Generac Power Systems will open new training center in Eagle
By Katherine Michalets,of SBT
Generac Power Systems Inc. will soon open a new 6,000-square-foot training center for its employees and its dealers in Eagle. The Waukesha-based manufacturer of power generation equipment plans to begin classes in the training center Sept. 8.
"We wanted the image of the training facility to be the same quality as the product that we put out there. And we have the highest-quality generator," said Michael Grady, corporate trainer of the firm.
Generac celebrated the opening of its new training center, which is adjacent to its Eagle plant, Aug. 21.
The center includes one large classroom that can be divided into two smaller rooms, a hands-on work area and a kitchen that will allow for catered meals to be served for corporate functions.
"The facility was meant to be adaptable for many different purposes," said Mike Carr, manager of marketing communications.
Students in the training center will include Generac sales and service employees, as well as Generac generator dealers from across the country.
Classes will run 40 or more weeks a year and will last four and a half days. About 10 instructors will eventually work at the training center.
Another educational program that is housed by Generac Power Systems is its Second Chance program, which provides high school students an opportunity to receive their diplomas while learning the skills of the trade.
Generac Power Systems partnered with the Mukwonago Area School District to create the 21-week program. Students spend two hours in the classroom, two hours as an apprentice and another four hours working to earn money.
For Mukwonago student Ryan Poetzel, the opportunity to learn and work at Generac was life-changing.
"I am definitely thankful for it. Where would I be otherwise?" Poetzel said.
Marty Gholston, youth apprenticeship facilitator at Generac, observes the difference the Second Chance program has made in the students’ lives.
"They knew they were floundering, and they did not know if they were going to get their diploma," Gholston said. "Now it’s, what do I do after I get my diploma?"
The Second Chance program, which was founded in 1996, also offers encouragement to parents, according to Carr.
"This is more than a ray of hope," Carr said. "It helps to get their children on the right track."
Serpt. 5, 2003 Small Business Times, Milwaukee