant implementation will begin in October 2013.
The two area schools that will benefit from this grant are Southwest Technical College in Fennimore, and Western Technical College based in La Crosse. Other schools in Wisconsin who will receive part of the grant are Chippewa Valley, Wisconsin Indianhead, Mid-State, Madison Area, Blackhawk, Gateway, North Central, Nicolet Area, Milwaukee Area, Waukesha County, Moraine Park, Fox Valley, and Northeast Wisconsin Technical Colleges.
Category: Local News