Partnership Benefits Students

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Manufacturing workforce learns 3D modeling, CNC machining, and 3D printing through community partnership with White Mountains Community College, Littleton High School and local businesses.

A new night class is helping those in Northern New Hampshire gain highly marketable skills in technical manufacturing.  People from across the region began a semester-long night class at the Hugh Gallen Career and Technical Center on the Littleton High School campus.  The class, Introduction to Technical Manufacturing, which started August 14, is a collaborative effort between White Mountains Communty College (WMCC), Littleton High School, New England Wire, Burndy, Robotec and Genfoot America.

"We are extremely pleased with this course and how local manufacturers came together to make it a reality," said Matthew Wood, WMCC's president.  "Providing access to key skills and training in creative ways is crucial to ensuring New Hampshire's workforce is prepared to meet the needs of the future."

The non-credit course, Introduction to Technical Manufacturing, focuses on three areas: AutoCAD Inventor, where students create 3D models and detailed drawings; hierarchical storage management (HSM) computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software, where students learn to generate computer numerical control (CNC) code of machine parts; and using the AutoCAD model to create a 3D prototype.

The course if taught by instructor Courtney Heath, an employee at New England Wire and an instructor at WMCC.  Along with helping shape the course curriculum, the partner companies provided tuition assistance, resources and support for the students learning the latest in advanced manufacturing technology.

Hailing from companies supporting the initiative as well as individuals from the community looking to gain new skills, the students met specific application and income criteria in order to qualify for the course.  The semester-long course, which ends December 13, is funded by a Community Development Finance Authority (CDFA) grant.  Early feedback for the course is very positive, with students already requesting follow-up programs.

"I enrolled in the class to learn more about 3D modeling and gain CNC skills," said Finn Goodwin, a student enrolled in the program.  "I enjoyed the hands on measuring class the most and found it to be informative and very interesting."

The program aligns with the mission of WMCC to serve business, industry and other community needs by providing an array of services and programs that bolster community, workforce and economic development.  WMCC has also worked with community partners to create programs for area residents such as a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Camp and a Women in Science and Technology (WIST) program.  WMCC has also strengthened regional workforce development through programs like WorkReadyNH and the Regional Advanced manufacturing Partnership (RAMP uP NH), among many others that prepare people with technical and workplace skills.

To learn more about this important work happening across the regions, or to get your company involved in workforce development efforts, call WMCC at 800-445-4525 or 752-1113, ext. 3062.  To learn more about professional development programs at WMCC or to enroll, visit wmcc.edu