NECC Launches CNC Machine Tool Program
Northern Essex Community College is now recruiting students for its machine tool training program, which will begin Monday, April 13.
Developed with input from local employers, the 15-week program will cover the skills needed to operate computer numeric control (CNC) machines, preparing individuals for entry-level jobs in the region’s manufacturing sector. Graduates will be prepared to pass a national certification test.
Manufacturing is alive and well in the Merrimack Valley, said George Moriarty, executive director of NECC’s Center for Corporate and Community Education. “After decades of decline, manufacturing is now one of the strongest sectors in the region’s economy. In addition to large, well-known companies such as Raytheon and New Balance, the region boasts small-to-medium sized companies such as Magellan Aerospace, New England Tool & Dye, and Solectria.”
According to a report released by Northeastern University, the Massachusetts manufacturing sector will need approximately 100,000 skilled workers to replace retiring workers over the next decade. These replacement workers will need to have the high level skills needed on the shop floors of today’s advanced manufacturing companies. Northern Essex Community College advanced manufacturing training includes such topics such as systems parts, fundamental coding, operation of CNC turning and milling centers, mathematics, applied geometry, and CNC tooling. The college’s machine tool training program combines classroom learning with hands-on experience. The hands-on training is offered at Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School, NECC’s partner in this program.
“The Merrimack Valley is blessed with a very diverse group of manufacturers who have prospered over the past decade,” noted Rafael Abislaiman, executive director of the Merrimack Valley Workforce Investment Board. “We have strong, growing companies involved in defense, medical devices, energy, food manufacturing, and apparel,” continued Abislaiman. “Few regions enjoy such a healthy and varied mix of companies.” The Workforce Investment Board, along with the ValleyWorks one-stop career center, is a partner in the CNC machine tool training program.