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CVTC: A Magazine for Alumni and Community Friends WINTER 2020 | VOLUME 10 | ISSUE 1

REFERENDUM 2020 Get Informed and Vote with Confidence WHAT’S INSIDE? President Bruce Barker: CVTC touches all aspects of life in the Chippewa Valley. Transportation Education Center: Preparing workers for a rapidly changing industry. Emergency Services: Training those who help you when you need it most.

CHIPPEWA VALLEY TECHNICAL COLLEGE MAGAZINE CVTC.EDU

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CVTC Impacts Daily Life in the Chippewa Valley CVTC was created by legislation in 1911 to address the need for a better educated workforce. The early 1900s were a time of great change and technological advancements. Horses were replaced by cars and trucks. The electrification of rural America brought us electric tools, lighting and street cars. Communicating by letter was replaced by telegraphs and telephones. In fact, one of the first programs offered at CVTC was for telegraph operators. CVTC focuses on our local economy. We teach job competencies. We call it education that ends in a job description. Still, many people are unsure of what we do and the impact we have on local communities. Perhaps the best way to understand CVTC’s importance is to think of your everyday life. If you woke up in a woodframed home, we probably built it or at least repaired it. We heat it in the winter and cool it in the summer. When you hit that light switch every morning, thank our line workers for the light and power. Early morning trips to the bathroom and kitchen would be different without

plumbing and appliances. Thank our tradesmen, machinists and welders. When you get in your car, it starts because of our mechanics. If you hit a deer or tree, our auto collision specialists will fix it good as new. If you think police, firefighters and paramedics are needed services in our

“If we want our local economy to grow and prosper, the College must also grow and expand.” communities, thank our grads. If you’ve ever been nursed back to health; had an operation; been in therapy; had an x-ray, lab test or ultrasound; or had your teeth cleaned, you’ve benefited from our alumni. We grow your food; we truck it to market. We are the markets, the hotels, restaurants and grocery stores that we all depend on. We are the IT and administrative professionals who run every office and data center. We’re the technicians, electricians, apprentices and journeymen who maintain our factories,

assembly lines and distribution centers. It is safe to say that every person, family and business benefits from CVTC every day. We have over 155 programs, all designed to strengthen our local economy. That is why 95 percent of our grads are employed within six months of graduation, 91 percent stay in Wisconsin and 72 percent stay in West Central Wisconsin. The demands for CVTC grads have never been greater. If we want our local economy to grow and prosper, the College must also grow and expand. We’ve seen the importance of a welleducated workforce, and we know the quality of life we enjoy here in West Central Wisconsin is directly dependent upon the quality of education we provide.

95%

155+

91%

18,595

$46,816

Percentage of CVTC graduates employed within 6 months after graduation

CVTC offers 110 programs, 35 certificates, and 13 apprenticeships

Percentage of graduates who find employment in Wisconsin after graduation

Total number of students CVTC served in 2018-19

Average starting salary of CVTC associate degree graduates

CHIPPEWA VALLEY TECHNICAL COLLEGE MAGAZINE IS PUBLISHED FOR ALUMNI AND THE SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF INSTITUTIONAL ADVANCEMENT Karen Kohler

PRESIDENT Bruce Barker

EDITOR, COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST Mark Gunderman

DIRECTOR: MARKETING, COMMUNICATIONS, GRAPHIC DESIGN RECRUITMENT, WORKFORCE SOLUTIONS Lauren Richards & CONTINUING EDUCATION Joni Geroux 2 SPRING 2019 | CVTC.EDU

CHIPPEWA VALLEY TECHNICAL COLLEGE 620 W. Clairemont Ave. Eau Claire, WI 54701-6162 715-833-6200 800-547-CVTC cvtc.edu

CVTC does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in employment, admissions, programs, or activities. General inquiries regarding the College’s non-discrimination policies may be directed to: Director of Human Resources • Chippewa Valley Technical College • 620 W. Clairemont Ave. • Eau Claire, WI 54701 • 715-852-1377 • WI Relay: 711

Accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association, ncahlc.org. Issue Date: Winter 2020. Published biannually. © 2020 Chippewa Valley Technical College. All rights reserved.


CVTC delivers innovative and applied education that supports the workforce needs of the region, improves the lives of students, and adds value to our communities. CVTC’s mission is closely tied with the workforce needs of the region and helping people realize their dreams for a better life. Today, local businesses are struggling to find skilled workers. CVTC has identified a need to create new labs and facilities and upgrade existing facilities to prepare its graduates for the workforce, help the people currently in the workforce improve their skillset, and offer customized training for employers. One of the most significant areas of need is in the transportation sector of the local economy. The continued success of our region depends on a timely, cost-efficient and environmentally-sound transportation industry. CVTC is experiencing increased demand, but its facilities are overcrowded, outdated and unsuitable for teaching with current equipment and technology. New facilities will allow the College to continue delivering on the promise of graduating job-ready employees for years to come. Another area of significant need is in public safety. Training current and future first responders for their challenging

careers is critical to the safety of the region. CVTC’s ability to provide hands-on, reality-based training is more important than ever, and the current facilities no longer meet the training needs of the present or future. Updates will allow these brave men and women to be prepared and keep us safe. Providing resources to the community and being responsible with taxpayer funds are two of CVTC’s core values. Twenty-two years ago, voters approved a referendum to build the Emergency Service Education and Manufacturing Education centers and the River Falls Campus, which contributed to a 54 percent increase in enrollment from 1997 to 2019. Investing in the future of our area through improved facilities and resources will help keep our region thriving in the future.

PHASE 3

PHASE 2

PHASE 1

REFERENDUM PROJECT PRIORITIES 1. River Falls Property Acquisition

$2,500,000

2. Automated Fabrication Lab

$3,000,000

3. Mobile Labs and Other Equipment

$1,900,000

4. Transportation Center - Equipment Storage Facility

$28,000,000 $1,800,000

5. ESEC Addition - ESEC Remodel

$7,000,000 $2,500,000

6. Menomonie Entrance - Menomonie Commons, Office

$350,000 $200,000

7. River Falls Science Lab

$100,000

8. River Falls - Building #2

$1,000,000

9. Chippewa Falls Science Lab

$300,000

10. Raze W. Annex, Maintenance Shop

$150,000

Total Amount (not to exceed)

$48,800,000

*Assumes multiple borrowings amortized over 21 years using planning interest rates of 3.75% - 4%. Estimated impacts are based on 2018 Equalized Valuation (TID-OUT) of $24,723,807,042 with no annual growth thereafter.

Referendum Amount: $48.8 million Impact Per $100,000 of Property Value: Estimated tax increase of $13/year*

// cvtc.edu/Future

CHIPPEWA VALLEY TECHNICAL COLLEGE MAGAZINE

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CHIPPEWA VALLEY TECHNICAL COLLEGE MAGAZINE

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CONSTRUCTION

TRANSPORTATION EDUCATION CENTER CHANGE IS ON THE WAY The world is on the threshold of profound changes in transportation. While electric vehicles and hybrids are still a minority on today’s roads, and driverless vehicles are in their infancy, the trends in the transportation industry are unmistakable. “This means CVTC’s future and past graduates will need to know how to service cars that are designed and powered

differently,” said CVTC President Bruce Barker. “While these are exciting advancements, it is impossible to provide adequate training in our outdated, undersized learning labs that were designed and built in the 1960s.” A centerpiece of CVTC’s facilities plans, as outlined in the proposed referendum, is construction of a Transportation Education Center (TEC) at the West Campus. The facility would allow CVTC to keep up with the changes in the transportation sector of the economy and ensure that students would be trained for today’s jobs and the jobs of the future.

HIGH TECH TAKES OVER TRANSPORTATION There are big things on the horizon when it comes to transportation technology, but what’s under the hood already presents challenges that CVTC students must meet. “We’re working on integrating the higher tech components – the more advanced computer controls, hybrid systems, electric vehicles and all the computer controls and diagnostics that go with that,” Adam Wehling, dean of agriculture, energy and transportation, said. “Electronics is becoming increasingly more important in all transportation programs. We teach it now, but not to the extent we need to.” Some of the current Automotive Technician lab’s hoists, lifts and diagnostic equipment are coming to the end of their useful life, Wehling stated. It’s time to replace and upgrade. But a big part of the plan for TEC is to get ready for what’s to come. “Automated systems in vehicles are being inserted in everything from cars to forklifts, to trucks and even agricultural equipment,” Wehling said. “As we get more advanced functions in our vehicles, the transition to autonomous driving vehicles is going to be much easier.” There are already vehicles on the market that can park themselves, lane-assist technology, adaptive cruise control and

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collision avoidance. In power systems, the market is seeing traditional gasoline and diesel engines, electric, hybrids and compressed natural gas (CNG). The need for servicing such technology will only increase. “We have no current facilities to teach on CNG vehicles, as we don’t have a CNG-compliant building with maintenance bays,” Wehling said. “About 65 percent of Kwik Trip trucks, for example, are fueled by CNG. Our students are only getting traditional diesel engine training.”


ALL OVER THE MAP Currently, to visit all of CVTC’s transportation programs requires travel. They’re spread all over town.The Transportation Education Center would bring them together into one place. “We have Automotive Technician programs at the main campus, and Motorcycle, Marine and Outdoor Power Products is down the hall from them,” Wehling said. “Auto Collision Repair is in a separate building. Diesel Truck Technician is across town at the Diesel Education Center, and Truck Driving is by the Energy Education Center.” And those spread-out transportation facilities are outdated or too small. Plus, many of these programs require welding, and the facilities for those classes are in another building. The lack of a common location for the programs means little collaboration between faculty and makes it difficult to provide adequate student support services like tutoring. “Truck Driving and Diesel Truck Technician, for example, are separated by miles,” Wehling said. “With one location, we would be able to share equipment and resources, which would make us more efficient. With students working together, the student experience is more valuable.” It would also allow CVTC to offer the required general education classes where the transportation students are. Currently, many have to travel to other facilities for those classes.

“There’s a broad range of technology in automotive work. We are still servicing cars from the 1990s while we are seeing the advanced technology of today’s cars. It’s a constant learning experience keeping up with the changes.” BOB ADAMS, Owner Adams Automotive Center

TRANSPORTATION JOBS DATA VS. CVTC CAPACITY CVTC 11-COUNTY DISTRICT

Job

Average Annual

2018 Jobs

2019 Jobs

2024 Jobs

CVTC Capacity per Year

Diesel Truck Technician

86

783

800

850

48

39

Auto Collision Repair & Refinishing

39

350

354

368

36

12

Automotive Maintenance

111

1042

1058

1106

80

26*

Motorcycle, Marine & Outdoor Power

17

152

153

155

36

11

Truck Driving

1045

8437

8567

8895

102

86

Source: EMSI (Economic Modeling Software Inc. Openings take into account industry growth and replacement jobs (retirements and departures) *Includes one and two year programs

CVTC 2018-2019 Graduates


NEW PROGRAM IN AGRICULTURE COMING! CVTC will be starting an Agricultural Service Technician program in summer of 2021 to teach students about maintenance and repair of farm equipment beyond the engine. Currently, the plan is to house the program at the Diesel Education Center, as it is the only facility with service bays that could handle the large equipment. But the diesel center is several miles from where the program logically belongs.

“It needs to be close to the agriculture programs on the West Campus and would be if the Transportation Education Center is built,” Wehling said.

Explore the program today! cvtc.edu/AgServiceTech

A HOME FOR TRANSPORTATION The layout of the Transportation Education Center would be similar to the Energy Education Center. “The commons area could double as a showroom for hosting community events, like last year’s electric vehicle event,” Wehling said. “Right now, we aren’t able to host many transportation events because our programs are spread out.” TEC would feature a conference room, which, in combination with the commons, could host a 300person event. A new facility would simply serve the students better. “The student services for transportation programs are minimal because students are broken up into various locations. Now many students have to travel to get services,” Wehling said. “Our current transportation facilities restrict some of our ability to teach to the fullest extent of what industry needs us to,” Wehling continued. “To have one center of excellence that can train students at a high level consistently is what we’re building toward.” Wehling added that improved facilities would help CVTC produce more graduates in the transportation programs. “Currently, our number of graduates cannot keep pace with the increasing number of openings, a problem amplified as the skillset required changes.”

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WINTER 2020 | CVTC.EDU

“Currently, our number of graduates cannot keep pace with the increasing number of openings, a problem amplified as the skillset required changes.” ADAM WEHLING, Dean of Agriculture, Energy & Transportation


PROPOSED TRANSPORTATION EDUCATION CENTER

PROJECT SUMMARY Space includes: • A facility to house all transportation programs and related student services • Dedicated space to attract and retain students and help address the workforce shortage • Classrooms and labs sized for modern equipment, vehicles and technology • Flexible learning labs to support new programs and training on the latest transportation technology • Increased use of computerized simulation and videos • A training site for current transportation employees to update their skills and earn industry certifications

TEC BUILDING & STORAGE FACILITY: 124,000 SF TOTAL BUDGET: not to exceed

$29.8 MILLION

CHIPPEWA VALLEY TECHNICAL COLLEGE MAGAZINE

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EXPANSION & REMODELING

EMERGENCY SERVICE EDUCATION CENTER

TIME FOR AN UPGRADE Changes would benefit students, first responders With the passage of its last referendum in 1997, CVTC built a separate training facility for emergency service programs that supply local communities with its police officers, firefighters, paramedics and other first responders, and provide required continuing education and testing. “After 20 years, the demands for training in the emergency areas have changed,” said Shelly Olson, dean of health and

emergency services. “What we built in the ‘90s is no longer adequate.” The need to alleviate inadequate classroom space, have dedicated areas for simulation training and provide more realistic experiences for those who will be risking their lives for us, drives the proposal to expand and renovate the Emergency Service Education Center (ESEC). The enhancements would impact all emergency service program areas and provide better facilities for continuing education of first responders serving in local communities.

SUPPORT FOR POLICE Eric Anderson, associate dean of emergency services, says the proposed expansion and remodeling of ESEC would address critical needs of the Criminal Justice-Law Enforcement program. “We don’t have a place to teach defense and arrest tactics,” Anderson said. “We need a room free from obstructions with padding on the floor. We have to rent time and space at a local karate studio or fitness center to do that training now.” Having an on-site place for the training will allow students to work on their skills outside of regular class time as well. “A required fitness component has been added to the Law Enforcement Academy and Criminal Justice associate degree programs,” Anderson said. “We’re also going off-site for fitness training.” Planned additions and changes to the ESEC building would improve scenario-based training that is essential in law enforcement. One notable addition would be an enhanced

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WINTER 2020 | CVTC.EDU

firing range. “Our current firing range is about 25 yards long and is adequate for handguns only. We need a range where we can shoot from a distance of 50 yards for rifle training,” Anderson said. The expanded range would be large enough for vehicles to be pulled inside, allowing students to practice firearm skills from a common position of cover for officers. “It would give students a chance to fire live rounds in a realistic environment,” Anderson said. The building would also include a room for use of force virtual simulation. “Students would use a level of force based on scenarios shown on a video screen, and the simulator would respond to what they’re doing,” Anderson said. Anderson added that improved facilities would also benefit the many jail officers from multiple counties trained at CVTC.


“We’ve come back for training for the officers we have in-house and our training officers take the train-the-trainer course. Our officers have received a wide variety of training at CVTC, including field training officer and public records training. It’s hands-on training with real-world examples.”

MATT KELM, Chief Chippewa Falls Police Department

CHIPPEWA VALLEY TECHNICAL COLLEGE MAGAZINE

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BETTER TRAINING FOR FIREFIGHTERS, EMS “The biggest change would be more classroom and training facilities,” said Kasondra Mero, director of CVTC Paramedic, FireMedic and EMT programs. “Right now, we have barely enough classrooms and no room for simulation.” The proposal would add a dedicated Emergency Medical Services simulation area. “We currently have simulations in hallways and closets,” Mero said. “We’ll pile up chairs to form what an emergency scene would look like. The referendum projects would allow us to create more realistic spaces with lifelike training for our students.” The FireMedic program would also gain its own apparatus bay, a place to keep fire trucks and other equipment. Currently, the program shares space with the attached Eau Claire Fire Department Station 9, which now needs space to support a growing service area. Mero explained that occasionally the ECFD must clear out its equipment and wash the floors to make room for students preparing for the Candidate Physical Agility Test. Students who pass the test are eligible to be hired by a fire department right away. But the failure rate is 30 percent, partly due to the lack of space for the students to prepare. A new apparatus bay would give the program its own area for test preparation. “There’s already a shortage of firefighters and paramedics, and we want to have strong numbers and selections of candidates for employers to choose from,” Mero said.

YOUR HOMETOWN FIRST RESPONDERS The proposed changes at ESEC would not just benefit CVTC students, but also area emergency services departments. Mark Schwartz, CVTC’s emergency services continuing education coordinator, is excited about what the improvements would bring. Some of the continuing education for emergency services workers is done in their own communities, but Schwartz says they come to the CVTC campus often as well. Updates are necessary for the College to continue to serve as a certified testing site to meet the many requirements for community and volunteer fire departments.

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“The vast majority of initial training is done here, including for volunteer fire departments,” Schwartz said. “Throughout the year, we have a lot of continuing education here, with firefighters and first responders updating and practicing their skills and testing for continued certifications. It will be better training for them because we would have better facilities.” “I foresee continuing education snowballing,” said Anderson, associate dean of emergency services. “Local departments have indicated they would like to have this kind of training facility and offerings that are close by to decrease time and travel expenses.”


PROPOSED EMERGENCY SERVICE EDUCATION CENTER EXPANSION

N

PROJECT SUMMARY

“We have 20 paid on-call

Update includes: • Updated simulation labs and classrooms • Flexible tactical training spaces • Renovation and expansion of the law enforcement firearms range • Updated physical endurance testing and certification rooms

members, and we require them to have the state certified Firefighter I class. We wouldn’t be able to do what the technical college does in the same amount of time.”

ADDITION: 27,285 SF

TOTAL BUDGET:

REMODELING: 20,484 SF

not to exceed

$9.5 MILLION

DENNY KLASS, Interim Chief Menomonie Fire Department


PROPOSED MANUFACTURING EDUCATION CENTER ADDITION

N

MULTI-DISCIPLINARY MANUFACTURING Among CVTC’s challenges are not just keeping up with the rapidly changing manufacturing sector of the economy but being part of the driving forces that generate the change. “Manufacturing is the leading employer in the Chippewa Valley, and, together with agriculture, is the primary wealthproducing sector of our local economy,” said CVTC President Bruce Barker. “Keeping the manufacturing industries strong is critical to the future of the area.” The Automated Fabrication Lab that is part of the proposed referendum projects addresses this challenge and the ongoing need to meet employers’ demands for trained welders. The 10,000-sq.-ft. addition to the Manufacturing Education Center would allow for an upgrade to the curriculum in the Welding and Welding Automation programs and increased collaboration with other manufacturing programs. “It would allow students to have robotic welding cells in an automated environment in which one robot would feed another robot during multiple steps of the welding process,” said Jeff Sullivan, dean of apprenticeships, engineering, manufacturing and information technology. The automated portion would create learning environments for the Industrial Mechanic and Automation Engineering Technology programs. “The space would be shared between programs,” Sullivan said. An example of this collaboration would be with the Mechanical Design and Manufacturing Engineering Technology programs, which could join students’ skills in computer-aided drawing directly with the manufacturing process. “Demand for skilled workers in the manufacturing sector is extremely high,” Sullivan said. “One way employers are dealing with the worker shortage is through automation. Incorporating automation into the manufacturing process

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creates a need for workers who can program, operate, troubleshoot and maintain automated equipment such as robotic welders. Employers look to CVTC to provide workers with those skills.” CVTC’s welding programs have grown by 47 students since the 2015-16 school year, so the extra space is needed. It would also free up room in the existing welding lab and create new opportunities for learning. “We’d like the students to do some continuous welding of larger pieces of metal. That’s what employers want,” Sullivan said. The improvements would not just benefit CVTC students. “This would give us a better facility for upscaling services to business and industry in the area,” Sullivan said.

PROJECT SUMMARY Update includes: • Additional space for robotic welding and fabrication • Mechanical Design, Manufacturing Engineering Technology, and Automation Engineering Technology program areas • Additional welding and metal laser capabilities and a CNC press brake

MEC AUTOMATED FABRICATION LAB ADDITION: 10,000 SF

TOTAL BUDGET: not to exceed

$3 MILLION


PROPERTY: S L L A F R E IV R s Property Line Approximate AY 35 HIGHW

SCIENCE LABS FOR CHIPPEWA, RIVER FALLS CAMPUSES Area high school students have been getting a jump on their college education by taking CVTC classes at the Chippewa Falls Campus through the Healthcare Academy and College Transfer Academy programs. One drawback is that the campus lacks a science lab, which the referendum would add. The River Falls Campus would also add a science lab. “We are currently holding General Chemistry and General Physics classes in Chippewa Falls without a lab,” said Lynette Livingston, executive dean of business, arts & sciences. “Having a science lab there will also allow us to expand into other fields as we use that campus more.” The River Falls Campus has one science lab, but the Liberal Arts and Nursing programs put a lot of demand on its use. A second lab was planned in 2018 when major remodeling projects were completed, but it became an ordinary classroom for budgetary reasons. The referendum would convert it to a science lab.

MENOMONIE CAMPUS SECURITY UPGRADE The current design of the Menomonie Campus allows anyone to enter the building and navigate a significant percentage of the building without anyone knowing they are there because the entrance is not visible from the main office. The safety of our students, employers and commuity members is extremely important. A proposed remodeling project would provide a new layout and improvements to the office and commons areas to secure the entrance and provide a more intuitive and welcoming presence for students and other community guests.

MENOMON CAMPUS: IE Proposed Add it

ion

PROPOSEDE AREA PURCHAS N

RIVER FALLS CAMPUS EXPANSION CVTC has an opportunity to acquire 6.7 acres of land adjacent to the River Falls Campus that could be used for future expansion. The CVTC District Board has already negotiated a sale price, contingent on approval of the referendum. The referendum includes $1 million for site improvements.

MOBILE LABS REACH AREA HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS, EMPLOYERS CVTC has enhanced the education of area high school students for the past several years with its Mobile Manufacturing Lab, which brings modern manufacturing equipment and a CVTC instructor directly to the schools. The referendum would allow CVTC to expand this benefit to more local schools with the development of additional labs in multiple academic areas, in addition to manufacturing. One idea being explored by academic leaders is how a mobile lab could be outfitted with high-tech simulators. “With a virtual environment, we wouldn’t have to haul large pieces of equipment around, which is expensive,” said Dr. Julie Furst-Bowe, vice president of instruction. “This could be effective in information technology, healthcare, manufacturing and many other environments.” Developing more labs would allow CVTC to bring highdemand educational training options to high schools and businesses throughout the CVTC district. The exact design of additional mobile labs is still in development. “Our students not only get to work with the latest technology in the mobile lab, but also get access to a high quality instructor provided by CVTC,” said Greg Doverspike, superintendent of Durand schools. The partnership we have created with CVTC has allowed our CTE areas to grow and our district to continue to provide tremendous opportunities for our students.” CHIPPEWA VALLEY TECHNICAL COLLEGE MAGAZINE

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D VOTE WITH N A D E M R O F GET IN APRIL 7! Y, A D S E U T N O CONFIDENCE TE 2020 UM VO

REFEREND

BALLOT LANGUAGE

On the April 7th election ballot, you will be asked to vote on a Chippewa Valley Technical College referendum. Referendum Shall Chippewa Valley Technical College District, Wisconsin be authorized to issue pursuant to Chapter 67 of the Wisconsin Statutes, general obligation bonds or promissory notes in an amount not to exceed $48,800,000 for the public purpose of paying the cost of capital expenditures for the purchase or construction of buildings, building additions, remodeling and improvements, the acquisition of sites, and the purchase of fixed and other equipment at District locations, including, but not limited to, Eau Claire, River Falls, Chippewa Falls, Menomonie, the Emergency Service Education Center, the Manufacturing Education Center, a new Transportation Education Center, and land near the current River Falls Campus? YES NO

Visit cvtc.edu/Future for more info!

WHY HOLD A VOTE?

State defines referendum method for tech college capital project funding A public K-12 school district referendum is familiar to Wisconsin citizens. But a college holding a referendum may seem unusual to many people. “The funding for technical colleges is unique in higher education because we have a unique responsibility,” said President Bruce Barker. “The programs we offer and the job skills we teach directly impact the quality of life in the Chippewa Valley. Skilled positions in healthcare, manufacturing, transportation, agriculture, as well as protective services, all require the specialized education that only CVTC provides. “No one else does what we do in providing career and technical education,” Barker continued. “That’s why it is critical for CVTC to keep its programming, technology and facilities current.” “It’s about being responsive to the needs of the community,” said Kirk Moist, vice president of finance and facilities. “The system is set up so technical colleges, whose mission is closely tied to the needs of business and industry, can respond quickly.” While universities must go through a time-consuming legislative process, Wisconsin enables the 16 technical college districts to act quickly and independently, but within strict limits. The state authorizes local technical college boards to spend

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up to $1.5 million every two years in building and renovation projects without voter approval. That has enabled CVTC to complete a number of important projects, like quickly expanding the Manufacturing Education Center in 2011 when local manufacturers warned of losing business due to a shortage of welders. To spend more than the $1.5 million limit on capital projects, a technical college needs the approval of the voters or large donations from private parties. “Without the referendum provision, no college could replace crumbling buildings at a cost of over $1.5 million,” Moist said. “The founding legislation showed great vision. The needs of the Chippewa Valley are different than the needs in other parts of the state.” CVTC has held only one referendum in its 108-year history, in 1997, to fund a new Manufacturing Education Center, Emergency Service Education Center and River Falls Campus. CVTC would not have been able to complete those projects without the referendum funding option. In recent years, CVTC has built two buildings without a referendum, but only because of the generosity of local donors. The Fire Safety Center was built with a single large donation. The CVTC Foundation, Inc., raised $3.5 million in private donations to make the Energy Education Center possible. Now CVTC has a number of major projects planned that go beyond its ability to raise funds through donations or to complete within the biannual limit. “We’re not just building for our college; we’re building for our communities today and tomorrow,” Moist said.


KAREN KOHLER BRINGS LOVE OF CVTC TO NEW ROLE Meet the new head of the CVTC Foundation, Inc., and CVTC Alumni Association As the new CVTC executive director of institutional advancement, Karen Kohler has taken on duties quite different than those she had in her previous position as the associate dean of liberal arts and general education. Despite the differences in responsibilities, Karen possesses an abundance of the most critical qualification for each position: a passion for CVTC’s mission and students. “I fell in love with CVTC because it’s clear to me that we change lives,” Karen said. “And because we change lives, we change families and communities.” A graduate of UW-Eau Claire with a bachelor’s degree in English Education and a master’s degree in English with a technical writing focus, Karen first came to CVTC in 1993 as a long-term substitute English instructor. She worked for many years as an adjunct instructor, eventually becoming a full-time faculty member and chair of the English department. “I didn’t know anything about CVTC when I first started,” Karen said. “I quickly fell in love with it because of the mission. It’s easy for me to be passionate about CVTC because of the ways we touch the workforce. We help people make connections, and that is very powerful.”

outstanding adjunct faculty members at CVTC and have been involved in community philanthropic activities for many years. Among her duties in her new role is leadership of the CVTC Foundation, Inc., and the CVTC Alumni Association. “This position gives me the opportunity to connect the passion I have for CVTC to the love I have for the Chippewa Valley,” Karen said. “The responsibilities and duties I now have are focused on relationships, and that is a skill of mine.” “In multiple roles over many years, Karen has demonstrated outstanding leadership, combined with a genuine love for what we are all about here at CVTC,” said CVTC President Bruce Barker. “Her knowledge of CVTC and its role in the community are as deep as her passion for our mission. We are confident Karen will play a leading role in moving CVTC forward into the new decade.”

“Her knowledge of CVTC and its role in the community are as deep as her passion for our mission.” Karen has also had roles at CVTC as a faculty developer and an instructor and manager of customized training programs for area business and industry. Karen has strong family connections to CVTC as well. Her husband, Paul Kohler, president of Charter Bank in Eau Claire, is a member of the CVTC Foundation board. Their oldest daughter graduated from CVTC in December, and a younger daughter has taken dual-credit classes with CVTC and is now a student at the University of Minnesota. In 2015, Karen and Paul established the Kohler Award for

GREETINGS, FRIENDS! I am grateful for this opportunity to serve the College in this new role and am fortunate to have amazing support in the Foundation and Alumni team as well as the boards of directors. These people work hard to meet the challenges of our mission: to support our students, faculty, and staff; to provide support for facility and technology needs; and to raise awareness about the good work our college does in our

communities and beyond. I am looking forward to building, renewing, and maintaining relationships with our business partners, donors, alumni, and other CVTC friends. Please feel free to contact me or stop by—I hope to meet many of you in the days and years to come! - Karen Kohler, Executive Director of Institutional Advancement

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620 W. Clairemont Avenue Eau Claire, WI 54701

// REFERENDUM 2020 GET INFORMED AND VOTE WITH CONFIDENCE.

LET’S BUILD OUR FUTURE TOGETHER.

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cvtc.edu/Future SPRING 2019 | CVTC.EDU

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Profile for CVTC

CVTC Magazine Winter 2020  

CVTC Magazine Winter 2020