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LEAD Center links Mid-State students, community

Stevens Point site home to classes, training, events

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April 1, 2024

STEVENS POINT – Learning and improving leadership skills appeal to a wide range of people from high school students to business professionals.

Mid-State Technical College’s new LEAD Center hopes to fulfill that demand with a full set of offerings.

Benjamin Nusz, dean of Mid-State’s Stevens Point campus and the college’s school of business & information technology, said the center serves as a hub for innovation and business leadership.

“LEAD was created by listening to our students, advisory committees and businesses,” he said.

Nusz said LEAD is an acronym, standing for the center’s four key initiatives.

  • Lead with knowledge gained from Mid-State’s leadership and management programs, diplomas and certificates.
  • Engage in stimulating events and experiences or reserve the LEAD Center for an event.
  • Aspire to support aspiring leaders and K-12 activities.
  • Develop workforce connections and skills through continuing education and professional development. 

“Great leaders are not built in a day or in one way, which is why we have several approaches from offering classes in leadership to events that promote and celebrate it,” Nusz said. “The LEAD Center is a unique space that serves as a bridge between the classroom and the workplace. It’s a space where everyone can come together.”

Two-fold focus

For college students, Nusz said the LEAD Center serves as the hub for Mid-State’s business management and leadership degree programs.

Students can experience the space through hands-on activities and special events. 

“Flexibility is important for students, and we hope by providing a variety of programs we can meet their needs,” he said, adding the business faculty’s offices are adjacent to the LEAD Center.

Located at 1001 Centerpoint Drive in downtown Stevens Point, Nusz said the center also provides space and opportunity to train professionals in the community, including 26 who are currently in a nonprofit leadership training program.

He said it also serves as a hub for local businesses seeking specialized training for their employees.

Events for both students and community members, Nusz said, are another component of the center.

For example, he said, Mid-State is planning an upcoming reserve job fair where students will be sitting at tables while employers walk around the room, introducing their different opportunities. 

Furthermore, the college paired with CREATE Portage County, the Small Business Development Center and the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point on a business pitch event that allows contestants one minute – and one PowerPoint slide – to share their ideas.

The winner received $100 from Prevail Bank.

“The First Pitch event allowed us to be part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem,” Nusz said. “We want more offerings in this area. This is all part of building our brand of innovation.”

He said an upcoming event – ASPIRE – is aimed at middle school students, which includes a discovery day where students come on campus and learn more about the college’s offerings.

“It’s great we have the space now to hold these programs,” he said, adding the Teen Leadership Program for Portage County wants the center to play a role in its leadership summer camp. 

A bit more about the space

The 3,000-square-foot center, which Nusz said formerly served as the college’s LiNK location before it was remodeled, can also be rented out by businesses and organizations seeking to hold an off-site event – with seating for up to 150 participants.

Since it’s located downtown, Nusz said there are many businesses nearby, which makes the space convenient.

Small- and medium-sized conferences, he said, can also be held in the space.

“We anticipated there was a need, but we didn’t anticipate this much of a need,” he said. “The center is in high demand.”

Though located on the college’s Stevens Point campus, Nusz said the entire Mid-State district can take advantage of the center’s leadership training programming and space.

“Mid-State has received strong support from the community for the facility and its leadership programming,” he said. “Businesses understand the importance of having trainings and programs for their workers. We are centrally located and can see the LEAD Center serving a large part of the state.”

For more about the LEAD Center, visit

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