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Gold Collar Careers

High Tech Manufacturers in Western Wisconsin

Many have already taken the advanced manufacturing career path. These local people tell you their stories about their careers in welding, machining, nanoscience, and other areas of the manufacturing industry. They tell it like it is and you'll probably be surprised at what they have to say about manufacturing today!

Real Success Stories

  • Alexis


    Student Marketing Manager
    Cardinal Manufacturing

    As a student at Eleva-Strum High School it's hard to miss the enthusiasm and excitement surrounding Cardinal Manufacturing, and as a junior I was ecstatic to be asked to participate in the program. Cardinal Manufacturing is a real manufacturing business which is staffed and run by students and located at our school. I am the Student Marketing Manager at Cardinal Manufacturing and have worked on projects including designing and ordering logo shirts for the company, and working with a team to coordinate our big annual open house where we host hundreds of guests, as well as thanking sponsors throughout the year. The other students in the program are great co-workers with a real team focus and always willing…

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  • Jennifer Bannink

    Jennifer Bannink

    Machinist, Toolmaker, CNC Set-Up Operator
    SMC, Ltd.

    I started out after high school attending a four year college and I found the coursework "bland" and my grades suffered as a result. I left the university after one year and tried a few temporary jobs. At one temporary job, I had the opportunity to work for a fabrication shop. It was then that I realized that working in manufacturing was what I really wanted to do. I enrolled in the Machine Tooling Technics program at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College. I graduated with a diploma in machine tool and a certificate in plastic injection molding. After graduation I held a few jobs, but found my home at SMC, Ltd. in Somerset, Wisconsin.

    SMC is a clean, well-lit manufacturing…

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  • Moua Vang

    Moua Vang

    Wissota Tool

    After high school graduation, I originally went to technical college for Computer Networking and that career didn't work out. I then worked for different manufacturers in the region and started working in production at Wissota Tool in 2007. The company offers tuition reimbursement for employees that work full-time while going to school, so I enrolled in the Machine Tool program at CVTC and worked third shift while going to school. I was on the Dean's list as a student and was the recipient of the Haas award. I graduated from the program and now work as a Machinist on second shift.

    "Working at Wissota Tool is the best career move I have ever made. Motivation and determination helped me…

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  • Tony Duss

    Tony Duss

    Wissota Tool

    I started the Youth Apprentice Program as a Junior at North High School in Eau Claire. I was placed at Wissota Tool and started working there part-time through the Apprentice Program. I worked on manual mills and ran machines. After graduating high school, I continued to work at Wissota Tool and enrolled in the Machine Tool Program at CVTC. I began working full-time half-way through the program. I have received raises each step of the way. I graduated from the Machine Tool program in 2004 and have worked at Wissota Tool since 2000.

    "I finished technical college and was making a good salary when most of my friends were still in college. Even today, many of those…

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Success Story Videos

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