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Northwest Wisconsin educators form NorthWERD group to support economic development

NorthWERD has been developed to respond to the needs of regional developers and students, as well as identify regional economic trends and opportunities for graduates as they choose a career path.

(3/12/12): Eight institutions in northwestern Wisconsin are joining together to form a regional consortium of educational partners called Northwest Wisconsin Educators for Regional Development or NorthWERD. The group has been developed to respond to the needs of regional developers and students, as well as identify regional economic trends and opportunities for graduates as they choose a career path.

NorthWERD partners will celebrate the group’s formation in a signing event at the Lac Courte Oreilles Community College in Hayward on Wednesday, March 28, at 9 a.m. The event is free and open to the public.

 “I’m really excited about the partnership in that all the partners have a tremendous attitude in working together,” says Bob Meyer, NorthWERD Chair and Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College President. “I think the combined effort and enthusiasm of everyone involved will make NorthWERD a great success as educators listen to and support the needs of economic developers in the region.”

 NorthWERD comprises representatives from public, private and tribal higher learning institutions and agencies, including Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College campuses, UW system schools, UW-Extension, Lac Courte Oreilles Community College, Northcentral Technical College, C.E.S.A. 12 and Northland College.  Meyer says the group will facilitate collaboration among partners while leveraging collective resources to meet current and emerging educational needs for students, communities, governments and businesses in the region.

 “Economic development goes beyond economic growth,” says Michael A. Miller, NorthWERD Vice-Chair and Northland College President. “We need to ensure that the necessary infrastructure is in place and enhance access to programs for students and regional developers in order to grow a vibrant business community.”

NorthWERD has outlined four focus areas that will help participating institutions be more responsive to economic development needs in order to promote healthier, sustainable communities. The consortium of educators will focus on responding to regional educational and economic development needs, assess existing research and gather additional data to pinpoint economic opportunities, provide career pathways to success and offer academic advising and assessment for parents and students.