John Petri

As an avionics technician in the U.S. Marine Corps, John Petri worked on Harrier jump jets, which take off vertically, like a helicopter. He believes that the discipline, knowledge, and work ethic he developed in the military are an important part of his success in the automation robotics program at Hennepin Technical College and in the workforce.  

“It’s another skill set I brought to my job,” says Petri, who enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps after graduating from high school in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. He was deployed to southwest Asia twice in his five years as a Marine, serving with a Marine Expeditionary Unit. After leaving the military, Petri explored career training opportunities and believed that HTC’s automation robotics program would fit with his strong background in electronics. He was right.   

“I had a job lined up before graduation,” says Petri, adding that it was through an HTC connection that he landed a position with MGS Machines in Maple Grove, in December 2012.  The job as an assembly technician was exactly what he was hoping for to start his career. MGS Machines builds custom automated machinery to meet customers’ specifications. Petri says his HTC training prepared him for success on the job. In addition to earning his A.A.S. degree, Petri completed requirements to become FANUC certified. A longtime leader in Automation Robotics Engineering Technology (ARET) training, HTC was the first technical college in Minnesota to be certified as an official training and education site for FANUC Robotics Material Handling Program Software.

John Petri

“The program provided great hands-on experience, and I liked the fact that if you’re good at something, then you could work ahead of the regular pace,” says Petri, who graduated from HTC with a 4.0 grade point average. Petri was very involved in college activities, including serving as president of the Veterans’ Student Organization. He was selected to participate in a Beyond The Yellow Ribbon ceremony attended by Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton honoring HTC and other organizations for support of veterans and their families. HTC has Veterans Resource Centers at its campuses in Brooklyn Park and Eden Prairie.   

Now Petri is continuing his education to earn a bachelor’s degree in manufacturing management through the 2+2 program, HTC’s articulation agreement with the University of Minnesota – Crookston. Petri attends one residency course per semester at HTC, and the rest of his classes are completed online. He hopes to complete his degree in May 2015. Petri and his family live in Maple Grove, just minutes from his work at MGS Machines.

At HTC, John Petri found career training in automation robotics and also a sense of belonging. Adding that to the skills he developed as a Marine made it the right combination for success. 

Last updated by jhanson : 2015-02-22 11:13:39