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Labor Secretary Perez tours Gateway facility, highlights IT training, grant

News Release: 

U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez visited Gateway Technical College’s SC Johnson integrated Manufacturing and Engineering Technology Center (iMET) as part of a Midwest stop on Wednesday. He visited Gateway to highlight innovative information technology training delivered by Wisconsin’s Technical College System and the recent $23.1 million federal grant to expand training in this area for unemployed workers.

Northcentral Technical College is the administrator for the INTERFACE project grant to the state’s 16 technical colleges for IT training. The grant is associated with the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training program.

“As American workplaces become increasingly interconnected, ensuring that workers have access to the IT skills and credentials that help to safely and securely collect, store and transfer information is more important than ever,” Secretary Perez told a panel of employers, students and WTCS leaders.

“This investment will help prepare the Badger State’s economy and its workers for good-paying, middle class jobs.”

Gateway is receiving $1.2 million as part of the grant program’s statewide investment in IT career pathways. These advanced IT competencies will support every sector of the state’s economy, including business, health care, hospitality, manufacturing and others.

“We are proud of our successful collaboration with the other WTCS colleges and business,” said Gateway Technical College President Bryan Albrecht. “We were happy to hear from the Secretary that our leadership in this arena led to this grant. It’s a collaboration that will continue to provide the training and opportunities for our students to successfully enter the workforce.”

Gateway will build a one-year IT Generalist Diploma program and Share Point certificate, a track within the college’s existing IT associate degree program. The program’s goal is to train and retain dislocated workers and other adults for in-demand jobs in the college’s three-county district of Kenosha, Racine and Walworth.

The successful grant application is the third installment of a multi-year, nearly $2 billion federal community college initiative designed to increase credential attainment in high-priority economic sectors.  In the previous round, the technical colleges won an $18.3 million grant to expand innovative programs that produce high-skilled workers in advanced manufacturing.

Wisconsin’s technical colleges received one of the largest single awards and the collaboration is one of the few applicants to successfully receive back-to-back grants.