Skip to Main Content

Search NewsCenter

Top Stories

Welding & Metal Fabrication

Welding & Metal Fabrication

Spring 2013

A Door-Opening Experience

Grad Wade Wheaton used his Welding & Metal Fabrication skills to open doors for a new career.

When the paper mill where Wade Wheaton worked for 29 years shut down, he didn’t despair. Unlike other older workers, this 51-year-old Shiocton resident decided to start a new chapter in his life and enrolled in Fox Valley Technical College’s Welding and Metal Fabrication program. “I’ve always believed that when one door closes, another one opens,” he says.

Today, Wheaton enjoys his new job as a millwright for the Boldt Company, one of the largest professional construction services firms in the nation. “I do a little bit of everything—welding, fixing equipment, installing machinery, and more,” explains Wheaton. “I love the diversity.”

When he started at FVTC, Wheaton found that using the latest high-tech equipment was a bit intimidating. “In my generation, there were no computers. I learned how to lay concepts out with a pencil on a drafting table,” he says. “I was afraid of computers, but once I got more used to them, the experience was exciting and impressive. The program at Fox Valley Tech increased my knowledge ten-fold.”

Wheaton appreciates the way the welding program is structured. “It gives you a broad range of skills while also teaching job and work ethics,” he says. “The instructors are knowledgeable and very patient. They treat you as an individual.” As a program intern, Wheaton mentored other students, put together teams for a state competition, and helped establish the welding club. “Teaching others was an awesome experience,” he says. “I’m also proud of winning the state welding and fabrication competition at Skills USA.”

The best advice that Wheaton offers to others who have suffered similar career setbacks is to never give up. “Even if you’re 40 or 50, go out there and do it.”

By the Numbers:

  • 90%+ graduate employment rate for graduates of Fox Valley Technical College’s welding programs*
  • 125 full-time job openings in northeast Wisconsin for welders and metal fabricators*
  • $38,000 annual average salary for welders in the region after just one-two years of training**
  • 40% average salary increase for all FVTC grads after five years in the workforce*

*2012 FVTC Graduate Employment Research Report
** 2011 Manufacturing Index Survey – Northeastern Wisconsin Manufacturing Alliance

FVTC President's Blog


New This Week

Student & Alumni Spotlight

Alumni of the Year Named

Alumni of the Year Named

Apr 21, 2016

Fox Valley Technical College announced its 2016 Outstanding Alumni of the Year recipient during ...

Plumbing Apprentice Skills Go Global

Plumbing Apprentice Skills Go Global

Mar 16, 2016

Two plumbing apprentices change lives in India while serving as part of Team USA.

Accounting for a Better Life

Accounting for a Better Life

Mar 16, 2016

Alexis Hill came to FVTC to build a better life for herself and her family.

Featured Videos

Featured Photos

Spring 2016 Focus Magazine

Read the latest issue of Focus magazine, with features highlighting students and alumni in Engineering, Accounting, Banking & Finance and much more.

Upcoming Events

10 May 2016

On Campus: Herzing University

11 a.m. - 1 p.m. | Appleton Campus Commons

On Campus: Herzing University

Thinking of transferring to Herzing University?

11 May 2016

Design & Portfolio Show

Appleton Campus

Design & Portfolio Show

Wednesday, May 11 | Interior Design & Portfolio Show: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. | Artist Reception: 5:30-7 p.m.

11 May 2016

Explore the Fab Lab

4-5:30 p.m. | Bordini Center

Explore the Fab Lab

Wednesday, May 11, 4-5:30 p.m., FVTC Bordini Center | Come see what the FVTC Fab Lab has to offer.

Calendar

«May 2016»
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
2425262930
4/30/2016 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
32912

Aviation Fly-In & Open House

Either fly in or drive in for breakfast and explore the aviation training hangar and labs, visit with faculty and try out our full-motion Redbird flight simulators. If you're considering a career in aviation, this event is for you!

Read more
12
5/2/2016
33864

Open Registration for Summer Term

Community registration for Summer 2016 classes starts Monday, May 2.

Read more
3
5/3/2016 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
49053

On Campus: Grand Canyon University

Thinking of transferring to Grand Canyon University?

Read more
4
5
5/5/2016 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
44854

On Campus: Lakeland College

Thinking of transferring to Lakeland College?
Read more
67
8910
5/10/2016 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
49055

On Campus: Herzing University

Thinking of transferring to Herzing University?

Read more
11
12
5/12/2016 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
14
5/14/2016 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
38026

Cooking Demo: Explore the Many Flavors of Chicken

Explore the Many Flavors of Chicken | Saturday, May 14, 10 a.m. - Noon

Read more
15
5/15/2016 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
29657

Spring Commencement Ceremony

Congratulations, Graduates!

Read more
16
5/16/2016 - 5/20/2016
17
5/16/2016 - 5/20/2016
1819
5/16/2016 - 5/20/2016
20
5/16/2016 - 5/20/2016
21
22232425262728
2930311234
6/4/2016 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM
48643

Bark in the Park at FVTC

Enjoy a stroll through FVTC's trails with your furry friend! 

Read more

Get Social

Connect With Us banner

FVTC eConnect Newsletter Sign-up








CAPTCHA image
Enter the code shown above: