Elizabeth Harris was seeking a career change after two decades years as a tool machinist, finding herself unemployed when the company she worked for shut down because of the soft economy. Harris said the Non-Traditional Occupations provided her with the resources and direction to re-engage in her education.
The program provides participating students career exploration, career preparation, case management and job readiness services.
"I wasn't sure where to turn, coming back after 20 years – the people in the program told me it was OK, you are going to be just fine," she said. "They were able to help me, they were someone to talk to and find out which way to turn for any question I might have."
Elizabeth says she benefited by having access to much-needed scholarship opportunities and to connect with companies seeking non-traditional program graduates – of which Harris, a female engineering student, fit the bill perfectly.
"The thing that helped me most was the scholarships – they pointed me in the direction and encouraged me to apply," says Elizabeth.
Elizabeth is now a production technician at a Milwaukee company. She graduated from Gateway's Electrical Engineering Technician and Biomedical Engineering Technician programs.