“This is actually my third career.” That’s what HTC graduate Jane Gonzales says in describing the work she is doing after earning an A.A.S. degree in electronics technology from the college in 2013.
Gonzales already held a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Hamline University and had worked at Ecolab. Along the way, she got married, moved to California, and started working in the mortgage and real estate industry. Then she moved back to Minnesota, and just prior to enrolling at HTC, she had worked for a title company for eleven years. When she was laid off in November 2010, she was eligible for the Trade Adjustment Assistance program due to the fact that her former employer was moving jobs to India.
“I wanted to be more hands-on, so that’s the kind of training I was looking for,” says Gonzales, adding that her husband suggested she enroll in an electronics program. She took a tour of HTC and decided to pursue a degree in electronics technology. That was in January 2011. Some of the HTC course requirements were met by Hamline University credits Gonzales was able to transfer to HTC. That gave her time to take extra classes she was interested in, such as network essentials, as well as fluid power courses in programmable logic controls and pneumatic controls.
“I learned everything I could,” says Gonzales. “It was a big confidence booster and it really helped me at my job interview.” In addition, Gonzales had the opportunity to be a lab assistant, which she says really helped reinforce what she was learning. She liked the fact students could spend as much time as they wanted in the HTC labs, making it easier to work on whatever was challenging.
“The instructors are so encouraging,” emphasizes Gonzales. “They were always focused on your being prepared to get a job.” And that’s just what she did. Having seen a job posting at HTC, Gonzales applied for a position at Banner Engineering in Plymouth. In February 2013, Gonzales started putting her skills to work at the company, which is a leading manufacturer of photoelectric and ultrasonic sensors, indicator lights, vision sensors and vision lighting, electronic machine guarding systems, wireless networks, fiber optic assemblies and precision measurement systems.
As a test technician, Gonzales has gained experience in soldering, used her troubleshooting skills in electronics, and worked on documentation. Enjoying the challenge of a new career, Gonzales says, “The main thing about getting training at HTC is that employers realize, ‘OK, you’re trainable.’”
What would she tell others who are considering a new career? “Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone.” For Jane Gonzales, training at HTC set her on a new path to success.
Last updated by jlaabs : 2015-01-28 13:55:45