Promising job outlook awaits well-equipped Penn College grads

Pennsylvania College of Technology will potentially send more than 900 new employees into the job market this month, and the new graduates are poised for success with their workforce-ready skills and specialties.

“Demand for Penn College graduates remains high,” said Paul L. Starkey, vice president for academic affairs/provost. “Programs across campus are reporting graduates accepting employment offers at a rapid pace.”

According to the college’s Career Services office, 28 Fortune 500 companies participated in 54 on-campus recruiting events during the 2013-14 academic year.

The companies who came calling at Penn College’s doorstep include Caterpillar, PepsiCo, Honeywell International, Halliburton, Emerson Electric, Cummins, PPG Industries, Penske Automotive Group, Aramark, PPL, NRG Energy, Republic Services, Travel Centers of America, UGI, Ryder Systems, Erie Insurance Group, Kelly Services, Ford Motor, Lowe’s, Johnson Control, John Deere, Fluor, Gap, Toys R Us, Ashland, Oshkosh, Corning and Hershey.

Employers have regularly cited Penn College graduates’ enviable combination of technical skills and an outstanding general-education background.

The 2014 graduates will join other Penn College alumni in the workforce including members of the Class of 2013, who are already making their mark in their respective fields.

Timothy D. McMorrow, manufacturing engineering technology, is employed as an automation engineer at MakerBot, a global leader in desktop 3-D printing based in Brooklyn, N.Y.

“My education at Penn College enabled me to make things happen,” said McMorrow. “I think the biggest thing that stands out is the hands-on experience I gained there. Having the ability to make high-quality parts is paramount in designing a 3-D printer. Quickly turning around prototype parts and iterations, designing with manufacturability in mind, etc., are all things that Penn College made possible for me.”

More career possibilities are seen in the success of Sean P. Turnbach, welding and fabrication engineering technology who, along with classmate Robert J. Lamb, landed a job with John Deere in Moline, Ill.

“The job opportunities with that degree are amazing,” noted Turnbach, who had a full-time job offer in October of his senior year. “John Deere came to the college to recruit. I didn't have to go to them.”

As a manufacturing engineer, Turnbach says his favorite part of the job is “being creative and being able to help in production.” He added: “John Deere is a very good company. They treat their employees very well.”

Finding employment even farther across the country is Tyler D. Dickson, a paramedic technician alumnus who is working as a paramedic/firefighter for the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Dickson was previously employed as a Los Angeles firefighter/EMT, but when placed on furlough, he decided to advance his career and education by becoming a paramedic. During his leave, he researched and visited at least 20 paramedic programs across the country and chose Penn College after meeting its faculty and seeing its labs.

Following graduation, he worked as a paramedic at Evangelical Community Hospital in Lewisburg, but had always held the desire to return to California where, in addition to his prior role providing basic life support, he treats patients in an advanced life-support role.

“Words cannot express how happy I am to call myself a Penn College alumnus,” Dickson said. “Graduating from such a prestigious paramedic program was the greatest moment of my life, and I look back at the two years I spent on campus with pride and happiness. Being a paramedic alumnus from Penn College, I am now in a small group with some of the best paramedics this nation has to offer.”

Eyeing a career even farther afield is Karen J. Miller, a dental hygiene: health policy and administration concentration graduate.

“I’m definitely focused on working internationally as a health care professional,” said Miller, who has spent the past two summers working for a nonprofit organization in China. “I want to devote my life and time to underserved populations in Asia.”

Miller is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in international development at North Central University in Minneapolis and working part time as a health educator at the Community Dental Care Clinic in nearby St. Paul, Minn.

“Since I want to work overseas in a humanitarian effort, developing the dental profession, I believe this degree will greatly supplement my work,” she said.

Developing resources closer to home, Scott M. Ziegler, who earned degrees in heavy construction equipment: Caterpillar equipment emphasis and on-site power generation, is employed by MarkWest Energy Partners, a public midstream natural gas company. He works as a mechanic at its Bluestone Processing Facility in Evans City, Butler County.

“I had learned of this job while working as an intern at Cleveland Brothers Equipment Co.,” Ziegler explained. “During my time there, I had been to numerous compression stations and found a huge interest in the gas industry. I applied for the job at MarkWest, and the next day, I had an interview. This all happened in May 2013, and a few weeks after the semester ended, I began working at MarkWest.

“I returned to Penn College for the fall semester and still worked at MarkWest during that time when I could. After December commencement, I returned to MarkWest full time with a company-provided vehicle and all the tools I needed. I’m very successful financially and in a great position in my career with MarkWest.”

Like Ziegler, 2014 graduate Benjamin M. Schappell, who will serve as a commencement speaker, got his foot in a company’s door early and landed a job as an engineering technician at Andritz Inc., a global supplier of industrial equipment and services.

Earning a bachelor of science degree in computer aided product design, Schappell said he parlayed an internship with Andritz into a full-time job and was invited to Germany on a business trip to help with a global corporate project for the company.

“This job is directly related to my major, which makes it even more awesome,” Schappell said. “College worked.”

For more about spring 2014 commencement, visit www.pct.edu/commencement.

For more about Penn College, which is marking 100 years as an educational institution of national reputation throughout 2014, visit www.pct.edu, email admissions@pct.edu or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

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Last Updated May 16, 2014