Presque Isle’s Northern Maine Community College training manufacturers of tomorrow

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — While larger companies tend to be in need of new personnel who can operate sophisticated machinery, small shops tend to search for well-rounded employees who can do a bit of everything. Support in the CAM and machine tool industries has helped Northern Maine Community College’s (NMCC) Precision Machining Program teach the next generation of manufacturers the skills needed to set up and operate machine tools, CNC programming, process planning, blueprint reading, measurement, inspection, custom workholding design and more.

Before last year, when NMCC made the switch to Edgecam from Vero Software, getting students CNC experience all four semesters of the program was a challenge due to the amount of time it took to learn the former CAM system. The learning curve is not as steep with Edgecam, and students in Presque Isle, Maine, are generating code in their first or second class and fulfilling orders placed by real customers—many of whom struggle with staffing and have a very real need for parts.

“It’s difficult to recruit because there’s still this misconception of manufacturing—that it’s greasy, grimy, difficult and unpleasant work,” says Dean Duplessis, program instructor. “Manufacturing isn’t what it was years ago. Succeeding in manufacturing is partly about getting young adults to recognize the many opportunities for success in the field.”

READ MORE of this story at Modern Machine Shop by Emily Probst. Photo courtesy of Modern Machine Shop.

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