Brodhead High School Students Get Head Start on BTC Programs

March 22, 2019

“Students are able to use the latest technology to get them used to what they will be using in the workforce,” said Brodhead Vocational Technology instructor Tim Ast. He is referring to the state-of-the-art labs for welding, machining, and nursing assistant programs at Brodhead High School. Collaboration between Blackhawk Technical College, Brodhead High School and Kuhn North America, Inc. made the labs possible. Brodhead students can jump-start their college education in Computer Numeric Control (CNC), Welding, and CNA.

Thanks to the support of Department of Workforce Development Fast Forward Grants, participating students have the option to earn dual credit. Dual credit is credit for classes at both Brodhead and BTC. Students can apply these credits to complete certificates and degrees at BTC.

“These programs provide opportunities for our students to get a head start on their careers while still in high school,” said Brodhead High School Principal Jim Matthys. “It has allowed students to further their education at no cost to them or their families.”

The new courses launched during the 2018-19 academic year. CNC and Welding launched in the fall with about two dozen students enrolled. The CNA course kicked-off recently with about 10 students on the roster. Students take these career and technical education classes during the regular school day. Equipment needed for the programs, provided by BTC, was installed last summer.

“This collaboration exemplifies our mission to provide flexible education in a supportive environment. We are thrilled to expand our offerings in Green County; specifically in Brodhead,” said Dr. Tracy Pierner President of Blackhawk Technical College. "We are committed to serving our business and education partners to create skilled employees for the workforce."

Jill Leitzen, Director of Human Resources at Kuhn North America, Inc., agreed, “With this significant investment, Kuhn looks forward to hosting welding and CNC machining students in apprenticeship programs to provide real-life work experiences and opportunities to hone their technical skills. Our goal is to provide fruitful career opportunities right here in Brodhead for our local residents.”

The goal of the collaboration is twofold. It gives students access to career and technical education, and it creates skilled employees to fill gaps in the workforce. Matthys added, “The popularity of the programs are growing. In a short time, students are already taking advantage of these opportunities and we look forward to our first class of graduates this spring.”
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