MATC gets training boost

Programs address needs of health care, hospitality, and manufacturing industries.

From the pages of In Business magazine.

With the lowest unemployment in more than a decade, local employers are struggling to find qualified employees and retain them. Help could be on the way after Madison College received $251,777 in Workforce Advancement Training grants to address business-training needs in hospitality, manufacturing, and health care during the 2018–19 academic year.

“As part of the college’s business outreach and services, we always look for ways to bring increased value and partner with area businesses and industries,” says Dennis Wessel, director of business and industry services. “Through these grant dollars we will provide incumbent worker training in key areas that help improve productivity, quality, and service, as well as help to develop and retain talent.”

According to Wessel, the grants will broadly help fund incumbent worker training in areas of leadership development (front-line supervision to executive leadership); operational excellence to include Lean Six Sigma, continuous improvement, and project management; service champions to include service strategies, dealing with difficult situations, resolving conflict, etcetera; strategic thinking; managing change and transition planning; developing high-performance teams; managing and implementing diversity and inclusion strategies, polices, and practices; and specific manufacturing skills such as welding, programmable logic controllers (PLCs), electricity, and more.

WAT grants are funded by the State of Wisconsin and administered by the Wisconsin Technical College System to develop incumbent workers, improve Wisconsin business productivity and competitiveness, and expand the state’s economic base. By receiving these grants, the training is more affordable for the organizations choosing to participate.

The nearly $83,000 health care grant will provide training for Care Wisconsin, Divine Savior Healthcare, Quartz Health Solutions, Oakwood Lutheran Senior Ministries, Fort Healthcare, and Reedsburg Area Medical Center. These organizations need to provide more care and services in a constantly changing environment while having to deal with labor shortages, increased regulations, and flat to declining reimbursements.



A consortium of 18 manufacturers with a combined workforce of more than 6,000 will benefit from a $104,228 grant to fund a project called “Providing Manufacturers with Critical Skills to Address Ongoing Challenges.” This grant continues the work started by a 2014 grant that has been expanded each year. “There is tremendous need for this program among manufacturers,” says Wessel. “In terms of economic impact, it’s estimated that manufacturers account for up to 22% of our state economy.”

The Developing Hospitality Leaders for Industry Growth project expands on a grant received last year to enhance the skill set of individuals who contribute to the visitor experience. This initiative will involve more 300 participants working for 15 companies in Dane County. This year’s grant was $64,528.

In addition to the Hospitality Leadership Academy and Hospitality Service Champions certificate programs, Madison College will offer a “Destination Madison” program, highlighting aspects of regional attractions, customs, and venues to advance the Dane County brand.

State funds will cover 100% of the program costs for these initiatives.

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