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Baldwin Delivers Over $2.2 Million for Western Tech to Connect Wisconsinites with In-Demand Careers

LA CROSSE, WI – Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) announced that Western Technical College will receive more than $2.2 million to improve postsecondary enrollment and completion rates by developing career pathways tied to in-demand industries in the region. As Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees funding for the Department of Education, Senator Baldwin wrote the bipartisan bill that included this funding through the Rural Postsecondary & Economic Development Grant Program and voted for its passage.

“I’m committed to helping Wisconsin’s rural communities grow for the future, and that includes connecting more students with careers in up-and-coming industries that will contribute to our regional economies for years to come,” said Senator Baldwin. “Western Tech has a proud tradition of setting students up for success, and these resources double down on that legacy and will help students land good-paying jobs. I was proud to support this investment in our students, Western Wisconsin, and our Made in Wisconsin economy.”

“This significant investment underscores our unwavering commitment to providing some of the best career opportunities in the region. Apprenticeships are a critical component of our educational mission, addressing the substantial demand for skilled workers in our community,” said Western Technical College President Roger Stanford. “By expanding and enhancing our apprenticeship programs, we are not only meeting the immediate needs of local industries but also empowering our students with hands-on experience and a direct pathway to rewarding careers."

The purpose of the Rural Postsecondary & Economic Development Grant Program is to improve rates of postsecondary enrollment, persistence, and completion among rural students through the development of high-quality career pathways aligned to high-skill, high-wage, and in-demand industry sectors and occupations in the region. This project is funded through the Fiscal Year 2024 government funding bill.

Working with high school students, K12 school districts, and businesses in the area, Western Tech will use the funding to create a program that develops pathways for rural students into Certified Pre-Apprenticeship and Registered Apprenticeship opportunities within the education, information technology, manufacturing, and healthcare industries.