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Technical colleges add value with special training

Recent survey results once again highlighted the value employers find in the customized training and technical assistance delivered by Wisconsin's technical colleges.

"Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College partners with many organizations, businesses and agencies in an effort to create opportunities and advance our mutual interests," said Charlie Glazman, associate dean of Continuing Education at WITC.

Technical colleges periodically survey employers involved in contract training projects to gauge outcomes and employer satisfaction. More than 500 employers responded to one or more survey questions about training outcomes.

Of those employers who responded, 94 percent were satisfied or very satisfied with the training provided, nearly 95 percent are likely to use these services again, while more than 96 percent would recommend them to a colleague. Respondents also indicated that the training improved the company's work environment and employee retention, reduced costs, and addressed safety and compliance issues.

Survey responses highlighted the value employers place on having incumbent worker training delivered on-site, noting that technical college customized training programs allow employees to apply new skills in their actual facility and specific equipment, not to mention saving on travel time.

WITC has partnered with the Northwest Wisconsin Concentrated Employment Program (NWCEP) in providing training opportunities to under-employed or unemployed individuals. As the training partner, WITC provided instruction for NWCEP clients in industrial maintenance and computer numerical control machine tool for the Wisconsin Sector Strategy Advanced Manufacturing Grant. Successful participants worked with NWCEP staff in finding jobs in the area.

WITC is currently partnering with area manufacturers in an effort to receive grant money to provide new or additional instruction to meet industry needs.

"Exodus Machines and Genesis Attachments are supporting our efforts to secure resources so we can provide a larger skilled employee pool of welders to address their expansion efforts," said Glazman. "We have also partnered with Kestrel Aircraft in a grant application to start an applied associate degree in composite technology."

Celebrating 100 years in 2012, WITC serves the educational and career needs of more than 25,000 residents of northwestern Wisconsin each year. With multiple campuses, WITC offers career-focused associate degree programs, technical diplomas, short-term certificates, customized business training, and a wide array of courses for personal or career enrichment.