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New Women in Technology Center opens at MATC

By Teresa Rae Butler, Times Staff Reporter
On December 18, 2011

The NTO or Non-Traditional Occupations are careers that currently employ 25% or less of one gender. For women, NTO careers offer higher wages than many occupations dominated by females. Engineers, architects, police officers, firefighters, electrical technicians, electronic technologists and construction trades are examples of such high-wage female NTO careers.

As most of the Non-traditional Careers for women are from technical fields, inspired by this notion was a collaboration conducted with the Technology and Applied Science Division.

To help raise the numbers for future female graduates, the Women in Technology Center decided to start this as a pilot project. They will provide an opportunity for non-traditional students to network and form learning communities. The facility is located in Room T200 at the MATC Downtown Campus.

People involved in the development of the project are Nutan Amrute, Coordinator, Non-traditional Occupations, 414-297-7334 and Terese Dressel, Interim Associate Dean, Technology and Applied Science, 414-297-6280.

Nutan Amrute, as the coordinator of this new program, explained to the Times how this project came to be. She says, "We had a group of people working on a NTO project, you can call it a NTO Committee, and then that committee decided to conduct a couple of surveys and found what it is that is the students' interest."

According to data, these careers are expected to show rapid growth during the next decade. Much insight was gained during the development for the need of this new opportunity to excel, as Nutan revealed, "We received support and guidance from Dr. Terry Firkins, Director, Academic Affairs and our Provost Dr. Vicki Martin." She also says that students wanted more and more work experience and other students wanted to get rid of the isolated feeling, so they came up with this idea to have a designated space for them to gather at.

It's brand new, so there is not yet a website but it will soon develop. Computers in the facility that have Engineering software are accessible to students. They can also come in to meet with other people or attend other presentations coming up as early as November. An example of topics and people for these program additions are speakers from Rockwell Automation who have agreed to come in to talk to the students. The dates in November for such events will be announced.

Since the program is so new, they are in the process of hiring student workers who will be operating in the center. There are also very limited hours for this center which are Mon. - Thurs., 9 - 2 p.m. and Wed. and Thurs., 4 - 5:30 p.m. Only women from Technical Occupational Programs qualify for this student assistance.

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