Page 1

focus Fox Valley Technical College

volume 6, issue 2 • fall 2013

your future


success! Find a great career now in transportation

Inside: Education for a new economy. Page 6

Administrative professional careers in demand. Page 10 Local company boosting support for agriculture training. Page 15

welcome! Attending Fox Valley Tech has been a great opportunity. The hands-on training in the Medical Assistant program makes me feel very confident. The classes are comprehensive, yet flexible, so even as a full-time student I still have time for my family, friends, and part-time job. I enjoy taking classes in the new Health Simulation & Technology Center. Crystal Martin Student, Medical Assistant Program

contents Focus is published bi-annually for the communities of Fox Valley Technical College. Director of College Marketing Barb Dreger

features 8 10



Driving Success The path to great careers in transportation are at Fox Valley Technical College. The Backbone of any Business Careers in the administrative professional field are not only in demand, they are also the backbone of any business. Alive with Skill A partnership with Faith Technologies is proof that apprenticeship training is alive and well, and poised to shape today’s workforce.

what’s now

in every issue 2

Around FVTC A quick look at what’s making news at FVTC.


Focus on Workplace Training A Chilton-based company uses FVTC’s business training expertise to strengthen its workforce.


Focus on the Entrepreneur It didn’t take long for 21-year-old Marc Busko to get going on his career as an entrepreneur.


Focus on High-Demand Careers The time is now to start a great career in a number of specialized fields.


Focus on Alumni Q & A with Culinary Arts grad Stephanie Lietzau-Erdman.


Focus on the Foundation A new dimension to a longstanding partnership with Service Motor Company is helping grow agriculture training.


Focus on the Student Experience A hands-on, custom-built training unit brings technology front and center to help future students.

Technical Education Aligns 6 How with a New Economy An early jump on a career defines success for one high school student.


Executive Editor/Manager of Media Relations Chris Jossart Art Directors Amy Bjellos, Cara Jakubiec, Casey Britten Contributing Writers Joan Neumahr, Amy Vander Stoep Photography Gary Gawinski, Patrick Kelly President Dr. Susan A. May Fox Valley Technical College 1825 N. Bluemound Dr. P.O. Box 2277 Appleton, WI 54912-2277 1-800-735-3882 TTY (hearing impaired) (920) 735-2569 (email inquiries) Accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association, FVTC offers more than 200 associate degree, technical diploma and certificate programs, and instruction related to 15 apprenticeship trades, in addition to providing services to business and industry. The college served about 52,000 people last year, more than any other technical college in Wisconsin.

© 2013 Fox Valley Technical College. All rights reserved. Equal Opportunity Employer/Educator.

around FVTC The Power of YES New virtual hospital facility a result of the successful 2012 public referendum

When the public voted “yes” by a 2-1 margin for Fox Valley Technical College’s public referendum in April of 2012, the passage advanced several key facility projects to meet employer needs, including the 66,000-squarefoot, three-story Health Simulation and Technology Center (HSTC) on the college’s Appleton campus. The HSTC houses mannequin-like, high-tech simulation technology from “newborn to adult” for best practice training in a virtual hospital setting for emergency medical services, various levels of nursing care, and other specialized care disciplines. The first floor houses eight hospital beds and an ambulance simulator. Included are corresponding debriefing rooms, a control room for each simulator station, and the latest audio-visual technology to improve the simulation experience for FVTC students. The second floor focuses on training students for employment in a clinic or laboratory setting. It has a six-room outpatient clinic, a reception area, phlebotomy lab, and two computer labs. Students who seek training as medical assistants, phlebotomists, and health information technology technicians Technology is everywhere in will find several simulated training the new Health Simulation & experiences to boost their education. Technology Center. The third floor features training labs for rehabilitative therapy and home health care. The laboratories include The HSTC was the first newly-constructed facility to be mock home settings such as a kitchen, bathroom, living room, unveiled as part of FVTC’s referendum. The expanded and and bedroom. These areas will assist the students to learn and now-named Service Motor Company Agriculture Center also teach adaptive home strategies to their clients. opened on the Appleton campus in concert with the HSTC. Smart classrooms for interactive instruction are located The nearly 3,000-square-foot addition features expanded on all floors. The facility also supports continuing educationlearning labs and a new horticulture tissue lab. related instruction for health care professionals in the • • • Learn more about all of FVTC’s referendum projects: community, which will build skill sets within the existing workforce. “For too long critical care providers have trained separately,” says Bob Sternhagen of FVTC’s Health division. “These scenarios could mean the difference between life and death or a poor outcome for a patient.”

2 Fox Valley Technical College

News Briefs

Worth the Fight

Front and center in the fight against human trafficking

In the war against human trafficking, Fox Valley Technical College has become a national leader in training and technical assistance to law enforcement, child protection professionals, non-profit agencies, and medical personnel. “Our role is to provide the knowledge needed to recognize human trafficking and then mobilize resources to attack it,” says Brad Russ, director of FVTC’s National Criminal Justice Training Center. According to college public safety experts, human trafficking is a form of modern day slavery and often encompasses sexual acts and the use of drugs against the will of a human being. Today, it is run more like a business than ever before—controlled by networks that continue to increase in both size and influence, according to Phil Keith, administrator of FVTC’s AMBER Alert Training and Technical Assistance Program. “We provide best practice training and technical assistance to rescue victims and increase awareness on an international scale,” says Keith. “Our approach promotes a community effort to integrate all key stakeholders to better prevent and respond to human trafficking by identifying victims, getting them to safety, and building an evidence-based, legal case. In addition, we work with recovery and medical aspects as well, helping victims overcome drug addiction, traumatic injuries, and torture.” FVTC’s work with the U.S. Department of Justice, the President’s Interagency Task Force, the United Nations, and educational institutions such as Johns Hopkins University, has started to make a difference. “California, for example, just passed Prop 35, which raises sentencing for human trafficking to a 15-year minimum,” says Keith. “This really puts some substance into the law.” • • • Learn more:

• The Wisconsin Technical College System District Boards Association recognized Mike Weller, president of Miller Electric Mfg. Co., as the 2013 Technical Education Champion. FVTC nominated Weller for the award, which honors an individual’s exemplary commitment to technical education and training.

Mike Weller

• Eight students representing FVTC’s Collegiate DECA Chapter earned awards at the annual International Career Development Conference. Top 10 finishes went to Catelyn Frost and Alexandria House, Sports & Entertainment Marketing, and Nicholas Doran, Restaurant & Food Service Management. Rick Helms and Ryan Schroeder were national finalists in the Sports & Entertainment Marketing competition. First-place awards were given to Ryan Wolf and Aaron Hoch for their top team performance in the Business Ethics category. Five students earned top 10 finishes out of 98 leadership and skills categories at the 49th Annual SkillsUSA competitions. The winners included: Josh Buechel, Marine Technology; Ron Aper, Power Equipment Technology; and Melissa Scheuerman, Auto Refinishing. Two first-place winners were Dave Krier in Electrical Construction Wiring and Cody Birschback in Industrial Motor Control. • Eight new robotic welding units have been installed at the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center in Oshkosh to enhance the automation and programming skills of welding and metal fabrication students. The high-tech additions to the center are due to the support of Miller Electric Mfg. Co., the Illinois Tool Works Foundation, Muza Metal Products, and Ariens Company. • Culinary Arts Instructor Chef Jeff Igel published a cookbook, Cooking with Chef Jeff, with all proceeds going toward scholarships for culinary arts and related business programs. The book was developed by students in FVTC’s FOXperts Club, representing the Administrative Professional, Office Cooking with Chef Jeff Assistant, and Business Management programs. The books are $20 and available at all area Community First Credit Union locations and at FVTC’s Appleton campus bookstore while supplies last.

Focus is also on the Web.

focus fall 2013



on workplace training

Building Leadership Courage A Chilton-based company uses FVTC’s business training expertise to strengthen its workforce. Milk Products, one of the nation’s largest manufacturers of high-quality animal milk replacers and supplemental products, has used Fox Valley Technical College’s resources for quite some time. “We often visited their facilities for meetings coordinated with the Wisconsin Manufacturers Extension Partnership,” says company president David Kuehnel. “When the college invited us to a seminar on strategic planning and executive coaching featuring work done for the Green Bay Packers, we were intrigued.” Through this workshop, Kuehnel realized the problems his company faced were not so different from those of the ‘Green and Gold.’ “We both run businesses, need new Sharon Hoerth & David Kuehnel customers, and have budget limitations,” he says. “The of Milk Products training made us realize that we needed to identify what we do well, what we can do better, and what makes us different from anyone else.” FVTC recently worked with the Chilton-based company through Robust & Regional a state-funded Workforce Advancement Training (WAT) grant to Fox Valley Technical College’s Business develop a customized training program, which included a 360-degree & Industry Services division is one of the evaluation. “The initial evaluation gave us an in-depth look at how we state’s leaders in workplace training— see ourselves and how others see us,” Kuehnel says. “It also gave us reaching more than insight into how we operate as a team. Our industry is going through change and we need to be ready for it.”

Our industry is going through change and we need to be ready for it.

Dave Kuehnel,

Milk Products

Strategic planning requires a great deal of patience. Kuehnel expects the process to take three-to-five years; however, the FVTC-designed program has already delivered results. “We’re much more effective in the way we prepare for meetings and manage outcomes,” says Sharon Hoerth, Milk Products vice-president and controller. “We’re also better at making sure that we all are using the same language and common terms to describe processes and behaviors.” Hoerth believes that the process has built a higher level of trust. “Our employees now have developed leadership courage,” she says. “People are more honest and open. We’re more aware of how we are relating to one another, and this awareness is an important step.” • • • Learn more:

4 Fox Valley Technical College

1,900 26,000 employers and more than

employees annually.

In the Chilton region, FVTC works with several industries, including education, health care, manufacturing, and more.

8 years

of Workforce Advancement Training (WAT) grants to assist

14 1,200+ regional businesses

employees trained in the Chilton region by FVTC through Workforce Advancement Training grants since 2008.


on the entrepreneur

What e-seed gave me was the knowledge and support I needed to run my business correctly.

Marc Busko

The Future is Now Thanks to learning about small business ownership in high school, it didn’t take long for 21-year-old Marc Busko to get going on his career as an entrepreneur. For Marc Busko of Appleton, career inspiration came early in the form of two entrepreneurial endeavors. He credits his path and a bright future to Amy Pietsch, director of the Venture Center at Fox Valley Technical College. “Amy first helped me start a protein bar business when I was still in high school during a youth summit at Fox Valley Tech,” he says. “Then, when I wanted to launch my new professional career as a youth inspirational speaker, Entrepreneur Marc Busko I enrolled in the Venture Center’s addresses a group of students. e-seedTM program.” Busko clearly has the talent and vision to inspire students to discover and pursue their life E-SeedTM means business passions. “What e-seed gave me was the knowledge and E-seed grows to become a national support I needed to run my business correctly,” he states. “I training model learned how to develop a solid business plan, keep a balanced ledger, effectively market my services, and find the most costDeveloped through the Venture Center at Fox Valley effective way to handle legal work.” Technical College, the e-seed entrepreneur training Busko currently speaks at middle schools, high schools, experience is gaining popularity across the country. The 15-week session provides small business owners with the and colleges. His offerings include keynote presentations, tools to turn their ideas into reality. workshops, and individual coaching. As a member of national groups such as DECA and Extreme Entrepreneurship Tours, he The new, train-the-trainer national model has caught travels extensively throughout the country. on fast in just one year: A football, basketball, and track athlete in high school, Busko discovered his own career passion while recuperating from a sports-related injury. “Since I couldn’t walk, I had time to really think about what I wanted to do,” he says. “Out of nowhere, it pilot organizations have already acquired the e-seed came to me. I realized I had a voice and a message to make a model from the Venture Center. positive impact on the world.” Busko began by volunteering to speak at school events. This helped him develop the contacts needed to build his business. Regional Business Start-Ups He encourages all students to keep in touch. “I’m always from E-seed getting emails and tweets,” he notes. “It’s incredibly rewarding to hear how what I said helped someone in life.” Busko plans on growing his company by adding other speakers to his program and taking more training through the businesses have opened their doors because of e-seed Venture Center. “I can’t imagine a moment when I won’t be over the past decade, and coaching others to go after their dreams,” he says.



• • • Learn more:


of people are working right now in Wisconsin thanks to e-seed.

focus fall 2013


W O N s ’ t a Wh

Ryan Geiger works with technology at FVTC (left). Geiger discusses his success during a public event in FVTC’s Machine Tool Lab.

Education for a New Economy An early jump on a career defines success for one high school student. Local manufacturers continue to struggle when it comes to filling positions that require a high level of technical skills. To address this need, Fox Valley Technical College is developing fresh initiatives with businesses and K-12 school districts to encourage younger learners to jump into careers in advanced manufacturing. This concept is not new to FVTC, but the direction of today’s economy is ushering a stronger sense of urgency in matching skilled workers with businesses that need their talents. “Our JumpStart program, for example, gives students interested in specific trades professional skills and college credit for courses they can take in high school,” says Mary Hansen, director of K-12 partnerships at FVTC. Ryan Geiger is just one example of how starting early in the skilled trades can be a great strategy. Through the JumpStart program, the 20-year-old Brillion native has already completed nearly two years of his machine tool apprenticeship while working full-time as a tool and die maker at Ariens Company. Geiger describes his current experience as ‘surreal.’ “Sometimes I can’t believe that I’m doing all these things at such a young age. I take great pride when I see a part that I’ve actually made from a piece of equipment.” By the time he’s 22, Geiger will be a journeyman machinist. “I love what I’m doing, and I have a much greater start to a career than my four-year college friends,”

6 Fox Valley Technical College

I love what I’m doing, and I have a much greater start to a career than my four-year college friends.

Ryan Geiger

he says. “Plus, my parents are happy with this decision.” The program has also been a success at Appleton West High School, where JumpStart students are taking dual credit courses in FVTC’s Machine Tool Technology program. “We’re now working with Neenah High School as well to develop an auto technician program under the same model,” says Hansen. • • • Learn more:

Getting technical At Appleton West

40 students

will pilot the new Appleton Technical Academy at West High to prepare for careers in manufacturing. Appleton West High School Principal Greg Hartjes is leading the launch of the Appleton Technical Academy, a charter school dedicated to the development of technical education skills for today’s manufacturing careers. The pilot project is coming together thanks to partnerships between Fox Valley Technical College and area businesses like Miller Electric Mfg. Co., Eagle Supply & Plastics, Inc., Fox Valley Tool & Die, and A to Z Machine Company. “We’ll open with 40 students,” Hartjes says. “The school will be open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors, with the senior year to include internships at area businesses. The initial curriculum will include trade skills focusing on welding, machine tool, and electromechanical careers.” • • • Learn more:


on high-demand careers

In addition to her excitement toward a new career, Frost The time is now to start a great career remains active in in a number of specialized fields. the FVTC Collegiate DECA chapter, a For Catelyn Frost, who plans to graduate student-driven in December of 2013 with an associate organization that degree in Marketing from Fox Valley helps prepare Technical College, her path to success students for careers was quite clear­—finding something in marketing, she liked to do and match that interest finance, hospitality, with a high-demand program. That and management. way of thinking got the ball rolling for “Collegiate DECA is a Frost educationally and proved to be stepping stone,” says a successful move for her to develop Frost. “It continues professionally. to give me a new When Frost lost her job nearly three perspective. This past years ago, she enrolled in the highyear I was elected demand Marketing program at FVTC’s president of our Oshkosh Riverside campus. “I have Oshkosh chapter, discovered my own potential and selfas well as the viceconfidence thanks to Fox Valley Tech,” president for the says the 21 year-old Omro native. Northeast Region at In addition, Frost knew that this was the state level.” an opportunity to learn all the necessary Frost placed in the skills in order to obtain a rewarding top 10 in Sports and Entertainment career. “I truly feel the skills I have Marketing at the DECA International gained here will help prepare me for Career Development Conference any career in the marketing field,” she last April. She is planning to continue says. “Not a day goes by that I am not her growth by pursuing a bachelor’s thinking about something I learned at degree in both marketing and business Fox Valley Tech.” administration. She is headed for a bright future—last year 96% of FVTC marketing grads found jobs within six By providing students months of graduation. with the skills our area “We currently offer nearly 25 highdemand programs,” says Burns. She employers need most, says that parents and prospective our graduates build great, students should consider the promising sustainable careers. potential of high-demand programs as part of their decision-making process Elizabeth Burns, in selecting a college or university. FVTC Director of Admissions “It makes sense as a consumer of higher education to bring graduate Frost’s pathway is one example of employment more into the decisionhow high-demand programs at FVTC making process today,” she adds. are meeting the demands of regional employers. “By providing students with • • • Learn more: the skills our area employers need most, our graduates build great, sustainable careers,” says Elizabeth Burns, director of admissions at FVTC.


Not a day goes by that I am not thinking about something I learned at Fox Valley Tech.

Catelyn Frost,

Marketing student

Catelyn Frost leads a class discussion.

Off the Charts Fox Valley Technical College measures its graduate employment rates annually. On average,


of FVTC graduates land careers within six months of graduation. In 2012, a record

33 100%

FVTC programs represent

graduate employment within six months of graduation.


of FVTC Marketing graduates landed employment within six months of graduation. FVTC’s annual Graduate Employment Research Report

focus focus fall fall2013 2013 77

Abu Muhit (left) and Casey Kovalaske


success! 8,000

The path to great careers in transportation are at Fox Valley Technical College.

truck drivers are needed in Wisconsin each year, and FVTC is the state’s number one training provider to fill this demand.

41,000+ of expanded square footage to FVTC’s J. J. Keller Transportation Center welcomes students in fall of 2014 as a result of passing a public referendum.

A Love for Cars Abu Muhit has loved cars since he was a child. “I grew up in Bangladesh where only the very wealthy have cars,” states the Oshkosh resident. “When I moved to the United States at age 19, I was amazed to see that everyone here has a car. It didn’t take me long to realize that I wanted to make a career out of working with automobiles.” Now 25, Muhit is putting his technical diploma from Fox Valley Technical College’s Automotive Technician program to work. He was hired at Car-X as an auto technician before he even graduated. “I first came to Fox Valley Tech’s Oshkosh campus to improve my English,” he says. “I then enrolled at the college’s Appleton campus where I learned how to maintain vehicles graduate employment rate for graduates in a great facility where of all FVTC’s automotive-related training everything I needed programs, year in and year out to know was at my fingertips.” Muhit recalls having different automotive training programs to work a little harder offered at FVTC, more than any other to succeed due to college in the state. some language and cultural differences. FVTC’s annual Graduate “The instructors took time Employment Research Report to work with me,” he says. “And they had all the latest equipment. I currently handle all types of work at Car-X. Whatever comes in, I can deal with it.”

98% 7

• • • Learn more:

8 Fox Valley Technical College

Taking a New Route Casey Kovalaske was working retail while attending a four-year college, but he just didn’t feel like he was going anywhere with his life. The 21-year-old Van Dyne resident had always been interested in transportation and decided it might be time to change course. “I answered a Schneider ad for truck drivers and then attended a four-week training program at Fox Valley Tech last summer,” he says. “Now, I’m earning a great living and seeing places that I never thought I otherwise would!” Headquartered in Green Bay, Schneider National, Inc. has provided expert transportation and logistics solutions for over 75 years throughout North America and China. The company is also one of Fox Valley Technical College’s biggest training partners. “Schneider came to us to start this most recent training partnership because of our nationwide reputation,” states Dan Poeschel, associate dean of FVTC’s Transportation department. “There is a shortage of drivers. If you’re a good, safe driver, opportunities are available in this industry.” Kovalaske found the program to be both enjoyable and effective. “We were in trucks the very first day and continued to get real on-the-road experience throughout,” he states. “We learned skills like precision parking, as well as how to prepare for pre-trip inspections and manage a log.” • • • Learn more:

One Degree, Many Options

Melissa Scheuerman

From Hot Rods to a Hot Career Twenty-one-year-old Melissa Scheuerman used her recent Fox Valley Technical College degree to turn her love of hot rod cars into a professional career. The Neenah resident graduated from FVTC’s Auto Collision Repair & Refinishing Technician program just last spring. Today, she is already working as a painter’s helper on her way to becoming an industrial painter at Pierce Manufacturing, one of the world’s leading fire truck production companies. Designing and building fire engines requires strict quality regulations. “My job of cleaning and masking the surfaces is a vital first step in the finishing process,” Scheuerman says. “The hands-on learning at Fox Valley Tech was awesome, and it really helped prepare me for a job that I love!” The first in her family to go to college, graduate employment, Scheuerman received a $5,000 scholarship while at FVTC from running for graduates of FVTC’s Auto I-CAR, the leading Collision Repair & Refinishing training organization Technician program. for the collision FVTC’s annual Graduate Employment industry. She also won Research Report first place at state and came in 7th nationally at the annual SkillsUSA competitions out of nearly 70 colleges and universities nationwide that participate each year. “My father, who is a member of the Muscle Maniacs Car Club, is very proud of me,” she states. “I’m showing him the right way to paint his ’69 Road Runner.”

100% 6 years

Nathan Wachtendonk has always enjoyed working on different types of diesel engines. Now, those vital skills are leading to other rewarding career opportunities. The Appleton native enrolled in Fox Valley Technical College’s Diesel Equipment Technology program in 2000. After graduating, Wachtendonk then worked for Michels Corporation for eight years, first as a field service technician and later as a manager of mechanics on large construction sites across the country. Today, at age 32, he is the fleet manager for the City of Green Bay. Wachtendonk firmly believes that FVTC provided him with a foundation to be a manager, as well as the skills to be a good mechanic. “I gained real-life experience working on Fox Valley Tech’s fleet of equipment,” he says. “Today, I’m responsible for managing 12 mechanics and supervising the maintenance of more than 500 pieces of equipment. We put in long hours in the winter, but I really like where I’m at. They’d have to offer me the mayor’s job to get me to do anything else!” • • • Learn more:

Nathan Wachtendonk

100% 300

graduate employment for FVTC Diesel Equipment Technology graduates, six years running.

Nearly career postings for diesel technicians in the region throughout the year, according to TechConnect, a statewide online employment information system for recruiting Wisconsin Technical College System students and graduates. FVTC’s annual Graduate Employment Research Report

View video:

• • • Learn more:

focus fall 2013


The Backbone of any


Careers in the administrative professional field are not only in demand, they are also the backbone of any business.

Molly Willis

10 Fox Valley Technical College

Careers Galore! Data from 2012 cited more than 950 career postings for administrative professionals throughout northeast Wisconsin, according to TechConnect, a statewide online employment information system for recruiting Wisconsin Technical College System students and graduates.


graduate employment for FVTC’s AP grads over the past three years.

Fox Valley Tech definitely helped me get where I am today.


of these same graduates are promoted within the first

Molly Willis


years of their career.

A ‘dream job’ is how 25-year-old Molly Willis describes her work at Bergstrom Automotive, Wisconsin’s largest automotive dealership. The 2013 graduate of Fox Valley Technical College’s Administrative Professional (AP) program loves her career because there are never two days that are alike. “I report directly to the CEO, John Bergstrom,” the Brookfield native explains. “As an executive assistant, I’m in charge of scheduling and ensuring that we communicate clearly to everyone. With 27 dealerships and 34 manufacturers, that can get crazy busy. But I love it!” Willis began at Bergstrom in Oshkosh three years ago as a dealership receptionist. “Once there, I noticed an opening for an administrative position and decided I wanted that job,” she recalls. “That’s when I enrolled in the AP program at Fox Valley Technical College.” Initially, Willis was apprehensive about returning to school. “I left UW-Oshkosh because I just wasn’t getting anywhere,” she states. “Fox Valley Tech, however, was a totally different experience. The instructors were incredibly supportive and encouraging. They made me believe that I could do it.” Willis began advancing in her career almost immediately upon enrolling in the program. She was first promoted to an administrative position in an Appleton dealership and then to her current job in the company’s Neenah headquarters. “I could immediately apply what I learned in each class to improve what I was doing at work,” she says. “I didn’t need any extra training from the company. Fox Valley Tech definitely helped me get where I am today.” In addition to the supportive instructors, Willis appreciated FVTC’s small class sizes and hands-on approach to learning. “My favorite class was the Capstone,” she said. “It made me apply everything I learned to a real-world environment.” Willis believes there are many opportunities for AP graduates. “You’ll find us in every industry,” she says.

FVTC’s annual Graduate Employment Research Report

“We’re the backbone of any business—behind the scenes handling the details it takes for a company to succeed and supporting those who keep the business moving each day.” An AP degree from FVTC provides an outstanding return on investment. FVTC’s 2010 and 2011 AP graduates all landed careers in the field, and the program’s three-year placement rate is above 95%. “With companies trying to operate more efficiently, administrative professionals have become vital to the success of every organization,” states Scott Borley, associate dean of Business, Health, and Services at FVTC. “Graduates of our program are responsible for managing technology upgrades, software training, planning professional events or meetings, preparing documents, and helping manage key relationships with clients and vendors. The opportunities are almost endless.” Willis plans on keeping her dream job while continuing her education. “I want to earn my bachelor’s degree,” she states. “Fox Valley Technical College gave me the capabilities and the confidence to continue to succeed!”

• • • Learn more:

View video:

focus fall 2013


My ability to juggle all of these responsibilities stems from gaining an education at Fox Valley Tech.

Matt Sabee,

Faith Technologies

Aliveith Skill

ship entice . r p p a ce that orkfor proof w s i ’s s y e a i tod log echno d to shape T h t i a e ith F pois ship w d well, and r e n t r an A pa is alive g n i n i tra


Matt Sabee

12 Fox Valley Technical College

Kaukauna resident Matt Sabee started as an apprentice electrician 15 years ago. “I was only a year out of high school and had just started working at Faith Technologies, a nationwide electrical contractor headquartered in Menasha,” he says. “When the company offered me a chance to do apprenticeship training through Fox Valley Technical College, I was more than happy to accept.” Sabee quickly found that what he learned in class could be immediately applied in the field. “As I progressed with my classes, I realized there would be more responsibility every step of the way,” he says. “Ultimately, my training at Fox Valley Tech helped me in every phase of my career.” Six months after completing his apprenticeship training and earning his journeyman electrician card, Sabee became a risk management technician at Faith Technologies. Now a service project manager at the company, the 34-year-old believes that FVTC gave him the skills and capabilities he needs to reach his next goal—to become a group manager or branch manager. “In order to effectively manage here, you need to work with customers, plus deal with all the actual operational-related issues,” he says. “You need to make sure that everyone has the right materials and tools, as well as making sure things get done on budget and on time—all without any accidents. My ability to juggle all of these responsibilities stems from gaining an education at Fox Valley Tech.” Other FVTC graduates from Faith Technologies are following in Sabee’s footsteps. Hartford native Ryan Huss recently completed his electrical apprenticeship at FVTC and is working as a journeyman electrician for the company. The 31-year-old military veteran was the first FVTC student to win the Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin Apprentice of the Year award, which he earned in 2013.

Ryan Huss

Huss views an apprenticeship as a true win-win experience. “Where else can you get paid to go to work and receive an education?” he asks. “I recommend the program to everyone because you are exposed to all parts of the trade—commercial, industrial, and residential.” FVTC has turned the apprenticeship, a time-honored system for learning a trade in Wisconsin for more than 100 years, into a cutting-edge approach to education. “With state-of-the-art equipment in all the labs, we continuously work with employers to ensure success and customize to meet their needs,” says Steve Straub, dean of FVTC’s Manufacturing Technologies division. “For example, the apprentices from Faith Technologies come in from all over the country, so we developed a three-day block schedule of classes.” Faith Technologies, Inc. President Mike Jansen agrees with FVTC’s innovative approach to apprenticeship training. “The college’s new schedule format is key to Faith Technologies’ success,” he says. “We have the best workforce in the industry, which doesn’t happen by accident. Faith invests in the training and development of its employees, and the foundation of an employee’s training is often an apprenticeship program.” • • • Learn more:

View video:

Fox Valley Technical College is Wisconsin’s


provider of apprenticeship training for the industrial, electrical, construction, and service trades. FVTC offers apprenticeship training in

15 200 800

industry areas, impacting about

employers and nearly

apprentices annually.

focus fall 2013



on alumni

Q & A with Culinary Arts Grad Stephanie Lietzau-Erdman

The director of operations for the Milwaukee Harley-Davidson Ride Entertainment Group, Stephanie Lietzau-Erdman, got her start at Fox Valley Technical College as a 2000 graduate of the Culinary Arts program. She is also the recipient of FVTC’s 2013 Outstanding Alumni Award.

What first brought you to Fox Valley Technical College? Like many others, I began my first job at the age of 15 working in a restaurant. I was immediately drawn to the intensity, customer interaction, and ability to make people happy through serving their needs. I come from a long line of small business owners, so the idea of running my own business or restaurant inspired me! I realized I needed to refine my culinary and hospitality skills to complement a business administration degree that I was pursuing. While researching colleges, I found that Fox Valley Tech was the only technical college that had both the credentials and reputation to assist me on my path.

How did FVTC help you on your career path to Harley-Davidson’s Ride Entertainment Group? Beyond FVTC’s extensive curriculum, the true benefit of my education came from involvement in the Culinary Arts Club. Chef Jeff, a mentor of mine from FVTC, taught me the value of networking and supported my growth as an individual. I began to discover the broader spectrum of what I could do with my degree versus what I should do. Networking connected me to Chaz Hastings, with whom I found common goals to develop his endeavor, the Ride Entertainment Group.

Stephanie Lietzau-Erdman

What do you enjoy most about your position at Milwaukee Harley-Davidson’s Ride Entertainment Group? It is my mission to take our restaurant group and formulate a professional culture within our portfolio of small businesses. While doing so, I have the honor of creating career paths for 100-plus service industry employees who work within our group to foster an environment of personal growth and leadership development.

What advice can you give others about selecting a college? It’s important to select a college that has a proven track record of successful alumni and nourishes career path opportunities. The biggest benefit Fox Valley Tech gave me was a strong sense of leadership and nurturing, both in and out of the classroom. Seeing my mentors involved in student organizations and in their own communities demonstrated a level of respect that I would not have learned from a lecture. Their coaching improved my self-esteem to explore my true potential.

Nominate an Outstanding Alumni Fox Valley Technical College is seeking nominations for its 2014 Outstanding Alumni Award. The annual award recognizes an FVTC alumnus who has demonstrated the value of technical education through career advancement, community service,

14 Fox Valley Technical College

personal and educational growth, career success, and support of the Wisconsin Technical College System. The nomination deadline is noon (CST) on March 3, 2014. Nomination guidelines:


on the foundation

community and industry.” Another good example of this partnership is the new Precision A new dimension to a Agriculture Technician program, longstanding partnership with which will be offered in January of Service Motor Company is helping 2014. “Farming equipment with grow agriculture training. GPS technology is now essential,” says Mike Cattelino, associate dean It doesn’t take long to realize that the of Manufacturing and Agriculture future of the agriculture field, like many Technologies at FVTC. “We’ll be teaching other sectors in this economy, depends the technology, as well as how to use on the collaboration of both industry and and repair the equipment. This is 21st education. For Service Motor Company Century soil management, and we’ll be (SMC) in nearby Dale, one of Wisconsin’s the first in the state to offer it.” largest agriculture and industrial “Within five years, farmers and agridealerships, that level of understanding is business professionals will have the second nature. Recently, SMC donated $1.1 million to the Fox Valley Technical College Foundation, Inc. in the form of scholarships, equipment, and monetary support toward the college’s expanded agriculture center. In return, the company received naming rights to the now-called Service Motor Company Agriculture Center at FVTC. The nearly 3,000-square-foot expansion was part of the college’s successful $66 million public referendum in April of 2012, by a 2-1 margin. The expanded center houses three new high-tech classrooms, two computer labs, and a state-of-the-art The newly-named Service Motor Company tissue lab for Horticulture students. Agriculture Center at FVTC’s Appleton campus For more than 30 years, SMC’s collaboration with FVTC has been through the donation of equipment, capability to operate tractors and other helping train instructors, preparing related equipment more precisely interns for careers, and hiring graduates. than ever before due to emerging The most recent partnership with FVTC technologies,” Sommer says. “In is very timely, according to Service Motor addition, they’ll have operational data Company President Jim Sommer. “The at their fingertips to determine the agriculture industry is not just alive and condition of fields and more. This is well in Wisconsin, but it’s flourishing,” the wave of the future, and Fox Valley he says. “By providing support to Fox Technical College has the technology to Valley Technical College, we’re helping make it happen.” ensure that the college continues to turn • • • Learn more: out quality graduates who support our

Harvesting Skill

This is the wave of the future, and Fox Valley Technical College has the technology to make it happen.

Jim Sommer,

President, Service Motor Company

Giving & Growing The Fox Valley Technical College Foundation, Inc. awards about

$640,000 1,000 to more than

FVTC students and high school seniors annually.

• • • Learn more:

The newly expanded and renovated Service Motor Company Agriculture Center at Fox Valley Technical College will help address an


increase in enrollment in the college’s agriculture-related programs over the past four years.


of FVTC graduates from the Agriculture Equipment Service Technician, AgriBusiness/Science Technology, and Agriculture Power Equipment programs landed careers. FVTC’s annual Graduate Employment Research Report

focus focus fall fall2013 2013 15 15

ud en te xpe rienc e

Apprenticeship Instructor Matt Bishop (right) with former apprentices from Curwood Bemis

s u foc

t s he t on

All Hands on Deck A hands-on, custom-built training unit brings technology front and center to help future students.

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Matt Bishop, electrical apprenticeship instructor at Fox Valley Technical College, has a special way of guiding his electrical apprenticeship graduates each year to leave their mark within the program. “Every class does a project to give back to our community,” he says. “This year’s class really out-did themselves.” That class of 10 apprentices created a visual representation of what they learned during their apprenticeship training at FVTC, an industrial motor control applications trainer that features five different electrical circuits, ranging from basic to the most complex. “There is nothing else like it anywhere, and they did everything right down to the last detail,” notes Bishop. Four of those involved in the project, Scott Dobberstein, Dave Hamilton, Lee Byrne, and Tim Smith, called on their employer, the Curwood Bemis Company, to donate five motors and a light curtain toward the project. Known for its technological leadership in high-barrier, flexible packaging, Curwood Bemis has been a longtime supporter of FVTC’s apprenticeship programs. “All 53 people in our maintenance program are journeymen electricians, and about 95% of them went through the Fox Valley Tech program,” says plant manager Mike Campbell. Don Clegg, maintenance supervisor at Curwood Bemis and past graduate of the Our people know what they’re apprenticeship program, was happy to help. doing, and a lot of that knowledge “The people at Fox Valley Technical College comes from being trained at Fox take what you say to heart,” he states. “A good example is how they integrated electronics Valley Tech. into the apprenticeship program. It used to Mike Campbell, be you could fix things with a flashlight and a Curwood Bemis Company screwdriver, but now you need a laptop.” Apprenticeship programs are a vital part of the Curwood Bemis success story. “Training, sharing information, and learning new things happens every day here,” says Campbell. “We have 50-some pieces of high-tech equipment in this 500,000-square-foot plant—some are 100 feet long and five levels high. Our people know what they’re doing, and a lot of that knowledge comes from being trained at Fox Valley Tech.” FVTC apprentices complete five years of curriculum in four years. “They put in 720 hours in the classroom and between 8,000 and 10,000 hours at work,” states Bishop. “During their last semester, they all take a ‘train-the-trainer’ class in which they learn to pass on their knowledge. In many ways, the motor control applications trainer they built represents the whole apprenticeship concept.” Fox FoxValley ValleyTechnical TechnicalCollege College

Taking Control A closer look at what went into the one-of-a-kind motor control applications trainer at Fox Valley Technical College:


students worked together to build the trainer from the ground up, representing seven different companies: Curwood Bemis, International Paper Company, Kaytee Products, Inc., McCain Foods, Oshkosh Corporation, SCA Tissue, and Walker Forge, Inc. Werner Electric also contributed toward the project. About

$20,000 in donated materials and more than


hours were put into building the unit, which is comprised of about 100 items.

More Bang for Your Buck Get more value from your college education at Fox Valley Tech.

LESS DEBT Average tuition is

$8,400 less than two years at a public university

$33,000 average 1st year starting salary

9 of 10

grads are employed within 6 months



to over other two- and four-year colleges


40% salary increase

after five years



with career program choices focus fall 2013





Fox Valley Technical College offers a solid return on your investment:


The most efficient and affordable option for higher education in the Fox Valley.



FVTC instructors have real-world work experience.

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High graduate employment rates average about 90%.

Learn on the latest technology so you’ll be job ready.

Accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association since 1970.

Learn more:

50 $ a n Wi ard! c h s a c

ader hort re s a e t 013 Comple ecember 31, 2 . by D survey e to win ey c n a h c for a ussurv

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Fox Valley Technical College Focus Magazine - Fall 2013  
Fox Valley Technical College Focus Magazine - Fall 2013  

Topics include: Driving Success: Find a great career now in transportation. Education for a new economy. Administrative professional care...