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MassMEP and UMass Lowell address the biggest barrier to Manufacturing Growth

  • On February 24, 2016

Worcester, MA – Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MassMEP), a leading resource for manufacturing companies in Massachusetts, and UMass Lowell graduated the first class to complete the Advanced Computer Numerical Control (CNC) manufacturing training program this month. Part of the Applied Manufacturing Technology Pathway Certification, the program’s 12 graduates spent eight weeks in an intensive curriculum of classroom and hands-on work to prepare for jobs as CNC operators. More than half of the graduates had a position upon graduation.

This group of students represents the first graduating class as part of the MassMEP/UMass Lowell Advanced CNC training partnership, which expands the existing MassMEP program that is endorsed by AIM and operated by MassMEP. The new partnership with UMass Lowell enables MassMEP to double its training capacity in advanced CNC technology.

“MassMEP is excited about this new partnership and the opportunity to expand our reach to further develop a skilled workforce in manufacturing,” stated Ted Bauer, Director Workforce Development Strategies. “More than half of the candidates had been placed into a job prior to graduation. The existing program with WPI has an over 90 percent job placement rate and we are excited to see the companies in the Lowell area responding as favorably to our graduates.”

The 280-hour Advanced CNC training program consists of:
· Level 1 – Shop Math, Blueprint Reading, Metrology and Quality Inspection, Work Readiness and Safety;
· Level 2 – Lean Manufacturing, CNC Mill Concepts and Hands-on, CNC Lathe Concepts and Hands-on, Intro to Programming and Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing; and
· Level 3 – Advanced CNC Skills including set-up, fixturing, tool selection, quality inspection, CAD/CAM training and OSHA Safety. Included in Level 3 is additional work in resume-writing, interviewing skills, value stream mapping, SPC, and finance for the shop floor.

As part of a MassDevelopment program supported by the Office of Economic Adjustment grant, MassMEP provides the foundation level instructional training to the participants and UMass Lowell provides advanced training in CNC Machine Operations. UMass Lowell invested in CNC machines in its new College of Engineering Makerspace, where the hands-on portion of the program is held.

Job Fair with “Speed Interviewing”

A unique component of the program is a “speed dating” type of job fair that is conducted with local manufacturers before the conclusion of the class. This class’ job fair was held at New England Die Cutting, where 15 companies conducted a pre-interview with the 12 candidates.

“Through this important partnership, UMass Lowell and MassMEP are working together to assist industry in meeting its needs for skilled workers, to provide valuable training to individuals that will help them advance their careers and to help fuel the Commonwealth’s economy by keeping companies and jobs here,” said Joseph Hartman, dean of UMass Lowell’s Francis College of Engineering. John Mulligan, the lead instructor at UMass Lowell, said that it is impressive how much training can be successfully done during just eight weeks.

About UMass Lowell

UMass Lowell is a national research university located on a high-energy campus in the heart of a global community. The university offers its 17,500 students bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in business, education, engineering, fine arts, health, humanities, sciences and social sciences. UMass Lowell delivers high-quality educational programs, vigorous hands-on learning and personal attention from leading faculty and staff, all of which prepare graduates to be ready for work, for life and for all the world offers. www.uml.edu

About Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership

Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MassMEP), part of the national NIST MEP system, is a leading resource for manufacturers. Committed to success in manufacturing, MassMEP transforms companies through solutions focused on innovative growth, operational excellence, and workforce development. The organization cultivates a sustainable community built on supportive relationships, idea sharing, achievement, and next generation manufacturing. For more information, visit www.massmep.org