Northwoods college beefs up manufacturing program - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Northwoods college beefs up manufacturing program

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RHINELANDER (WAOW) -

Students at Nicolet Technical College in Rhinelander are in training.

"Our employers were telling us that there were nearly 500 jobs that were becoming open in the five to ten years," Dean of Industry and Trade Brigitte Parsons said.

They're hoping to land a job in the manufacturing field. Experts say, right now, that's a good move.

"They are experiencing rapid growth, they're experiencing retirement so we needed to prepare the workforce for employment," Parsons said.

The school recently received a federal grant more than $550,000. It's purpose is to improve the manufacturing program.

"Our first class that started this fall is full," Parsons said.

Dana Demet is in that class. He says the skills he learns in and out of the classroom will help him land a job.

"People looking to leave here and jump right into a position are going to be able to find that for sure," Demet said. "You can't say that about every industry right now." 

School leaders say this new grant will help make that possible.

"People are now starting to know that they can help with their tuition and get employment at some of our bigger companies," Parsons explained.

The money will be spread out during the next three years. Leaders say their plan is to give hope to students looking for a new start.

"Making that investment in the workers here is definitely going to pay dividends, I think, when we enter the workforce," Demet said.

With a starting salary around $35,000 per year, Demet says the program is a good investment for students too.

This is the school's second grant this year. Combined, the grants add up to more than a million dollars added the curriculum.

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