Wisconsin Oven, Gateway partner to create innovative training center program
Wisconsin Oven’s connection to Gateway Technical College goes back a generation – and the East Troy-based manufacturer is taking steps to ensure it will continue on to future generations.
In an effort to recruit the next generation of skilled workers, Wisconsin Oven has collaborated with Gateway to offer the Wisconsin Oven Universal Training Center.
Instructors will provide hands-on training to new employees at center on-site at Wisconsin Oven – and, students will receive a $10 an hour wage during the academy. The reason for creating the academy? Wisconsin Oven needs to boost the number of welders in its workforce, and is looking to this innovative way of doing so.
“We have a need for skilled workers,” says Wisconsin Oven President and CEO Dave Strand. “Our lack of skilled workers has impeded our growth. I know we could create training programs, but training programs at times aren’t enough. Our staff is putting in a lot of overtime, and we are at the point of addressing that work-life mix for them.
“We wanted a formal training program where we can bring in potential workers. We pay their wages, we pay for their first semester of a Gateway degree and hope it’s an incentive enough for them to apply to Wisconsin Oven and get hired. They can continue with their degree at Gateway, too.”
Gateway’s training will consist of welding and mechanical assembly skills, and workers who pass the courses – which they will receive at no cost – will receive college credit at Gateway. They will also receive a certificate of completion they can take with them wherever they work.
The situation benefits all: Wisconsin Oven will have a ready and skilled workforce for their operations, while students who complete the training receive solid career training, get paid while they learn, earn Gateway credits and have the opportunity to apply at a solid area employer.
As part of their training, students will provide some work for Wisconsin Oven.