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Column: MSTC helps close Wisconsin's skills gap

10:08 AM, Dec. 3, 2012  |  Comments
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Wisconsin's technical colleges are essential to closing the state's skills gap, a term used to describe the mismatch between workforce skills and available jobs in business and industry.

Despite persistent unemployment, the Department of Workforce Development estimates there are 32,000 to 45,000 unfilled jobs statewide.

The "Silver Tsunami," an industry term referring to the impending impact of the retirement of the baby boomer generation, only adds to this workforce shortage.

To help address Wisconsin's skills gap, Mid-State Technical College continues to offer and advocate for the educational resources MSTC students need to be successful in the workforce.

Half of all jobs require a two-year degree, making MSTC a preferred destination to learn skills for a new career or enhance skills in your current career. Our college serves about 9,000 students per year. In fact, the 16 colleges that make up the Wisconsin Technical College System, or WTCS, serve 370,000 students and form the largest higher education system in all of Wisconsin.

MSTC offers 10 unique career programs that can be found nowhere else in the WTCS. We regularly assess our more than 100 career programs and certificates to ensure they are relevant to today's economy, enhanced by flexible technology and easily accessible to individuals in our district communities.

Recent survey results indicate that 86 percent of MSTC graduates were employed within six months of graduation. An MSTC associate degree graduate earns an average of $31,000 in their first year, and in their lifetime can expect to earn $400,000 more than those with a high school diploma.

Student success is priority number one at MSTC. Our students experience small class sizes, hands-on instruction, engaging faculty with industry experience, and programs of study tied to local workforce demand. Interested in learning more? Stop by any of our four locations, call 888.575.MSTC, or visit www.mstc.edu. Spring semester classes start Jan. 14. Enroll now!

Sue Budjac is president of Mid-State Technical College.

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