Last updated on April 6th, 2021 at 03:36 pm
Technical colleges are a very unique Southeastern Wisconsin legacy.
It was here 110 years ago at the Racine Continuation School where America’s first publicly funded technical colleges were born, providing the means for students to gain a life-changing education strong enough to support a family and create a career.
A total of 325 students attended that first year, receiving training in pattern making, cabinet making, molding, cooking, dressmaking and drafting.
That continuation school expanded and grew into Gateway Technical College, bringing together the Racine County campuses and centers with those in Kenosha County and Walworth County along the way.
Now, more than 20,000 students attend Gateway, receiving training in 70 career fields in such areas as information technology, robotics, nursing, automated manufacturing, human services and business.
Some things have changed little since that first continuation school in Racine. Gateway continues to provide a solid education and the skills needed to enter a career with family-sustaining wages. What’s changed is the technology and the workplace, and Gateway has made sure to stay on the leading edge in its curriculum, training equipment and educational experience.
With that in mind, our SC Johnson iMET Center in Sturtevant was remodeled and expanded in 2019, and has become known nationally for the advanced manufacturing, engineering and information technology training that takes place there. We also have plans in place to remodel our Racine Campus, adding a state-of-the-art Nursing education center to provide training for the ever-expanding need for health care professionals.
Keeping on the leading edge has helped us serve students with an emphasis on industry-focused career pathways which, in turn, supports the employment and economic growth of the region. Our mission has always been a win-win for students and employers as we align the skills we provide students with the needs of employers. Students gain career skills, but area employers also gain career-ready employees who help them succeed.
We also help the current workforce succeed. Our customized, employer-based training focuses on company-specific topics and skills needed for productivity and efficiency from their current workforce. It includes soft skills, technical skills, or both — a learning plan developed in direct concert with the business client to meet their exact needs.
Finally, responding to global events is nothing new to Gateway, and the recent COVID-19 pandemic is no exception. The college remained open and continued to meet the educational needs of its students through new delivery methods and increased technology, among other efforts. Says Gateway Technical College President and CEO Bryan Albrecht: “Gateway is rooted in continuous improvement and will use what we have learned from the COVID pandemic to strengthen access to students, building the very foundation of our region’s essential workforce.”
It is in times like this Gateway’s name aligns with its mission more than ever: We must continue to be a gateway for a brighter future — brighter for our students, community and the greater society in which we all live.
Gateway Technical College
3520 30th Avenue
Kenosha, WI | 53144