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Students take first step to fill labor gap in Superior

Northwood Technical College graduated the first students of its 12-week inaugural machine tool basics course.

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Derek Anderson, from left, Charles Grammond, Joe Stensland and Hunter Lind display the certificates they earned during a 12-week training course in machine tool basics at Northwood Technical College.
Contributed / Northwest Wisconsin Workforce Investment Board
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SUPERIOR — The Northwest Wisconsin Workforce Investment Board and Northwood Technical College recently celebrated the graduation of the 2022 cohort of machine tool basics students.

“The machine tool basics program was created in partnership with Northwood Technical College after meeting with industry leaders in the Superior area to address a direct workforce need, trained machinists,” said Scott Schultz, director of industry and innovation for the Northwest Wisconsin Workforce Investment Board. “Upon graduation, students can enter this field, or continue their education as a machinist to earn additional industry credentials, filling much needed gaps for the region.”

In November, the Northwest Wisconsin business services team toured Fraser Shipyards and Lake Assault Boats, speaking directly to staff and the operations team. What they learned is that if applicants have the basic skills, senior team members and shop staff would be willing to teach the rest.

Machine tool basics is a 12-week training course funded through the Northwest Wisconsin Workforce Investment Board’s Support to Communities program with Northwood providing the instruction.

Students learned print reading and machine tool applications, and received training in OSHA 10 General Industry for Machine Tool, and CPR/AED/Basic First Aid. All students who took part in the inaugural training session were successful and earned a certificate.

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"The most useful parts about the program is that a person can start from zero, learn at a guided and productive pace, and gain personal, professional development you didn't think you could have,” said Joe Stensland, one of the program graduates.

Two of the students are continuing their education to complete the machine tool technical diploma this fall at Northwood. Credits earned from this training are being applied to the machine tool technical diploma at Northwood giving students a jump start on their education.

All students now have the industry-recognized credentials and knowledge of safety practices and procedures in demand by local employers.

For more information about machine tool basics or Support to Communities, contact Scott Schultz at 715-201-8493 or sschultz@nwwib.com .

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