- Thanks to a $750,000 grant, Nicolet College will have a new manufacturing skills training program this fall.
Nicolet got the largest share of a $3.8 million grant awarded by The Wisconsin Covenant Foundation awarded $3.8 million to five colleges.
Area businesses worked with the college to win the grant, and they'll continue to help with the development of the new program.
"We bring in people who actually do the work every day that this program is designed to produce graduates for," said Kenneth Urban, vice president of student and academic affairs. "We ask those people what they do every day during their day-to-day work. We then take that information and use it to design the courses and the outcomes that graduates will master."
Those workers will come from the manufacturing companies that helped win the grant: Dr. Foster & Smith, Inc., HyPro, Inc., Packaging Corporation of America-Tomahawk Mill, Printpack, Inc., and Wausau Paper Corporation-Rhinelander Mill.
The companies are providing in-kind donations in the form of employee tuition reimbursement and equipment.
Their commitment shows how important the program is to the Northwoods.
"What's critically important about this program and what it will bring is the graduates will be the people that actually repair, maintain troubleshoot the equipment that keeps the plants running," Urban said.
The program starts this fall and has room for 20 students.
It's a ladder system, which means students start with a certificate, then earn their one-year technical diploma and two-year associate's degree.
Written By: Lex Gray