Moraine Park Technical College held its 13th annual Manufacturing Skills Academy graduation on Friday, May 25. The College had 20 students graduate from the program; eight from the Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machinist boot camp and 12 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 and Problem Solving and program-specific courses.
Since the induction of these sessions in 2012, Moraine Park has had 273 students graduate from the welding and CNC boot camp programs. All of the students from the spring 2018 boot camp graduating class were offered a job at the completion of the training program.
Those who completed the most recent CNC boot camp include: Jacob Goss of Berlin, Andrew Gwiazdowski of Milwaukee, Joseph (JP) Jesion of Fond du Lac, Michael Jetzer of Fond du Lac, Andy Pierce of North Fond du Lac, Thomas Schmeling of Fond du Lac, Angela Thompson of Fond du Lac, and Elijah Wilson of Fond du Lac.
Those who completed the welding boot camp include: Felicia Davis of Fond du Lac, Tyler Erdman of Fond du Lac, Jesus Gamez of Oshkosh, Jarred Lapotko of Fond du Lac, Nicholas Martinez of Fond du Lac, Alex McDaniel of Columbus, Dan Miller of West Bend, Nicholas Penteris of Fond du Lac, Orion Quamme of Ripon, Zachary Rampelberg of Port Washington, Austin Wild of Ripon, and Jason Wright of Fond du Lac.
The graduation ceremony included speeches from students Jesion and Davis.
Jesion, a CNC graduate, was given the opportunity to come to Moraine Park after he found himself frustrated with being under-valued as a temporary employee.
“Coming from a self-defeating lifestyle, searching for more, I accepted the invitation and walked through the doors of Moraine Park Technical College,” said Jesion. “I was full of fear, self-doubt, and anxiety. With great help along the way, I found the courage to pursue this golden opportunity. ”
Jesion took full advantage of the opportunities presented to him, this included completing his education at Moraine Park Technical College, and soon he will be reaping the rewards from his hard work.
“I have interned at Midstates Aluminum for the last 90 days,” said Jesion. “And today, I am proud to announce I have been offered a full-time position.”
Davis, a welding graduate, chose Moraine Park’s boot camp program after following in her friend’s footsteps. She interned at Wabash National/Brenner Tank and was hired as a full-time employee.
“I never thought this was a possibility for me,” said Davis. “I’m thankful for my instructors, mentors, and classmates who helped me along the way.”
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. 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 July 11 and 12, and the Beaver Dam campus on July 17. Registration is recommended.
For more information, visit morainepark.edu/bootcamps.