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29311
11/1/2017 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
81547

On Campus: Herzing University

Thinking of transferring to Herzing University?

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2
11/2/2017 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
79239

On Campus: Lakeland University

Thinking of transferring to Lakeland University?

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34
11/4/2017 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
63750

Free Legal Assistance Clinic

Need help with a legal issue? Attend our free legal assistance clinic, offered by the FVTC Paralegal Student Organization. Saturday, Nov. 4, 9 a.m.-Noon

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9
1011
1213
11/13/2017 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
59390

Honoring Veterans Lunch

Honoring Veterans Lunch for FVTC students | Monday, Nov. 13, 11:30 a.m.

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1718
11/18/2017 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
12706

Holiday Art & Craft Fair

One Stop Shop Holiday Art & Craft Fair | Saturday, Nov. 18, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., FVTC Appleton Campus

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1920
11/20/2017
40863

Open Registration for Winterim & Spring Terms

Community class registration opens Monday, Nov. 20.

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21
11/21/2017 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
79247

On Campus: Concordia University

Thinking of transferring to Concordia University?

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2223
11/23/2017 - 11/25/2017
24
11/23/2017 - 11/25/2017
25
11/23/2017 - 11/25/2017
262728
11/28/2017 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
79260

On Campus: UW Fox Valley

Thinking of transferring to UW Fox Valley?

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34
12/4/2017 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
79248

On Campus: Concordia University

Thinking of transferring to Concordia University?

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6
7
12/7/2017 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
79253

On Campus: Herzing University

Thinking of transferring to Herzing University?

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Small Business & Entrepreneurship

Focus on the Entrepreneur: Grassroots

Focus on the Entrepreneur: Grassroots

Spring 2013

Mar 1, 2013

Making it Work

Making machine parts for friends turned into a thriving business in just two years for one local entrepreneur, thanks to training at Fox Valley Technical College.

“To be honest, I didn’t expect this business to take off so quickly,” says Chuck Duginski, owner of Grassroots Shop Services in Neenah, a quality-focused industrial repair and machine services shop. “We’re already looking into adding more space, but we don’t want to grow faster than what we can handle.”

Grassroots Shop Services began in Duginski’s garage as a part-time hobby. “I was a machinist all my life and friends were always asking me for favors,” he recalls. “When a total stranger came to see me, the light bulb went on that this could be a full-time business.”

Before launching his new enterprise, Duginski looked into training options through the Venture Center at Fox Valley Technical College, at the insistence of his wife, Mary Beth. “I was a little intimidated at first,” he states. “However, the e-seed™ program quickly taught a hands-on, 50-year-old guy like me how to run a business. Just learning to be aware of the different tax laws, for example, has saved my company a lot of money.”

Once launched, the business quickly outgrew his garage space. Within six months of moving into a larger space, Duginski hired his first employee, and six months later, his second. “Word has spread that we’re a quality shop, and we’re now in demand,” he says. “We have a full range of Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines to handle every project. We want to be a company that keeps work in the United States rather than having it outsourced.”

Amy Pietsch, director of the Venture Center, points to Duginski as a true success story. “Chuck is a great person who had a vision, and then he took that dream and made it into a practical approach toward small business ownership,” she states. “The American economy needs more people like Chuck.”

The Venture Center is now working to encourage more entrepreneurship across the country by offering other colleges a license to provide the e-seed™ program in their areas. “More than 40 schools nationwide attended our launch last December,” Pietsch says. “Many of them are now taking the next steps in a train-the-trainer model to successfully implement the program.”

Duginski is also working with Pietsch to promote e-seed™. “In the future, I plan to go back to Fox Valley Technical College to attend some seminars and possibly receive more training,” he says. “I would do it now, but frankly, I just don’t have the time!”

E-seed™: Growing Entrepreneurs

Developed by Fox Valley Technical College, e-seed™ is a signature entrepreneur training program offered through the Venture Center. This hub of entrepreneurial activity has:

  • Launched more than 300 businesses, in industries like renewable energies, restaurants, organic clothing, eye care, home health care, retail, manufacturing, shipping and distribution, and many more.

  • Created a national training model that is being offered by other higher education institutions.