Napa Valley College: Designing a Future at NVC


In 2019, Nicholas Ebeling was adrift. After graduating from Napa High School in 2017, he knew he wanted to continue his education, but had no specialization or specific goals in mind. for a while, ”he says now. He spent two years working at a local speaker company, saving money for school. In the fall of 2019, he enrolled in Napa Valley College, he says, to begin his general education requirements and explore. “My brother went through digital design graphic technology [DDGT] program and he recommended it to me, “Ebeling says now.” I took the introductory course and liked it so much that I decided to go into the program more. “Two years and a dozen courses later, he graduated from NVC in May 2021 with an associate’s degree and several certificates, as well as a full-time job. The Department of Digital Design and Graphic Technology (DDGT) from NVC offers computer-assisted drawing courses [CAD], architecture, computer graphics and graphic design, solid modeling, animation, 3D printing and 3D scanning, using programs such as AutoCAD, Inventor, Revit Architecture, 3ds max, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Premiere and After Effects. , digital designers combine creativity and technical know-how to bring graphics, animations and other visual effects to life on a screen, in two-dimensional and three-dimensional views. “Our graduates leave us with cutting edge technical skills, and we pride ourselves on our record in work placement,” says Gary Strommen, instructor and coordinator of the DDGT program at CNV. “We have graduates employed in the fields of architecture. , engineering, multimedia and many other digital graphics technology professions. Many of our students also take four-year programs in related fields. “It’s not unusual,” says Strommen, “for employers to come to him looking for people with specific skills. One such investigation, by Kirk Brown of Napa, led to part-time employment for Ebeling while ‘He was completing the program, and in a full-time position after graduation with the local brown wood products company. As Ebeling puts it, he had taken on heavy class loads in his first semesters of school. college education, with a view to completing the program quickly. “So when Kirk came looking for a junior designer last fall, I had a lighter course load, so I had time to work. part-time, and Kirk said he liked what he saw on my resume, “he says. He started working with Brown in October 2020, doing CAD drawings and designing concept renderings and animations 3D to help customers fully visualize the finished project. ”This gives them confidence and comfort in seeing a more realistic representation of what they are ordering, ”says Ebeling. Brown’s company designs and manufactures custom doors, windows and cabinets, and is, according to Ebeling, the primary carpentry company for Thomas Keller. Since he started working full time for the company after graduation, Ebeling now spends time in the workshop creating his own designs, drawing on the carpentry skills he acquired as an Eagle Scout. Brown says. “Nick easily grasped building and construction techniques with close attention and defined attention to detail. He is able to generate precise drawings and details which are reviewed and approved by architects and contractors who often have many years of experience in the trades. I am grateful to Gary Strommen and Napa Valley College for the wonderful program they have and the skills they teach. I don’t know about this program, and that’s a shame, ”he says. “Right now the classes are small and you can spend a lot of time with the instructor, if you want. There is a high demand for graduates. Having the degree gives you a lot of versatility and you can take advantage of it. a lot of different ways. ”I’m a CAD designer who can do blueprints and fabrication drawings, as well as architectural drawings. At the moment, I work full time for Kirk Brown, but I also have other odd jobs that I do for others. I have an ongoing bathroom remodeling project, and I have also used my 3D printer to prototype models for other local businesses. work with Kirk Brown. Some of the more technical aspects of design, he says, like architectural drawings, require additional training and experience. Will he go back to school and continue his studies, acquiring more skills? “I’m pretty happy right now,” says Ebeling. “I’ve been commended for the work ethic and knowledge base I bring to the business. I’m engaged to be married in May of the next year and I love what I’m doing now. I’m a bit exhausted in school right now, but I will continue to learn and grow in this area. “

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