04 Aug Congresswoman Baldwin secures Federal Funds for UW-Rock County
MADISON, WI – U.S. Representative Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) has announced she has helped secure $100,000 in federal funding as part of the fiscal budget to the UW-Rock County campus. This earmark appropriation will be used to upgrade computers and lab equipment for students of the two-year college enrolled in nursing and other healthcare related fields.
“I know that UW-Rock County is a vital component of Rock County’s economic development,” Baldwin said. “This school’s offerings for students preparing for health-related careers is important, and having new equipment will help educators do an even better job of preparing students for the job market.”
UW-Rock County currently has 50 general access computers for their 950-member student body. Money secured by Baldwin will add about 30 new computers to the college’s two computer labs. This new equipment will provide more opportunities for hands-on training for students in nursing,biologyand chemistry classes. This will better prepare students for the job market, emphasizing skills needed for leadership in health care.
“We are delighted that Congresswoman Baldwin succeeded in getting our campus these dollars,” UW Rock County Dean and CEO Janet Philipp said. “Having new equipment will give our students more opportunities for hands-on training, especially with biology and chemistry classes.”
An important component of the university’s curriculum is its pre-nursing program. Chemistry and biology are required courses for the curriculum. To properly train pre-nursing students, an infrared, networked computer system is needed so students in chemistry courses can have a hands-on experience measuring temperature, pressures, and pH – measurement skills needed as practicing professional nurses. Digital camera systems for microscope use and plant growth chambers are needed for biology courses.
“The biggest benefit will be the new computers that the money will buy; those computers will be used for pre-professional programs such as nursing and other health related careers,” said Sara Jung, director of the University Relations Office at UW-Rock County. “Special software we’ll be able to purchase with the money will assist us in training students better so they’re better prepared for the workforce.”
Funding can be sought in a variety of ways. It is most often done via formulas, such as reimbursing local governments for roads or local school districts for special education. The federal government also sets up competitive grants where non-profits and local governments can compete for funding. Requests made in the appropriation process are more rare, but something Baldwin has successfully undertaken on projects since sworn into office in 1999.
According to Mark Webster, Communication Director of Baldwin, the process of fighting for appropriations in the budget is a lot of work but Baldwin feels a part of her job is working for projects in her district. “Baldwin saw an opportunity in the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and related agencies Appropriation Budget to fund some additional equipment for this campus in her district,” he saidOnce the college has purchased and installed its new computers, they will invite Baldwin to campus to see the results of her efforts. For her part, Baldwin sees identifying local projects that merit federal support as an important role for a member of Congress. “Wisconsin deserves more federal dollars,” she added. “When I succeed in obtaining funds to expand a hospital, create local jobs, or help a great institution like UW-Rock County, I look at it as a fundamental part of my job.”
Jamie Lyn Hofmeister is a freelance technology writer and regular contributor to the Wisconsin Technology Network. She can be reached at email@example.com.