In the fall of 1982, a Corporate Campus model was created. While the concept of providing services to business and industry was not new to the VTAE System, the Corporate Campus concept was an amplification of the many services that have always been provided. The major difference being the District's commitment to providing "quick start" courses, whenever possible, for any employer at any time or location throughout the District.
Wisconsin laws governing the Vocational Technical and Adult Education System were changing in response to the need for broader representation on district boards. Beginning July 1, 1982, the District Board was increased from seven to nine members, and at least two of the members had to be elected officials.
There were a couple changes in leadership during this decade. Charles Richardson retired in 1986. During his tenure, the college grew significantly in student numbers – from 5,000 to 24,500. In 1987, Beverly Simone became the fifth District Director. She had the distinction of being the first woman to hold the position of District Director in the state. She served in the role until February 1989. Deputy Director Dale Tessmer was the interim director until June 9, 1989, when Lee Rasch was appointed the new District Director and Chief Executive Officer. As of 2012, Dr. Rasch will have been serving in this leadership role for 23 years.
In June 1987, the state VTAE System voted to change the names of 14 of its 16 schools so that all would be known as "technical colleges." WWTI became Western Wisconsin Technical College (WWTC). The mission of the Wisconsin Technical Colleges remained the same – that of serving young people and adults with high quality postsecondary education programs. The word "college" signified the level of quality of education that is offered.
Other interesting facts:
In 1980, plans were finalized for the remodeling and retrofitting of the Diesel Shop located at 2711 Larson Street in the La Crosse Industrial Park. Prior to that, the District leased the building.
In 1981, the Viroqua Campus was located in temporary office quarters at 840 North Main. Since there wasn't space for instruction, classrooms were rented in the community as required. In July, voters approved the sale of a parcel of land adjacent to the high school to WWTI for one dollar.
In 1985, the District purchased and remodeled the Viroqua Extended Campus. The WWTI Viroqua Center, Nelson Building, was, and still is, located at the corners of Rock and Decker Streets in downtown Viroqua.
On May 8-9, 1987, WWTI celebrated its 75th anniversary with the theme "Education that Works." A time capsule was sealed and installed in a pillar between the Coleman and Kumm Buildings and is to be opened at the 100th anniversary celebration.