Former Student: Jenna Schreur
Current Position: Pre-Pharmacy Student - Ferris State University
"Careerline Tech Center provided me with a jump start into what I want to do for a career.
I graduated from Wavecrest Career Academy in Holland and completed CareerlineTech Center's Pharmacy Tech program in 2007. I'm now in the honors program at Ferris State University, enrolled as a full-time student in the two-year pre-pharmacy program. Upon completion, I plan to enroll for an additional four years and earn a doctorate in pharmacy degree.
At Careerline Tech Center, I learned all about the pharmaceutical industry: existing medications and their uses, pharmacy law and ethics, drug research, and patient/customer relations. I also had the opportunity to gain on-the-job experience working in a local pharmacy. A lot of kids in my class were offered jobs before they even completed the program. It's not an easy class. It takes a lot of work but can lead to great job opportunities."
Former Student: Katie Berens
Current Position: Customer Service Representative, Citizens Bank
"Careerline Tech Center was my saving grace in high school.
When I was in high school, I had a hard time sitting still and focusing on my school work. I decided to enroll in Careerline Tech Center's Accounting program my junior year to try something different...and it was different. I got hands-on training and learned skills that apply to the real world. I liked my class at Tech so much I enrolled for a second year and graduated from my high school with honors.
While at Tech Center, I earned 26 credits towards college which saved me a lot of money when I decided to enroll at Baker College. I spent two years at Baker and earned an associate's degree in accounting."
Former Student: Brad Westhouse
Current Position: Head of Grounds, Ottawa Area Intermediate School District
"The training I received at Careerline Tech Center led to my job with the Intermediate School District which I've had since graduation from high school.
I'm Brad Westhouse and I completed the Building Services program at Careerline Tech Center in 1996. I've always enjoyed being outside and had a hard time sitting at a desk in school all day. At Tech Center, the learning was different. I learned to fix equipment, do maintenance projects, and take care of the grounds. Class was never boring!
As part of the program, I gained work experience with the Ottawa Area ISD buildings and grounds department which turned into a full-time job after I graduated from high school. Today, I'm the lead groundskeeper for the ISD."
Former Student: Jeff VanHuis
Current Position: Industrial Arts Teacher & Baseball Coach, Zeeland West High School
"Careerline Tech Center created ideas for career opportunities and directed me toward my future after high school.
I'm Jeff VanHuis and I completed the Manufacturing Technology program at Careerline Tech Center in 1999. Through this program, I earned college credit while still in high school and saved on college tuition costs. I applied those credits at Ferris State University and earned an associate's degree in manufacturing tooling technology and a bachelor's degree in technical education. I have since earned a masters degree in education leadership from Grand Valley State University.
Today, I teach metals, drafting, CADD, and architectural drafting at Zeeland West High School and I am also the head baseball coach. I am very passionate about the value of career/technical education. I serve as an advisory committee member for Careerline Tech Center's Precision Machining program, maintaining a relationship with the staff that began almost ten years ago.
Often times, students go to college and it's after a couple of years when they really discover what they want to do for a career. Careerline Tech Center staff helped me discover my career path before I graduated from high school. I still use the skills I learned at Tech Center every day."
Former Student: Brad Walters
Current Position: EMT Specialist, ProMed Professional Med Team
"The Emergency Medical Services class prepared me to take the national registry exam for my EMT license.
I'm Brad Walters and I completed the Emergency Medical Services program at Careerline Tech Center in 2006. I'm currently attending Baker College to become a paramedic.
Tech Center class was amazing. We learned emergency medical care, patient assessment, trauma care, and operations/disaster management. I received certifications in CPR and emergency first aid. The class included work experiences in a hospital emergency room and an ambulance. We visited the beach to learn beach rescue and an aero-med base to learn evacuation procedures. In addition, I earned college credit while at the Tech Center which saved me $6,000-$8,000.
Life as an EMT is never boring. In the last year, I've tended to a variety of medical emergencies and a processional for a fallen soldier who fought in Iraq. I greatly enjoy my job and Careerline Tech Center prepared me well."
Former Student: Dennis Podein
Current Position: Manufacturing Supervisor, Siemens Water Technologies
"I took the welding class at Careerline Tech Center, not knowing it would lead to a career.
I'm Dennis Podein and I've worked in the welding field for 24 years. I attended Careerline Tech Center's Welding program for two years while I was in high school. Jobs were hard to come by at the time that I graduated, but Tiara Yachts hired me right away because of my Tech Center training and the recommendation by my teachers.
During a recent training event in Cincinnati, Ohio, I had the opportunity to meet with the president of the American Welding Society who predicted a shortage of nearly 200,000 welders in the next five years.
Careerline Tech Center is well known for providing high quality education. If students are looking for a career with potential, look into welding. It's challenging, enjoyable, and often times lucrative."
Former Student: Rachel Reuterdahl
Current Position: RN, North Ottawa Community Hospital
"I love what I do...it's my passion and I got my start at Careerline Tech Center.
I completed the Health Careers program at Careerline Tech Center in 1989 and received the training I needed to start my career. As part of the training, I participated in a job shadow while in high school. That meant I got to spend a day with a nurse on the birthing unit of the hospital where I currently work. I actually was there for the birth of a baby.
The Tech Center program prepared me to take the Nurse Aide certification test. I began work as a nurse aide at North Ottawa Community Hospital and have since earned an associate's degree in nursing from Grand Rapids Community College and a bachelor's degree from Grand Valley State University.
Today, I'm a registered nurse on the obstetrics floor at North Ottawa Community Hospital. I'm also a mentor to current Tech Center students who may end up following the same path I did."
Former Student: Katie Brenner
Current Position: Bakery Manager, Zeeland Family Fare
"I'm really glad I went to the Tech Center when I was in high school.
I learned all about the baking industry. The training covered everything that's done in a bakery business. The learning lab is set up with different stations for cake decorating, packaging, various baking areas, and customer service. There is an actual bakery at the Tech Center which is run by students and open to the public for shopping. Students gain real-world experience that they take with them when they graduate."
Former Student: Randy Bouwkamp
Current Position: Owner, Bouwkamp Builders
"Teachers and staff at the Tech Center have a great way with kids.
I'm Randy Bouwkamp. Back in 1981, I completed the two year Building Trades program at Careerline Tech Center. It was a great experience for me which has translated into a great career. In the Building Trades program, I learned how to build a house...hands-on, at an actual building site. It was an incredible learning experience while I was still in high school.
Four years after I graduated from high school, I started my own company, Bouwkamp Builders. The business has really grown over the years and we now build up to 40 homes each year and do custom home building and designing. Recently, we've moved into building resort properties.
For the past ten years, I have served as an advisory board member to the Building Trades program at Careerline Tech Center. I like the idea of helping to prepare future home builders just like previous advisors helped prepare me."
Former Student: Russ Borst
Current Position: Vice-President of Service, Hurst Mechanical
"Careerline Tech Center gave me a foundation for the future.
I'm Russ Borst and I completed the two year Heating/Ventilation/AC/Refrigeration program at Careerline Tech Center in 1986. Following graduation from high school, I attended Ferris State University where I earned a bachelor's degree in HVACR Engineering Technology.
As Vice-President of Service at Hurst Mechanical, I get to work with dozens of HVACR technicians and salespeople throughout West Michigan. The education and guidance I received at Tech Center was invaluable.
In October, I began serving as Chairman of MSCA (Mechanics Service Contractors of America) and currently serve as an advisory board member to the HVACR program at the Tech Center. I would highly recommend Tech Center to any student who wants a head start on a career."
Former Student: Brian Bartels
Current Position: LKQ of West Michigan
"I really enjoyed my class at Careerline Tech Center.
Growing up, I always liked working on cars, so I decided to go to Careerline Tech Center. I spent two years in the Auto Body Repair program. The classes at Careerline Tech Center are fun...and you also learn a lot. I repaired and painted numerous vehicles and completed damage estimates. It's a great class for students who enjoy cars.
Today, I work at LKQ of West Michigan and serve as an advisory board member to the Auto Body Repair program."
Former Student: Josh Hoeksema
Current Position: Haworth Inn and Conference Center
"Everything I do at work, I learned at Tech Center.
I completed the Culinary Arts program at Careerline Tech Center in 2005. The instructors taught me the skills I needed to work as a sous chef in Jackson Hole, Wyoming before settling in West Michigan.
Careerline Tech Center is where it all started for me. Currently, I'm attending the culinary program at Grand Rapids Community College and working at the Haworth Inn and Conference Center catering wedding receptions, conventions, and conferences. It's interesting...the kids who attended the Tech Center Culinary program stand out more in my college classes because they already have most of the kitchen skills others are just learning.
After I receive my associate's degree, I plan to attend Ferris State University for a bachelor's degree in management."
Former Student: Jeff Hoogewind
Current Position: Cadet with the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office and Building Security Specialist at Grand Valley State University
"Careerline Tech Center helped me build skills and increase my market value for jobs in the criminal justice field.
I'm Jeff Hoogewind and I completed the Public Safety & Security Services program at Careerline Tech Center in 2006. At Tech Center, the curriculum was very comprehensive and covered law enforcement, the criminal justice system, and private security.
Currently, I'm a full-time student at Grand Valley State University pursuing a four-year degree in criminal justice. At GVSU, I find that the classes I'm taking are an extension of the basics that I learned at Tech.
In addition to being a college student, I am employed as a cadet for the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department and as a Building Security Specialist for Grand Valley State University's Department of Public Safety. Both jobs give me the opportunity to experience the public safety and security field first-hand.
Former Student: Bill Nederhood
Current Position: Shop Supervisor, Michigan CAT
"The instructors at Careerline Tech Center are passionate about teaching students.
As part of my two-year training in the Diesel/Heavy Equipment Mechanics class at Careerline Tech Center, I earned a co-op position with Michigan Caterpillar in Grand Rapids. After graduating from high school, I was hired by Michigan Caterpillar as a full-time employee. I worked as a heavy equipment technician for a few years before being promoted to my current job as a shop supervisor where I manage about a dozen technicians.
Tech Center teachers gave me my start. From co-op position to technician to supervisor, my Tech Center training provided me with the skills to succeed and I love what I'm doing. My advice to kids is to go to the Tech Center open house, find a career area that you think you'd like, and get started. You'll be glad you did."
Former Student: Andy Dahnke
Current Position: Associate Product Designer, American Seating
"It's taking less time to complete my college degree because of the college credit I earned through CareerlineTech Center while I was still in high school.
I'm Andy Dahnke and I am an associate product designer at American Seating in Grand Rapids. I completed the Engineering Design program at Careerline Tech Center in 2005 and went to work full-time after I graduated from high school.
A lot of what I do at work, I learned at Tech. I get two dimensional prints from the engineers and turn them into three dimensional models which is a large part of the curriculum in the Engineering Design program. Careerline Tech Center helped me get my foot in the door.
Currently, I'm in my last semester at Grand Rapids Community College and then I'll have my associate's degree in mechanical engineering."
Former Student: Kelsey Rue
Current Position: Surgical Assistant, West Michigan Oral & Maxillofacial
"I combined my interests with a Tech Center program and discovered a career.
I felt like I had my life in order when I graduated from high school and completed my Tech Center class. I'm Kelsey Rue and I was in the Dental Careers program in 2006/2007. I had great teachers who made a huge difference in my life and gave me the skills to be successful. I loved going to Tech Center every day.
Today, I'm a surgical assistant at West Michigan Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and I love what I do. We see patients every day needing help with everything from implants to jaw fractures to facial trauma. I started out working in my job as a part-time student while I was still in high school. When I completed my dental class and received my x-ray certification, I was hired full-time. By far, the best part of my job is helping other people."
Former Student: Jon Walters
Current Position: General Manager, Computers and More
"CareerlineTech Center provides a great opportunity to try out a career before investing a lot of time and money.
I'm Jon Walters and I completed the PC & Network Technology program in 2002. The program was never boring and the teacher was great. I learned so much about computer software and hardware.
While I was at Tech Center, I earned 12 credits toward Davenport University. My Tech Center class was excellent preparation for college. When I graduated from high school, I enrolled at Davenport and graduated with a business administration degree in computer information systems.
I would definitely recommend Careerline Tech Center to high school students. The experience you get there is incredible."
Former Student: Marisa Rakowski
Current Position: Wedding Coordinator/Consultant, Eastern Floral
"You can turn your Tech Center education into a life-long career, just like I did.
I'm Marisa Rakowski and I completed the Greenhouse/Floral Design program in 1994. What I discovered when I took my Tech Center class was that the possibilities are endless. I really enjoyed my class. The teachers were motivating and exciting.
After I graduated from high school, I enrolled at Michigan State University and earned an associate's degree in commercial floriculture with an emphasis on marketing and design. I worked at several places before opening my own floral business. After a few years, I found myself wanting to spend more time with my family so I sold the store and went to Eastern Floral where I work as a wedding coordinator/consultant. It's a great job...a huge responsibility, but I work with a great team. I still get to do all the things I learned at Tech like design work, retail, displays, and deliveries. There are hundreds of different ways in the floral industry to put smiles on people's faces."
Former Student: Matt Brott
Current Position: Journeyman Plumber, Macatawa Plumbing
"I'm making more money three years out of high school than I ever thought possible.
I'm Matt Brott and I completed the Plumbing program at Careerline Tech Center in 2004. I wanted to try something new so I decided to enroll at Tech Center. I chose the Plumbing program and soon found I really liked it and I was good at it.
I attended for a second year, my senior year of high school. During that year, I gained work experience at Macatawa Plumbing and received high school credit while I worked. That work experience turned into a full-time job after high school graduation.
Since then, I have taken and passed the journeyman's test and am a licensed plumber. Currently, I'm working on-site at a $3 million home being built in Zeeland. Every day is different and it's never boring. If I were talking with students about taking a Tech Center class, I would encourage them to try it. They might find more than a class...they may find a career."
Former Student: Travis Birce
Current Position: Electronic Technician, Egemin Automation
"The electronics instructor at Careerline Tech Center was the best teacher I ever had.
I'm Travis Birce and I was a student at Saugatuck High School when I decided to take a class at Tech Center. I chose the Electronics program.
During the second year of my program, I participated in a co-op experience at Egemin Automation. That meant I was out working four days a week at the company as part of the program and attended class at Tech Center one day a week. The co-op job turned into a full-time job at Egemin Automation when I graduated from high school. Now, I'm an electronics technician. I test and troubleshoot circuit boards and conduct power-up tests for automated guide vehicles.
Tech Center provided me with the training to get started on a great career. I would strongly recommend it to anyone who wants a great education."
Former Student: Taylor Raber
Current Position: Graphic Designer, Qonverge
"I earned college credit through my Tech Center class and received a bachelor's degree in less time.
I'm Taylor Raber and I completed the Visual Communications program in 2003. I had taken all the art classes at my high school and wanted something more in depth so I enrolled at Tech Center. The training at Tech was incredible. I used all the latest technology in graphic design and had the opportunity to work with actual clients. That gave me a huge advantage when I went to work for a company.
After high school graduation, I moved to Chicago and attended the Art Institute at Schaumberg. Since I had earned college credit through my Tech Center class while I was still in high school, it took me less time to earn my bachelor's degree in fine arts with a focus on visual communications.
Currently, I'm a graphic designer at Qonverge in Muskegon. I work on billboards, packaging, books, and corporate logos. The job is demanding but fun and Tech Center gave me the jump start I needed."
Former Student: Anna Miller
Current Position: Assistant Director, Room to Bloom Daycare
"The Early Childhood Careers program at Tech Center was amazing!
If you're interested in a career in early childhood education, get started by enrolling at Tech Center. The class and the teachers there provided me with one of the best experiences of my life. It's a tough class and you have to put a lot of time into it, but the rewards are worth it.
I'm Anna Miller and I completed the Early Childhood Careers program in 2003. I come from a family of Tech Center supporters. My brother took the Welding program, one sister was in the Cosmetology program, and the other sister in the Emergency Medical Services program.
Everything I do at work, I learned at Tech. Lesson planning, meeting with parents, observing children...I learned it all working with children at the Tech Center preschool.
After graduation, I attend Aquinas College and became the assistant director for the Room to Bloom Daycare which is run by Byron Center Public Schools. I have a lot of managerial duties but every now and then, I get to fill in for a teacher who is absent or help out other teachers with lesson plans. It's extremely rewarding work."
Former Student: Mark Looman
Current Position: Graphic Artist/Pre-press, Wynalda Printing
"My Tech Center class was the best education I ever received.
I completed the Printing/Graphic Arts class 18 years ago in 1989 and still use the skills I learned in class daily. I'm Mark Looman, and I work as a graphic artist/pre-press at Wynalda Printing. When I graduated from high school and completed my Printing program at the Tech Center I attended Ferris State University and received a degree in technical illustration. I've worked in a variety of places but really enjoy the pre-press work I'm doing now. I receive files and prepare them for plate-making and printing. A lot of the work I do is for the entertainment industry; like DVD covers for movies.
Today, I'm still active at Tech Center. I serve as an advisory committee member for the Printing program and help with the testing of students at the end of the year. The Printing/Graphic Arts teacher at Careerline Tech Center was one of the most influential people in my life...no exaggeration! That class and the teacher, who still teaches the class, are the reasons I have my career today."
Former Student: Matt Westrate
Current Position: Service Technician, Fillmore Equipment
"Tech Center has great classes with knowledgeable instructors who want the best for their students.
I attend Careerline Tech Center in 2002 and 2003. I took the Diesel Mechanics program the first year and the Heavy Equipment Mechanics program the following year. I was able to get a great co-op work experience with Michigan CAT which gave me the opportunity to apply what I learned in class. After I graduated from high school and completed my Tech Center programs, I attended Owens Community College and earned as associate's degree in science and engineering (diesel technology). I was then hired at Fillmore Equipment where I work as a service technician.
I really liked my classes at Careerline Tech Center. They were challenging, but rewarding. Careerline Tech Center gave me a head start, not only on college but on my career."
Former Student: Todd Wolters
Current Position: Owner, Wolters Electric Company
"The training I received at Careerline Tech helped me land my first job.
I'm Todd Wolters and I completed the Electrical program at Careerline Tech Center in 1983. Tech Center was a very valuable experience for me. With hands-on learning, the possibilities are endless.
After high school graduation, I worked in the electrical field for four years and earned the 8,000 hours required to take the journeyman's exam. After two more years in the electrical field, I earned the level of master electrician and received my contractor's license. At that time, I decided to start my own business. Today we are involved in commercial, industrial, and residential electrical applications.
When I'm looking to hire an electrician, I contact Careerline Tech Center. In fact, I currently have three or four employees who were Tech Center students. I know what to expect from the kids that go to Tech. I also serve on the advisory committee for the Electrical progarm and participate in advisory testing of students."
Former Student: Daryl Heyboer
Current Position: Marine Technician, Grand Isle Marina
"I received a scholarship from Careerline Tech Center and used it to attend the Marine Mechanic Institute in Florida.
I'm Daryl Heyboer and I graduated from high school in 2004. I attended Tech Center during my junior and senior years in high school and tool the Small Engine Repair program. Tech Center provides a great foundation for a future career.
After I completed my Tech Center class, I went to Orlando, Florida, to the Marine Mechanic Institute. I finished a 60-week program and came back to Michigan to find a job. I attended a boat show in Grand Rapids, handed out some resumes, and received five job offers. Those offers came, in part, because of the training I received at Careerline Tech Center and in Florida. I went to work at Grand Isle Marina in Grand Haven as a marine technician.
In addition to the quality training I received at Careerline Tech, I learned the importance of attendance and attitude. While in school in Florida, I won a couple awards because of my work ethic. That's something instructors really stress at Tech."
Former Student: Melissa Bouwman
Current Position: Full-time Student, University of Southern California
"I discovered what I wanted to do for the rest of my life when I attended the Media Production program at Tech Center.
My teacher introduced me to the wonders of black and white photography, video production, and sound editing, and I never look back. After high school, I studied media production at Grand Valley State University and spent a few years teaching at Tech Center before taking a faculty position at GVSU.
I'm currently a full-time student at the University of Southern California. A Javits Fellowship, which is a government program, is paying for all my graduate studies and provides a living stipend of $30,000.00 a year. My long term goal is to land a tenured position at the university level.
And it all started with a Tech Center class."
Former Student: Michael Lehner
Current Position: Full-time Student, Davenport University
"I earned 40 college credits through my Tech Center class.
I'm Michael Lehner and I graduated from Coopersville High School in June 2007. I had taken some computer classes at my high school but wanted more in-depth information, so I enrolled in the Computer Information Systems program at Careerline Tech Center. The next year, that program changed to PC & Network Technologies and another program was added called Web Technologies. I chose the Web Technologies program and both classes were great. I liked the teachers and really liked the fact that everyone could get individualized instruction.
Today, I'm a full-time student at Davenport University studying for a double major in computer networking and network security. The college credit I earned at Tech has saved me a lot of time and money in college. I also received about $225.00 worth of certifications in my Tech Center classes. That's incredibly valuable."
Former Students: Kiesha Schmid and Amy Armock
Current Position: Owners, Elements Hair Design
"You really should check out Careerline Tech Center...it's a great experience.
I'm Kiesha Schmid and I completed the Cosmetology program at Careerline Tech Center in 1992. While at Tech, I became friends with Amy Armock, also a former Tech Center student. Together, we opened our own hair salon, Elements of Design, in Grand Rapids. Like Amy, I always knew I wanted to be a stylist and own a business.
After working in a couple of salons, the perfect opportunity opened for us to buy our own business. We've been in business for seven years now and have five employees. We recently took our staff to New York for a hair show and have plans to travel to Las Vegas in a few months.
Our Tech Center education got us started. It's a tremendous value and the teachers are awesome. We recognize the value of my education, so whenever we are looking to hire new employees, we talk to staff at Tech Center first."
Former Student: Matt Reed
Current Position: Owner, Euro Tech of Holland
"Since I was 9 years old, I've known what I wanted to do and Tech Center helped prepare me.
I'm Matt Reed and I completed the Auto Mechanics program in 1996. I had a hard time sitting still in a regular academic setting and needed to take a class with hands-on training. I always had an interest in cars and worked on them in my spare time. That's why I decided to take the Auto Mechanics program at Tech.
It was a two year program, and when I completed it I got a full-time job and worked for a few years until I had the opportunity to start my own business. Today, I have several technicians working for me servicing cars and specializing in European cars.
Careerline Tech Center provided me with a good education in the automotive field. While enrolled in the program, I had the opportunity to earn State of Michigan certifications. It's a great experience for kids...gets them working early."