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Displaced Worker Finds a New Career After NWTC

Dan Ellis

Dan Ellis

Leadership Development graduate - Class of 2011

When the company I worked for closed in 2008, I was 51 years old. I had worked there for 30 years and had many decisions to make. Do I move my family, try to find work where we live, or take advantage of a chance to further my education in the hopes of changing my career? Having a family and home would not allow me the access to a four year college. I was very fortunate that NWTC has a remote campus near my hometown.

I enrolled at NWTC. At 51 years old I started my first class and was like a deer in the headlights. I knew very little about a computer and was very fortunate that my wife, who also lost her job working for the same company, was an IT person. This enabled me to quickly get up to speed on the computer skills needed to succeed in the classroom.

This was a chance of a lifetime to better myself, and it was exciting as well as terrifying. My first class was with Todd Perrault. Todd proved over time to be an excellent educator. I had him for many classes and his hands-on style of teaching would prove to be valuable to me. Todd pushed me to be the best I could be while encouraging me along the way.

During my time at NWTC, I was honored to be chosen to speak at the campus during a visit by State Senator Dave Hansen. I wanted to tell the senator about the need for local two-year colleges and the importance of funding them. This allows displaced workers a much timelier manner to get back into the workforce. I graduated with a 4.0 GPA and was honored as the “Outstanding Student” in the program.

My education at NWTC prepared me to be hired as the corporate safety director at a highly successful electrical contractor. I will always be indebted to NWTC, Todd Perrault and many other instructors for helping me excel into a new career.

Dan Ellis
Corporate Safety Director
B&B Electrical Contractors Inc.
Iron Mountain, Mich.

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