This Month's Spotlight Program: Machine Tool Technology
- Web: IvyTech.edu/machine-tool-technology
- Program chair: Greg Kuhn (email@example.com)
- Photos and video: Explore now
- Marketing materials: Download
- Apply now for free at IvyTech.edu/apply
The Indiana Governor’s Workforce Cabinet awarded Ivy Tech Community College’s Machine Tool Technology program with its Award of Excellence for Outstanding Postsecondary Career and Technical Education School Program of Study. The College will be presented the award at the CTE Awards for Excellence Ceremony on February 18.
The Indiana Awards for Excellence highlight achievements of Career and Technical Education students, partners and programs across Indiana that showcase career and technical education qualities. Recipients demonstrate clear objectives based on workforce needs, utilize resources in a cost-effective manner, teach with equipment used in workplaces and produce graduates that meet and exceed workplace standards.
“Technology is advancing quickly in every facet of the manufacturing world,” explained Gregory Kuhn, Machine Tool Technology program chair. “In education, the challenges that are always present are keeping the program relevant to industry needs and meeting student wants. It is difficult to blend those together. It is only through having a great team of faculty and advisory board members that we are able to do just that.”
Ivy Tech’s Machine Tool Technology program offers both hands-on learning and computer control machining, giving graduates the best opportunity for employment to earn higher wages.
“Our students graduate with skills that are immediately usable and our employers and board members recognize and appreciate that,” Kuhn added. “It is through their advice we continue to produce graduates with the skills needed to be immediately effective when they enter the workforce. It is impressive to have a group of faculty that has such great desire to learn and increase their own knowledge and skills in order to better serve our students. I think that is the spirit of ‘Our Communities. Your College.’”
The Machine Tool Technology program offers pathways for students to earn a certificate or technical certificate in CNC Production or Machine Tool Technology, or an associate of applied science degree.
This program also falls into Indiana’s Next Level Jobs initiative, which allows qualified Hoosiers the ability to earn tuition-free training for high-paying, in-demand fields. Recipients earn their certificate or technical certificate for free at Ivy Tech in two to three semesters. From there, graduates can enter the workforce in positions such as machinist, first line supervisor or production or tool and die maker, or proceed to earn an associate degree.
One of the biggest challenges an employer has is finding the right talent, especially in fields where a specific set of skills and expertise is needed. Ivy Tech Community College is bridging that gap by engaging with employers to ensure job placements meet workforce needs, which is precisely what David DeBruyn of Estes Design and Manufacturing was looking for.
Estes Design and Manufacturing is a full-service sheet metal fabricator on the southeast side of Indianapolis that specializes in rapid prototyping, 3D laser welding, fabrication, product design and development, cost reduction processes and inventory management.
Curious to learn about Ivy Tech’s manufacturing programs for adult and high school learners, DeBruyn reached out to the College’s Machine Tool Technology Program Chair, Greg Kuhn, during the summer of 2019.
Kuhn gave an overview of the program, which offers both hands-on learning and computer control machining, with students earning nationally recognized certifications. With a curriculum focused on meeting industry standards and employer input, Ivy Tech provided the type of employees the company needed.
“Our students graduate with skills that are immediately usable and our employers and board members recognize and appreciate that,” Kuhn said. “It is through their advice we continue to produce graduates with the skills needed to be immediately effective when they enter the workforce. It is impressive to have a group of faculty that has such great desire to learn and increase their own knowledge and skills in order to better serve our students.”
Shortly after the meeting, DeBruyn brought on one of Kuhn’s recent Machine Tool Technology graduates to his team.
“The student we hired was able to integrate into our manufacturing environment with ease, as if he had been doing the job for a lot longer than he actually had been,” said DeBruyn.
It wasn’t too long after that DeBruyn was so impressed that he wanted to develop a relationship and hire more employees with the same training and work ethic.
“Ivy Tech is a great resource,” explained DeBruyn. “The caliber of education seems to be a great value for the price. The instructors I have met are knowledgeable and very accessible.”
In addition to the first graduate DeBruyn hired, the company hired another Ivy Tech Machine Tool Technology student as a temp employee through a job placement firm.
“As soon as he started working, and we saw his raw aptitude for manufacturing along with the skills he had learned at Ivy Tech, we knew we found someone who had the potential to grow into a long-term employee.”
In fact, the student was not only able to learn how to use one of the company's most challenging machines but was excited to master it.
“It is my hope that over time we can discover several more students like him that can drop right into place at our company as if they had been here for a long time.”
Estes Design and Manufacturing is just one of many companies in the growing field of Advanced Manufacturing. This field is one of Indiana’s top five sectors in need of workers for high-wage jobs. To help employers meet this need, qualifying Hoosiers can take advantage of the state’s Next Level Jobs Workforce Ready Grant and earn a free certification. A variety of certificate and technical certificate options are available in Advanced Manufacturing, including Machine Tool Technology, CNC Production Machinist and Manufacturing Production and Operations. Residents can see if they meet the requirements for a free credential at IvyTech.edu/NextLevelJobs.
To learn more about Ivy Tech’s Machine Tool Technology program, including information about graduate outcomes, visit IvyTech.edu/machine-tool-technology or contact Greg Kuhn at firstname.lastname@example.org.