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For Immediate Release:  March 27, 2014
Contact:   Conor Smyth, 608-220-1553,

WTCS Board recognizes D & S Manufacturing as “Futuremakers Partner”

         LA CROSSE – The Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) Board this week awarded its "Futuremakers Partner" award to D & S Manufacturing of Black River Falls. The award recognizes the unique and dynamic partnerships between Wisconsin’s technical colleges and their employer partners.

         D & S Manufacturing, specializing in metal fabrication of large-scale components and assemblies, is a long-time partner with Western Technical College. While its main campus is in La Crosse, Western also serves communities throughout the region, including Black River Falls.

         "It was an honor to receive this award, and particularly fitting that company president Mike Dougherty and the Dougherty family were specifically recognized for their outstanding support and long-term commitment to Western," said John Barkley, D & S vice president and general manager. "Many of our employee owners have taken advantage of and benefited from the educational opportunities that Western offers. We look forward to continuing our support of Western and the opportunities it provides to our community and region."

         In presenting the award, WTCS Board President Drew Petersen noted that D & S was a driving force in establishing the Jackson County Welding Skills Institute, a unique partnership formed with Western and other partners to meet the growing need for trained welders in the Black River Falls area. Without that support, Petersen noted, the initiative would not have been possible. The company has also funded scholarships at Western over many years, and provided tuition assistance for its employee owners.

         "D & S Manufacturing is a true partner," said Lee Rasch, president of Western Technical College. "Members of both their management and production staff serve on our program advisory committees. We value their support and honest feedback, which helps to ensure that our educational programming is relevant and responsive to the communities we serve."

WTCS Board President Drew Petersen, Sherrie Hein (D & S Human Resources Director), John Barkley and Lee Rasch


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 business solutions and technical assistance to Wisconsin employers. More than 340,000 individuals access the technical colleges for education and training each year.

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