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Data Reporting Analyst Retiring After Over 30 Years at Blackhawk

January 18, 2023

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It was May 1990 when Andy McGrath graduated from Blackhawk with an Associate Degree in Accounting. A few months later, he landed his first job at the College as the federal projects clerk.

Now, after more than 30 years, Andy is retiring from Blackhawk. In addition to federal projects clerk, he has worked as a grant administrator and a data reporting analyst. Along the way, he earned his bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Upper Iowa University.

Andy sees himself as very fortunate to be surrounded by and mentored by good leaders whom he also considers good people. The one that sticks out the most to him is former Vice President of Administrative Services Kaylen Betzig, who later became president of Waukesha County Technical College.

“Kaylen mentored and guided me early in my BTC career,” he said. “She taught me more than I can mention here, and I am forever grateful to her.”

While Andy has seen the evolution of technology and its impact on how things are done, including how the College delivers education, he spent his entire career in administration.

“I did not get to experience much interaction with students, which sometimes made it hard to feel like I was making a difference,” he said.

That was until the mid-2000s when he was part of a team that wrote and received a federal grant awarded to Blackhawk’s Automotive Technician program. The additional funding allowed the College to hire instructional lab assistants.

One of those assistants was Sheldon Newkirk, who went on the become a full-time instructor in the program and who Andy believes played an instrumental role in revitalizing that program.

Another impactful experience for Andy was helping to secure a $1 million grant to retrain hundreds of workers impacted by the 2008 closing of General Motors and related employers.

Asked what he will miss most about Blackhawk, Andy said he’ll miss the interactions with his colleagues and all that comes with it, including problem-solving, investigating questions, providing answers or sharing a joke or two.

With no major plans for retirement, Andy says he will sit down with his wife, Ann, and have a cup of coffee (which he’s been told he will have to learn to like) and figure it out from there. He’s looking forward to random trips and spending time with his two grandchildren (with another on the way).

Congratulations on your retirement, Andy!

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