Thursday – September 18, 2014

 

Wisconsin's Technical Colleges add value with customized, on-site training

MADISON – Recent survey results once again highlighted the value employers find in the customized training and technical assistance delivered by Wisconsin’s technical colleges.

“Employers continue to tell us that this training and assistance, which is flexible and tailored to their needs, adds value to their operations,” said Mark Tyler, President of the Wisconsin Technical College System Board. “As a manufacturer operating in this competitive skilled labor market, I appreciate the importance of developing Wisconsin’s existing workforce,” Tyler added.

Technical colleges periodically survey employers involved in contract training projects to gauge outcomes and employer satisfaction. Over 500 employers responded to one or more survey questions about training outcomes. Of those employers who responded, 94 percent were satisfied or very satisfied with the training provided, nearly 95 percent are likely to use these services again, while more than 96 percent would recommend them to a colleague. Respondents also indicated that the training improved the company’s work environment and employee retention, reduced costs, and addressed safety and compliance issues.

Survey responses highlighted the value employers place on having incumbent worker training delivered on-site, noting that technical college customized training programs allow employees to apply new skills in their actual facility and specific equipment, not to mention saving on travel time.

Workforce Advancement Training (WAT) grants have extended the reach and awareness of technical college customized training services. The grants, which have consistently received bipartisan legislative support, provide funds to technical colleges to support training programs developed with employer partners. Over the seven-year life of the WAT grant program, technical colleges have received about $17.5 million in WAT grants to support over 1,400 employers in training almost 77,000 incumbent workers across Wisconsin. An additional $4.0 million is available in fiscal year 2012-13.

“Given the pace of change in the workplace, we certainly don’t foresee demand decreasing for flexible, effective incumbent worker training,” stated System President Dan Clancy. “As a result, I anticipate that the WTCS will seek additional resources for worker training in the upcoming biennial budget. These survey results demonstrate employers’ support for WTCS training that benefits workers and employers across the state,” added Clancy.

Wisconsin’s Technical Colleges offer more than 300 programs, awarding two-year associate degrees, one- and two-year technical diplomas and short-term technical diplomas. In addition, the System is the major provider of customized training and technical assistance to Wisconsin’s business and industry community. More than 370,000 individuals access the technical colleges for education and training each year. Learn more at witechcolleges.org.

For information about MATC’s customized training, visit the college’s Office of Workforce and Economic Development website.