Nicolet College awarded nearly $2 million in state Fast Forward grants
Workforce training at Nicolet College will get another big boost, thanks to nearly $2 million in Wisconsin Fast Forward grants from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD).
The $1,921,544 in funding will expand academic opportunities in five areas: business, welding, information technology, health care and early childhood education.
“Workforce training is at the heart of what we do at Nicolet and the Fast Forward grants will go a long way in helping Nicolet meet that mission,” said Nicolet Interim President Kenneth Urban. “These grants will directly benefit our students by giving them the exact skills they need to be successful, while businesses in the region gain a skilled workforce to drive economic development.”
The bulk of the funding will go to expand the times classes are offered to include more evening, weekend and online options; purchase high-tech equipment; and expand the curriculum to offer more short-term training academic credentials. The credentials can be earned in one to two semesters to quickly move students into employment while allowing them to work toward a two-year associate degree.
The grants to Nicolet are part of $28 million the DWD awarded to the 16 colleges in the Wisconsin Technical College System. It is estimated the money will help train nearly 5,000 more workers state-wide in high-demand fields.
“Technical colleges are truly our frontlines in training the next generation to have ethical, educated Wisconsin workers,” said Wisconsin Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch in announcing the grants.
“We are so excited to be here at Nicolet Technical College to make sure you have the resources you need to get eager workers into programs where they will get the skills they need in order to get the jobs they want. The whole Northwoods area will truly benefit from having economic development and workforce development go hand-in-hand to benefit the future of Wisconsin’s economy.”
Nicolet staff worked closely with professionals in each of the career fields to ensure the skills taught in college labs and classrooms are an exact match for those needed in the workplace. They also tried to ensure that the new flexible classes fit with the schedules of workers on the job who are seeking additional training.
Below is the breakdown of how Nicolet will use the money from the five grants it was awarded.
Business – Creation of the Nicolet Business Academy, the hallmark of which will be numerous new classes offered on nights and weekends, and industry-recognized technical diplomas, many of which are new. These include marketing specialist, customer service representative, supervisory management, tribal supervisory management, receptionist, office assistant, accounting assistant and bookkeeper.
Welding – Purchase of high-tech robotic welding equipment and instructional supplies, and expanding class offerings to include weekends.
Information technology – Expanded evening, online, and daytime classes and three new technical diplomas that can be completed in a year or less. These include IT User Support Technician, IT Network Technician, and IT Virtualization.
Health care – Additional Certified Nursing Assistant classes in Crandon, Wabeno/Laona, Three Lakes, Minocqua, Tomahawk, and Rhinelander. The classes would be held in the high schools with many of them open to community members.
Early childhood education – Add a technical diploma option that can be earned over a series of Saturday classes. The classes will serve those already working in the field with little or no college education and high school students looking to get a jump on their associate degree in Early Childhood Education.
For more information on these and other academic programs, visit nicoletcollege.edu or call the college at 715-365-4493, 1-800-544-3039; TDD 711 or 1-800-947-3529.