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Blinn’s Milton Radke retires after 17 years in workforce education

Skillful administrator helped thousands find affordable career-training opportunities

February 11, 2014

Dr. Milton Radke (left) speaks with Vice President for Instruction Cynthia Griffith A slice of chocolate cake and stories with longtime colleagues make for a simple, cheerful close to Dr. Milton Radke’s 50 years of hard work.

After 17 years of service in Blinn College’s Workforce Education Division, as director of the A.W. Hodde, Jr. Technical Education Center in Brenham, then as grants administrator on the Bryan campus, recently announced his retirement from full-time duties.

“I really don’t know what I’m going to do with all this time,” joked Radke, who already has plans to continue working for the College in a part-time capacity.

Radke began his career at Texas A&M University’s Transportation Institute in 1963 after earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from Texas A&M. In 1975, Radke transitioned to the Texas Engineering Extension Service where he worked for 22 years, as a division head, associate director, agency deputy director and director of special projects.

Radke said his time in Workforce Education at Blinn has brought about some of the most meaningful experiences in his professional career.

At a recent party in recognition of his outstanding career, Radke told the story of a young man who was unemployed for 18 months before completing Blinn’s Welding Technology classes.
“He told me, ‘This is going to be the best Christmas my family has ever had,’” Radke said.

“That is success. It is very gratifying to see the progress people can make. When you don’t dismiss a person, when you give them a second glance and engage them and train them, they are capable of great things.”

Megan Costanza, dean of technical and professional programs, said Radke’s ability to secure grants to train employees at companies such as Blue Bell, Igloo and Mid-South Synergy has strengthened Blinn’s partnership with local industry.

“Dr. Radke’s lifelong experience working with industry combined with his incredible instructional background made him a valuable leader in customized corporate training for Blinn College and industry throughout our district,” Costanza said.

Blinn enrolled 18,413 students this Fall and has experienced 31.1 percent growth since 2006. Founded in 1883, the College’s tuition and fees average about one-third the cost of the same classes at most four-year public universities in the state. In addition to its campuses in Brenham, Bryan, Schulenburg and Sealy, the College teaches online courses, dual credit for high school and prepares students for quick employment through its career and technical certification programs. For enrollment information and to learn about financial aid opportunities, visit: www.blinn.edu.

PHOTO – Dr. Milton Radke (left) speaks with Vice President for Instruction Cynthia Griffith during his recent retirement party at Blinn College. After 17 years helping students find affordable job training opportunities through Blinn’s Division of Workforce Education, Radke is retiring from full-time service.