Manufacturing in the United States has changed dramatically, and our workers have become far more productive with the introduction of programmable machine tools. Employers in the manufacturing sector are eagerly looking for individuals who have the advanced manufacturing skills needed, and there is a shortage of individuals with these skills, both locally and nationally.
The skills required include interpreting engineering drawings, Computer Aided Drafting (CAD), machinist’s mathematics, milling, lathe operations, grinding, cutting, precision measurement, and CNC machine tool programming. Workers must be able to set up and complete a job from start to finish, from the engineering drawing to the finished product, and they must understand the manufacturing process.
To meet this demand and to provide our young people with a pathway to rewarding and highly paid careers, we have developed this new and exciting program. Students will learn and apply the skills needed to succeed in the advanced manufacturing industry or to continue their education on the post-secondary level. Students will learn using brand new, state of the art advanced manufacturing machine tools, including CNC lathes, CNC vertical mills, and CNC programming simulators. The very tools used by our students are found in manufacturing companies across the nation, and the skills learned are in high demand.
Local employers are deeply involved in developing and shaping this program, and they are committed to supporting it and the students enrolled. For example, industry mentors and internships are an important component of the program. Students will see how the skills learned are applied in the world of manufacturing, and their mentor will offer encouragement and an important link to a real manufacturing company.
Post secondary partners, such as SUNY Alfred, Jamestown Community College, and Erie Community College, have worked with us to develop our curriculum, and successful completers will earn substantial college credit while in high school. In this way, students are provided with a clear pathway to success in college and the workplace.
Advanced Manufacturing/Machining is a New York State Education Department approved Career and Technical Education program, and as such, students can earn a technical endorsement on their regents diploma and satisfy the requirements for the third units of Math and Science, and the fourth unit of English required for a Regents high school diploma. This program offers great opportunities to students who enjoy working with their hands and their minds, and they will become an important asset to our communities and economy.