Cumberland Times-News

Local News

July 13, 2014

Allegany College of Md. offering new courses for machine operators

Students can utilize CNC machinery

— CUMBERLAND — Allegany College of Maryland will be offering a new machine technology program in the fall that will feature newly acquired equipment, including computer numerical control machinery.

Made possible through a $93,000 federal grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission and a 100 percent matching contribution from the college, the program will begin on Sept. 2.

A large scale computer numerical control machine arrived at the campus on Thursday.

“We are excited to able to offer this program,” said Becky Ruppert, director of professional development.

In addition to the CNC machine, the program, offered through the ACM’s continuing education department, features two manual mills, two manual lathes and a drill press.

Although no college credits are awarded, the career training program offers 600 hours of extensive training and will result in the student qualifying for the industry recognized National Institute for Metalworking Skills, or NIMS, credential.

“It’s a craft. I’ve talked to a lot of employers and they need this training. CNC operators and programmers are in high demand,” said Ruppert.

The machining program will give the student the skills to obtain an entry-level position in the industry.

National salary data sets the median income for a CNC machine programmer at $43,450. However, top level salaries can reach more than $70,000, with specialists making more, according to the data.

The machining technology program contains 600 hours of coursework. The first 200 hours, designed for the beginning machinist, will be offered on Tuesday and Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m. The additional 400 hours in advanced courses are held Monday, Wednesday and Friday. For those who want to complete the entire program in one year, the college has a special schedule to meet those needs.

“For anyone who likes working with their hands, it’s great. A lot of machinists are retiring. It’s a skill that is needed not just in this area but in other areas,” said Ruppert.

Some of the courses included in the 200-hour introductory program include introduction to machinery, measurements, metal composition and classification, heat treatment of metals, drill press, manual turning and manual milling.

The advanced 400-hour program coursework includes CNC basics, setup and operations, CNC turning, CNC programming, computer-aided design and CNC milling.

Scholarships are available to help offset the cost of the courses. More information can be obtained by calling Ruppert at 301-784-5338 or by email at rruppert@allegany.edu. Enrollment is limited to 10 students in each course.

Allegany County residents can be eligible for tuition assistance under the Maryland High Education Commission’s Workforce Investment Act. For more information on the WIA assistance program contact the Western Maryland Consortium at 301-777-1221.

Greg Larry can be contacted at glarry@times-news.com.

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