Front Range Community College Blog

Machinist Finds Challenge, Fulfillment at Young Age

Wynnston Corona

Wynnston Corona is a high school graduate with two certificates in Precision Machining and a job as a machinist.

Oh, and he’s 17 years old.

How does that happen?

“I’ve got a lot of determination,” he says. “In middle school I knew I wanted to graduate early. I wanted to start work as soon as possible.”

He was home schooled, taking electives at Erie High School, and graduated two years early. He also was introduced to machining training at the Career Development Center (CDC) of the St. Vrain Valley School District.

“My grandfather was a machinist,” Wynnston says. “I decided to give machining a shot.”

U.S. manufacturing needs skilled workers

Today, Wynnston works at Cutter Innovations in Wheat Ridge. Cutter is an ISO Certified manufacturing company specializing in the precision machining of exotic metals and product development. Cutter has delivered components to the aerospace, medical, oil and gas, and alternative energy industries.

Wynnston has entered a U.S. manufacturing sector that has a great need for skilled workers.

Precision Machining training at FRCC

After his introduction to machining, Wynnston enrolled in non-credit Precision Machining training at the Advanced Technology Center at Front Range Community College. “It was the best choice for me,” he says. FRCC also has a credit program in Machining. Find out whether credit or non-credit is right for you.

Because of his experience at the CDC, Wynnston started in FRCC’s intermediate training class, and then proceeded to the advanced class.

“The 5-axis and Swiss turning machines in the program are impressive,” he says. “The CNC mills and lathes were very easy to use. The teachers were really good in helping me with MasterCAM and programming.”

CNC stands for computer-numeric controlled.

On the job at Cutter Innovations

Wynnston got the job offer following a job fair at FRCC.

“We had a table at a job fair,” says Cal Stevens, production manager at Cutter. “About 10 students dropped off résumés. Wynnston was one of them. We knew he was intelligent, and we wanted to see what he could do.”

Wynnston impressed Cutter, and Cutter impressed Wynnston.

“I really liked the environment and was excited to improve my skills and show what I can do,” Wynnston says.

Challenging, precise work

Recently, Wynnston was working on a medical part that requires exacting precision. If you’re a surgeon, you want precision and repeatability in all of your instruments.

“He’s staying on top of what he does,” Cal says.

Wynnston likes the challenge.

“I like the sense of accomplishment I get through improving my skills,” Wynnston says. “There’s always another part of machining to learn. Every day I break through another barrier, I get a feeling of success.”

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John Feeley is director of public relations at Front Range Community College.