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MARINETTE — Over the last six months, we have been meeting with school districts, business and industry leaders, and community members to talk about the Marinette Area Higher Education Coalition.

As with any coalition, UW-Green Bay, Marinette Campus and NWTC Marinette are joining efforts because we share common goals. We both fulfill educational needs beyond high school. We both provide workforce training, whether serving individuals or groups from local employers. We are both committed to lifelong learning through credit and non-credit opportunities. We both exist to help foster economic development in our region and meet people’s needs.

One purpose of the coalition is to ensure that we are not duplicating the services needed by the region. In reducing any duplication, we can use our resources to expand what is available and bring greater opportunities to the area.

Why now? With the recent restructuring of the UW System, Marinette now boasts a four-year institution in UW-Green Bay, Marinette Campus. Our region can now benefit from the availability of several four-year baccalaureate degrees right here in Marinette. Students who complete certain programs at NWTC Marinette will be able to continue their college education right in town.

For our current and future students, the coalition means coordinated student activities, expanded services, and more opportunities for clubs and events. It means seamless transitions between the two campuses. It means cross-trained staff who can direct students on the best path. It means being able to obtain your desired degree without having to leave the community and while saving a lot of money.

While we are working together, both campuses will maintain their individual identities. Each campus has always offered certain programs that the other did not. We will continue to do so.

But together, we can add even more to the educational and economic vitality of the area. We are excited to serve you. We hope you will visit both our campuses to see how we can help you with facilities rental, career services, individual courses, degree programs and much more. We are your community resource.

Jennifer Flatt is the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Dean. Cindy Bailey is the UW-Green Bay, Marinette Campus, Campus Executive Officer.