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Western Receives Workforce Advancement Training Grants for 11 Area Businesses

Adult students

LA CROSSE, Wis., July 30, 2017 – Western Technical College will receive $325,000 in Workforce Advancement Training (WAT) grants to upgrade the skills of workers at 11 companies in the 7 Rivers Region. The funding is part of $4 million from the State, allocated to the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) and awarded to its 16 member colleges through a competitive grant process.

The WTCS Board awards WAT grant funds to promote increased investment in the development of incumbent workers, improve Wisconsin businesses’ productivity and competitiveness, augment the state’s economic base, support career pathways, and expand technical college training and technical assistance services to businesses and industry. 

Local companies included in Western’s partnership, include Advanced Fiber Products (La Crosse), Ashley Furniture (Arcadia), Badger Mining (Taylor), DuraTech (La Crosse), GEA (Galesville), Hi-Crush (Blair), Interior Systems (La Crosse), La Crosse Seed (La Crosse), Norwinn Company (Galesville), Walker Engineered Products (New Lisbon), and Westby Cooperative Creamery (Westby).

Employees will receive leadership and supervisory training, technical skills in electromechanical maintenance, robotics, project management, and computer engineering and design as part of customized training programs developed for WAT grant recipients. Additionally, a consortium group of long-term care providers in the district will be able to take advantage of CNA and medication aid training for their staff.

"The WAT grant program helps local companies to maximize their training budgets and gain access to the educational programs offered through the technical college," said Patti Balacek, dean of Western’s Workforce and Economic Development. "And, in a competitive labor market, customized training programs are an excellent way for companies to upskill their incumbent workforce to match the competences needed in open positions that can be challenging to fill."

For more information about Western Technical College programs and services for business and industry, call 608-785-9232 or visit www.westerntc.edu/BIS