Federal Funding Improves WITC Program

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Tim Bloom was putting the finishing touches on a security camera project Thursday for his Advanced Communication Course.

"We started from scratch-stepped along the process and figured it out."

He transferred here after a semester at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and joined a group of about 50 from all over the state, learning telecommunications skills, installation of telephone equipment and cable for TV.

"They're going to be able to go into an entry level position and start work quite fast," instructor Paul Kostner said.

"We've had close to 100 percent job placement since we've started this program, so we think we're contributing a great deal to the community," said WITC President Dr. Hank Hurley

After about four weeks of trial and error, Tim and his classmates put up the camera that actually projects the image right onto the internet. This spring, they'll take it down and put it back up again, this time, at the Bloomer Police Department.

It's one of two cameras the department will get through a Homeland Security Grant.

"Being that we do not have any security cameras in our city, that it would be another tool for us to use in our investigations," said Michael Bungartz, Chief of the department.

Other classes have done similar projects for city offices in Rice Lake, all of which come with the same pressure of a real industry job.

"It was nervewracking, but it's a relief to have it done now and operational."

Tim's been in Rice Lake for two and a half years now. When he graduates, he wants to work in the field, splicing cable.

"Once i got started, i knew this was where i wanted to be."

Since many companies are already waiting for WITC grads to hire, Tim will probably get where he wants to be when he's finished too.