President Trump's visit to WCTC
On Tuesday, June 13, President Donald Trump, his daughter and advisor Ivanka Trump, U.S. Sec. of Education Betsy DeVos, Labor Sec. Alexander Acosta and Gov. Scott Walker toured Waukesha County Technical College's manufacturing facilities and met with students and employer partners as part of The White House's workforce development initiative.
WCTC President Kaylen Betzig led the tour through the college's metal fabrication/welding, tool and die, and CNC machine labs before Pres. Trump and Gov. Walker led a roundtable discussion with WCTC students, staff and state business leaders.
"WCTC was honored to showcase our campus, students and employer partnerships on a national stage," said WCTC Director of Public Relations Shelly Kuhn. "We take great pride in our record of success at WCTC -- creating high-wage career paths for our students in the skilled trades and meeting the workforce development needs of local businesses. More than 150 employers work closely with WCTC to provide instruction for 11 apprenticeships in areas such as tool and die, machinist and welding fabricator. We are confident the visit accomplished our goal of providing a renewed focus on the importance of technical colleges to the health of our economy -- both here in Wisconsin and around the country."
Here is an excerpt from President Trump's opening remarks:
During my campaign for President, I talked about crucial importance of vocational training -- teaching young people the skills, crafts and trades that are vital to our economy and our success as a country, and their success as an individual. America must not only teach but celebrate the skilled laborers that produce and maintain the world’s greatest machines, buildings, products and infrastructure -- innovations that improve our quality of life, help keep us safe, and have the power to inspire awe and wonder.
And I will say, when I was going to school and I was going to college, that I'd meet people that didn’t have a great ability or, frankly, they didn’t have a great liking for what they were doing, what they were studying. But they could take apart an engine. They could do drilling like I've never seen before. They could put up a brick wall better than all of the kids in that college or that university -- a great school. They could put up a wall in record time and make it far better than anybody else could have done. They just had an amazing ability. And that’s what we're about today.
We’re here today to talk about the dignity of work and the greatness of the American worker -- and also loving the work you do. I just toured the classrooms and I must say they aren’t your normal lecture halls, but in a certain way, they’re far more beautiful. You learn incredible skills like welding, automotive repair, and machine tool operations. And I looked at the machines and I'll tell you, what they have is incredible. And the knowledge to operate them is very, very, very amazing.
This institution has pioneered the hands-on learning and apprenticeships that produce terrific careers for young Americans.
Governor Walker has developed workforce training -- very important, workforce training -- programs that open up more opportunities for all students, whether they want to go to a four-year college, a technical college, trade school, or work and learn as a skilled apprentice. I love the name, apprentice. (Laughter.) It's a great word. The Governor just announced $3.9 million in grant funds to place 4,300 high school juniors and seniors in apprenticeships in areas like agriculture, health science, hospitality, and engineering.
We want a future where every high school in America offers apprenticeship opportunities for young citizens -- and studying things that they want to study, and studying things that they’re going to be great at. Under this vision, high school students could learn, and they could earn. And, boy, when I say earn, they can make great, great salaries doing something that they love -- learn invaluable skills, find a career they love, and enter the workforce faster and without debt.
Tomorrow, you’ll be hearing more about how my administration is going to expand apprenticeships all throughout the country for young people, and it's called earn while they learn. That's pretty good.
I look forward to hearing from all of you -- especially from the students who are here today -- great students -- who will tell us about their experience learning some of the most important trades in our nation. That's what keeps our nation going. We’re going to do everything we can to support you and help more young people have the opportunities we have here in Waukesha County and its incredible County Technical College. I'm very, very impressed with everybody I've met. I'm very, very impressed with the facilities, and a lot of very talented people leaving here and going on to something they love, and making a fantastic living.