Domtar Nekoosa targets workforce shortages with $100K donation
For the City Times
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – Mid-State Technical College is the recipient of a donation from Domtar’s Nekoosa mill to help fund the planned Advanced Manufacturing Engineering Technology and Apprenticeship (AMETA) Center in Stevens Point. Domtar presented college representatives with their $100,000 donation during an event in Nekoosa on June 13.
“Domtar is the first forest products industry partner to sponsor the project designed to supply Wisconsin with highly skilled workers, address the workforce shortage, and sustain and grow area businesses through the application of industry 4.0 and industry 5.0 equipment and processes. Their donation secures Domtar naming rights to a space within the AMETA Center for the life of the building,” a Mid-State release stated.
“Domtar is proud to invest in our current and future work force alongside Mid-State Technical College,” said Jason McCauley, general manager for Domtar’s Nekoosa Mill. “Building skills for 21st-century manufacturing will help our company, our industry and our communities thrive well into the future. We are excited to see how this high-level training will expand opportunities for students and current workers across our region.”
In her remarks at the event Mid-State President Dr. Shelly Mondeik attributed the plan for the AMETA Center to listening sessions that revealed a need for the college to do more to support advanced manufacturing and apprenticeship.
“We needed to do more for these professions… and give you a building, and a center, that really represents the pride and the skills that you all need,” she said.
With a planned opening in late 2023 or early 2024, the AMETA Center is an approximately 50,000 square-foot facility slated for development on I-39 in the Stevens Point Industrial Park. It is expected to serve over 1,500 people per year through advanced programming to traditional technical college students and high school students, incumbent worker training, and new equipment and technology advancement demonstrations for central Wisconsin businesses.
The facility is set to provide office space for the Wisconsin Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards (BAS) supporting the 14 apprenticeship programs available at Mid-State and the over 400 current local apprentices. Partnerships with central Wisconsin governmental agencies to assist in the project and a resident hall agreement with UW-Stevens Point for Mid-State student use are just a few of the many collaborations demonstrated in the project.
“Domtar’s generous contribution to the AMETA Center project is the perfect example of community-serving organizations collaborating to secure the vitality of central Wisconsin today and well into the future,” said Dr. Bobbi Damrow, Mid-State vice president of workforce development and community relations and AMETA campaign manager. “This project will serve to provide education and training for a number of high-demand occupations, creating a strong pipeline of relevant, skilled talent with opportunities for excellent, family-sustaining careers in the area.”
Public and private donations and grants have been received toward the construction of the AMETA Center, and fundraising efforts continue as the campaign now seeks to fully outfit the center with industry-standard equipment and supplies.