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Tom Visintainer, Graduate
I use what I learned at Gateway every day. I love my job and my career.

Gateway helps graduate construct his future with new career

It took an expanded role in Tom Visintainer's former career to help him see a clear future for his next.

After earning his Gateway Architectural - Structural Engineering associate degree, what Tom sees now is much different than what he was looking at a year ago. He feels his newfound role is a perfect fit for him and he’s happy.

"Last February, I was staring at a gray wall. I didn’t like my job or my outlook," says Tom. “Right now, at my desk, I have a beautiful view of Kenosha Harbor, and I'm at a job that I absolutely love.

"The view has gotten way better, as has my job. My job responsibilities are awesome, and I couldn’t have done it without Gateway. Gateway helped me to get where I am today."

The college helped Tom in his first career and became the catalyst to enter his second. As a high-schooler taking Gateway credits, he gained the skills to enter his first career, manufacturing.

His former employer contracted with Gateway’s Business and Workforce Solutions team to provide professional development training for their workers. Because of that effort, Tom realized his dream of becoming an architect. Tom’s employer encouraged him to consider those career goals and asked him to produce some CAD drawings for a planned expansion of one of their buildings.

"We were expanding the building and I was using my CAD experience as part of that. At some point, I realized that’s really what I wanted to do," says Tom. "I knew I needed a degree to get into this field and I knew I had to earn it at Gateway. That professional development lit the fire under me to consider my options."

He says his previous Gateway experience helped him earn his degree, and his work in manufacturing also helped him to broaden his knowledge of the structures he would be soon designing.

He says he enjoyed Gateway's atmosphere, the knowledge of the instructors and the resources and training equipment available to students.

"It's an amazing place to be in and learn in," says Tom. "The instructors have a great teaching style. My program instructors were easy to work with and challenge you if you want to go the extra step."

Tom particularly enjoyed and benefited from the college’s Fab Lab, located in its SC Johnson iMET Center. "The Fab Lab has something for everyone, no matter the program. I could go there and work on new designs and use it to figure out other concepts in my classes. I think it’s a resource everyone should know about."

Tom also benefited from Gateway's Promise 2 Finish program, a scholarship that helps students who've earned some college credit to return and earn a degree tuition-free.

How about the decision to change? Tom says he’s never felt happier about his career. Gateway provided him with the initial spark of an idea to return and the subsequent training to succeed in the industry.

"I use what I learned at Gateway every day. I love my job and my career."