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SUPERIOR - It is ranked as one of the best two-year colleges in the nation, and now Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College is motivating students to become interested in careers like welding and aviation.
"We're seeing all sorts of activity and it isn't because of one person, it's because of everybody that's devoted and wants to work in this area and raise their family," Mayor of Superior, Bruce Hagen, said.
Hagen helped declare February Career and Technical Education month, letting the public know how technical careers and education can impact communities and economies.
"It's a testimonial to what the skilled labor force means to our country and our local economy," Hagen said.
The one-year welding program at WITC has a two-year waiting list.
"It basically gets us ready for whatever we need to do in the future," Derek Kraemer, a welding student at WITC, said.
Instructors help students get on the fast-track to graduation.
"I think it's important because I mean, you get out fast, and then you can go right ahead out into working," Kraemer said.
"You don't spend a lot of time in the classroom. It's more that you're in the shop the whole time." The college is also working with Kestrel Aircraft, a new aviation company, to develop a two-year program.
"We need to find great people, who care about their job and understand a wide variety of aspects when doing any process and improving that process," CEO of Kestrel Aircraft, Alan Klapmeier, said.
The company will offer internships to help students gain experience while building the body of an aircraft.
"It's a focus on how can we be better," said Klapmeier. "How do we grow, how do we make sure that people have jobs, that the right revenue and the right opportunities, and the right educational, recreational opportunities, all happen in this community, how do we do it as a team together.