A New Kind of Education
In the early 1900’s, Wisconsin educators and lawmakers recognized the need for high-quality education for working young adults. Starting in 1912, City Vocational Schools in Green Bay and Marinette offered courses in machine shop, woodworking, printing, bookkeeping, shorthand, typing, mechanical drawing, sewing, and commercial work along with standard reading, writing, and math for younger students. They provided instruction for apprentices and, in time, offered courses to adults of all ages, whether they were working or not.
Meeting the Area’s Needs
The Vocational Schools responded to the needs of the communities by offering job training for the unemployed during the Depression, and operating 24 hours a day/7 days a week to provide training for the war effort during the 1940’s. The Sturgeon Bay Vocation School started in 1941 to help meet those needs. As more young students turned to the high schools for their standard education, the Vocational Schools expanded their territories and started to offer two-year technical programs and vocational diplomas.
Uniting and Growing
To serve all citizens, the State organized the Vocational Schools into Districts covering all counties. In 1967, Brown, Door, Kewaunee, and Oconto counties formed the Wisconsin Vocational, Technical and Adult Education District 13. The City and County of Marinette joined the District in 1968, while Florence county and part of Shawano county joined in 1970. The united Schools received a new name – the Northeast Wisconsin Technical Institute (NWTI). The Sturgeon Bay and Marinette campuses built new facilities in 1971, and the large, Green Bay campus complex was ready for classes in 1972. The Institute applied for and received National accreditation.
In 1987, the Institute’s name changed again to Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. Other changes included an increased focus on servicing the educational needs of the businesses and industries in the communities. Starting in the early 1990’s, the College pioneered the use of online technology to offer flexible options for education. The beginning of this century was marked by rapid growth and an increase in the number of students, buildings, locations, and educational options throughout the District. As the College continues to develop innovative ways to serve its students and community, the future holds even more possibilities.