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Advancing his career

High-schooler begins college coursework, lands job before even graduating

Jarrin Ramig

Jarrin Ramig knew by age 10 what he wanted to do for a living.

He began living out that career before he even graduated from high school.

Jarrin was 8 years old when his father showed him the inner workings of the manufacturing facility where he worked as a computer numeric control operator. One look at the facility’s robotics and production lines and Jarrin was hooked. He knew some day he’d work in a similar facility doing similar work.

Jarrin began that career before his 18th birthday. Earning college credits from Gateway while in high school provided him the skills to land a position at a local plastics corporation. He’s graduating from Union Grove High School in June 2019, but has already earned at least 12 credits toward a Gateway Advanced Manufacturing degree.

“These classes have been a great stepping stone for me,” said Jarrin. “When I get to college, I’ll have half of a year of my degree already done. Since I didn’t pay for those classes, I’ll be saving money. I’ll end up having to pay only about $6,000 to earn my degree for a career field where I can earn $60,000 to $80,000.

“That’s a great investment of my time and money.”

Jarrin’s work was so strong that his employer even asked him to work on a special project to solve a production problem. He engineered a fix – under budget – and it’s used there today.

Earning credits in high school helps him in at least three ways: He will save about $2,800 in tuition, books and supplies; he’ll be able to finish his degree quicker, and enter his career quicker; he’s already able to work in the field, further connecting what he does in the classroom to the working world.

Jarrin spoke with his high school counselor about the Gateway courses and enjoyed them from the start. “I was so excited and thankful that I could start taking those classes in high school,” says Jarrin.

“These classes have been a great stepping stone for me. When I get to college, I’ll have half of a year of my degree already done … That’s a great investment of my time and money.”

- Jarrin Ramig

He took classes at his high school in the morning, then traveled to Gateway’s SC Johnson iMET Center in the afternoon to take his college courses and then went on to work. He also went through a Youth Apprenticeship program with Gateway and his high school, Union Grove High School, as well.

Jarrin says his favorite class to take has been robotics.

“I finished that class two months ahead of time. It just clicked with me. I love the idea of working with robots. I also feel I now have a real-world skill I can use in a career and will help me to land a job – how many people do you know can operate a robot? Probably not many. But, when you look at, how many businesses need people who can operate a robot? A lot.”