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Contract training through tech colleges develops skilled workers

In recent discussions of the skills gap in Wisconsin some individuals blame employers for not investing in worker training. In truth, many employers are training their existing employees in cooperation with the Wisconsin Technical College System.

Wisconsin’s technical colleges offer on-site training, distance learning courses and online training. Many employers take advantage of customized training to upgrade employees’ basic skills or specific job skills.  There are too many examples to list, but here are a few:

In Green Bay Miller Electric Manufacturing Company recently agreed to provide up-to-date equipment to Northeast Wisconsin Technical College so that Miller employees and others can be trained on the equipment used by the company. This is a $1.3 million investment in skills training specifically for welders.

Charter Films Inc. works with Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College to develop employees through its “Charter University.” Employees receive instruction and gain new skills that lead to increased income.

Fox Valley Technical College recently offered robotics training for employees of ThyssenKrupp Waupaca Foundry. A state grant paid half the $10,000 cost for the two-day class. The company paid for the rest.

Customized training is not limited to manufacturing. Colleges offer training for information technology employees, healthcare workers, sales and marketing staff, human resources professionals and managers in a variety of fields.

During the past year Gateway Technical College delivered training to more than 150 different businesses through 400+ courses. These companies invested in developing more than 4,000 employees. Courses included: Leadership Development, Meeting Facilitation, Project Management, Supervision and Principles of Operations Management.

Responses to a recent survey of businesses that have used WTCS contract training programs indicate almost all (94 percent) are satisfied or very satisfied with the training their employees received. They also said the training improved the company’s work environment and employee retention, reduced costs, and addressed safety and compliance issues.

Many companies are investing in education for existing employees through the opportunities offered by Wisconsin’s technical colleges.