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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Maine Community College Expands Machining Program


Students at York County Community College will have the opportunity to take a one-year certificate or a two-year associate degree program in machining. Credit: YCCC.

Machining training programs around the country have been steadily improving offerings and increasing enrollment.

In an effort to bridge the skills gap and prepare students for career competitiveness, vocational schools, community colleges, and special training programs have been aggressively improving course offerings by obtaining new equipment and offering strengthened financial aid.

Sanford News reports that York County Community College (YCCC) has doubled its machining program for fall enrollment. The new machining facility in Sanford, Maine, will welcome 24 students, up from a planned 12, to work in its combined machining classroom and manufacturing laboratory. The program allows students to work hands on with conventional, manual machine tools, as well as advanced precision CNC machines.

The curriculum is designed to teach students machining and manufacturing fundamentals. Students can take a one-year certificate program, in which they study conventional machine tool operations and basic logistical skills, or a two-year associate degree program that covers the breadth of precision CNC machining.

The program may accept additional students in the spring semester, with plans to expand into nearby building space. Educator Bob Franklin, who heads YCCC’s machining program, told Sanford News that the school has an option to lease an additional 5,000 sq-ft of adjacent lab space. Once additional teachers are hired, space is made available, and more equipment is purchased, the school plans to broaden enrollment.

“We’ve got great hopes for this program,” Franklin told Sanford News. “We think we can [accommodate] over 100 students.”

Brian Lane

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