Moraine Park Breaks Ground on West Bend Advanced Manufacturing Center

Moraine Park Technical College held its official groundbreaking ceremony for the Advanced Manufacturing Center in West Bend on Thursday, May 30 on the West Bend Campus. This is the third, and largest, of four referendum projects for the College, as it will include a 40,000-square-foot addition. 

The Advanced Manufacturing Center project has two phases. Phase one will add a Manufacturing, Automation and Robotics Lab to support advanced manufacturing, welding, metal fabrication and robotics for apprenticeship degree programs and job training. 

The lab will bring seven new manufacturing programs to the West Bend Campus, filling the workforce gap over the next ten years and offering hands-on training facilities for the district high schools. The expected completion date is December 2024.  

“I have worked at ACI Industries for five years with various roles and responsibilities, and it is because of my time in Moraine Park’s CNC/Tool and Die Technologies program that I was able to succeed so early in my career,” Isaac Schrage, production manager at ACI Industries and 2019 MPTC alumnus, said. “I’ve come back to campus from time to time, and I am always proud to see the constant evolution of the program and equipment used. Adding robotics to the West Bend Campus as part of this project is a win for students and a win for employers.” 

Moraine Park leadership including President Bonnie Baerwald and West Bend Campus Dean Pete Rettler, board members, County Executive Josh Shoemann, Moraine Park alumni and local business and industry and legislative partners were in attendance. 

“This project did not come without massive hurdles,” Washington County Executive, Josh Schoemann, said. “Higher education is changing in ways we have not seen in our lifetimes, and the vision President Baerwald brought for this project will create unprecedented opportunities for future generations.” 

To support the campus expansion, the Moraine Park Foundation is spearheading a capital campaign to help fund the equipment for the Manufacturing, Automation and Robotics Lab–with a goal to raise $2M.  This capital expense was intentionally separated from the referendum dollars to help keep the taxpayer burden at a minimum. The Moraine Park Foundation is currently connecting with district partners to help fund the equipment needs. To date, the College has received $550,000 in pledges. 

“As we grow year after year, so do our needs to build a pipeline of talent,” Anna McDermott, director of operations at Milwaukee Tool, said. “Culture and people are our bookends, and we want to invest in the talent in our community. We are proud to be a part of this project—congratulations to all on a vision coming to life.” 

Phase two of the West Bend Campus expansion, which includes the reconfiguration of the main campus entrance, will begin in spring 2025.