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Lt. Governor Lawton Presents Training Grants in Northwestern Wisconsin Workforce

NEW RICHMOND, Wis. –  Lieutenant Governor Barbara Lawton flew to northwestern Wisconsin Aug. 13 with the Doyle Administration’s Northern Tour to award a combined $85,000 in Workforce Advancement Training Grants to Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College (WITC) to provide advanced training to employees at Northwire, Inc. in Osceola and DCA Manufacturing in Cumberland.

Mark Tyler, board member, Wisconsin Technical College System; Susan Yohnk Lockwood, Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College dean of continuing education; Gary Beckmann, Osceola village president; Mark Kravik, Northwire president and CEO; Lt. Governor Barbara Lawton; Rep. Ann Hraychuck, and Charles Levine, president, WITC.“Our workforce is Wisconsin’s competitive edge in a global 21st Century economy,” said Lt. Governor Lawton. “We ensure steady growth by partnering with our technical colleges to provide Wisconsin businesses training opportunities for their employees, so they may upgrade technology and grow.”

The grant for Northwire, Inc. will fund new training programs at WITC, enabling the company to add anew product line and transition eight production employees into advanced positions with higher pay. The training is expected to give Northwire a 10 percent boost in productivity.

DCA Manufacturing’s grant will fund new collaborative training programs at WITC and Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC), allowing the company to provide specialized training to employees to stay competitive and shift toward higher quality processes. The grant is projected to increase DCA’s sales by 10 percent next year and reduce scrap rates by 50 percent over five years.Carl Proescholdt, DCA general manager; Mark Tyler, board member Wisconsin Technical College System; Susan Yohnk Lockwood, WITC dean of continuing education; Leslie Bleskachek , Chippewa Valley Technical College River Falls campus manager; Julie Schnacky, DCA; Lt Governor Barbara Lawton; Carl Bents, mayor; David Miller, Barron County Economic Development; Rep. Mary Hubler.

“By combining their resources, CVTC and WITC are able to jointly meet the needs of DCA Manufacturing,” says Susan Yohnk Lockwood, dean of continuing education at WITC. “In this growing region, it can be difficult to meet the ballooning demand, but if we think regionally, and collaborate, we can do more.”

Leslie Bleskachek, CVTC River Falls’ campus manager says, “We hope the partnership in this regard is the beginning of a new way of thinking in our respective districts:  that we don’t compete, but instead compliment each other’s offerings to benefit the colleges, the region and the area taxpayers.”

Northwire, Inc. specializes in producing high-quality custom wire and cable products, while DCA Manufacturing provides complex custom electronic and electromechanical assemblies.

The workforce Advancement Training Grants (WATG), designed to stimulate economic growth by improving training projects while increasing business productivity, distribute $5,000 to $150,000 grants totaling $1 million annually to qualifying businesses. Since its inception in 2005, the WATGs have provided $2 million to train 12,000 workers at more than 100 companies in Wisconsin.