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College Programs and Impact


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Blackhawk Technical College

In Blackhawk Technical College’s Industrial Maintenance Technician (IMT) program, you will satisfy your curiosity of how things work through a variety of lectures, hands-on classroom experiences, field trips, interactive discussions, and real-life lab activities.  Industrial Maintenance Technicians maintain, repair, and operate machinery and equipment in an industrial environment. BTC’s IMT program graduates have the opportunity to pursue employment in a variety of job settings such as industrial manufacturing companies, food manufacturing/processing plants, farms, industrial contract service providers, machine shops, construction companies, and welding/fabricating shops.  Opportunities for advancement increase with further education.


Chippewa Valley Technical College

Chippewa Valley Technical College recently enhanced the Machine Tool program by updating curriculum and adding nationally recognized credentials. These program changes are designed to bridge the skills gap in the machine tool industry, meet the demands of regional manufacturers, and prepare workers for high skill/high pay jobs in advanced manufacturing.   A new career pathway was created so students can earn three nationally recognized credentials from the National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS) as they progress through the two-year technical diploma.  Core courses have been revised to prepare students for the NIMS credentials and there is a 98% pass rate among students taking the NIMS exams over the past year.  In addition, the math curriculum was modified to include contextualized instruction aimed at increasing student success in the program.  Lastly, the high demand for machinists has resulted in approximately 6 jobs available for every graduate.  Program capacity has been increased by 20% to accommodate this demand and provide expanded training opportunities for students.


Fox Valley Technical College

Fox Valley Technical College is creating manufacturing mobile applications found on the GAMMA+ website. These apps can be used on smartphones, laptops, tablets, and desktop computers, at any time by any one. All mobile apps are formatted as Flashcard Sets in the manufacturing areas of welding and machine tool, as well as math-related topics. Flashcard Sets are drill-and-skill “cards” that allow users to practice skills already learned. Users can choose to randomize questions and answers so that each time working the set is different. All Flashcard Sets give users a score upon completion. In addition to Welding and Machine Tool, GAMMA+ is a web repository for mobile apps in Electronics, Industrial Automation, and Critical Core Skills (funded by the AMP+ Grant). Over the next few years over 500 mobile apps will be made available.

Gateway Technical College

Gateway Technical College has developed a diploma for entry-level Tool and Die Technicians. Students enrolled in the diploma will have access to a track of classes relative to industrial maintenance and the college’s Industrial Mechanical Technician, Associate of Applied Science degree. Students will effectively perform both manual tools and an electrical discharge machine to cut die sections. They will have and opportunity to become credentialed for Manufacturing Skills Standards Council (MSSC). Students will use state-of-the-art equipment to gain skills that journeyworker tool and die makers use in industry through multiple instruction in complex and conventional machining, computer numerical control (CNC) machining, and precision grinding operations. This craft uses techniques needed in industry to create and repair stamping dies in highly precision measurement work. By completing this training, graduates can gain satisfying and rewarding careers in a highly-valued profession.

Lakeshore Technical College

Lakeshore Technical College has developed two new programs which, when combined with existing programming, will provide students with technical diplomas in Machine Tool, CNC Technician, Industrial Welding or Fabrication Technician training. Students can begin by entering directly into programs or they can attend a Basic Manufacturing Skills Class to prepare them for entry. Embedded technical certificates/technical diplomas allow students the option to job out at various points in the process. Students can earn certifications awarded by the American Welding Society and will be assessed using the Technical Skills Attainment criteria as approved by the local employer advisory committees. LTC’s new Full Focus delivery approach (full day delivery/4 to 5 days per week) compresses the length of time students need to complete training while still providing them the valuable hands-on lab experience.

Madison Area Technical College

Madison Area Technical College is advancing individuals’ careers as through a series of short-term credentials designed to prepare students with the skills needed to enter the manufacturing workforce. Students develop an understanding of manufacturing processes, tools, and safe work habits, as well as build on mathematics and communication skills applicable to industry. The knowledge and skills learned in these training programs provide students a foundation for pursuing careers and/or further education in manufacturing businesses, from machining and fabrication to food production.

Mid-State Technical College

Mid-State Technical College

Mid-State Technical College’s  Stainless Steel Welding Basics certificate is designed to develop entry-level skills needed to gain employment in the welding industry.  This four-course certificate focuses exclusively on TIG welding stainless steel.  Monthly start dates and self-paced competency-based instruction is a key component of the success of participants. This college certificate is part of a one-year Welding Technical diploma.

Milwaukee Area Technical College

Milwaukee Area Technical College is creating entry-level, short-term Machine Tooling and Welding Training Programs that includes: blueprint reading, hands-on applications, and entry-level math. MATC is offering the open-entry, open-exit MathPH to assist students and improve their overall math skills so they can raise their Accuplacer Math Placement test score. The Machine Tooling and Welding programs are designed to assist low-skilled workers to gain the necessary skills to succeed in further manufacturing training and/or an entry-level manufacturing career. Participants who successfully complete the program will receive a Certificate.

  Moraine Park Technical College

Moraine Park Technical College

Moraine Park Technical College is combating the skilled welder shortage by launching manufacturing skills academies in a series of 15-week boot camps. The welding training is necessary to create job opportunities at partnering businesses including: Amerequip Corpo­ration, Brenner Tank and several other area partners. The welding boot camps will provide essential skills to last a lifetime.   Information and testing sessions will be held on all Moraine Park Technical College campuses. Each session includes business partner information, job placement opportunities, and entrance requirements.  Each session also includes TABE and mechanical aptitude testing, program fees and welding boot camp schedules.

Nicolet College

Nicolet College is deploying a short term degree opportunity targeting TAA, TAA-like, unemployed, and underemployed students and others into the high-demand welding fabrication occupations. Participants will engage in immersive learning experiences to rapidly earn credentials leading to either job placement or advancement.  Comprehensive, wrap-around services support student outcomes, including coaching and job placement services.  At the completion of the degree, graduates earn industry-recognized credentials which address high-demand occupations in the North Central Workforce Development Area.  The credential ladders to an advanced technical diploma, enabling workers to continue advancing their skill set after finding employment.

Northcentral Technical College

Northcentral Technical College has created a new associate degree in Welding Fabrication and Robotics and an additional section for incoming students. Participants in the associate degree will have opportunities to operate industrial type press brakes, lasers, and program robotic welding arms and cells. Participants in the machine tooling technics program have new and expanding opportunities. Horizontal machining with its capabilities for higher production and larger part sizes was added to the program along with other equipment that allowed the college to expand  offerings to more participants.

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College will be improving the Machine Tool Operation and Machine Tool – CNC programs using Lean Manufacturing.  Students will participate in programs with improved organization, enhanced core ability expectations, and a reduction in activities that slow competency attainment.  Students will experience programs with a high velocity learning flow, which will reduce the time needed to attain their Technical Diploma.

Southwest Tech

Southwest Tech

Southwest Wisconsin Technical College will create and offer a “Gold Collar Manufacturing” short term certificate as the first step in a manufacturing career path. This certificate will include 160 hours of training including:  MSSC Certified Production Technician certification in the principles of safety, quality, manufacturing processes and production, and maintenance awareness; Lean concepts and modern day manufacturing efficiency principles; and Personal leadership which includes individual motivation, communication skills, and personal goal achievement. Southwest Tech will modify the existing Welding curriculum by completing a curricular redesign of the existing program. Currently welding is taught in four 5-credit courses and these courses will be redesigned into 1-credit modules. Participants can take as many modules as needed within each group of 5-credit courses. The CNC/Setup program will also be modularized in similar fashion. Students can transfer coursework from the existing “Gold Collar Manufacturing” certification as this has been articulated into the curriculum. To assist adult/returning students, Southwest Tech will create robust Credit for Prior Learning processes and create opportunities for students to quicken the pace of completion.

Waukesha County Technical College

Waukesha County Technical College is focusing on expansion – offering additional sections in its CNC/MTO and Welding/Metal Fab programs to meet increased industry demand in the communities we serve. New equipment purchased with grant funds allowed the college to offer these extra sections.  The college is also offering additional one-year certificates to better serve adult learners. Both program allows students to earn multiple industry-recognized credentials as part of the program curriculum. The short-term certificates easily stack into one-year certificates, a technical diploma or AAS degree. Further enhancements include providing increased academic support in Blueprint Reading and Industrial Math classes, and the coordination of internships and externships to place students who’ve earned a credential into industry jobs with high potential for full-time employment.

Western Technical College

Western Technical College is offering a two-year technical diploma, Manufacturing Systems Maintenance Technician (MSMT) to meet regional employment needs.  The program has five stackable pathways into the program:

1) Basic Welding, 2) Basic Machining, and 3) Basic Industrial Power are one term technical diplomas, 4) Industrial Mechanical Maintenance Technician and the 5) Industrial Electronics & Maintenance are one year technical diplomas.

  • Manufacturing Systems Maintenance Technician program is two years in length.

Students may step in at various entry points depending upon their interest and program offerings. An emphasis is placed on offering the technical diploma through various delivery models such as evening, part-time, online/blended instruction, team teaching, and adult learning options. Support through Learner Support and Transition assistance and a case management approach enhances a student success.   Individualized attention to the students’ educational and career goals is provided through student services.  Credit for prior learning/experiential learning is discussed with the Adult Learning Specialist upon referral from the Enrollment Services Advisor or faculty.


Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College

Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College Welding program participants have the opportunity to earn either a full one-year technical diploma or, if they opt to leave the program earlier, may earn up to five embedded short-term technical diplomas. WITC students will also have the opportunity to earn embedded short-term technical diplomas within the Machine Tooling Technics program.