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For Immediate Release:  July10, 2013
Contact:   Conor Smyth, 608-266-2991, conor.smyth@wtcsystem.edu


WTCS Board recognizes Futuremakers Partner; elects new officers

         RHINELANDER ­ The Peter Christensen Dental Clinic, which serves the Lac du Flambeau tribal community, received a "Futuremakers Partner Award" from the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) Board at its meeting held at Nicolet Area Technical College on Tuesday, July 9.

         Drew Petersen, newly elected to a one-year term as president of the WTCS Board, presented the award to Dr. Paco Fralick, the clinic’s founder. The Futuremakers Partner Award recognizes the unique, dynamic and enduring partnerships between Wisconsin’s technical colleges and their employer partners.

         "Dr. Fralick had the vision to not only improve the dental health of area residents, but to offer use of the clinic’s modern facilities to partner with Nicolet Area Technical College in training future dental professionals," Petersen said. "Today, Nicolet offers outstanding programs that create opportunities for graduates to launch careers as dental hygienists and dental assistants."

         He praised the partnership between the college and the tribal enterprise as the first of its kind in the nation. Ten students were in the first graduating class and the clinic plans to include more students in future classes. "The clinic’s efforts will benefit this region for many years to come," Petersen concluded.

         "Students add a whole other feel and dynamic to our clinic," said Dr. Fralick. "Being there to help them and mentor them is a great feeling and very rewarding. We’ve already hired four of the students."

         In addition to electing Petersen as president, the Board elected John Schwantes, a director with Johnsonville Sausage in Sheboygan, as vice-president, and Phil Baranowski, a retired K-12 administrator, as the Board’s secretary. In other business, the Board received the latest WTCS Graduate Follow-up Report, showing 88 percent of 2012 graduates were employed with six months of completion, most of whom choose to stay and pursue careers in Wisconsin.

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About the System:
The Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) offers more than 300 programs awarding two-year associate degrees, one- and two-year technical diplomas and short-term technical diplomas and certificates. In addition, the System is the major provider of customized training and technical assistance to Wisconsin’s business and industry community. Nearly 370,000 individuals access the technical colleges for education and training each year.