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Focus Magazine | Fall 2013

One Degree, Many Options: Diesel Equipment Technology

Nathan Wachtendonk

One Degree, Many Options: Diesel Equipment Technology

Fall 2013

Nov 19, 2013

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!”

Quick Facts:

  • 100% graduate employment for FVTC Diesel Equipment Technology graduates, six years running.
  • Nearly 300 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.