Unemployment high, still most technical college grads find jobs

May 25, 2011

From WEAU-TV:  “Unemployment high, still most technical college grads find jobs” — Unemployment in Wisconsin peaked in 2009-2010, but a new report from the Wisconsin Technical College System shows a high percentage of its graduates continue to find jobs.

The Chippewa Valley Technical College attributes the students’ success to their technical skills and hands on learning experiences.

“The practicum experiences, the clinical experiences are giving those students applied experiences that prepare them for employment,” Vice President of Student Services at CVTC Margo Keys said.

After a slight job lull in 2009, more CVTC grads are finding work again. A 2010 graduate follow-up survey showed 91% of CVTC grads are employed. 86% are working in jobs related to their training and 85% work in Wisconsin.

“These institutions are funded by the local taxpayers and it’s good to know that those students are staying and working in the industry here,” Keys said.

Kim Carey and Culeen Hoehn are prime examples of successful graduates. Kim graduated in 2010 from CVTC with an accounting degree.

“They’re very on the job skill based so when you leave you’re up and running to be on the job site,” Kim Carey said.

Now she’s an accountant at Bolton Refuge House after spending six months searching for a job. “Every day I sent out thing and every day I looked through things,” Kim remembered.

Culeen’s a paralegal in Eau Claire. “I was actually doing my internship here my last semester and they hired me right on,” Culeen Hoehn said. It’s a job she says her classes thoroughly prepared her for. “It’s like you’re thrown into a law office setting without being in a law office. You’re drafting the documents. You have deadlines,” Culeen said.

Both say in these tough economic times a job is a valuable thing. They say their educations made it happen. “I feel fortunate and lucky to have a job myself, to be able to support my family and my kids,” Culeen said. “Of the students that I was in class with, all of them I know, found jobs,” Kim added.

Margo Keys with Chippewa Valley Technical College says students pay roughly $126 a credit and their programs run two years or less.

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