The INTERFACE Project grant was made possible by the U.S. Department of Labor, to help Trade Adjustment Act eligible workers get retrained and re-educated with modern skills and technologies. Learn more about TAA eligibility by reading through Department of Labor Guidelines or contacting the Job Center in Milwaukee area.
All 16 Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) colleges are committed to creating Intentional Networks Transforming Effective and Rigorous Facilitation of Assessment, Collaboration, and Education (INTERFACE). INTERFACE is a strategic alignment between colleges, nationally recognized leaders in education, statewide educational systems, workforce development systems, current TAACCCT grant recipients, and 39 businesses to strengthen computer skill competency and expand pathways in information technology-related programs to TAA-eligible, veteran and other adult learners. The INTERFACE effort makes our IT computer support program at MATC possible and has a direct benefit to the Milwaukee area community.
NEED AND PURPOSE: One of the most pressing needs for businesses in Wisconsin, as well as the nation, is for workers to have basic to advanced levels of information technology (IT) skills. The Department of Labor notes that “In today’s global economy, advancement in technology applications extend across multiple industries, creating the demand for transferable, basic IT skills and competencies among new hires and incumbent workers at almost all levels of employment.” A 2009 Journal of Information Technology Education article similarly notes that:
Most jobs require personnel to have some level of interaction and expertise with IT. These technologies are intricately woven into businesses, including healthcare industry’s use of electronic medical records, manufacturing industry’s use of automated production lines, banking industry’s use of online banking, and restaurant and food industries’ use of computerized ordering and tracking systems (p.142)
Northcentral Technical College Project Narrative INTERFACE Project Page 2 of 45 states:
INTERFACE will focus on two components of IT: 1) basic computer literacy skill development and 2) information technology-related career pathways that lead to family sustaining wages in high growth occupations. The budget will be used for identified initiatives to support the overarching goals of the TAACCCT program: 1) increase attainment of degrees, certifications, certificates, diplomas and other industry-recognized credentials that match the skills needed by employers to better prepare TAA-eligible workers, veterans, and other adults for high-wage, high-skill employment or re-employment in information technology-related sectors; 2) introduce or replicate innovative and effective methods for designing and delivering instruction that address information Technology-related industry needs and lead to improved learning, completion, and other outcomes for TAA-eligible workers, veterans, and other adults; and 3) demonstrate improved employment outcomes. In today’s technology age, computer literacy skills are as important as reading and writing skills and can be the vital link between unemployment and obtaining family supporting-wages. INTERFACE will focus on two components of information technology: 1) basic computer literacy skill development and 2) information technology-related career pathways that lead to family sustaining wages in high growth occupations. INTERFACE has been built from a foundation of evidence and is aligned with previously funded TAACCCT projects. The 16 Wisconsin Technical Colleges together with nationally recognized leaders in education, statewide educational systems, workforce development systems, current TAACCCT grant recipients, and 39 businesses will research and adopt core computer skill competencies and develop a standardized computer basics course; enhance credit for prior learning and experience; replicate successful career pathway designs; incorporate work-based learning/training opportunities; and develop mobile applications, serving 3,046 TAA-eligible, veteran, and other adult learners in high-growth industries.