Foxconn building a high-tech manufacturing plant in southeastern Wisconsin will create “entirely new opportunities for students,” according to Michael Shiels, a dean at Waukesha County Technical College.

The dean of the tech college’s School of Applied Technologies says the proposed project is “very exciting” for the entire state, but particularly for Wisconsin’s technical college programs, as it will provide opportunities to train members of the skilled workforce needed to run the facility.

In his position, Shiels oversees the college’s programs in engineering, manufacturing, construction trades, apprenticeships, transportation and architecture — about 31 associate degrees and diplomas in total.

He works closely with various groups to obtain data on the latest techniques and best practices for industry, collaborating with faculty and local employers.

Sometimes, WCTC provides short-term training programs tailored to certain employers’ needs; other times, Shiels says the school links employers with specific program areas so they can hire out of those programs. He also helps to make connections for internship programs, so students can get hands-on experience before graduating.

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