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Governor Walker Highlights "Nicolet My Way" During Rhinelander Visit

Terry Rutlin Nicolet College

Governor Walker told students and staff at Nicolet College Tuesday he thinks the "Nicolet My Way" program that features flexibility in study is an effective model to train the future workforce. Walker toured the criminal justice, welding and other areas during the stop. Walker says he's hearing from employers they need trained workers...

"..but as we fill more positions in welding and related to that, that opens the door for more growth and more opportunity. I don't think there's a week that goes by, sometimes not a day that goes by that employers say to me, 'I have jobs, but I need to fill them. I could actually take more work on, I could add five more spots, but I can't do that until I fill the spots that I have..."

Highly-flexible academic programs assisting students in earning a college credential while meeting job and family responsibilities is the goal of the Nicolet My Way format. Walker says other states have used a similar format to find students to get more training....

 "....One of the biggest challenges for our students, particularly those who have been in the workforce and have some experience in college in one form or another, something past high school, it's time and cost. Those are the two biggest barriers if your in the workforce, particularly if you have a family. I can't just pick up and take off for all this time. I'm doing things, I have a life, I have a family. Time and cost become huge barriers...."

He praised Nicolet College and other technical colleges in the state, saying there's two sides to education, the student and the employer.

Walker discussed two workforce development initiatives: Wisconsin Fast Forward which provides grants to Wisconsin businesses who provide customized skills training for high-demand jobs. The other is Wisconsin Career Creator, which is a $20 million initiative aimed at improving educational and training opportunities.

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