11:24 AM

New associate dean of Manufacturing Technologies named

Carol Fontanez begins role in July

Mike Shiels, Carol Fontanez and Bob Novak

PEWAUKEE, Wis. (Monday, July 2, 2018) – Waukesha County Technical College has promoted Carol Fontanez to the role of associate dean, Manufacturing Technologies, effective in July. She will replace outgoing associate dean and longtime instructor Robert Novak, who will retire in August.

In 2011, Fontanez joined the College as an instructional development specialist, working to coach and mentor faculty on curriculum design and support WCTC’s online tracking tool. In 2013, she moved into the role of project coordinator for a Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) grant in manufacturing. (TAA grants are designed to help workers obtain skills, credentials, resources and support to help them become re-employed if their jobs were affected by foreign imports or shift to another country.) Additionally, Fontanez worked to develop Blended Options programs, which are a form of accelerated in-class and online learning. In 2014, she was named coordinator of the School of Applied Technologies, continuing to work with the TAA grant along with other College-wide learning initiatives.

With a solid background of 18 years’ experience in manufacturing environments, Fontanez has a strong interest in and appreciation of the industry. She has worked in roles related to marketing, product development, continuous improvement of process and production, technical documentation and technical training at companies including Quad Tech, Amity Leather and Alliant Energies.

“Working in manufacturing organizations has been very fulfilling for me. I have deep respect for the skilled trades. My dad was journeyman machinist, and tool and die maker, so I grew up in a household where manufacturing and apprenticeship were very important. …. I remain passionate about manufacturing both because of the wonderful career potential and because I firmly believe that America wins when America manufactures!” she said.

Beyond the manufacturing sector, Fontanez has experience working as a certified personal coach, college instructor and consultant in the areas of career transition and employee development, learning strategies and talent acquisition. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Central Missouri State University, master’s degree from Alverno College, achieved a Lean/Six Sigma Green Belt certification, completed training with the Wisconsin Leadership Development Institute and is a certified professional coach.

In her role as associate dean, Fontanez said she is looking forward to working closely with students and instructors, and she hopes to expand the department.

“Students are the reason we are here. Faculty are on the front lines in terms of serving our students, so I want to support them in their work,” she said. “I would like to achieve continued growth and vitality in the Manufacturing department, and I also hope that I may be able to encourage more women to pursue careers in Manufacturing.”

WCTC offers numerous manufacturing programs -- including certificates and apprenticeships -- within the School of Applied Technologies, such as Automation Systems Technology, Machine Tool Operation, Metal Fabrication Welding and more.

About WCTC

About Waukesha County Technical College

Waukesha County Technical College, the leader in workforce development, prepares learners for success within the region and global economy. The college offers more than 170 areas of study including associate degree, technical diploma, apprenticeship and short-term certificate programs and customized training for employers. To learn more, visit