May 13, 2013

Career Fair to Help Diverse Set of Companies with the Same Need: Machinists

What do companies as diverse as global-reach Lockheed Martin and Loveland-based Ron Grob Company have in common? A need for precision machinists – now and in the near future.

“The average senior machinist is 55 to 60 years old,” says George Newman, program development coordinator for machining at Front Range Community College. “We have at most a 10-year window to find replacements. If we don’t make a concerted effort to recruit new machinists, we will see the demise of the industry.”

Bruce Page, owner of Manes Manufacturing in Fort Collins, agrees.

“The industry is beginning to lose its experienced machinists to retirement,” he said. “There is a huge need for machinists in a number of shops. This is a good business to be in. You can do well and make a good living.”

Working with manufacturers in northern Colorado, FRCC started a short-term Precision Machining training class, and more than 30 students are ready to talk with industry about internships and career opportunities. And with companies like Lockheed Martin and Ron Grob committed to come to a career fair May 20, it appears manufacturers are ready to talk to the students, too.

The fair will run from 3 to 6 p.m. in the Community Room of the Boulder County Campus, 2121 Miller Drive, Longmont. The fair is set up for manufacturers to meet with current students in FRCC’s Precision Machining Technology Program from 3 to 4:30 p.m. The time from 4:30 to 6 p.m. is set aside for open networking for all job seekers pursuing machining positions.

Manufacturers can reserve a space by going to the registration link. Upon registration, employers will gain access to résumés of the students finishing Introduction to Machining. Most of the students will be continuing in Intermediate Machining, which includes CNC programming, in the fall.

Job seekers can register at the attendee registration link.

In addition to Lockheed Martin and Ron Grob, other manufacturers that have reserved space include Longmont Machining, Express Employment Professionals, CBW Automation, Faustson Tool Corp., Specialty Products Company, Longmont Machining, Employment Solutions, LANX, WP Manufacturing, ResourceMFG, Springs Fabrication Inc., Denver Precision Products, Action Staffing Solutions, Woodward Inc., and Custom Microwave. The Colorado National Guard and U.S. Army also will send representatives.

A representative from Workforce Boulder County will attend to present information about its training programs and possible hiring incentives.

“Workforce Boulder County can help businesses offset the cost of hiring a new employee,” said Sara Miller, a Workforce Boulder County business development representative. “Our hiring incentives provide funding for wages of new employees while they are on-boarding and training in their position.” To learn more about the Ready, Set, Work! Program and other business services, contact Miller at 303-301-2922 or

FRCC teaches its Precision Machining classes in a state-of-the-art machining lab at the Career Development Center in Longmont, which is part of the St. Vrain Valley School District.

During the fair, FRCC will announce its fall class schedule and the availability of student scholarships.

“The career fair is a great opportunity for job seekers to meet with employers and also for those wanting information about the industry and upcoming classes,” Newman said. “Thirty-two students have completed the Introduction to Machining, and many will be seeking internships with companies so they can gain practical experience while they continue their training.”

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About Front Range Community College

FRCC offers nearly 100 degree and certificate programs from locations in Boulder County, Larimer County, Westminster, and Brighton, and online.

FRCC is a member of the Colorado Community College System, the state’s largest system of higher education. CCCS serves more than 162,000 students annually. The system oversees career and academic programs in the 13 state community colleges and career and technical programs in more than 160 school districts and six other post-secondary institutions.

About the author:

John Feeley is director of public relations at Front Range Community College. He’s a somewhat-frequent bicycle commuter, a certified soccer referee, and a newspaper editor whose subscription ran out.

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