Mid-State celebrates $5M milestone for new training center

By Brandi Makuski

Mid-State Technical College has hit the $5 million fundraising benchmark for a new Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering Technology and Apprenticeship Center planned in the city’s industrial park.

The college and its business partners gathered on Sept. 17 to celebrate the milestone over lunch. Mid-State President Dr. Shelly Mondeik announced that after months of private fundraising efforts with larger businesses and organizations, the capital campaign had moved on to the next phase, which is public fundraising.

The fundraising will help construct the new 53,000-square-foot, high-tech training facility, that will work with traditional technical college students but also offer advanced programming for high school students, incumbent worker training, and new equipment and technology advancement demonstrations for central Wisconsin businesses.

“We are inspired and overcome by the outpouring of support from businesses, organizations, school districts, governmental agencies, and, of course, students that have brought us to this first major fundraising milestone,” Mondeik said.

With a planned opening in late 2023, the Center will be key to meeting Wisconsin’s critical advanced manufacturing, engineering technology, and apprenticeship workforce needs and is expected to serve over 1,500 people per year, according to MSTC Vice President Bobbi Damrow.

“This project will usher in the necessary skill sets relative to Industry 4.0,” she said, referring to the Fourth Industrial Revolution characterized by ongoing automation of traditional manufacturing and industrial practices. Damrow serves as the campaign manager, working on the project alongside local campaign leaders Wayne Bushman, Joe Kinsella, and Scott Groholski.

“This exciting new facility will allow Mid-State to produce the skilled workers needed to address Wisconsin’s workforce shortage and help with the local, state, and national economic recovery,” Damrow said, adding that the economic impact calculated by the project exceeds $3 million annually in terms of student short- and long-term economic impact for central Wisconsin.

The plan calls for new academic programs to be offered in the Center, including Automated Systems Technician, Fabrication Technician, Mechanical Design, Welding Certificate, and Quality and Lean Certificates. Mid-State programs that will either expand or relocate to the site include Civil Engineering Technology-Highway Technician, Machine Tool Technician, and the following apprenticeships: Electrical & Instrumentation Technician, Electrician, Ironworker, Machinist, and Metering Technician.

To learn more, see a list of contributors to date or make a donation to the Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering Technology and Apprenticeship Center campaign, visit mstc.edu/partner.