From an article by Adam Wise in the Stevens Point Journal:

Mid-State Technical College this year will receive $428,000 in federal funding for its five renewable energy programs.

College officials recently received word of the money, which is part of President Barack Obama’s $410 billion spending bill.

“The funding will support instruction, program development, equipment purchase and coordination of the programs,” MSTC President John Clark said. “We’re trying to be the remedy for the (local) job loss, particularly in the paper industry.”

The school offers associate degree programs in biorefinery technology, renewable electricity and renewable thermal energy. It plans to expand its programs to include energy efficiency technician and renewable energy specialist degrees this fall.

As of September, MSTC will provide five of the six renewable energy associate degree programs in the state.

Although Clark doesn’t expect the school to receive the money for a few months, the administration is identifying specific needs now so it will be ready to put the money to use, he said.

The three current programs have successfully recruited many displaced paper industry workers from the area to train them for the 21st-century careers, said Sue Budjac, vice president of academic affairs.

“Because we are out in front, the grant really allows us to provide one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art training opportunities, which will certainly attract enrollment,” Budjac said.