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Advanced CNC Training Graduates Skilled Workers

On Friday, March 7, 2014, MassMEP’s Workforce Strategies group graduated a class from their Advanced CNC Training program. This was the fifth training funded through the Massachusetts More Skilled Workers Program, a Department of Labor grant. The eleven graduates spent 8 weeks participating in an intensive classroom and hands-on curriculum to prepare for jobs as CNC operators. At the time of graduation, 6 of the 11 had already found jobs in manufacturing and the others are actively interviewing.

The graduates, family members, MassMEP employees, and guests from the Central Mass Workforce Investment Board, Workforce Central Career Center, Quinsigamond Community College, and Representative John Fernandes attended the ceremony.  

Ted Bauer, Manager of the Workforce Development Program, welcomed the audience and acknowledged his team, Leslie Parady, Lisa Oden, and trainer Matt Healy, for their dedication to the successful training program. He congratulated the students on having been chosen — for being the right fit — and challenged them to keep on learning and to give back.

"Represent us well. Our credibility is based on the actions and accomplishments of our trainees," Bauer said. "Be proud of what you have accomplished. People with your skills are not easy to find."

The Process Works
The success of the Advanced CNC training and its ability to help a group of 10-12 people, prepare to go out and get jobs, over and over again, proves that the process works. This encourages the state to continue funding these programs. Six from the class already had job offers by graduation.

Representative Fernandes presented the graduates with citations from the legislature and offered congratulations from Senator Moore, as well.  He thanked the graduates for being successful and challenged them to "go and create things!" Representative Fernandes is co-chair of the Legislative Caucus on Manufacturing, which is working to augment a resurgence of manufacturing in Massachusetts. He says that manufacturing is making a comeback, but people don’t realize this, especially parents of high school students who need to understand that today’s manufacturing provides great career opportunities for their kids. The caucus works on policy development to help make Massachusetts a more attractive place to operate a business.

Skills Training
Each graduate received their Pre Apprentice Certificate, Lean to Green Certificate, and an Advanced CNC Certificate from Worcester Polytechnic Institute for five weeks of intense training done in their Machine Technologies Lab. The group completed training in: shop math, blue print reading, metrology and inspection, CNC operation, MasterCAM, and more.  

Lisa Oden, Central Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board, helped the group prepare their career blueprint through resume writing assistance, professional development, interviewing skills, and teambuilding exercises. She also arranged a career fair to give students the opportunity to interview with local companies seeking employees with advanced machining skills. The fair resulted in many second interviews and job offers. Graduates also completed OSHA training and received their OSHA cards.

Finally, a Math Boot Camp taught by Quinsigamond Community College (QCC) prepared the class to take the Accuplacer exam which will assist in placement should they choose to continue their education at the college. This allows the graduates to turn "on the job hours" into credits toward their college degree.