Thursday, January 24, 2019

Evers Brings State-of-State Tour to CVTC

Partnerships with local school districts highlighted

Article Photo - Evers Brings State-of-State Tour to CVTC

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers takes a look at a recipe using eggs students were learning about in the Culinary Management program area Wednesday, Jan. 23. Evers toured several CVTC programs during a visit the day after his first State-of-the-State address. To Evers’ left is CVTC President Bruce Barker.


The day after delivering his first State-of-the-State Address, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers visited Chippewa Valley Technical College in Eau Claire to follow up on his message and the role education plays in his agenda.

“Last night I talked a lot about education in the State-of-the-State address,” Evers said during his CVTC visit on Wednesday, Jan. 23. “It’s good to be here at CVTC and to see the programs that are great for your communities and the country, and ensure that people who are struggling eventually have a chance to improve themselves.”

In his Tuesday night address to a joint session of the Wisconsin legislature, Evers spoke of “connecting the dots” by seeing how different problems and situations interrelate with one another. “The budget that I’ll be introducing in the coming weeks is about connecting those dots,” Evers said. “And to no one’s surprise, it begins—as it always has for me—with education.”

CVTC President Bruce Barker said he spoke with Evers during Wednesday’s visit about how CVTC can help connect the dots that lead to student success.

“Our partnerships between CVTC and our K-12 districts is something we talked about a lot,” Barker said. “We talked about the success of our dual credit program and how that has saved students in 43 area high schools over $1.4 million in tuition costs.”

Barker noted that the Wisconsin Technical College System has made a budget request for increased funding throughout the state. “We told Governor Evers that if we were to get any additional funding, it would be used for high school dual credit academies and apprenticeships,” Barker said.

At his CVTC visit, Evers called on the legislature “to take up my budget and not craft their own. I want them to start with my budget, but I know I’m not going to get everything I want and they’re not going to get everything they want.”

Evers visited one of CVTC’s newest programs when he toured the Culinary Management area. Chef instructor Kevin Brown was conducting a special session for CVTC students not enrolled in the Culinary program on how they can make good meals on a college student’s meager budget. Chef instructor Jonathan Fike then provided a tour of the state-of-the-art kitchen facilities considered one of the best teaching kitchens in the nation.

“Our Culinary Management students are expected to know what their goals are in the field,” said Lynette Livingston, dean of business and academic initiatives. “We discovered a number of them are interested in operating food trucks, and to help them we partner with our Entrepreneurship program.”

Evers also toured CVTC’s Learning Center, where students can obtain support services to help them succeed, and Diversity Services, which serves CVTC’s many minority and international students, students with disabilities and those pursuing non-traditional occupations.

At the Health Education Center, Evers visited the human patient simulation lab and the CVTC Dental Clinic, which is operated in cooperation with the Marquette University School of Dentistry. Shelly Olson, executive dean of health and emergency services, told Evers that the clinic has about 9,000 patient visits a year, serving mostly low-income patients who might otherwise not receive dental care.

“You do good work and we like to see all this collaboration,” Evers said.