System News Releases

Strong Outcomes for Wisconsin's Tech College Grads

May 05, 2017 | Conor Smyth

Madison, WI – With commencement exercises happening across Wisconsin this month, new graduates of Wisconsin’s 16 technical colleges can be confident in their job prospects.

During its meeting in Madison on Tuesday, the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) Board discussed a recent report of outcomes for 2016 technical college graduates, which shows a 93 percent employment rate within six months of graduation, continuing a positive, long-standing trend. Nearly 80 percent of respondents reported being employed in a field directly related to their technical college training.

The report is based on a survey of more than 25,000 individuals who graduated from a technical college in 2016, with 66 percent responding. Employment rates for WTCS graduates have been 86 percent or higher for more than 15 years running, including during times of recession.

“These results are fantastic for our students, but also for employers,” said WTCS Board President John Schwantes, who is the Director of Plant Member Services at Johnsonville Sausage in Sheboygan Falls.

Schwantes, a graduate of Moraine Park Technical College, was recently reappointed to the WTCS Board by Governor Scott Walker. “This is another strong indication of the alignment between our colleges and the employers in the communities they serve,” Schwantes said.

For every program at a Wisconsin technical college, employers serve with faculty and others on an advisory committee that assures course curriculum is tied to industry standards and current practice. Employers also routinely support college facilities projects, donate equipment and materials for use in instruction, and support student scholarship funds. The result of these unique partnerships is relevant curriculum and successful, in-demand graduates.

“These partnerships are at the heart of our colleges’ ability to deliver for both students and employers,” said System President Dr. Morna K. Foy. “And they do that consistently.”

In other Board business, Governor Walker also reappointed Stephen Willett, a prominent general practice attorney and litigator in Phillips, to an additional six-year term, while the State Senate confirmed the Governor’s appointment of Hunter Kautz to the WTCS Board. Kautz is a Machine Tool Technics student at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College in New Richmond and is employed as a Computer Numeric Control (CNC) Machine Operator at Hudson Machine & Tool in Hammond.

To download the Graduate Outcomes Report or one-page highlight sheet, please visit:

The Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) offers more than 400 programs awarding two-year associate degrees, one- and two-year technical diplomas and short-term technical diplomas and certificates. In addition, the System is a major provider of customized training and technical assistance to Wisconsin employers. Over 320,000 individuals access the technical colleges each year.