Engineered for Today

A.J. Griesbach and Janet Braun

Engineered for Today

Spring 2016

| By: Britten, Casey

FVTC’s new engineering technology programs meet the growing needs of area employers.

Today’s manufacturers are turning to advanced technology more than ever to enhance their operations. Such an approach requires new skills and a different attitude. Enter Fox Valley Technical College.

“The ability to use the latest software and technology is no longer just important in manufacturing; it’s critical to stay competitive,” says Janet Braun, a department chair in the Manufacturing Technologies division at FVTC. “Manufacturers need people who can search for root causes and actually solve problems rather than applying a patchwork-style approach to keep something running.”

Braun and others from the college recently met with 15 area manufacturers to create new associate degree programs to fit their needs. “Some programs provide a broad skill base in processes, automation and mechanical design,” says Braun. “Others are more specific with training in actual work tasks and responsibilities.”


A.J. Griesbach is a senior operator at Walker Forge, a leader in providing manufactured goods for primarily the automotive, heavy truck, construction, agriculture and energy industries. The 29-year-old Seymour native is nearly finished with his associate degree in Quality Engineering Technology. “If you want to move up in the manufacturing world, Fox Valley Tech is the place to go,” says Griesbach.

Many students in engineering classes are workers gaining new knowledge to update or expand their skills. “It’s important to keep on learning,” states Griesbach. “My company helps its employees, and the college makes it possible for students to study while working full-time.”

A two-year degree is also now considered an excellent first step toward further education. “You spend far less on tuition,” says Braun. “We also have strong credit-transfer agreements with four-year schools. Plus, your two-year credentials allow you to earn a great salary while completing a bachelor’s degree.”

Three Degrees of Success

There is high demand from regional employers for engineering technology skills. Fox Valley Technical College and other public college partners in the Northeast Wisconsin Educational Resource Alliance (NEW ERA) have developed new pathways toward earning bachelor of science degrees in electrical engineering technology, environmental engineering technology and mechanical engineering technology from UW-Green Bay or UW-Oshkosh.

New at FVTC!

Manufacturing Engineering Technology: Average starting hourly salary of more than $21 an hour
Quality Engineering Technology: Average starting hourly salary of more than $18 an hour
Salary data based on regional employer focus group input