The TAACCT-supported Making the Future is a state-wide project with participation from all 16 colleges in the Wisconsin Technical College System to develop, improve, and expand adult educational training pathways to careers in advanced manufacturing. Blackhawk Technical College is a consortium member.
From the December 27 Beloit Daily News:
A new mechatronics apprenticeship is starting at Blackhawk Technical College (BTC) this January.
The apprenticeship is designed to train electrical, mechanical and electronics systems technicians. It requires a five-year commitment where students complete 24 college credit hours and 872 hours of related instruction as part of a 10,000-hour training regimen.
To help kick off the start of the mechatronics apprenticeship, the college will host a signing event from 8 to 10 a.m. on Jan. 11 at the Advanced Manufacturing Training Center in Milton. The apprenticeship is a joint effort between Blackhawk Technical College and the Southwest Wisconsin Workforce Development Board (SWWDB), with support from sponsoring employers including Bell Laboratories, Miniature Precision Components, Pratt Industries, Scot Forge, Seneca Foods Corp. and Emmi Roth USA, Inc.
During the signing event, 12 students will officially sign on to the apprenticeship at the event with employers, while BTC leadership and representatives from the Southwest Wisconsin Workforce Development Board (SWWDB) and the Department of Workforce Development/Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards all will be in attendance.
"Apprenticeships have applicability in every sector of the economy," said Dr. Tracy Pierner, Blackhawk Technical College President. "We are thrilled that our employer partners and the Southwest Wisconsin Development Board wanted to help create a great training opportunity for some of our region's technicians."
The SWWDB helped secure a Wisconsin Apprenticeship Growth and Enhancement Strategies grant to help get the new mechatronics apprenticeship started.
"Employers considering apprenticeships to right skill their teams are opening doors to the future of workforce training," said Rhonda Suda, SWWDB Executive Director. "The work and learn model is an investment that produces a quick return. Apprenticeships cannot move forward without employer input and buy-in so this is a great start to establishing Mechatronics Apprenticeships all over the state."
The United States Department of Labor awarded $5 million to the Department of Workforce Development as part of an American Apprenticeship Initiative that includes training for 1,000 new apprenticeships across 12 occupations in three sectors, including advanced manufacturing.
Blackhawk Technical College currently offers five apprenticeships including: construction electrician, mechatronics, maintenance technician, industrial electrician and welding fabricator apprenticeships.
Also see: SkillsCommons curricula/materials on Mechatronics