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  • From high school to a career

    SC4 leads Dan Zyrowski to career in robotics programming

    Dan Zyrowski

    Dan Zyrowski in 2011 was a Marine City High School graduate without solid career plans in mind.

    After less than a year of classes at SC4, the 19-year-old landed a full-time job that has him programming industrial robots.

    "I found something that I want to do for the rest of my life," he said.

    Zyrowski of East China Township works as a programmable logistics controller programmer at R&E Automated Systems in Macomb Township. His company makes robots for other companies. Zyrowski helps write the software those robots need to do the work.

    Jobs in science, technology, engineering and math are among the fastest growing in Michigan. Zyrowski studied in one of the 14 certificate and 19 associate degree programs SC4 offers in these fields.

    Robotics wasn't Zyrowski's first job choice. He initially took classes toward a certificate in industrial electronics. In that program he was introduced to robotics and his strong interest in robot programming was born.

    "Out of all of my classes, robotics was my favorite," he said.

    Zyrowski enjoyed not just the knowledgeable instructors but also the hands-on learning opportunities at SC4.

    "At universities, you cannot touch robots until your second or third year in the program," he said. "At SC4, I was able to work with them during my first semester."

    The skills Zyrowski learned at SC4 are in such demand he was hired at R&E even before finishing his SC4 electrical/industrial certificate program. He plans to return to college and finish the program. For now, Zyrowski said he's getting valuable on-the-job training that wouldn't have been possible without his SC4 classes.

    For example, the computer software he's using in his professional setting is the same that learned on while at SC4.

    "They gave me the knowledge I needed to know," he said of his time at SC4.

    While Zyrowski is enjoying the new challenges of the job, he's also soaking up other perks.

    Before he came to SC4, he was working manual labor jobs that didn't always have the best working conditions. Today, he's making the same amount of money while working fewer hours in an air conditioned environment with enthusiastic co-workers. And he's excited for the chance for advancement, and higher pay, as his skills grow.

    "This is an awesome opportunity," he said.