(WAUSAU, Wis.) – Northcentral Technical College (NTC) pleased to be recognized as a recipient of funding from Governor Tony Evers to address the future of meat processing in Wisconsin. In January, the Governor announced up to $5 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to develop the Meat Talent Development Program. NTC will receive $220,000 to help solve food supply chain challenges through short-term training aimed to rapidly build the workforce in Central Wisconsin.
Funding will be used toward a mobile learning lab that will allow NTC to bring training to students throughout Northcentral Wisconsin. The short-term training aligns with the needs of employers to develop talent in the industry. The training will provide farm-to-table practices that will connect learners from NTC’s Agriculture Center of Excellence to the Culinary Arts Associate Degree. It also gives students the opportunity to develop the skills they need to take sustainable meat processing practices back to their communities and help keep food local to address the food supply chain issue.
“A portion of this investment will provide financial support to students in NTC’s meat processing programs,” said Dr. Jeannie Worden, President of NTC. “We are thankful to Governor Evers and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection for investing in our students and the agriculture community.”
According to EMSI Labor Market Analytics & Economic Data, Northcentral Wisconsin has twice as many jobs in the meat processing industry than the national average and that number is projected to increase 21% over the next 10 years. The industry will also experience high retirement rates because 27% of those employed are age 55 and older.
“Wisconsin’s livestock and meat processing industries are vital to the economic success of our state and provide consumers with access to high-quality meat products,” said DATCP Secretary Randy Romanski. “Governor Evers recognizes the importance of investing in the future of this industry and the workforce that makes that industry so strong. We are excited to be working with universities and technical colleges like NTC to provide more educational opportunities for those interested in working in Wisconsin’s meat industry.”
Pictured (left to right): Dr. Greg Cisewski, Dean of NTC’s School of Agricultural Science, Utilities and Transportation; Dr. Jeannie Worden, NTC President; Keith Langenhahn, Member of NTC’s Board of Trustees; Randy Romanski, Secretary of Wisconsin’s Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection; Dr. Darren Ackley, NTC’s Vice President of Learning; Dr. Brad Gast, NTC’s Dean of Workforce Training + Professional Development; Dr. Brandy Breuckman, NTC’s Dean of Business + Director of Learning Innovation; Betsy Leonard, Wisconsin Technical College System’s Education Director of Agriculture + Natural Resources.
Northcentral Technical College (www.ntc.edu) is north central Wisconsin's premier two-year college of choice and is a resource for all District residents. It provides individuals, organizations and businesses with quality skills training in a wide range of programs designed to build a competitive, technologically advanced workforce in today's rapidly changing global environment. NTC has six convenient campus locations in Wausau, Antigo, Medford, Phillips, Spencer, and Wittenberg, as well as a Public Safety Center of Excellence in Merrill, a Wood Technology Center of Excellence in Antigo and an Agriculture Center of Excellence just north of the Wausau Campus in the Village of Maine. The Wausau Campus also features a Center for Health Sciences, Center for Business & Industry, Information Technology & Entrepreneurial Center (iTEC), STEM Center, Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Center of Excellence, SPOONS restaurant, Studio Max Salon + Spa and a Center for Geriatric Education.