Boots & Sabers

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1148, 11 Jan 15

MPTC Might Suspend Building Trades Program

Judy Steffes has this news in the West Bend Daily News yesterday.

Moraine Park expected to vote to suspend Building Trades Program

Later this month the Moraine Park Technical College Board of Directors is expected to consider the suspension of the Building Trades Construction Worker Program.

“The program had extremely low enrollments,” Pete Rettler, Dean of the West Bend campus, said. “We know employers are asking for employees; we need to figure a way to package the program and make it attractive for people who want to get into that field.”

Something is not right here. First, MPTC just dropped $2.9 million to expand their facility based largely on strong demand for this program. Now that it is built, the demand isn’t there. Someone’s projections were off.

Second, all of the builders in the area complain that there aren’t enough skilled workers for the building trades. These are great jobs with pay and benefits, but there just aren’t enough people to fill the jobs. If the demand is not there for MPTC, why not? Are we pushing too many kids into college to become unemployed 20-somethings with political science degrees instead of giving the trades their proper respect?


1148, 11 January 2015


  1. The Bystander

    Perhaps Governor Walker could finally earn a useful degree in HVAC

  2. Boyd McBoyd

    He already has a job.

    Maybe you should look at some of the programs. I think you’ll learn the computer is for other things than your current repertoire of gaming, porn downloading, and trolling.

  3. Carpenter

    Why would MPTC suspend the program in order to “figure out a way to package the program”? Why don’t they figure out a way to package the program and keep it running at the same time?
    I would hope they can do 2 things at the same time!

  4. Nashotah Conservative

    This is really disappointing. I think overall this reflects how poorly “led” some kids are to a rewarding/family supporting job. I think some of the “elites” push EVERY student to attend a four year college in pursuit of a college degree. This results (sometimes) in that student graduating, often with a mountain of debt, but no further towards obtaining skills that will help them obtain a good job in today’s economy.

    It seems to me that we have too many 4 year college educated students (who major in political science, psychology, communication, marketing, etc) who end up working at Starbucks and then they complain that they can’t get health insurance or make enough money to pay off their student loans…

    I know the “demand cycle” can be fickle with some of the trades, but I really think that if we’re going to build our infrastructure and the private sector here in Wisconsin, we need more students with these “middle skills”

    I’ll take a $60K job and a tech degree for my kids over a 4 year degree, $50k in debt, and a starbucks job for my kids anyday.

    Success IMHO isn’t finishing college, its about finding/keeping a stable/good paying job which provides good incentive to be a law abiding, taxpaying, responsible member of the community

  5. Chris Jenkins

    I absolutely agree Nashotah Conservative. And this is an issue close to my heart considering I am one of those graduates with a liberal arts degree and nothing but debt to show for it. If I could go back in time and choose a more tech school direction, I would in a heartbeat. I am also on West Bend’s Visioning Education committee, and this is one of the very issues we are questioning. There shouldn’t be such a heavy push on 4-year universities. We really need to re-educate the current school-age generation about the wonderful jobs and opportunities that are open to them if they pursue education at a tech school level. And yes, that is a must if we are going to regain our status as an industrial hub.

  6. Carpenter

    I feel that giving up on the Building Trades program, would send a bad signal to students who are thinking about choosing Trades for a career.
    They need to keep it open to give them an option.
    Construction is making a huge comeback. They need to get to the schools and tell them about the opportunities while they still are offering the program.

  7. facts

    Mptc still has their apprenaship carpentry program. As for spending all that money for a new lab I heard that serval programs use it. I know a few years back they only had a few students in this program — time to cut the fat

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