Wednesday, October 12, 2022
Thirty years ago, life was a tad different.
The phrase “surfing the internet” was coined.
Remember the dial-up sound? Yeah, that was a thing.
And a 50-inch big-screen TV would run you more than $2,000.
Also 30 years ago, Chippewa Valley Technical College’s Menomonie Campus was born.
Fast forward to today, and the campus is gearing up for a facelift after a referendum was approved in 2020.
Jim Anderson, former campus manager and member of the Dunn County Board of Supervisors, remembers back to the day he was hired and eventually was put in charge of building the Menomonie Campus.
Anderson was hired as a CVTC agriculture instructor in 1975. He traveled to different communities in the 11-county College district, training Vietnam veterans.
He went from instructor to ag coordinator, working with business and industry. Then he fell into the Menomonie area where a new campus was being built – located on Technology Drive.
“When we were building this new campus in Menomonie, it was really exciting because they allowed me to give my input and work with the people,” he said. “Now CVTC is booming in Menomonie.”
Anderson was the Menomonie Campus Manager until he retired in 2001. He keeps up with the happenings at CVTC through his role on the county board and Dan Lytle, current Menomonie campus manager.
With hundreds of maintenance professionals in the Menomonie area, Lytle said the CVTC campus has always been directly tied to technology.
“The next stop in maintenance is automation, and we’re proud to offer an industry 4.0 lab in upcoming renovations,” he said. “Our community talked, and we are listening by continuing to respond and invest in the future of our students.”
Programs offered at the Menomonie Campus have morphed over the last 30 years because of community needs, Lytle said.
CVTC increased its offerings from continued education, GSED training and agriculture instruction to a combination of in-person and virtual learning, associate degree credits transferring to UW partners, manufacturing and mechatronics program offerings and Right Choice Acres field learning opportunities.
“We want to continue to make long-term, lasting impacts and so much of this is about the College responding to demand,” Lytle said.
More is to come. CVTC will be upgrading the Menomonie Campus during referendum improvements scheduled for summer 2024, with completion prior to fall of that year.
Sunem Beaton-Garcia, CVTC president, said all of our campuses mean so much to our students and the community. After meeting with UW-Stout partners, residents during local events and community stakeholders, Beaton-Garcia said they’re full of pride in their community and they’re “all-in.”
“We all need each other, and we feel the same amount of pride,” she said.
CVTC is continuing to bring programs to the Menomonie Campus that are meaningful to the community, Beaton-Garcia said.
“We want to continue to benefit and complement the community by providing services that are needed,” Beaton-Garcia said. “The College is a reflection of the community it serves. We’re proud to be a part of Menomonie.”
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