I am approaching the 1000 hr mark in our reborn Precision Machining Education Program here at SCTI – Sarasota County Technical Institute. We had a clean palette to work. A brand new school building, brand new room so why not get all brand new equipment !! We were working with a grant that gave us a great start towards educating the local workforce into needed manufacturing jobs. So we made some great purchases.
I have just come from over 25 yrs experience working as a machinist. A CNC Machinist. When I entered the trade in 1984, I was working at an auto part store. I had bypassed a college career path. Then I met someone who was re-trained as a machinist. I always thought that tradesman jobs ( plumber, electrician, machinist) were in family owned companies or people who had gone to “trade or vocational” schools. There were no trades schools while I was in high school. No post secondary vocational schools, just college.
Anyway, that fellow I met told me about a training school called Boston Tooling and Machining Institute. I went over and they gave me a test and said that I had the aptitude. The school was full-time days so I had to quit my glorious auto parts job. After 500 hours of training on manual machining equipment I was sent to a new job, a new career.
So then in 1985, I started working in a machine shop , with CNC machinery. CNC …… what is that ? CNC = Computer Numerical Control. Computerized machining. Invented by MIT in the 1950’s. I didn’t see that in the school. But it’s all new to me anyway. It turned out I hit it at the right time to learn this new technology. Now after almost 30 years , the CNC machinist is the new normal.
1984 Matsuura CNC Machining Center Kitamura MyCenter
Now I have worked at many places from 2 man shops to a 3000 man defense contractor since then. I also noticed I have never been without a job and my pay jumped. I was reviewing my annual Social Security statements and noticed the increase after machinist school. Made a big difference. I now had a career. They even let me run a $950,000 machine !!
Mazak 5 Axis Mill-Turn Center Haas VF-6
Ok, now on with the story. I had this new chance to teach. It was close to my new home with the sand and surf. New school, new machines. Nice………………..
Now we jump ahead. I have been teaching this new class of raw students who are now getting a new chance to have a career like me. They are getting real close to the end but many successes. I wish I could have blogged the whole year but no better time to start but now, right? I will update our progress as we head to graduation day. Thanks !!