Richard Wetstein graduated Cum Laude from Ranken Technical College’s Electrical Division in December 2019 with a degree in Controls Systems Technology (CST).  He immediately found employment with Coca-Cola North America at the independently owned bottling and packaging plant in Truesdale, Missouri. Adam Wetstein, Richard’s brother, is also a Ranken alum from the same division, holding a degree in Electrical Systems Design Technology.

The growing CST program requires extremely precise and detailed measurements with advanced instruments. Ranken instructor Gene Island enthused about Rich, saying “he did well with both theory and hands-on type material. He was always prepared and ready to learn more. Rich was the type of student that makes teaching fun.”

Working in Maintenance at Coca-Cola North America, Richard was equally impressive.  His direct manager, Mr. Zacarias, comments on his transition to the workplace, telling us, “he has done a great job closing the gap from school training and real-life troubleshooting. . . Richard has done a great job filling in during emergency situations. He was able to identify complex problems using the knowledge learned [at Ranken].”

At the plant, Richard adjusts and troubleshoots highly complicated, automated equipment including labelers, case packers, wrappers and Honeywell palletizers. Rich’s manager, Duane Freels, emphasizes that he is “very happy with his performance” and looks forward to helping him grow within the organization. Coca-Cola North America regularly hires Ranken graduates, and there are currently nine other alumni at the plant working with Richard. The Coca-Cola Foundation has even stepped forward to support Ranken’s students, generously establishing a scholarship at the college in 2019.

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