FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CLEVELAND, WI –
CLEVELAND â€“ After public announcement in late April, the Lakeshore Technical College building expansion and renovation project began when ground was broken on July 25. By expanding the college Flexible Training Arena and renovating the Trade and Industry building on the Cleveland campus, LTC will help fill local manufacturers’ pressing need for welders, machine tool, and industrial maintenance workers while alleviating waiting lists.
The project will be completed in two phases, with Sheboygan contractor Jos. Schmitt and Sons managing the first phase. The current 18,000 square foot Flexible Training Arena will be expanded to 32,400 square feet. By January of 2014, the remodeling of the Trade and Industry building will begin. Not only will the project allow for more graduates but updated equipment will train workers with the machining, welding and robotic skills that manufacturers need.
"Thanks to the support of local business and individuals, we’ve been successful in raising enough private funds to break ground," said Dr. Michael Lanser, LTC President. "Our first additional class will graduate and be employment ready by August 2014."
Nearly $900,000 has been raised thus far as part of the first capital campaign in the college’s 100 year history. LTC hopes to raise $2.1 million in private funds to help offset the $6.1 million project and will now broaden its reach to local communities for support.
"By collaborating with local business and philanthropic organizations to help fund the project, we are able to reduce public funding to the point of not requiring a referendum," adds Lanser. "It allows us to address our local manufacturers’ employment needs more quickly."
A recent report from the US Commerce Department shows that Wisconsin ranks second among all states in manufacturing earnings. Sheboygan County leads the state with 46% of its total earnings derived through manufacturing. According to a report prepared for Governor Scott Walker by former Bucyrus Erie CEO Tim Sullivan, the manufacturing worker shortage will reach a critical stage in 2018 as Wisconsin must fill 925,000 jobs, many of them in the skilled trade area, due to growth and baby boomer retirements. In the Lakeshore area alone, an annual average of 293 openings exist for machinists, welders, millwrights, industrial and maintenance mechanics, electricians, and electromechanical workers. LTC currently has capacity to provide an average of less than 100 graduates for these positions. Plus, the lack of facilities further limits LTC’s ability to address incumbent worker training needs of local manufacturers and creates waiting lists that thwart student interest.
"We know that 87% of LTC grads live and work in the Lakeshore area", says Lanser. "Our local manufacturers will benefit from that and the family supporting wages they pay to our first group of graduates will add nearly $9.5 million to the local economy in just five years. It may also attract new employers looking for a skilled workforce. It’s a great value."
About Lakeshore Technical College
Each year more than 11,000 people enroll in courses at Lakeshore Technical College. They rely on LTC for job preparation, to earn a degree, upgrade a specialized skill, train as an apprentice, or seek a high school equivalency. LTC faculty and staff meet students where they are in life and help them get one step closer to achieving their goals.
Close to 1,000 students graduate from LTC each year, and LTC’s associate degree graduates earn an average starting salary of $45,000 per year. In addition to the Cleveland campus, LTC serves students in Manitowoc and Sheboygan, and offers classes at four sites throughout the district. Visit LTC at gotoltc.edu.