The Board of Trustees of Northeast Wisconsin Technical College approved a $117.3 million budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year Wednesday after a public hearing at the Green Bay campus.

The operating budget is up from $109.3 million in the current year, a 7.3 percent increase over 2016-17.

According to a news release from NWTC:

* The total levy will be $32.4 million, an increase from the current year of 1.85 percent, which includes the referendum approved by voters in April 2015. The levy is significantly below the $59.3 million levy in 2013-2014.

* Construction approved in an April 2015 referendum is underway and on schedule to be completed in 2018. New customers are already being served in new facilities in Business Technologies and Public Safety and parts of NWTC-Marinette.

* Property owners will pay about $85 on a $100,000 home compared to about $166 four years ago. The difference will be paid through state property tax relief.

New programs and services supported by the budget include:

* New Associate Degrees – Diesel Medium & Heavy Truck Technology, Farm Production-Dairy Science, Health Navigator and Network Security Technologist.

* New Technical Diplomas – Business Requirements Specialist, Culinary Specialist, Dairy Science, Diesel Medium & Heavy Truck Technician, Early Childhood Assistant Teacher and Video Production.

* New Apprenticeship–Maintenance Technician Apprenticeship.

“Our focus in this budget year is to fund our Ramp Up Now (RUN) initiative,” said Jeffrey Rafn, NWTC president. “We intend to get more people into college, help more students succeed in their classes, open up new career paths and see more students complete a credential. Without earning that credential, individuals won’t have the full skill sets that employers need. Maintaining the supply of skilled employees is critical to the area’s economic stability and growth.”

NWTC has seen strong enrollments in recent years in health care, manufacturing and engineering technologies. By the end of the current fiscal year, NWTC is expected to reach about 5,875 FTEs and 39,000 total learners. The new budget forecasts that FTEs will remain the same.

The technical college serves students in all or part of nine counties in Northeast Wisconsin with a main campus in Green Bay, smaller campuses in Marinette and Sturgeon Bay, and six learning centers, including the Luxemburg Regional Learning Center.

The three public school districts in Kewaunee County recently joined NWTC and the Kewaunee County Economic Development Center in forming the Ahnapee Regional Technical Academy, which allows students at Algoma, Kewaunee and Luxemburg-Casco high schools to earn college credits by taking selected courses at any of the three schools.