Danny Dziadula is working less than a mile from where he hoped he would retire from. Like many of his family members, Dziadula had a well-paying job at New Process Gear in East Syracuse. He started there in 1992 and stayed until the plant closed in August 2012. Thanks to a program at Onondaga Community College, Dziadula was able to begin his new career two-and-a-half years later at Inficon, a global company which provides world-class instruments for gas analysis. Its growing facility is just south of the shuttered New Process Gear factory off Fly Road in East Syracuse.
As New Process Gear was closing Dziadula learned about a retraining program at OCC thanks to the Trade Adjustment Act (TAA). The TAA provides support for workers who lost their jobs due to foreign trade and offers services in gaining the necessary knowledge and skills to obtain future employment. Dziadula met with Bob Tanchak, a professor in the Mechanical Technology department, and felt confident he could earn a degree. “He assured me that with my experience I would able to smoothly transition and be successful in the program.”
Dziadula began taking classes full time in January 2013. “The professors who are teaching you have been in the field working, and now they’re teaching us the skills they learned and really making our classes very hands on.” Dziadula graduated in December 2014 with his Mechanical Technology degree and soon after began applying for jobs. Through his OCC adviser, Steve White, he was connected with Inficon. He applied for a job and was hired one month later.
“The professors and advisers at OCC really want to help you even after you earn your degree. They want to place you into the workforce and show that their good students become good employees.” Dziadula’s previous work experience and new degree allowed him to find a new company to call home. “In this day and age you need a degree to succeed, and change is good.”