I wish people could really see what they could be doing with their lives—and the money they could be making—with just a two-year degree.
Cape Fear Community College Grad
Lead Manufacturing Engineer at GE Aviation
“Being able to look up in the sky and see a jet flying by, knowing it was because of me that that plane is in the air,” Quentin Sweeney confessed, “It’s an overwhelming sense of pride.”
Quentin never dreamed of becoming a machinist. In fact, until he learned about the computer integrated machining program at Cape Fear Community College, Quentin didn’t even know what a machinist was. Now, as lead manufacturing engineer at GE Aviation, he designs, develops and implements manufacturing processes for jet engine components—and can’t imagine a career doing anything else.
He had always been mechanically inclined and enjoyed working with his hands. So after only a semester in his raw materials class, Quentin was hooked. “I made a nut and a bolt—two of the most simple things a manufacturer can make. Taking this raw material and making it actually function together, I just thought it was the coolest thing in the world. It was very rewarding to me.”
Once he completed his degree at Cape Fear, Quentin transferred to East Carolina University for Industrial Engineering and landed a job with GE Aviation, a global leader in the industry. There, Quentin took advantage of the company’s tuition reimbursement program to go on and complete his bachelor’s degree in industrial technology at East Carolina University while continuing to work.
Six years later, Quentin has moved up at GE. Now he’s the one looking for qualified people to hire. “Right now, we’re offering jobs for people with a two-year degree and zero years of experience. You could potentially be making over $50,000 a year just starting out,” Quentin said. After seeing the growth potential that’s available in his field firsthand, Quentin is eager to let others know about the amazing opportunities for advancement it could hold for them too.