Cosmetology, welding, culinary arts, business–whatever the program, Moraine Park prides itself on employing industry-expert instructors. Joe Thurin, a Moraine Park CNC/Tool and Die Technologies instructor, left the industry for the opportunity to carry his expertise forward and educate the next generation of machinists.
Thurin, from Richfield, WI, turned down a scholarship opportunity to play Division II football after high school because he was eager to get into the trades.
“My love for the trades started in high school,” Thurin said. “Hartford Union High School had the resources to show me a career path for my future. From the machines they had in the labs to the design software they provided–my eyes were opened to a thriving career and endless opportunities in machining, design and engineering.”
Thurin attended Waukesha County Technical College after high school and received his two-year technical diploma in the Tool and Die program. Upon his graduation, he received scholarships from WE Energies and the Richfield Lions Club to continue his education. With nothing holding him back, Thurin enrolled in Moraine Park’s CNC/Tool and Die Technologies program.
“Coming from the industry, you didn’t always get the reward like training people gives you,” Thurin said. “In the industry, machines don’t talk. Machines don’t have feelings. My passion is my background in tool and die, so when I can pass that knowledge onto students, that is what drives me.”
He attended classes on Moraine Park’s West Bend Campus and graduated in 2003. While going to school, Thurin worked at Omega Tool and Behren’s Tool and Die during nights and in the summer. He continued his career at Behren’s Tool and Die for more than 15 years.
“Working part-time while in school provided me opportunities and gave me the hands-on experience I needed to see what direction I wanted to pursue in the field,” Thurin said. “I am deeply indebted to my Behren’s Tool and Die family for their support and training. I thank them for taking a chance on me and allowing me to grow into the man I am today.”
In 2017, Thurin left the industry when he was presented with the opportunity to teach in Moraine Park’s CNC/Tool and Die program.
“The moment I stepped back on Moraine Park’s campus for my interviews, I knew it was a fit for me,” Thurin said. “This was a 180-degree career change. I already understood the content and material, but figuring out how to deliver it to my students in a way they would absorb and retain was a huge learning curve.”
Thurin started his seventh year teaching at Moraine Park this fall.
“My favorite part of my job is passing on my passion and knowledge to the next generation of tool and die makers and machinists,” Thurin said. “It is about the students. I put my heart and soul into my classroom. It is the best feeling hearing all the success stories years later about where my students’ careers have taken them and the accomplishments they have achieved in this fast-paced industry.”
Moraine Park is a great place to learn and work! Explore MPTC career opportunities at morainepark.edu/jobs.