When associate dean Jill Thiede talks about NWTC's Electro-Mechanical program, she evaluates it based on her 30 previous years in industry.
"Right now, all of our graduates are essential workers," she said. "They are in demand by most companies in northeastern Wisconsin and in the nation. It is a coveted set of skills to have right now. These are the folks who are making it possible for companies to deliver more antibacterial wipes, more personal protective equipment, even more food supplies, at unprecedented speed and levels of productivity."
Electro-Mechanical is also one of a handful of programs offered through NWTC's Electrical Technology Hall, a huge drop-in lab where students can take short classes as quickly or slowly as they wish, finish any time and get assistance from NWTC faculty and lab aides any time the lab is open--days, evenings and weekends.
"It offers ultimate flexibility for people who are currently working full time or who have a demanding shift schedule," Thiede said. "You can come in any time, take one class at a time, finish it at your own speed with faculty assistance, and start the next class whenever you wish. If you don't know what your workload looks like, you might get three classes done in a semester, or you might get six, eight or ten done in a semester. If you have swing shifts, you can change what time you drop in whenever you wish. But you can do them one at a time, so you don't have that pressure to juggle subjects. Plus, you can start with the Industrial Maintenance certificate, which is 14 credits, and all of those credits will roll into the Electro-Mechanical program."
Other programs offered through the ET Hall include Biomedical Electronics, Manufacturing Engineering Technology, Electrical Engineering Technology and Automation Engineering Technology. Several construction and manufacturing apprenticeships also use the lab.
Students in the Electro-Mechanical program learn about equipment, electrical systems, mechanical systems and processes in order to maintain, troubleshoot and support business or manufacturing operations. It also provides an excellent background for a four-year degree in mechanical, electrical or manufacturing engineering or project management, Thiede said.
"It is truly a life-changing program. For people interested in equipment, who like working with their hands, with this associate degree, you're able to get a job that can change your life and open doors you never imagined. Graduates of ours are traveling all over the world, fixing equipment, installing equipment, troubleshooting systems. One graduate was in New Zealand for a month last year. They are in demand to go around the world. They could earn $100,000 a year. They were traveling a lot and they got to do amazing work, literally all around the world."
How can I learn about engineering at NWTC?
Engineering Technology Center home page
For hours and details in NWTC's Engineering Technology Center, including the Electrical Technology Lab and Mechanical Technology Lab, visit https://www.nwtc.edu/about-nwtc/places/green-bay-campus-1/engineering-technology-center.
Engineering Technology Center virtual tour and video
To walk through the facility, try our virtual tour at https://www.nwtc.edu/learn-more/virtual-tour/green-bay/green-bay-1/engineering/eng_tech_hall_entrance.
STEM programs at NWTC
To learn more about some of the science, technology, engineering and math programs at NWTC, visit www.nwtc.edu/STEM.
Jill Thiede is Associate Dean in NWTC's Trades and Engineering Technologies department. She came to NWTC with 30 years of experience in industry, a can-do attitude and lots of enthusiasm. She is great fun to talk to and loves to share with K-12 teachers and potential students information about the exciting engineering programs at NWTC.