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Nicolet College - State grant to bring more tech training to Nicolet College for unemployed and low-wage workers


State grant to bring more tech training
to Nicolet College for unemployed and low-wage workers

Low-wage and unemployed workers in the Northwoods meeting program eligibility requirements will get training at Nicolet College in an emerging high-tech career field thanks to a $38,686 grant from the state Department of Workforce Development (DWD).

While the focus will be on training workers without a high school diploma, the program is open to anyone who is unemployed or in a low-paying job. Classes start in August.

Nicolet’s Skills Jump Start grant will provide a unique combination of basic math and reading classes along with technology and computer training in the college’s Home Technology Integration certificate program.

“One of Nicolet’s top priorities is to provide job training that gets people back to work or gives them the opportunity to move into higher paying jobs,” said Elizabeth Burmaster, Nicolet College president. “This program is designed to do exactly that.”

The emerging Home Technology Integration field combines a number of different technologies into a single computer-based network that controls such things as home security, heating, cooling, appliances, entertainment equipment, and telecommunications.

“There’s a growing trend for homes to have this new level of technology,” said Dick Scuglik, home and information technology instructor at Nicolet. “Graduates will have the skills necessary to add these features to a home, giving the homeowner the ability to monitor and control a wide variety of functions from across town, across the country or across the world.”

Eligible, low-wage workers who are at least 18 and lack a high school diploma or need remedial instruction can apply for participation in the Skills Jump Start Program by calling North Central Wisconsin Workforce Development Board’s contact person Kaying Her at (715) 422-4700.

For more information about Nicolet’s Home Technology Integration program, contact the Nicolet College Welcome Center at (715) 365-4493, 1-800-544-3039, ext. 4493, or stop by the Welcome Center in Room 210 of the University Transfer Center on the Rhinelander campus.

The latest job training grant builds upon three previous grants Nicolet has received from the North Central Wisconsin Workforce Development Board and the state Department of Workforce Development. Those job training grants provided additional skills training in health care, manufacturing, and welding.

Nicolet’s latest grant is also part of more than $300,000 recently distributed to technical colleges across the state as part of Gov. Jim Doyle’s ongoing investment in worker training.

According to a study by the Center on Wisconsin Strategy, nearly 700,000 Wisconsin workers, who are 25 to 54 years of age and have a limited education, are paid less than the median wage of $15.11 an hour, not enough to keep a family of four out of poverty.

“In these tough economic times, Governor Doyle’s top priority is creating and retaining jobs and helping our workers get these jobs,” DWD Secretary Roberta Gassman said. “These grants will help Wisconsin workers find opportunities to get ahead and gain valuable skills. This program is an innovative approach to give them, as the name implies, a jump start. Workers can go to a technical college, meet their basic education needs, and at the same time learn new skills to put them on a career path to a good job and a better life.”