Promoting lifelong learning is a cornerstone of the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College’s (NWTC’s) mission. That takes many forms, from continuing education to upskilling opportunities and continuous improvement for the region’s workforce.
Although the college has seen cycles of peaks and valleys in Northeast Wisconsin’s business development, NWTC’s Corporate Training and Economic Development department (CTED) has continuously innovated and adapted to meet the training and educational demands of the region’s workforce. The last two decades have been an evolution of how best to serve the community.
“Dr. [Jeffrey] Rafn and the executive leadership team centralized and expanded CTED in the early 2000s,” said Lisa Francour, CTED manager. “They invested in meeting our area’s training demands, brought on additional account executives, and created a new strategic framework for the department.”
The changes to CTED’s structure allowed them to focus on a unified corporate training strategy. The focus shifted the department from a decentralized entity throughout the college to a unified, completely customizable training solution provider that leveraged all NWTC’s resources.
The focus of corporate training is to keep employee skills on-pace with changing technologies and to grow and sustain the district’s economy. CTED trains thousands of individuals each year across businesses of all sizes.
“Now we are changing how we offer our training,” Francour said. “More online and credit-level programming options are available. Employees in our programs can earn credit for prior learning and credits toward degrees – it all depends on the training. We work with our college’s experts to completely customize each opportunity.”
Highly customizable and flexible have become the norm. Businesses that invest in employee training for onboarding, upskilling or industry certification are working with NWTC instructors and subject matter experts. The curriculum is adapted directly from programs and experts across all areas of the college.
The region’s businesses continue to invest in their employees, and NWTC continues to invest in CTED to ensure the local workforce receives the opportunities they need to thrive in their careers. CTED’s work allows organizations to stay competitive and meet the demands of their industry.
“It is not just us investing in our community; it is our community investing in itself,” said Francour. “Companies are investing in their workforce by providing employees with skills and opportunities to advance their careers and incentives to stay and be part of our community.”
This article originally appeared in NWTC’s Friends magazine.