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Gage Koziol

Gage Kozial
Gage Koziol interviewed for his dream job, but he didn’t get it. He didn’t have the experience or the education the company wanted.

Disappointed, he decided that he would go back to school. Not sure where to begin, Koziol started exploring his options.

The Bourbonnais resident didn’t need to look far. He discovered he could get the training he needed at Kankakee Community College (KCC).

“I was working in a kitchen at retirement home, and I didn’t want to be there for the rest of my life,” said Koziol. “I found KCC offered a program in field I wanted to be in, and I enrolled immediately. That decision changed my life.”

Within six weeks of taking classes at KCC, Koziol earned a total of five, third party industry Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) certifications. With his new education on his résumé, he was able to obtain a job as a machine operator with Pactiv, one of the world’s largest manufacturers and distributors of food packaging and foodservice products.

Koziol was able to take advantage of the Workforce Investment Act program to enroll in more classes at KCC. However, while he was working full-time at Pactiv and going to school, the dream job at CSL Behring was open again. He interviewed for the union operator position, and this time around he got hired.

“Within seven months of starting my KCC education, I landed my dream job,” said Koziol. “I can’t wait to see how far my KCC education will take me.”

Mark Anderson, coordinator of KCC’s Manufacturing Technology program, describes Koziol as a straight “A” student who embraced the program.

“Gage is an excellent example of how the program leads to immediate employment,” said Anderson. “The opportunities within the manufacturing industry are available from numerous companies in the Kankakee area.”

Koziol is on the path to earn an A.A.S. in Manufacturing Technology at KCC. He also hopes to take advantage of the new articulation agreement with Governors State University (GSU) where he can transfer to earn a bachelor’s degree.