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Job offers before graduation

Scott Wetter won’t be graduating from WITC until December, but he has already has job offers.

(7/18/13): Scott Wetter won’t be graduating until December, but he has already had job offers as early as this past spring with the help of few handshakes made possible by a few (hundred) dollars from his college, Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College.  

In the past, Wetter says he bounced around between programs, manual labor and lower paying jobs, but he wanted to learn a skill and truly be compensated for it. He tried his hand at architectural drafting and electrical programs before finally settling on industrial maintenance at WITC-Superior.

“I found a niche here. It’s a very supportive environment. We’re always doing something different in class,” said Wetter.

It was while on a trip to Deer River, Minn., this past February that Wetter was engaged by the stories about the North Dakota oil fields and the opportunities it provided. He learned of a career fair coming up in Williston, N.D., the following month, but between family, work and school, he couldn’t spare the extra funds to attend.  After finding out his dilemma, staff pointed him to the WITC Dreamkeepers scholarship.

“They got me hooked-up with a scholarship to pay for the trip to get out there,” said Wetter.

With the scholarship, Wetter and two other WITC students were able to use the $500 to pay for the gas, hotel fees and food to make the trip a reality.

“It was insane out there, like Black Friday times two or three,” said Wetter, noting the mass amounts of laborers, skilled laborers and engineers from all over the country. The job fair hosted 75 employers with companies from throughout the country, too. Wetter stood in line with the rest of the prospects, who he says were mostly men. By the end of the day, he realized that the tables were turned.  He was the one looking for his prospective company. With potential for multiple offers, he would ultimately have the tough decision of which company to start his career with.

“There were all sorts of big players, Key Energy Services, Targa Resources, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway and Schlumberger.  One company offered to fly me out to Oklahoma for a job interview. You choose where you want to go,” said Wetter. “I got three positive phone calls back in the first three weeks after the job fair, anything from $18-22 an hour with full benefits and housing assistance.”

While Wetter would like to stay close to his family, which includes his wife Jessica and two kids ages five and eight, the draw to the oil fields is luring him.

 “I’m definitely going out to North Dakota, if something doesn’t work out locally,” said Wetter.  “The money out there is so hard to turn down and the education that you get out there. You work 12-16 hour days. It’s hard work out there. It’s exciting.”

Wetter feels his education and skills from WITC helped him impress his potential employers. He already knew the basics of how to work with pumps, hydraulics, electrical, welding and rigging.  

While Wetter’s short-term goal is graduating this December and landing the right position with a solid company, his long-term goals include financial responsibility and security.

“I want to start off on the right foot after graduation, so we’re not living paycheck to paycheck and    take care of student loans.”

He says his family is willing to help make the potential career in North Dakota work.

“There’s a wealth of opportunity out there. It’s great opportunity to get that experience. It’s a sacrifice, but well worth it.”

Special thanks:  Scott Wetter would like to thank his wife Jessica; his instructor Steve Miller, Kent Lundahl; his lab partner, Jake Moore and his wife; and Alison Stucke for their support.