Dear Gateway District Resident,
I am pleased that Gateway Technical College continues to serve a critical role in the economic and educational needs of our community. Recently we conducted studies to ensure we were in alignment with community expectations for workforce training and advanced skill requirements in each of the three counties we serve.
In response to those articulated needs, I, along with the Gateway Board of Trustees, introduced a plan to better serve our students and our communities. We are bringing this plan to you, the voters, as a $49 million bond referendum. I understand and appreciate that $49 million is a request that impacts the local taxpayer. The taxpayer impact on a $100,000 home is an increase of $9.73 each year for 20 years, or $0.81 per month. While we respect the cost, we believe the payback to you, our residents, is even greater.
Keeping our regional economy competitive is dependent on Gateway’s ability to produce and sustain a highly trained and skilled workforce. While Gateway has always focused on preparing students for the workforce, we need to continuously align our education and training with industry standards and expand and diversify our programs and services.
Increased programs and services, as proposed in our plan for the future, will increase the quality and number of Gateway graduates. With advanced training, graduates will be more marketable and local businesses hiring these skilled workers will be more competitive and productive. Improving the employment picture and business’ productivity and quality, improves the local economy and the community itself.
Gateway’s referendum proposal for each county includes introducing new Gateway career study programs and expanding other programs. The proposal meets employers’ requests for advanced manufacturing, welding, Computer Numerical Control machining, veterinary technician, culinary, and cosmetology, as well as new, more appropriate facilities for interior design, fresh water resources, police and fire science, adult basic education, student support and career placement services.
While each campus—Racine, Kenosha and Elkhorn—would see expanded services, let me highlight our largest endeavor—a new Public Safety Training Center. Public safety is essential for every citizen and highly trained professionals in police, fire and emergency medical services are critical for every community. The safety of our communities is highly dependent upon the level of training provided to our first responders. We are advancing a new public safety training center because, while our training facilities are supporting many of local law enforcement’s needs, we do not have the facilities to provide full-scale emergency vehicle operations nor do we have realistic settings to train in urban environments. Our current police weapons training lab is located in the basement of the Kenosha Campus, which was never designed to support firearm training.
Since 2005 Gateway has provided training to over 30,000 law enforcement professionals—the men and women who serve to make our lives safer. A new training facility will enhance the knowledge, skills and aptitudes of those we depend on most in times of need.
Gateway has been a valuable asset to the workforce of southeast Wisconsin for over 100 years. We have a responsibility to inform the public about the rationale and details of the proposed projects. To assist in providing information, we have developed a website, www.gtc.edu/proposal. I encourage you to visit the site to see how Gateway is serving as your community’s college.
Thank you for your continued support and on-going investments in Gateway Technical College.
Dr. Bryan D. Albrecht
President and CEO, Gateway Technical College