Machine Tool Technology: Blue Prints, Not Blue Collar

What if a Machine Tool training program with a 100% job placement track record existed right here at home? Would you be interested? What if you learned that this program does exist on the Rowan Campus of Maysville Community and Technical College (MCTC)?

Im Kenneth Barnett, coordinator for the Machine Tool Technology program on MCTCs Rowan Campus. I joined MCTC two years ago after working as a machinist for both L3 Communications and Precision Resource. This field is constantly changing, but our program has made a commitment to purchasing state of the art equipment to help students gain an advanced competitive edge in the workforce.

Morgan County native and MCTC student, Chris Whitt, has this to say about the program. I have worked at different places maintaining equipment. When I became unemployed, I decided to try this program so I could find an even better job and make more money. MCTC bought a new water jet for us to learn on. Some places do not own one of these, so that shows how up to date this program is. Most of what I have learned as a student so far has been through computers. You might think you need to know a really high level of math, but you only need general math skills. This program does not just lead you to a blue collar job. You can even become a programmer who works in an office.

Our students are trained to operate all manual machines, read blue prints, and use measuring equipment. Our program also focuses on how to set up and operate computer numerical control (CNC) equipment. Students will learn how to write CNC programs and use computer software. One of the newest additions, and a favorite of many of our students, is water jet technology.

James Johnson is like many MCTC students who work while attending school. This Montgomery County native says, After taking about 11 years off from school, I decided to go into the Machine Tool Technology program. It gets hectic sometimes, but Kenny really helps us succeed in school while balancing families and jobs. Im learning how to use equipment both manually and with a computer. I am also in a state apprenticeship program for tool and die makers. I have gotten to know people in this field through this program that I would not have met otherwise. When I finish this degree, I will have a chance of advancement in my job.

The Machine Tool Technology program offers certificates for Exploratory Machining I, Machinist, CNC Machinist, and CNC and Water Jet Technology. Diplomas are available for students wanting to become machinists or specialize in CNC machines. The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree incorporates all aspects of our program and will also prepare students to transfer to a four year university for an advanced degree. Students who graduate from our program can work as operators, programmers, and problem solving engineers as well as professionals in quality control. Students graduating with our AAS degree have the opportunity to make an average of $15 to $20 an hour. Our students have found jobs locally and in the surrounding counties.

MCTC student Greg Wulfekamp lives in Mason County. He travels to Morehead each week to take classes on the Rowan Campus. I worked as a press operator for 11 years and a welder for a year with very little chance at advancement. Once I finally realized that getting an education is the only way to prosper, I went back to school at MCTC. I am continually learning very relevant and specific skills in Machine Tool. I think computer programming is the coolest part. Greg plans on transferring to a four year university after graduation.

If you can identify with Chris, James, or Greg, or just want to get more information about the Machine Tool Technology program, stop by and visit me on the Rowan Campus. You can also call me at 606-783-1538 extension 66336, or send me an email.