Tom Foht says the company he works for hires Gateway Technical College graduates because they possess the skills and up-to-date knowledge needed to help the company thrive and meet the needs of its customers.
Tom, a senior associate at the Burlington office of Kapur & Associates Inc., likes hiring Gateway Civil Engineering Technology program grads because they meet the needs of the company’s workforce and possess drive, ability and a willingness to learn and apply new technologies as they develop.
“Their classroom and hands-on experiences are excellent,” says Tom. “They have the skillset for what we do at Kapur. These are fired-up workers, too – they really have a drive to excel and do well, which fits perfectly in our corporate culture.”
Kapur & Associates, Inc. is a multi-discipline consulting engineering firm with a corporate office on the northeast side of Milwaukee and branch offices in Burlington, Green Bay, Wausau and Chicago.
Kapur has hired several Gateway graduates and one of its surveyors has been an adjunct instructor in the college’s Engineering Technology programs.
Tom says Gateway graduates possess knowledge and background in a number of different software programs and technologies needed in today’s engineering industry, skills they learned as part of Gateway’s rigorous program. This helps the company to be more efficient and creative in its work with customers.
“They are very comfortable with computers and new technology – they don’t worry about learning new software or whatever else we ask them to do. That is something I see in Gateway graduates – the programs and instructors not only encourage students to be book smart, but they also teach them the latest technology. They give them the tools to be versatile and learn new methods and technology quickly.”
Gateway graduates work as engineering technicians at Kapur on projects in tandem with engineers on such things as 3-D modeling, lidar bas mapping and utility service designs. Much of the work is construction of roads and electric and gas service lines.
Tom says today’s engineering technicians increasingly are asked to perform more technical tasks than technicians of even a decade ago.
“The old school engineers did everything on paper. It was pure drafting. Now, software engineering technicians to do that. Our industry is very competitive, and engineering technicians help us to compete. The skills brought to our company by Gateway grads – those technical skills – help us to do so successfully.”
Tom says Gateway’s willingness to ask companies such as Kapur about which specific skills they require for their workforce – and then, subsequently, teach those skills – helps keep Gateway graduates in demand, too.
“A primary reason I like working with the Gateway staff is that, whenever they get a chance, they want to know our workforce needs. They know what we need when we hire and they make sure their program prepares grads for that – it would be easy to use the same curriculum and equipment for 10 years, but they don’t do that. They make sure their graduates are well-versed in today’s technology, the technology we use in industry.”