RICE LAKE, WI — Northwood Technical College celebrated the addition of a new advanced manufacturing training lab at the Rice Lake Campus. The new lab is part of the Housing Opportunity and Mobile Education Solutions (HOMES) Workforce Innovation Grant initiative with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD). Speakers and attendees at the event included Sam Rikkers, deputy secretary of the WEDC and Wisconsin State Assembly Representative Dave Armstrong, a WEDC board member.
The new mechatronics lab is an innovative advancement in training with state-of-the-art Amatrol machinery and equipment for hands-on experience and paired with a comprehensive curriculum designed to create skilled workers prepared to enter the workforce upon program completion.
“We’re extremely excited to be able to introduce a new, cutting-edge lab that supports the advancements of the manufacturing sector,” said Northwood Tech President John Will. “The HOMES funding also supports a mobile version of this training, so offering opportunities in the lab and to other communities with mobile lab equipment represents a major step forward in our capabilities.”
“Manufacturing is a key part of Wisconsin’s economy,” said Sam Rikkers, deputy secretary of the WEDC. “Our factories today use advanced technology and employers need workers with the mechanical, electrical, and even IT skills to keep all that equipment running. The Mechatronics Lab at Northwood Technical College is helping train those workers and WEDC is proud to support it.”
“The new advanced manufacturing lab represents the innovation and successful collaborations that are developing Wisconsin’s workforce and ensuring a robust talent pipeline for key industries such as manufacturing,” Wisconsin DWD Secretary Amy Pechacek said. “We celebrate and congratulate the partners that made this vision a reality for the Rice Lake community.”
After the ribbon cutting, the mechatronics lab was open to view the advanced machinery and equipment, as well as the overall layout of the lab’s space. While viewing the lab, visitors were able to see its features and capabilities. College faculty, staff, and students were on hand to answer questions and provide information regarding training and programming in advanced manufacturing at the College.
For more information about the mechatronics programming and other modern manufacturing program options at Northwood Tech, visit NorthwoodTech.edu.
Grant Funding Statement
The three-year, $9.8 million Housing Opportunity & Mobile Education Solutions (HOMES) project is funded by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. Impact Seven will provide an additional $20 million for sustainable affordable housing options within the district. Northwood Technical College will provide an additional $1.25 million to conduct advanced manufacturing training for underemployed, unemployed, and special population individuals.
Northwood Tech is grateful for all its community partnerships. Your support of the Northwood Tech Foundation is essential to student success. For information on how to contribute, visit www.NorthwoodTech.edu/donate.
Northwood Technical College is a nationally top-ranked college and designated Silver 2023-24 Military Friendly® School that puts your Learning First. Northwood Tech serves the educational and career needs of more than 15,000 residents of Northwestern Wisconsin each year. With multiple campuses, Northwood Tech offers career-focused associate degree programs, technical diplomas, short-term certificates, customized business training, and a wide array of courses for personal or career enrichment. Northwood Tech is a member of the Wisconsin Technical College System and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (www.hlcommission.org). For more information, call 800.243.9482 or visit NorthwoodTech.edu. Northwood Technical College is an Equal Opportunity/Access/Affirmative Action/Veterans/Disability Employer and Educator.