Nicole Betts, a 2000 graduate of Ranken’s Industrial Electricity/Electronics (IE) and 2006 Cum Laude grad of our Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Program, is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Management.

Nicole says, “My career path began at Ameren when I graduated from Ranken.” Michael Pallarito, Supervisor of Facilities Maintenance and Construction at Ameren, says “Nicole is a valued employee who took advantage of opportunities with Ameren to further herself in every possible way. She began in an entry level position and steadily worked her way up in our Office Mechanics Program with a combination of traditional schooling and extensive on-the-job training that escalated her to a Level of Full Building Mechanic and a leadership role within the Facilities and Maintenance Department. This can only be done through hard work, dedication and a desire to succeed.”

Bill Layman, former Electrical instructor, explains “Nicole came to Ranken as one of the few female students in the Industrial Electricity/Electronics program. She was never intimidated by being in a typically male dominated program. Her work ethic was outstanding. She proved herself to be an excellent employee based on her knowledge, skills and attitude. I’m sure that she’s a respected and valued member of the maintenance team at Ameren. Nicole is one of the finest human beings you’ll ever meet. She’s a great example of what women can accomplish in the skilled trades and a great representative for Ranken and the importance of lifelong learning.”

Nicole says, “My Ranken career gave me the opportunity to achieve a lot of firsts for diversity. I graduated twice as the only female in the class and was the first female Maintenance Mechanic at Ameren. Without my IE degree, I would have never had the education requirements Ameren expected. My favorite memory of Ranken was having built a transformer backwards; it had way too many volts on the proto board. Leave it to me to innocently discover issues to keep students from killing themselves! Thank me later.”

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