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Blackwell Job Corps Get Nicolet College Foundation Award

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The Nicolet College Foundation recently presented its 2017 Friends and Partners Award to the U.S. Forest Service Blackwell Job Corps.

The career-training organization received the honor for its work with the college to build a first-of-its-kind partnership to teach firefighting skills to Blackwell students.

The Blackwell facility is located near Laona.

The pilot program last year resulted in 17 individuals with  structural firefighter and hazardous materials training, each earning official Firefighter 1 status.

Jason Goeldner is associate dean and director of Public Safety. He says Lee Jensen from the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest contacted the school about supplementing the wildland fire training they have.

Goeldner says it directly supports the college mission..

".....specifically it's made to individuals who may not have had an opportunity to go to college. They may be a first time college student in their family. Many of these students came from a financially-strapped background. In some cases they were told they would never be anything or succeed down the road. This really supported what Nicolet does here as well...."

The program included classroom instruction, which covered firefighting theory, along with plenty of hands-on training.

".....these individuals will enrich their communities as they go out upon leaving Blackwell and getting employed in their jurisdiction as a mason or carpenter or some other trade they learned at Blackwell and can also support their local community as a volunteer firefighter to support their communities...."

As far as is known, this is the first time this type of arrangement has been offered in the nation. The Nicolet Foundation has given the Friends and Partners Award every year since 1995

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