In all, 20 students were involved in the two-month project with five individuals dedicating more than 100 hours each. “There was a lot of work to be done,” notes DeBruin. “We built a gear-driven box to make it spin. The body required a great deal of work with different polymers, fiberglass, and Bondo before we started painting.”
The nutcracker is just one of the club’s community support projects. Previously, they rebuilt and donated a van to the area’s Veterans Affairs hospital. They’re currently working on a specially equipped car for a handicapped student. All these projects exemplify ideal hands-on opportunities for the students to demonstrate their skills.
“I originally joined the club because it’s fun to be part of a group of pure gear heads,” laughs DeBruin. “However, as a veteran, I think it’s also important to give back to our community.”
“I’m very proud of our club because it really did go beyond the call,” says Joe Kircher, instructor in FVTC’s Auto Collision Repair and Refinishing Technician program. “We have repair shops constantly calling us looking for professionals in the collision field. Even in this economy, we don’t have enough students ready to fill the need!”
According to the 2011 FVTC Graduate Employment Report, graduates of both the Auto Collision Repair and Refinishing Technician and Vehicle Refinishing and Repair programs saw 100% job placement just six months after graduating.
The promotion featured a prize raffle, plus coupons for discounted soda and coffee at Fox Xpress. “If you dropped off a toy or any monetary donation, you could enter to win a prize,” explains Kuether. “We had some fantastic prize sponsors, including Bergstrom Automotive and Best Buy.”
Graphic Point, an area design firm, worked with the group to develop large vinyl posters, door signs, and coupons. “Everyone was extremely helpful,” notes Kuether. “Our instructors, Sandy Plank and Teri Stark, do a phenomenal job of using projects rather than tests to learn. You learn skills and real solutions rather than just knowing the answers on a multiple choice test.”
The initiative proved to be successful, with the group collecting more than 100 toys for Toys for Tots while increasing business at Fox Xpress by more than 25%. The students’ innovative approach to the project impressed FVTC faculty as well. “Their goal was something big and bold and they exceeded all expectations,” states marketing instructor Sandy Plank. “Devan’s group was so successful that we would like to continue this idea on a yearly basis.”
Marketing students at Fox Valley Tech not only do hands-on projects, but are also often involved in handling full-scale marketing research. “We get quite a few calls from well-known businesses in our area,” Plank explains. “They want us to work on everything from developing questionnaires to writing reports and handling major presentations. We’ve worked with leading area companies such as the Heidel House Resort, the YMCA, and Blue Cross/Blue Shield in Fond du Lac.”
Matt Gerrits, City of Appleton Firefighter, has been named the recipient of the Fox Valley ...
Web Development & Design Specialist student and FVTC's 2015 Student Ambassador for the ...
Students in Fox Valley Technical College's Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Chapter made their mark at the ...
Centered on Safety: Read the latest issue of Focus magazine, with feature articles on our brand new Public Safety Training Center, and other high-demand career areas.
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