None of them came to Lorain County Community College knowing exactly what they wanted to do, but all three are leaving with on-the-job experience, endless opportunities for growth, and a more confident version of themselves. And a history-making degree.
Brandon Filker, DeAndre Lurry and Jared Dumont are the first three graduates of LCCC’s bachelor of applied science degree in microelectronic manufacturing (MEMS). It’s a class they never expected to be part of but know now it was the best career-building choice.
All three were enrolled in the college’s associate degree program in MEMS, which had launched in 2014. Then, in 2018, LCCC became the first community college to offer a bachelor’s in applied science degree in MEMS.
(left to right: Jared Dumont, DeAndre Lurry, Brandon Filker)
“I was going to be finished with school after my associate degree, but then I had the opportunity to be one of the first students in Ohio to be in the program, and I just had to do it,” Filker says. “Now I have so many opportunities to pursue a career locally in MEMS.”
Local job opportunities certainly are abundant. The MEMS program has 100 percent job placement for its graduates, in part because regional employers had a hand in designing it.
“This degree is tailored to what companies want,” Lurry says. “So you know you’re getting hands-on and direct skills to set you up for a career.”
And that experience gives local companies confidence, too, that graduates are prepared to enter a rapidly changing workforce. Lurry had an engineering technologist position waiting for him upon graduation. Filker, who had worked full time in MEMS-related positions during his entire education, received a job offer from Q-Lab Corporation in March. And after Dumont’s nephew connected him to a company that fabricates custom printed circuit boards, assemblies, and wire harnesses, Dumont interviewed and began working there the next week.
Dumont, Filker and Lurry are poised to be integral parts of the companies they work for and the entire industry as they blaze a new trail in MEMS education. And in trying something new, these three have learned not only new skills, but about themselves, their potential and their futures.
“I discovered the value of investing in myself,” Dumont says. “I’ve never been happier than I am these days and it’s in no small way because of this college and the opportunities it’s opened for me.”