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Thursday, August 27, 2009

MSTC training evolves with eye on diversity & employers

From an article by Adam Wise in the Marshfield News-Herald:

Mid-State Technical College continues to adjust its class lineup, as leaders attempt to provide more options to students and meet the needs of employers. . . .

College administrators have put a major emphasis on providing diverse offerings in recent years, with the school expanding into renewable energy and biorefinery technology fields.

Benjamin Nusz, a renewable thermal energy instructor, was hired by the college last school year to teach students about solar water heating systems -- which garner energy from the sun and convert it into a usable resource for households. He has been involved in the industry for years and even co-wrote a book on the topic with his father in-law, Bob Ramlow, in June 2006.

"When I entered the field, there weren't these established training courses," Nusz said. "The way to get involved was to find somebody in this industry. To get these technologies and trainings set up in the technical college system is a huge leap forward."

While the technology has been around for decades, the equipment itself still has a ton of potential and a ways to go in acceptance, said Nusz, who acknowledged there are few solar heating systems installed in Wood County.

The college will continue to focus on renewable energies but won't ignore other areas, Budjac said. Among the possibilities: Administrators are investigating a possible advanced certificate program for forensic investigation.

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