MSTC seeks city support for new training center
By Mike Warren
MARSHFIELD – Mid-State Technical College officials are asking the city of Marshfield to get behind the school’s efforts to build a high-tech training center in central Wisconsin.
MSTC President Dr. Shelly Mondeik told the Marshfield Common Council during its Jan. 11 meeting that the college is actively garnering support for its new Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering Technology and Apprenticeship, or AMETA, Center, to be built along Interstate-39 in the Stevens Point Industrial Park.
“This is more than a lab,” Mondeik told the Council. “This is a destination center, something that all of our constituents can be really proud of.”
In December, Mondeik and other college officials received a $9 million grant from Gov. Evers through the state’s Workforce Innovation Grant program, which will go toward AMETA Center construction, equipment and community-based student support services.
“For Marshfield students who maybe have a hard time getting to the Stevens Point AMETA Center, we will have transportation vouchers,” Mondeik added. “We are working with the Wisconsin Automotive & Truck Education Association to be able to provide transportation to the AMETA Center. We will also have daycare dollars, because we know that that can be a barrier as well.”
Beyond that support, Dr. Mondeik told Council members that major donors from Marshfield have stepped up to get the 53,000 square-foot AMETA Center off the ground.
“Hastreiter Industries,” Mondeik said. “Wow, did they step up right off the bat. They have the permanent naming to our machine tool lab. They are a gold sponsor for us. H&S Manufacturing, what an excellent company. They have come back and donated three different times to us, because they keep hearing what good work we are doing, and they keep adding. I can’t speak more highly of them. And your banks, Associated Bank, Simplicity Credit Union, exceptional people. MACCI, they have been along side us through the whole process. Masonite, oh my gosh, we’re excited about the opportunity of what they could do for this building.”
The city of Marshfield is not a financial contributor to the project at this time, and Administrator Steve Barg clarified during a Jan. 12 press conference that Dr. Mondeik’s presentation the night before was not an official solicitation for money.
“At the end, they did ask if the city would consider being a part of it,” she said. “It was not a hard ask. It wasn’t something that was the focus of the presentation, and they didn’t ask for some certain dollar amount. They just asked us to consider being a sponsor at some level. And they also talked about just wanting our support in general for this project. In other words, they might want a letter of support as they seek other funds, and letting it be known that we are partnering with them and all the other municipalities and counties to try to make this thing a reality. So, I’m not sure what the follow-up is yet, in terms of what we do with the request part of the presentation, but I’ll certainly talk about that with the Council President and others, and we’ll see where that goes.”
Dr. Mondeik said the AMETA Center is aimed at solving “workforce challenges in central Wisconsin, targeting 2,500 unemployed, underemployed, underserved communities and youth with skills training and support services.”
She also alluded to a likely trickle-down impact of the AMETA Center project on Mid-State’s existing campuses.
“At the Marshfield campus, we want to expand what we’re doing in the current lab that we have,” Mondeik told aldermen. “And we want to bring more of the fabrication to the Marshfield campus. And we think that that is very needed, and also really an expansion around welding.”
Mondeik expects formal MSTC District Board approval for the project this spring, followed by groundbreaking this fall, with completion scheduled for the fall of 2023.