Do you remember when manufacturing jobs were known as dark and dangerous? Moraine Park’s CNC/Tool and Die instructor, Jim Hokenson, has been working to eliminate that myth. He has a mission not only to train workers for this career field but also to re-educate the community on the realities of the industry.
“The truth is, our local manufacturers have clean factories with state-of-the-art equipment, “Jim said. “They provide a steady career with great benefits and an even better income.”
There’s no denying the importance of manufacturing in our world today, and for those that are gravitating towards this industry, it is all in the numbers.
“There will always be a need for a good tool and die specialist,” Jim said. “Once you have the manufacturing skill sets, you will find that there are jobs available all over Wisconsin.”
Jim has been with the College for 20-years and is also a Moraine Park alumni. During his time, he has worked hard to become established in the community, specifically with educating our youth on the manufacturing career options.
“The earlier we can introduce options, the better,” Jim said. “I think it’s important that we identify and build upon skills.”
His 2019 class has 17 second-year students, all of whom will be graduating with their two-year technical diploma. Most were hired in the industry before graduating and there are many more jobs to fill.
“It seems that we can’t teach them fast enough,” Jim said. “The employers we work with know the value of educating students with the essential real-world skills. We try to work alongside both the companies and students to find a good fit all around. I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to teach and influence our local workforce.”
Moraine Park Technical College named nearly 1,100 students to the Dean’s List for the spring 2019 semester. To qualify for the Dean’s List distinction, students must earn a minimum semester grade point average of 3.5, be enrolled in at least six credits of undergraduate-level courses, be in good academic standing and cannot have a failing or incomplete grade for the semester.
Thomas Hopp of West Bend was sworn in on July 8 as the newest member of the Moraine Park Technical College District Board. He will serve as an employer member representative, with a term expiring in June 2022.
Hopp learned from a young age the all-around benefits of volunteering within the community.
“My father was a large influence in my life,” Hopp said. “Through his dedicated volunteer work, he taught me that volunteering and helping others creates a strong, vibrant, and growing community by simply taking time to help others.”
Hopp has been an active part of the community of West Bend for many years. He currently serves on multiple boards including Albrecht Free Clinic, Commerce State Bank, and the United Way of Washington County. Additionally, he is involved with the City of West Bend Safety Commission as a volunteer for over 10-years and the Kettle Moraine YMCA as an active member and volunteer for over 20-years.
“I have always believed that continuing education benefits everyone and what better organization to contribute as a board member than MPTC,” He said.
Also sworn in alongside Hopp were Renee Almeida of Beaver Dam and Vernon Jung of Kewaskum, retaining their spots on the board as an employee member and additional member, respectively. Their new terms will also expire in June of 2022.
The 2019-20 District Board members for Moraine Park were also nominated into office during the meeting. The following board members will serve as officers: Bur Zeratsky, chairperson; Vernon Jung, vice chairperson; Bob Lloyd, treasurer; Lowell Prill, secretary.
Moraine Park Technical College held its spring Manufacturing Skills Academy graduation on Wednesday, June 12. The College had 21 students graduate from the program; eight 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, Generac Power Systems, Mayville Engineering Company, Miba, Mid States Aluminum, Signicast, Tobin Machining, Wabash National, Weasler Engineering, and X-Cel Tooling.
Moraine Park has had 377 participants in the welding and CNC boot camp programs since their induction in 2012.
The spring 2019 CNC graduates are Michael Adam Abitz of North Fond du Lac, Cory Fleischfresser of Fond du Lac, Dustin Marx of Fond du Lac, Troy Riehl of Fond du Lac, Deavin Schaub of Waupun, Nancy Sery of Hartford, Demetrius Smith of West Bend, and Kou Vang of Fond du Lac.
The spring 2019 welding graduates are Christian Bailey-Steenport of West bend, Peter Demmerle of Fond du Lac, Austin Fingar of Redgranite, Nathan Hankins of Chilton, Xavier Kitchens of Fond du Lac, Dimitri Lloyd of Fond du Lac, Ontarius McFerren of West Bend, Joshua Mikula of Plymouth, Armando Murillo of Fond du Lac, Taylor Nett of Fond du Lac, Shane Rau of Fond du Lac, Dani Schommer of Fond du Lac, and Bobby Wiercioch of Fond du Lac.
This year’s graduation speakers were Smith and Hankins.
Smith, a CNC graduate, is grateful for the experience Moraine Park gave him through the boot camp program.
“This program has opened many doors,” he said. “MPTC has given us opportunities that we otherwise would not have. This program was free, and it came with 16 college credits, so some would even say it’s better than free. Some of us will add on to what we’ve learned so far. I know I will.”
Smith served his internship at Weasler in West Bend and is now a full-time employee.
Hankins, a welding graduate, shared the story of how he thought the opportunity was too good to be true.
“I thought it was a scam,” Hankins said. “It’s so unique and unheard of that it’s nearly unbelievable.”
Hankins’s hesitations quickly faded, and he embraced the entire experience, noting that he made some lasting connections in the process. He completed his internship at Amerequip in Kiel and is a current employee.
“Be confident in your abilities, but don’t ever think you can just coast,” he said. “You don’t get to stop learning and trying just because you got a certificate or a job.”
Moraine Park’s Skills Academy boot camps are free to participating students, thanks to financial support from area businesses including Amerequip Corporation, Apache Stainless, Generac Power Systems, Mayville Engineering Company, Miba, Mid States Aluminum, Signicast, Tobin Machining, Wabash National, Weasler Engineering, and X-Cel Tooling.
Additionally, the welding training was partially funded through a GPR grant that incorporates both Adult Basic Education and welding. The purpose of this training is to allow students to complete both their High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED) and the welding boot camp.
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 16 and 18, and the Beaver Dam campus on July 23. For more information, visit morainepark.edu/bootcamps.
The full photo gallery of photos can be found here.
Learning about tomorrow’s careers was the focus of our annual Toolin’ It manufacturing summer camp held in June at Moraine Park Technical College’s West Bend and Jackson campuses.
Students learned about welding, CNC, mechanical design, electricity and more, and also toured area manufacturers.
Enjoy the photo’s from this year’s camp, and if you’re interested in a career in CNC/Tool and Die Technology, Mechanical Design, Welding or Electricity visit morainepark.edu/programs to learn more!
Industry Tour Day
Moraine Park staff and faculty gathered for an end of the year celebration and cornhole tournament! Needless to say, a fun time was had by all!
Fond du Lac
The hard work and academic achievement of Moraine Park Technical College students was recognized during the College’s annual Student Awards Banquet held at The Golf Club at Camelot in Lomira on May 10.
Moraine Park presented the 2019 Student of the Year Award to Ashley Martin of Fond du Lac. The Student of the Year Award is designed to recognize a student who excelled in and outside of the classroom and has taken full advantage of the opportunities that Moraine Park has made available for them.
The 2019-20 District Student Ambassador Award was presented to Barbara Turner of Beaver Dam. The Moraine Park District Student Ambassador Award identifies outstanding students in the technical college system, with nominations solicited from faculty and staff in the spring semester of each year.
Technical Achievement Awards were presented to 33 students. To receive this award, recipients must be enrolled in a technical diploma program and have maintained a 3.25 GPA. They are judged on classroom participation and other contributions and characteristics that exemplify an outstanding student. The 2019 recipients were August Baumgartner of West Bend, Alex Canfield of Jackson, Calin Eigner of Iron Ridge, Zach Fahrenkrug of Campbellsport, Zach Franck of Prairie du Sac, Ben Henriksen of Beaver Dam, Aaron Hess of Richfield, Genevieve Hicks of Beaver Dam, Keisha Krezman of Fond du Lac, Mitch Lochen of West Bend, Nicholas Martinez of Fond du Lac, Nic Nielsen of West Bend, Nicole Nowicki of Beaver Dam, Hunter Scannell of West Bend, Isaac Schrage of West Bend, Zachary Wilson of Adell, Pete Cruckson of Fond du Lac, Brady Detert of Beaver Dam, Troy Essmann of Oconomowoc, Thomas Freiberg of Campbellsport, Nick Giudice of Waupun, Alexander Hoepfner of Fond du Lac, Zac Hoogeveen of Randolph, Joe Jasinski of Adell, Michael Moon of Beaver Dam, Derek Mueller of Port Washington, Melanie Pitr of Slinger, Mitchell Regan of Hartford, Andrew Robinson of Cedarburg, Michael Schaefer of Juneau, Alex Sippel of Saint Cloud, Daniel Sowin of Sheboygan Falls, and Anastasia Szczesny of Iron Ridge.
The Campus Impact Award recognizes students who have served the College by participating in a college focus group, a college-related function, or a club/student government activity or project. Other considerations include GPA, reliability and follow-through. In total, 18 awards were presented, recipients were Trina Anderson of Fox Lake, Alizabeth Barnes of Waupun, Noah Bille of Brandon, Isabel Clark of Chilton, Kevin Fritsch of Fond du Lac, Christine Gil of Randolph, Thomas Holman of Hartford, Joe Jasinski of Adell, Sheri Laidler of Campbellsport, Bekah McCardell of West Bend, Ashton Mislivecek of Hillsboro, Abby Muenchow of Horicon, Peggy Rider of West Bend, Isaac Schrage of West Bend, Jerod Splan of Iron Ridge, Anastasia Szczesny of Iron Ridge, Queenie Weesen of Mequon, and Janine Williams of Fond du Lac.
The Meritorious Service Award is granted to students who have served the College through their leadership and participation in co-curricular activities such as student clubs, student government or other volunteer opportunities. This year’s 45 recipients include Alyssa Ahlstrom of Van Dyne, Austin Barber of Fond du Lac, Danielle Barron of Berlin, Maurice Beck of Campbellsport, Jacob Berger of North Fond du Lac, Taylor Branski of West Bend, Kerwana Clayborn of Fond du Lac, Deborah Davis of Oshkosh, Derek DeChant of Randolph, Brady Detert of Beaver Dam, Calin Eigner of Iron Ridge, Tamara Freeman of Beaver Dam, Nick Giudice of Waupun, Eileen Grammas of Beaver Dam, Connor Gray of Cottage Grove, Mollea Greylord of Fond du Lac, Derek Jackson of Rubicon, Mitch Jacobs of Slinger, Shayenne A. Jaffke of Hartford, Ty Kaage of Oshkosh, Corina Kanwischer of Hartford, Brittany Kjell of Rubicon, Kelsey Kliefoth of Menasha, Jay Kroncke of West Bend, Kaleb Krueger of Mayville, Jessica Leibham of West Bend, Heidi Lucas of West Bend, Jesse Mack of Beaver Dam, Christian McCreary of West Bend, Jodie Meyer of Oshkosh, Rebecca Moreno of West Bend, Kellie Murray of West Bend, Nicole Peterson of Eldorado, Zack Petit of Watertown, Melanie Pitrof of Slinger, Zack Rabideau of Jackson, Gretchen Rauls of Fond du Lac, Susan Rodencal of Fond du Lac, Patrick Rupprecht of Randolph, Lauryn Slade of Hartford, Amy Spiekerman of West Bend, Alex Tischedndorf of Kewaskum, Nicole Toombs of Ripon, Alyssa Wescott of Theresa, and Christina Whitehouse of Waupun.
The Leadership & Service Award is reserved for members of Moraine Park’s Student Government. A student’s comprehensive level of commitment to the College and their representation of the student body through their attendance and engagement in Student Government and its related opportunities are taken into consideration during award selection. The 12 award recipients include Alden Broome of Beaver Dam, Dominic DeLaura of Slinger, Zach Fahrenkrug of Campbellsport, Thomas Freiberg of Campbellsport, Brad Hetzel of Lowell, Ashley Martin of North Fond du Lac, Michael Moon of Beaver Dam, Leah Pietrangelo of West Bend, Joshua Strnad of Rio, Jonathan Szczesny of Iron Ridge, Sam Turner of Baraboo, and Elizabeth Wustrack of Fond du Lac.
Student government leadership recognition included Jonathan Szczesny of Iron Ridge, Beaver Dam Student Senate president; Elizabeth Wustrack of Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac Student Senate president; Leah Pietrangelo of West Bend, West Bend Student Senate president; Kevin Fritsch of Fond du Lac, District Student Government president; Queenie Weesen of Mequon, Wisconsin Student Government lt. governor; Joshua Strnad of Rio, Wisconsin Student Government governor.
For more information about Moraine Park, visit morainepark.edu.
Moraine Park Technical College nursing program celebrated the pinning of 51 students at their spring ceremony on May 17. This symbolic event represents the beginning of a nursing career. As well, it serves as an end to the Moraine Park journey and a celebration of the opportunities that lay ahead.
Additionally, the College is also celebrating a historic year by graduating 12 males from the program for the first time ever.
“We are seeing more non-traditional students in fields that have historically been either male or female dominated,” Bonnie Baerwald, president of Moraine Park Technical College said. “The increase of males in the nursing field shows that success in the industry is a result of educated skills, not gender, and brings the opportunity for a diverse work atmosphere within our healthcare systems.”
The students who received their nursing pins at the spring 2019 ceremony are Alyssa Ahlstrom of Westfield; Rosie Alsum of Brandon; Lindsay Birschbach of Fond du Lac; Erica Breitenstein of West Bend; Megan Calbaum of Princeton; Nicole Claerbout of West Bend; Danielle Cleland of Fond du Lac; Jamie Droppers of West Bend; Amanda Dylak of Beaver Dam; April Eck of Potosi; Briar Eck of Potosi; Nikki Eiring of Fond du Lac; Melissa Endries of Pipe; Katherine Erickson of Cedarburg; Carissa Ewald of Ripon; Ben Falter of West Bend; Cassie Florine of Hartford; Hunter Godfroy of Oakfield; Holly Hoagland of West Bend; Emma Holland of Waupun; Kelly Jacobs of Fond du Lac; Andrew Keel of Beaver Dam; Aubrey Kerr of West Bend; Maggie Kollmann of Fond du Lac; Caroline Krebs of West Bend; Jamie Nicholas of Waupun; Jared Obendorfer of West Bend; Jennifer Plummer of Sun Prairie; Jonathan Ratzel of Fredonia; Parker Resop of Horicon; Katie Retzlaff of North Lake; Jennifer Roeseler of Fond du Lac; Katrina Salva of Watertown; Frederick Schellgell of Oshkosh; Amanda Schmidt of Beaver Dam; Julie Schumacher of Fond du Lac; Catherine Seibel of Fond du Lac; Kaitlyn Shallow of Watertown; Katelyn Sharp of Ripon; Natasha Sokoloff of New Holstein; Riley Stegemeyer of Slinger; Jonathan Szczesny of Horicon; Courtney Tennies of Kewaskum; Alexi Turnage of Fond du Lac; Chelsea Turner of Fond du Lac; Mikayla Van Ooyen of Kewaskum; Christian Walding of Milwaukee; Aubrey Weidemann of Columbus; Kaitlyn Woo of West Bend; Shelby Wulff of Waupun; Tanya Zangl of Fond du Lac.
The students accepted their nursing diplomas at the College’s annual commencement ceremony on May 18. They will continue studying through the early part of the summer in preparation for their National Council Licensure Examination to earn their Registered Nursing License. In 2018, Moraine Park’s nursing pass rates were an impressive 99 percent, and currently, the program ranks in the top 10 for nursing programs in Wisconsin.
For more information on Moraine Park’s nursing program, visit morainepark.edu/nursing.
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