SOURCE: Wisconsin Covenant Foundation, Inc.

Wisconsin Covenant Foundation, Inc.

January 11, 2013 16:00 ET

Wisconsin Covenant Foundation Helps Bridge Skills Gap for Workers and Employers

Boot Camp Graduates Attain Advanced Manufacturing Skills and Secure Jobs

MADISON, WI--(Marketwire - Jan 11, 2013) - Today the Wisconsin Covenant Foundation, Inc., recognized the first cohort of highly-skilled graduates to complete a 15-week Computer Numeric Control Machinist (CNC) Manufacturing Skills Academy, or boot camp, at Moraine Park Technical College. In July 2012, the Foundation awarded Moraine Park a $705,647 Wisconsin Workforce Partnership Grant to establish Manufacturing Skills Academies for machine operation.

In six short months, Moraine Park moved from grant award to first graduating class -- providing students with the specific training necessary to access job opportunities. Moraine Park collaborated with the following partnering businesses: Amerequip Corporation; Brenner Tank LLC; John Crane Orion; Mid-States Aluminum Corporation; Burgess Norton; Mayville Engineering; Metalcraft of Mayville-West Bend; Reich Tool and Design; Signicast; and Wyman Gordon Mayville Die & Tool. Graduates earned a CNC Operator Certificate, with options to connect to additional diplomas and certificates. The first 15-week boot camp at Moraine Park produced 12 graduates, with half securing jobs prior to graduation.

The Wisconsin Workforce Partnership Grant was created by the Wisconsin Covenant Foundation, Inc., a private, non-profit organization, to close the gap between Wisconsin's workforce needs and its available workers, uniting businesses and technical colleges to fill jobs. Currently, "middle-skill" occupations, or those positions that require more than a high school diploma but less than a four-year college degree, represent 50 percent of Wisconsin's workforce needs. Advanced manufacturing occupations are among the fastest growing middle-skill opportunities.

"The Wisconsin Covenant Foundation funds the productive collaboration of partnerships between higher education and private industry. We are committed to helping improve career pathways to provide specialized instruction and real-world training to bridge the skills gap for workers and employers," said Foundation Board Chair Richard D. George.

Moraine Park was one of five Wisconsin technical colleges to share a three-year, $3.8 million Wisconsin Workforce Partnership Grant from the Foundation. At Moraine Park, funds helped support the significant investment in equipment, supplies, and specialized instruction needed to provide CNC training. The grant also allowed Moraine Park to invest in innovative education, informed by partner businesses that took a hands-on role in the development of program design and curricula. Moraine Park has high expectations for its second boot camp in February with additional opportunities available for students pursuing a CNC Operator Certificate.

"The future is bright for technical colleges, job seekers, and employers in Wisconsin's advanced manufacturing sector as we work toward meeting the present and future workforce and job creation needs of the state," added George. "We look forward to evaluating the results of the grants and assessing their impact on our students and employers."

To learn more about the Wisconsin Covenant Foundation's commitment to forging public-private partnerships in support of postsecondary education, please contact Amy Kerwin at 608-246-1785.

About the Wisconsin Covenant Foundation, Inc.
A private, non-profit organization, the Wisconsin Covenant Foundation, Inc., seeks to foster coordinated public and private investments in postsecondary education, increasingly a requirement for family-sustaining occupations. The Foundation was created in 2007 with a $40 million lead gift from Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation and Affiliates. Initiatives include helping disadvantaged Wisconsin Covenant Scholars pay for education beyond high school and strengthening the connection between Wisconsin's technical colleges and employers.

About Moraine Park Technical College
Moraine Park was established in 1912 and is one of 16 technical college districts that make up the Wisconsin Technical College System. Moraine Park has campuses in Beaver Dam, Fond du Lac, and West Bend, and regional centers in Hartford and Ripon.

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