Chet Laskowski speaking at Mid-State’s fall graduation on the Wisconsin Rapids Campus in December 2023.
March 27, 2024

Chet Laskowski tapped for statewide Distinguished Alumni Award

March 27, 2024

Mid-State Technical College alumnus Chet Laskoswki has earned statewide recognition for his contributions to technical education and the central Wisconsin community. Laskowski received the 2024 Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Wisconsin Technical College District Boards Association (WTCDBA) on March 22 during the organization’s meeting in Rhinelander, Wis.

The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes a truly outstanding graduate out of the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) who has demonstrated accomplishments in his or her professional field, community involvement, support for the technical college system and a commitment to continuing education and lifelong learning.

“I’m honored and proud to receive this award,” Laskowski said. “The trades are the backbone of this country, and I’m grateful that I was able to attend Mid-State to improve and enhance my skills. I’m also grateful that Mid-State continues to give people so many ways to better themselves.”

After graduating from high school in 1966, Laskowski entered his plumbing apprenticeship through Mid-State, a path that was interrupted by three years as an Army combat engineer with one year of duty in the Vietnam War. After an honorable discharge in 1970, Laskowski returned to his apprenticeship studies, earning his Journeyman Plumber License and Master Plumber License in 1977. Shortly after, he opened a plumbing shop with his wife and partner Carol.

Together the Laskowskis grew Chet’s Plumbing into one of the most respected full-service plumbing and HVAC operations in central Wisconsin, servicing everything from small residential repairs to large commercial new construction and employing 24 people by the time he retired in 2010.

Laskowski has long been a champion of Mid-State’s apprenticeship programming, including his sponsorship of many apprentices over the years and generous monetary contribution to Mid-State’s Wayne H. Bushman Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering Technology, and Apprenticeship (AMETA™) Center. According to Laskowski, the use of apprentices at Chet’s Plumbing always drove growth and quality for the business. “Looking back, I’m proud of how many hard-working apprentices got their start at Chet’s before going on to become city inspectors and other notable positions in the trade,” he said.

In addition to his Army service (1967–1970), Laskowski served his community through one year as president of PHCC-WI, apprenticeship committees at the state and local levels, president of the local Plumbing Association and his church parish council and building committees. 

“The entire Mid-State team is excited to join the Wisconsin Technical College District Boards Association in congratulating Chet Laskowski on his selection for the WTCS Distinguished Alumni Award,” said Mid-State president, Dr. Shelly Mondeik. “Chet perfectly embodies the contributions Mid-State graduates make to our local communities. His personal story of hard work and innovation coupled with his professional and community stewardship are qualities we can all aspire to.”