Moraine Park Technical College held its bi-annual Manufacturing Skills Academy graduation on Thursday, December 13. The College had 23 students graduate from the program; 10 from the Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machinist boot camp and 13 from the welding boot camp.
This program was designed to combat the skilled worker shortage by offering a variety of boot camp sessions. The boot camp sessions are free to participants, teach skills that are unique to a particular pathway, and connect students with area employers. The program also combines a 144-hour paid internship with coursework, including Occupational Math, Print Reading, Team Building, Problem Solving, and program-specific courses. Participating internship sites for this session were Amerequip Corporation, Apache Stainless, Fives Giddings & Lewis, Integrity Saw & Tool, Mayville Engineering Company, Metalcraft of Mayville, Mid States Aluminum, Signicast, Wabash National, and Weasler Engineering.
Since the induction of these sessions in 2012, Moraine Park has had 298 students graduate from the welding and CNC boot camp programs.
Those who completed the most recent CNC boot camp include: Darlene Anderson of Fond du Lac, Nicole Busack of West Bend, Robert Fisher of North Fond du Lac, Ryan Gaus of Fond du Lac, Cory Herrmann of Fond du Lac, Kyle Jenquine of Fond du Lac, Montgomery Kikkert of Fox Lake, Carissa Metz of Waupun, Rick Rodriguez of Fond du Lac, and Alex Russart of Fond du Lac.
Those who completed the welding boot camp include: Brennan Bryan of Fond du Lac, Nita Cook of Beaver Dam, Jennifer Donahue of Beaver Dam, Jordan Finley of DeForest, Dave Finn of Fond du Lac, Michelle Flanagan of Plymouth, Casey Hermann of Fond du Lac, Frank Huber of Juneau, Amy Mann of Fond du Lac, Noah Prost of Watertown, Cecilia Tovar of Beaver Dam, Jeremiah Vanderkin-Jus of Fond du Lac, and Brian Wilcox of Fond du Lac.
The graduation ceremony included speeches from students Busack and Mann.
Busack, a CNC graduate, is grateful for the experience Moraine Park gave her through the boot camp program.
“A lot of us have worked dead end jobs, and didn’t know our hidden potential,” said Busack. “Thanks to Moraine Park and our instructors, we all have a chance to find it. This has opened so many doors for a lot of us.”
Busack served her program internship at Signicast in Hartford and was hired full-time prior to graduation.
Mann, a welding graduate, came to Moraine Park in search of a career she could be passionate about. She completed her internship at Mayille Engineering Company (MEC) and was also hired on as a full-time employee prior to graduation.
“The boot camp program taught me that if there’s something I really want to accomplish, I can do it,” Mann said. “I am standing here today as a welder, a high school graduate, and a newly hired employee of Mayville Engineering Company.”
Moraine Park’s Skills Academy boot camps are free to participating students, thanks to grant dollars from Wisconsin Fast Forward and financial support from area businesses including Amerequip, Apache Stainless, Elkay Interior Systems, Fives, Integrity Saw & Tool, Inc., John Deere Horicon Works, John Crane, Mayville Engineering Company, Midstates Aluminum Corporation, Signicast, SJI/Busse, and Wabash National.
“We are very pleased to participate with Moraine Park’s CNC boot camp again this semester,” Paul Reetz, owner of Ingetrity Saw & Tool, Inc. said. “We have been able to gain quality employees who are advanced on the learning curve. The program teaches them to become a valuable member of our company by the time they become full-time employees at the end of the semester. It’s a rare win-win-win situation for all involved in the partnership!”
In addition, welding training is also funded, in part, through a GPR grant that incorporates both Adult Basic Education and welding. The purpose of this training is to allow students seeking their High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED), the opportunity to take the welding boot camp in conjunction. This training opportunity is open to anyone interested in pursuing their HSED.
Individuals interested in learning more about the CNC and welding boot camp opportunities are encouraged to attend a Boot Camp Test Drive event scheduled at Moraine Park’s Fond du Lac campus on January 23 and 24. Registration is recommended.
For more information, visit morainepark.edu/bootcamps.