Building the Next Generation of Skilled Trade Workers

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Door County high school students can earn college credit through new collegiate partnership
Door County high school students can earn college credit through new collegiate partnership
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College and Sevastopol School District are launching the Door County Machining Program to create pathways for a more skilled workforce.

Available now at Sevastopol High School, the program enables students the opportunity to earn dual credits toward high school graduation and in the NWTC Machine Tool CNC Technician technical diploma. 

“The partnership with NWTC has been an incredible opportunity for all the students who are participating in the machining program,” said Troy Schaefer, principal of School District of Sevastopol. “For students to be able to earn college credit and develop skills as a machinist, establishes a solid foundation if they choose to enter the field. Students can also pair this training with the Youth Apprenticeship Program, providing real life experiences from a variety of industrial partners.”

The machining program is available to junior and senior high school students within the Sevastopol, Sturgeon Bay, Southern Door, and Gibraltar school districts. “This expanded availability makes it a dynamic program to service students throughout Door County,” said Schaefer. 

Upon graduation, students have the option enter the workforce or to continue their college education. All credits earned through the machining program transfer into the NWTC Machine Tool CNC Technician program.

“The benefits of dual credit opportunities for K-12 students are unparalleled; saving thousands in tuition costs and providing the employable skills towards family-sustaining careers,” said Dr. Kathryn Rogalski, NWTC vice president of student learning. “It’s important for these students to have the clear direction and resources to complete their career goals Partnerships like this help provide that pathway to their academic success.”

Wisconsin is one of the top states with the highest number of employed machinists across the country, according to recent data by U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

“Machinists are one of the most in-demand career fields in Door County, and we cannot graduate students quickly enough,” said April Konitzer, regional manager of NWTC Sturgeon Bay and NWTC Luxemburg. “Working with our community partners to understand industry needs is an essential part of curriculum planning. We will continue to work together to find innovative solutions that build a skilled and competitive workforce.”

Providing students with real world resources, the machining program consists of three labs with specialized IT, fabrication, and CNC learning areas. The program is two semesters and accepts 12 students per semester.

Support from area companies and the regional machining industry have been instrumental in getting the machining program off the ground. This includes a $2 million anonymous donation to the school district to build the lab in conjunction with a referendum project. 

For more information about the Door County Machining Program, contact Troy Schaefer at 920-743-6282 or Susan Baus, coordinator of NWTC Sturgeon Bay campus, at 920-746-4901.
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