LA CROSSE, WI (WXOW)—Western Technical College held its final informational meeting on the referendum Tuesday afternoon.
If the $80 million referendum passes, it would raise taxes about $40 a year on a $100,000 home.
One reason Western wants the referendum to pass is so they can expand and help close the skills gap.
According to a Competitive Wisconsin study, there are 35-40 thousand jobs available around Wisconsin that aren't filled because companies can't find workers with the required training.
Western hopes to serve 1,000 more students each year by 2020.
If that happens, they estimate an additional 300 graduates per year will stay and work in the region.
"How do we meet the needs of the community in the future and be prepared? Because we know there's going to be an increased number of retirements and so they're going to need people to fill those positions," Peg Boudreau, Western Vice President of Academic Affairs said.
Western has seen increased demand for its graduates, particularly in manufacturing and healthcare.
Last year, 225 welding jobs were posted on TechConnect, a job database used by all Wisconsin technical colleges; Western had 24 students graduate from its welding program.
161 medical assistant jobs were posted on that same site and 33 students graduated from Westerns Medical Assistant program last year.
Click here for more information on the referendum and to ask Western any last minute questions before you vote.
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