Alumni & Friends
We want to know what you’re doing, where you are working, and if you’ve furthered your education. Updating your contact information and supporting current Withlacoochee Technical College students are just some of the ways you can stay in touch with us.
If you have found employment, joined the military, or are furthering your education, please let us know.
Desiree Harmon graduated from WTC’s Industrial Maintenance and Machinery Repair (IMMR) program in May 2014 and started working for CEMEX June 5th of that same year. Because of her experience and education, she started out as a Class B Maintenance Mechanic and quickly moved up to the position of Preventive Maintenance Mechanic. Desiree is now a Maintenance Planner for CEMEX, focusing on outage work and special projects. In addition, she provides equipment task training to contractors including man lifts and forklifts. Her roles include mechanical contractor supervisor as well as an on-call plant maintenance supervisor.
Desiree was drawn to the IMMR program because she already had several years of experience as a welder and fitter in the field. The traveling required for work became too much for this young mother and she was ready to stay home with her family. Realizing that she needed additional training to build the skills foundation that would lead to the employment stability she needed, and with the encouragement of her father (a pipe welder through Union Local 123), she signed up for IMMR.
As a woman working in a traditionally male-dominated field, Desiree has never felt like being female stood in the way of achieving her goals. She believes her upbringing, attitude, and reliability are the primary characteristics she possesses that have helped her be successful.
“I was taught as I was growing up, that I could be anything that I wanted to be. If I wanted to be a welder that was okay. If I wanted to be a mechanic it was okay. I feel that I am non-threatening to the crew and express myself in that manner. I attempt to make myself as available as possible and help everyone as much as I can. When I tell someone that I am going to do something, I do it. I don't just talk about it. I do everything that I can to make it happen.”
One of the most relevant lessons Desiree learned in the IMMR program is the importance of documenting information from tasks, applying reading and writing skills to trade skills. Desiree knows this is one of the most notable contributing factors to achieving her current position with CEMEX. While in the program, she also learned to perform dial indicator alignments, a skill that gave her a start as a Class B Mechanic.
“The education I received at WTC has really contributed a lot to my career in the short period it has been since I completed the course. It provided me with an edge that not everyone has. My main reason for wanting to further my education was to provide for my children. Being a single mom is tough and going to school was tough, but it was well worth it. I would encourage anyone that is interested in furthering their education, to research a program at WTC. I had experience in my field of choice, but WTC provided me with the formal training that I needed to give me an edge.”
When Desiree is not working at the job she loves and does so well, she enjoys hunting, bass fishing, and riding out in the woods with her children and family.