article provided by Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS)
The award recognizes the dynamic and enduring partnerships between Wisconsin’s technical colleges and their community and employer partners.
What started as a one-person machining operation in 1984 in company president Alan Marten’s garage has grown into a widely-recognized precision tool manufacturer in Stevens Point. In an era of shifting workforce needs, Marten developed a comprehensive plan to actively support education and skill development at the K-12 and postsecondary levels.
“When visitors come to our facility, we always get the same question,” said Marten. “How did we develop a young and highly skilled workforce?” Marten said the answer is Mid-State Technical College and the Stevens Point community. “It’s humbling to receive this award from a valuable organization that plays a critical role for education in our community.”
In addition, Marten and his son, David, both serve on Mid-State’s Machine Tool Technician program advisory committee. The pair also devote significant time and energy to enhance the image and awareness of technical education. Attending college open house events, speaking publicly about the impact of Wisconsin’s Youth Apprenticeship program on their business, and collaborating with local workforce development partners to host tours of their facility.
“Alan mentioned tonight that 55% of his team came to the company from Mid-State,” said Mid-State President Sue Budjac. “We take a lot of pride in the skills and value our students and graduates bring to the Martens’ operation.”
“This is a company that doesn’t just support Mid-State,” said WTCS Board Vice President Mark Tyler. “But in partnership with the college and many others, they’re part of the fabric of this community.”