Focus on High-Demand Careers: High-Demand Meets High-Tech

Focus on High-Demand Careers: High-Demand Meets High-Tech

Fall 2015

| By: Britten, Casey

The demand for graduates with skills in automation is at an all-time high.


“As automation increases in manufacturing, more companies are in need of qualified professionals,” says Steve Betchner, lead engineer and operations manager at HiTech Control Systems in Neenah, a leader in automation solutions to manufacturers throughout North America. “Automation is used in all industries, including paper, automotive, food and beverage, consumer products and pharmaceutical.”

HiTech regularly hires graduates from Fox Valley Technical College’s Automated Manufacturing Systems Technology program. “Fox Valley Tech gets them started in the right direction with a solid background in machine controls, PLC programming, robotics, operator interfaces and networking,” Betchner states. “We often hire Fox Valley Tech students before they graduate, first as interns and then full-time.”

Area manufacturers like HiTech work with FVTC to ensure that curriculum matches the latest skill sets. Zach Roisum, a controls engineer at HiTech and a graduate from the Automated Manufacturing Systems Technology program, felt he was well prepared for his career. “The program at Fox Valley Tech is set up exactly like working in the field,” he explains. “By graduation, I had already set up and programmed a number of robotic systems. Many of the problems I encounter at work I had already learned how to solve in school.”

Betchner is working with area high school students to encourage them to consider careers in advanced manufacturing through FVTC. “If you like challenges and have an interest in science, math and problem solving, there are great benefits to working in manufacturing,” says Betchner. “You’ll earn a great starting salary and have plenty of employment options with this two-year degree.”

Automation Sensation

100% graduate employment for graduates of FVTC’s Automated Manufacturing Systems Technology program, back-to-back years with an average annual salary of $41,400 upon graduation from this two-year program.

Fox Valley Technical College Graduate Employment Research Report, 2015