MassMEP Partners with UMass Lowell to Expand Advanced CNC Training in Massachusetts

  • On July 15, 2015

MassMEP and UMass Lowell have announced plans to expand the delivery of MassMEP’s Advanced Computer Control Training Program. The initiative, similar to an existing program endorsed by AIM and operated by MassMEP with Worcester Polytechnic Institute, addresses the need for CNC operators in the northeast region of the state.

The CNC training program utilizes the Manufacturing Advanced Center Workforce Innovative Collaborative (MACWIC) curriculum – a competency-based instructional program that received AIM’s Gould Education & Workforce Development Award for creating a standard instructional level that manufacturers can use while evaluating prospective employees.

“We are pleased to be entering into this partnership with MassMEP,” said Joseph Hartman, UMass Lowell dean of engineering. “It will allow us to continue our mission of promoting economic growth in the region by helping meet the needs of industry.”

“MassMEP has already successfully partnered with Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), delivering the Advanced CNC Training Program in central Massachusetts for the last six years,” said Jack Healy, president of MassMEP. “The partnership with UMass Lowell addresses the need for CNC operators in the northeast region of the state, a need we’ve heard expressed by manufacturers in the area. To date, there have been 164 graduates of the MassMEP/WPI program with a better than 90 percent placement rate upon graduation. This new program will double the number of graduates.”

“MassMEP is extremely proud to have such fine institutions as WPI and UMass Lowell collaborating in the building of the skills pipeline in order to ensure continuing manufacturing growth,” said Healy.

The 260-hour Advanced CNC training program consists of:
• Level 1 – Shop Math, Blueprint Reading, Metrology and Quality Inspection, Work Readiness, Safety;
• Level 2 – Lean Manufacturing, CNC Mill Concepts and Hands-on, CNC Lathe Concepts and Hands-on, Intro to Programing, 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.

A “speed dating” type of job fair is conducted with local manufacturers before the conclusion of each class. Upon graduation and successfully passing the Manufacturing Advancement Center Workforce Innovation Collaborative (MACWIC) competency-based validation tests, participants receive a MACWIC Level 3 certificate.

The new program with UMass Lowell, expected to start in October, will be co-located in UMass Lowell’s new Maker Space:

As part of a MassDevelopment program funded by the Office of Economic Adjustment grant, MassMEP will provide the foundation level instructional training to the participants and UMass Lowell will provide advanced training in CNC Machine Operation. WPI will train UMass Lowell instructors in the delivery of the MACWIC Level 3 curriculum and certification so that they can provide the training as part of the MassMEP program.

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 more than 17,000 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

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