SARASOTA, May 27, 2015 — Students in the Precision Machining and CNC Automation program at Suncoast Technical College will be able to earn certificates that are prized in the precision machining and metalworking industry at no cost, thanks to a scholarship from the Gene Haas Foundation. The certificates are administered by the National Institute for Metalworking Skills.
Students in the program, which was launched in August 2013 in response to demand from local manufacturers, can earn certificates in such areas as safety, layout, milling, lathe work and CNC operation, setup and programming. CNC, which stands for computer numerical control, is a process in manufacturing that uses computers to control machine tools such as lathes, mills, routers and grinders. It is the current standard and equipment used in today’s modern machine shops. Manufacturers such as Sun Hydraulics and mold-making machine shops such as Atlantic Mold & Machining Corporation need tradesmen skilled in operating this equipment.
The Precision Machining and CNC Automation program at Suncoast is equipped with all new machinery, including Haas CNC equipment, and is an authorized Haas Technical Education Center. Thanks to the scholarship, students in the program can earn certificates in up to seven credential areas at no cost; earning all seven certificates normally would cost about $300 per student. Currently, 24 students in the STC Precision Machining program are working toward earning these certificates.
“These are very valuable credentials to have in the metalworking industry,” said Precision Machining Instructor Ed Doherty. “This is yet another reason why students come here to pursue what we like to call ‘A Career in a Year,’ with 100-percent job placement. With the CNC credential, for example, a student is certified to plan, program, set up, run and inspect an entire metalworking project from beginning to end.
“Many companies are looking to hire graduates with credentials like this, so receiving the scholarship is a big win for our program. We’re grateful to the Gene Haas Foundation for their generous support of the program and our students.”
The next class in the 1,200-hour program starts in August at the main campus of Suncoast Technical College (formerly SCTI), at 4748 Beneva Road (corner of Beneva and Proctor roads).
Scott Ferguson, Specialist