May 7, 2014

Career Fair and New Training Facility to Help Diverse Set of Companies with the Same Need: Skilled Machinists

You’ve heard of “offshoring” – when an industry shifts jobs overseas. It’s time to become acquainted with “reshoring” – when jobs come back to the United States.

Wages are rising in places like China, and U.S. energy costs have been decreasing. Add in the time it takes to manufacture and ship product back to the States, plus challenges with quality control. It’s a formula for a resurgence in manufacturing jobs along the Front Range in fields such as medical equipment, aerospace, plastics, and defense.

With more business coming their way, life would be fine for local companies – if only they could find qualified precision machinists. As an example, Carlos Luna, chief operating officer for Weiser Engineering of Northglenn wants to hire four computer-numeric-controlled (CNC) lathe and mill operators. Weiser Engineering supplies 150 companies with a wide variety of parts, from plastic to stainless steel.

Front Range Community College responds to the high demand for machinists in two ways:

  • More than a dozen manufacturers and manufacturing staffing agencies will be represented at a Machining Career Fair May 22 at FRCC’s Boulder County Campus.
  • FRCC is opening an Advanced Technology Center at the Boulder County Campus and is expanding its Precision Machining Program to include a daytime credit-granting, certificate-bearing program as well as adding courses to its non-credit evening program. An open house at the new center also is scheduled May 22. The open house will be from 2 to 3:30 at the center, 2120 Miller Drive, preceding the Career Fair.

The Career Fair will run from 3:30 to 6:30 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 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. The time from 5 to 6:30 p.m. is set aside for open networking for all job seekers pursuing machining positions, and those who may also be interested in finding out about the Precision Machining Technology program.

Job seekers can register at the attendee registration link.

In addition to Weiser Engineering, other manufacturers that have reserved space include Action Industries of Arvada, Biomet of Broomfield, Cook Compression of Denver, Custom Microwave of Longmont, Frontier Metal Stamping of Erie, PCS Ferguson of Frederick, Ron Grob Company of Johnstown, Specialty Products of Longmont, Trelleborg Sealing Solutions of Broomfield, 3-Flow of Golden, and Hach Company of Loveland. Staffing agencies attending are Aerotek, Adecco, Employment Solutions, Express Employment Professionals, PrideStaff, and Rolinc Staffing.

Representatives from Workforce Boulder County and the Larimer County Workforce Center will speak about their employment and training programs as well as hiring incentive programs that pay for on the job training.

“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,” said George Newman, Precision Machining Program director.

The Advanced Technology Center is the result of a $25 million grant from the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training program. FRCC is the fiscal lead institution for a consortium of Colorado colleges and universities and also received $4 million for the Advanced Technology Center and Machining program.

The Advanced Technology Center will house 2, 3, and 4-axis manual and CNC equipment, 5-axis milling, Swiss turn lathe, and other associated equipment.

Registration is open for the fall semester credit program and the non-credit classes that will begin in June. The program is eligible for veterans benefits.

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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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