Dave Krueger knows what it is to have to change careers in the midst of a changing economy. The Rockford man completed the Respiratory Care program at Rock Valley College this spring, graduating in May. He was valedictorian. The Rock River Times recently spoke with him about his accomplishment.
TRRT: How did you hear about the program? What sparked your interest in it?
Dave Krueger: I had worked in the respiratory care field about 20 years ago and did it for about a year-and-a-half or two years, and thought about going back. I was in the machine shop for 20 years and made good money. Then, I lost my job in 2009 when the economy took a dive and got into the Dislocated Worker program. They offered the Respiratory Care program. They paid for the whole thing — classes, books, uniforms, stethoscopes, scrubs, vaccinations I had to have. They’re paying for my exams, too.
TRRT: How long did it take to complete the course?
DK: It was two years for the Respiratory Care program, but I had to do the prerequisites first, so it was about three years total.
TRRT: Have you been placed in a job yet?
DK: No, I am in the process of taking my board exams to be licensed. I have applied a couple places, but haven’t been hired yet.
Krueger adds that “it was daunting to go back to school at 50 years of age, but I really rather enjoyed it.”
From the July 17-23, 2013, issue