Katie Crittenden graduated with a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Washington State University, having used the Milgard Windows and Doors education assistance program.

Crittenden started at Milgard in 2016 as a pultrusion-line operator and now works in receiving. She utilized Milgard’s education assistance program to earn an associate’s degree from Pierce College in Puyallup before taking online courses through Washington State’s Global Campus project.

Katie Crittenden

“I bet on myself and beat the odds,” says Crittenden, who, for a time, was a full-time student and full-time Milgard team member while raising her 5-year-old daughter. “I’m eternally grateful for all the support and encouragement along the way.”

Designed to help Milgard team members acquire new skills, the education assistance program covers up to $5,250 per year worth of college expenses.

“Working at Milgard while concurrently earning my degree has enhanced both experiences for me,” Crittenden says. “And since the program I was in was fully online, I was able to complete my coursework with minimal impact to my work schedule. When I did need to make adjustments or take time off for finals or undergraduate research conferences, Milgard worked with me to make it happen.”

Crittenden’s supervisor, Paul Kaufman, encouraged her schoolwork, knowing that Crittenden was learning valuable skills that would benefit both her and Milgard down the line.

“That’s what the education assistance program is all about,” Kaufman says. “We want driven people who are prepared to go back to school and use their coursework to propel themselves forward. Katie was definitely in that category; I’m excited to see what she accomplishes next.”

Crittenden is now prepping for her CPIM (Certified in Planning and Inventory Management) exam. She wants to further her study of supply chain management and continue to serve as a role model for her daughter.

“I started at Milgard right after she was born,” Crittenden says. “My decision to work at Milgard and to pursue higher education was in large part because of her.”

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