Signing day took on a whole new meaning recently for Fox Valley Technical College student Ava Ayala.
Ava is one of a handful of students who has signed on to participate in a unique opportunity called Earn & Learn. Facilitated by the NEW Manufacturing Alliance, Earn & Learn connects students with area manufacturers who are willing to help pay a portion of their tuition while they attend college and work part time for their company.
In Ava’s case, she is finishing up her senior year at West De Pere High School while also studying Industrial Welding Technology at FVTC and working part time for Robinson Inc. In turn, Robinson—a custom metal solutions supplier based in De Pere—is paying at least a portion of Ava’s college tuition.
Earn & Learn was created by a task force that recognized too many students were taking dual-credit classes in high school, but then not enrolling in degree programs after graduation. FVTC became an integral part of the program when Chuck Wachter took on the role of Earn & Learn coordinator. In this role, Chuck will connect students like Ava with businesses, to ultimately help them gain employment while going to school in their chosen career path.