Lee Ranson excelled in math and science in high school, so engineering was a natural choice for a college major. At first, he wasn't sure which engineering field would be the best fit. Then he found Greenville Technical College's Mechanical Engineering Technology, and even though it meant traveling from Spartanburg, he felt the program was worth the drive.
Before he graduated, Duer/ Carolina Coil called the college, looking for a qualified MET student to fill a position. Today, Ranson, who completed the program last spring, is a process engineer.
Ranson is pleased that the MET program helped him reach his goal. "I like everything about my job," he said. "It's the field I wanted to go into and what I went to school for."
Greenville Technical College's classrooms are a place Ranson feels he received a good education with plenty of one-on-one attention. "The biggest class in the engineering department was six to 10 students, but my last class was even smaller," he said. "I was the only student taking machine design, so I sure couldn't miss class."
Soon he'll return to the classroom as Duer is paying him to further his education at Greenville Technical College. "They're sending me back for the electrical engineering program and for a black belt in Lean Six Sigma," he said. "So I'm just going to keep learning and keep on this path."
Dorrie Wagner has been putting in some overtime. Encouraged by her supervisor to go back to school and expand her skills, the Computer Dynamics employee enrolled in the Mechanical Engineering Technology program at Greenville Technical College in 2003. Soon she'll go from detailing drawings for the engineers to creating parts on her own.
A 13-year Navy veteran who was in her 40s when she enrolled, Wagner was nervous at first about going back to the classroom. The instructors, she said, paved her way. "The instructors are very helpful, very informative, and they help you fit in," she said. "They bend over backwards to help you learn the material."
Of all the material she has learned, Wagner said the solid works class, in which students learn to design in a 3D modeling program, was her favorite. "You take something from nothing and make it real," she said.
When Wagner graduates from Greenville Technical College in August, her studies will continue. She plans to transfer her credits as she works toward a bachelor's degree in Engineering Technology Management from USC Upstate through the University Center of Greenville at McAlister Square.
That goal means Wagner's days and nights will continue to be busy, as she works fulltime and carries a full course load. Reaching her goal will make the sacrifices worthwhile. "It takes a lot of dedication and hard work," she said. "It gets trying, but the end result will be well worth it."