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Workforce Success Story Submitted By:
Southwest Wisconsin Workforce Development Board

Meet Brad

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Workforce Challenge

Brad Hazen, 33, worked in the civil engineering field for 10 years (1998-2008). The outlook was bright. He was averaging 250-300 perk tests and 10-15 projects a year. Then the economy (and housing market) tanked and after doing only 8 tests by the end of May 2008 with no new engineering projects, Brad was laid off. He knew it was time for a career change, and he followed his boss's advice, returning to school at Southwest Wisconsin Technical College.

Workforce Solution

Technical college wasn't new for him, as he had earned his degree in Natural Resources at Fox Valley Tech (WI) earlier. But this time, he qualified to use Dislocated Worker funds to enroll in the Electro-Mechanical Tech program at SWTC. Many general education credits transferred so he didn't have to repeat them. He chose the program because it is a higher-paying field, plus has an excellent future outlook. He also had 10 years of work experience behind him. He graduated in May, 2010.

Outcomes & Benefits

Brad is now working for Lancaster (WI) Machine & Tool Co. at a salary higher than his initial job. He also has numerous benefits. Company president Mark Schwab said "Brad knows the skills very well, has a wonderful personality, and an excellent work ethic." In his new job, Brad is wiring and writing program logic for control panels and automated fixtures. "I do something different every day, and that makes this job very enjoyable," Brad said, adding it is challenging but also very rewarding.

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