Systems Control, NWTC partner for employee education

Thirteen employees of Systems Control have earned post-secondary credentials through Northeast Wisconsin Technical College’s Power Certificate program. Instructors from NWTC came to the workplace, with costs paid by the company. From left, front, are Joan Turba, NWTC business development manager; Barbie VanEnkevort, protection and control designer; Jared Whisler, senior engineering technician; Coty Thompson, testing technician; Corey Runsat, project manager; Tim Tachick, engineering technician; and John Van Ess, NWTC utilities engineering instructor. Standing, from left, are Rick Nelson, NWTC utilities engineering technologies instructor; Randall Allen-Napeahi, NWTC technical reporting instructor; Steve Schuette, protection and control designer; Bryce Swanson, testing technician; Ryan Stromberg, testing technician; Taylor Siecinski, project compliance lead; Cameron Reith, senior engineering technician; Ryan Paquette, protection and control designer; Michael Gustafson, testing technician; Jon Harry, vice president of organizational excellence; Jeff Rafn, NWTC president; Cole Smith, human resource generalist; Kevin Grabian, NWTC electronics-electrical Instructor; and Steven Johnson, NWTC intermediate algebra instructor. Not shown is graduate Shawn Vanslooten.

IRON MOUNTAIN — Workers sometimes return to school, but at Systems Control, school comes to the workplace.

Thirteen employees of the Iron Mountain electrical controls manufacturer gained certificates this spring through a Northeast Wisconsin Technical College program that involved onsite classes taught by NWTC instructors.

This marked the second class from Systems Control to graduate from Green Bay-based NWTC, with costs paid by the company and instructors visiting the workplace three to four hours a week, said Cole Smith, human resources generalist. “It is a program that provides employees with detailed knowledge for their current role and prepares them for their career progression,” he said, noting classes and homework take place over a period of two to three years.

The course list covers skills in math, automation, technical communications, electrical systems and utility projects, among others.

“The Power Certificate from NWTC solves a business need and prepares our talent for hard-to-fill positions with a special skill-set,” said Jon Harry, Systems Control vice president of organizational excellence. “NWTC has been a valued partner and continues to deliver results for our business needs.”

“The program is a great example of how collaboration benefits everyone involved,” said Christie Fleming, an earlier graduate now working as a protection and control designer. Fleming, who started as a computer-aided drafting technician with a limited knowledge of power systems, helps create and check wiring diagrams and schematics, ensuring final prints are accurate and complete.

“What makes this partnership stand out is that Systems Control has worked with NWTC to design a program that delivers not just skills training, but credit-based education,” NWTC President Jeffrey Rafn said. Allowing employees to gain a post-secondary credential right in their workplace makes Systems Control a leader not just in the region but nationally, he said.

“The Power Certificate Program has been an amazing journey, full of opportunity where I can now apply the new skills I have acquired to fulfill a business need while working for a company that strives for continuous improvement, which in turn drives me to become better every day,” said Ryan Stromberg, a testing technician and current graduate.

A third training session likely will begin this fall, Smith said. The NWTC program is a valuable recruiting tool as Systems Control continues to expand, he said.