Manufacturing is returning to the United States and WFS is training future machinists

Manufacturing is returning to the United States and Hampton Roads is no exception. The demand for all trades, especially skilled machinists continues to grow as this business returns. This demand is exacerbated with an aging workforce and looming retirements. Tidewater Community College has embarked on a multi-pronged effort to build the pipeline of qualified manufacturing talent.

Recently, Tidewater Community College launched a career studies certificate in Mechatronics Engineering. This is a professional discipline that combines Mechanical Engineering with other fields of engineering such as Electrical and Electronic, Computer Technology and Control Engineering. This engineering discipline draws on expertise and professional skills of various fields to evolve into a very specific specialization in its own right.

As an accompaniment to TCC’s academic offerings, the Center for Workforce Solutions has also created a series of non-credit courses for machining and CNC operators. Recently the first class of Machining Skills, Level 1 graduated and prepared to move onward in their machining careers. In the fall of 2014, the Level 1 class will be repeated and the Level 2 course will be launched. The series conclusion will be the Basic CNC Operation course to be delivered in January 2015.

The success of TCC’s Mechantronics program and the Machining series is the direct result of industry partnerships. We would like to thank IMS: Gear for hosting the Machining classes and lab, Sumitomo Drive Technologies for their support in developing the curriculum and for Busch Manufacturing for offering to host the upcoming CNC course next year.



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