Ron Evenson went from professional chef in Northwoods supper clubs to a career in manufacturing.
“I worked in the restaurant business for more than 30 years, ever since I was 13 years old,” Evenson said. “To tell you the truth, I just got burnt out on it. I advanced as far as I was going to go and decided it was time to do something different.”
Evenson enrolled in Nicolet’s Industrial Maintenance Fundamentals short-term training technical certificate program. He used that credential to ladder into the college’s two-year Industrial Maintenance Technician associate degree program.
“Without a doubt it’s one of the best moves I’ve ever made,” Evenson said.
Shortly after earning his Industrial Maintenance Fundamentals certificate he landed a job in the maintenance department at Drs. Foster and Smith in Rhinelander.
“It’s great to be able to apply what I learn in class to what I’m doing at work,” he said. “Things couldn’t be working out any better.”
Brigitte Kumbier, dean of Trade and Industry at Nicolet, said Evenson’s story is one of many where students have been successful starting new careers through the college’s Manufacturing program.
“It’s very exciting to see students get jobs and start new careers even before they graduate,” Kumbier said. “We’re finding employers are very supportive. They are offering flexible schedules so students can attend class to advance their skills.”
As for Evenson, when he completed his associate degree he planed to continue working at Drs. Foster and Smith.
“They’ve been really supportive of my education and they really want me to get my associate degree,” he said. “I like the job. It’s something different every day. The pay is good. I have benefits, and I have weekends off. I never had weekends off in my entire life working in the restaurant business.”