As part of ongoing efforts to align curriculum with community needs, Fox Valley Technical College’s Board of Trustees met in Waupaca Tuesday, Oct. 21.
Community leaders were given an opportunity to hear about FVTC’s current programs and plans for the future.
FVTC Regional Director Paul Shrode explained how the college’s goals are to address skills shortages in the local economy and strengthen relationships with K-12 school districts.
In Waupaca, Shrode said FVTC offers courses that train nursing and medical assistants who can work at the veterans home, the hospital and health care clinics, and nursing homes.
He said the local courses for nursing assistants provide entry level education for students who want to become registered nurses.
There is also local business demand for employees with mid-management level skills, Shrode said.
For this reason, FVTC offers classes in business management and accounting.
FVTC also has classes in basic computer skills and career development.
Shrode noted that FVTC in Waupaca is working with local businesses to provide classes that help them evaluate and promote current employees.
Area high school students can also take college level courses through FVTC.
“All general education courses offered in Waupaca can be transferred to universities,” Shrode said.
During the board meeting, Jason Goszkowski, a 15-year Waupaca Foundry employee, explained how FVTC programs allowed him to earn associate’s degrees and advance his career.
Goszkowski, who is now a safety facilitator at Plant 1, said he first took courses that led to an associate’s degree in applied engineering technology. He then went back to school for certification in safety and occupational health, then for a health safety engineering technology associate’s degree.
Goszkowski described his day-to-day job as investigating accidents, devising ways to prevent accidents, ergonomics in the workplace and compliance with safety regulations.
“We’re always looking at the big picture, so that everybody goes home without being injured,” Goszkowski said.
At the meeting, the Board of Trustees also presented its FVTC Community Partnership Award to Waupaca Foundry.
Since FVTC opened its Waupaca Regional Center in 2007, the foundry has donated $150,000 toward lab equipment in the Industrial Training Bay, $125,000 toward construction of the facility and has committed to donate $5,000 toward FVTC scholarships per year for the next five years.
Waupaca Foundry also has a program that reimburses tuition costs for employees who take courses that help advance their careers at the foundry.