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Building Blocks to a Dream Career

Alumnus Jackson Shaw paved his own path to his career, and it is a pathway that is growing in popularity at Western Colorado Community College.  

Like many young adults, Shaw felt lost and unsure of what he wanted to do after high school. He decided to acquire a trade. He enrolled at WCCC in the welding program and later the machining program. While learning how these skills, Shaw also learned something about himself — his love for engineering.

Once Jackson found his passion, he immediately enrolled in the CMU CU Boulder Engineering Partnership Program to study mechanical engineering. While at CMU, Shaw grew his knowledge base. His bachelor's degree, paired with his welding and machining experience from WCCC, prepared Shaw for his career.

Following graduation, he was hired as the operational leader for the Denver-based company Prescient. In addition to his engineering degree, he’s using his WCCC machining and welding degrees, and the life skills he learned during those courses to help guide others within the company. Shaw’s education taught him not only the hard skills needed to do the job, but also soft skills like time management and interpersonal communication tactics.

“For anybody who is unsure of what they want to do or for someone wanting to learn a specific trade — go to WCCC. They’ve got some great teachers and professors and a great staff to lead students to their goals or lead them to possible positions in the future,” said Shaw. “I would not be where I am today without their leadership and guidance.”

Shaw is a premier example of the importance of having a variety of educational and career pathways to achieve success.


Written by Tyler Cotton