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Technical education has its roots in Wisconsin

The centennial anniversary of the birth of formalized technical education in this country will be marked with a daylong series of events in Racine Tuesday. Speeches, exhibits, a picnic lunch and a concert are all planned.

The centennial anniversary of the birth of formalized technical education in this country will be marked with a daylong series of events in Racine Tuesday. Speeches, exhibits, a picnic lunch and a concert are all planned.

Government-funded schools set up to train people for a variety of technical jobs taught by professionals with work experience under their belts seems like a natural.

But it's a concept that at one point in this country had to be invented. And it was 100 years ago in Racine. The nation's first technical college -- back then they were called continuation schools -- was established here in 1911. At age 90, Richard Hansen is one of the school's oldest living alumni. He went on to support a family as a tool and die maker, and remains grateful for the training he received.

While the nature of work has changed over the years, the core mission of the state's technical colleges really hasn't, according to Gateway Technical College President Bryan Albrecht.

Albrecht notes that while the first year of the state's technical colleges helped usher in the industrial era, these days the focus is helping workers shift to a knowledge-based economy.

Related Topics: EDUCATION
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