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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

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Upcoming Events

25 Apr 2017

Conversations with the C-Suite: Are We Aligned?

7:30-10:30 a.m. | D.J. Bordini Center

Conversations with the C-Suite: Are We Aligned?

Tuesday, April 25, D.J. Bordini Center | The complimentary Conversations with the C-Suite is a series of interactive briefings designed for top executives and functional leaders.

25 Apr 2017

Troop Talk

Tuesdays | 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Troop Talk

Troop Talk is held every other Tuesday, and will help you transition from military service to college to employment.

25 Apr 2017

Explore Intellectual Assets

6-9 pm | D.J. Bordini Center

Explore Intellectual Assets

Come and learn about the development of intellectual assets in business development on Tuesday, April 25 at 6-9 p.m. 

Calendar

«April 2017»
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
262728
3/28/2017 12:30 PM
56249

Troop Talk

Troop Talk is held every other Tuesday, and will help you transition from military service to college to employment.

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293031
3/31/2017
68819

2017 FVTC FFA Career Development Event

41st annual Fox Valley Technical College FFA Career Development Event, Friday, March 31, Appleton Campus

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91011
1213
1415
161718
19
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4/24/2017 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
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On Campus: Silver Lake College

Thinking of transferring to Silver Lake College?

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262829
4/29/2017 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
32912

Aviation Fly-In & Open House

Either fly in or drive in for a French toast breakfast and explore the aviation training hangar and labs, visit with faculty and try out our full-motion Redbird flight simulators.

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3015
5/5/2017 - 5/6/2017
48947

Wisconsin Energy Efficient Vehicle Association Challenge

Middle and high school teams from across Wisconsin will bring their concept vehicles to the college to measure efficiency, based on design criteria.

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