The Technology & Manufacturing Association (TMA) is working to strengthen the workforce and narrow skill gaps in the Midwest by offering machining and mold making training for its members. TMA offers services to manufacturers in the Midwest who want to improve their operations, strengthen their workforce and grow their business.
The Education Foundation, a non-profit that provides research, direct services, and offers scholarships to advance education, partner with TMA to provide CNC training for high schools that cannot fund or space machines or a manufacturing program. A press release by TMA states that over 175 students are enrolled in their CNC education programs.
Jack Krikorian, the Director of Curriculum and Instruction, joined TMA seven years ago after a 30-year career in manufacturing to modernize the course curriculum with updated Mastercam software into advanced training offerings.
“We have 21 simulators; they’re basically the controls of the machine without the
machine, which gives each student the opportunity to have an individual controller
instead of one person typing and 18 of them watching,” said Krikorian. “Everybody sits
down with a blueprint and types in their program in G-code. They can simulate it to see
if there are any issues. If they get a good program, we’ll put it on a memory stick, go out
to the machine, set it up, and run their part.”
The CNC training programs will allow students to earn National Institute for Metalworking Skills, as well as mill and lathe operator, credentials.
“Our goal is ultimately to put students right into companies. We’re trying to be a little bit
of a pipeline for our member companies. They love that we’re training high school
students who may later join their workforce,” said Krikorian, who also chairs the NIMS
Advisory Council. “We had one company that offered internships to some senior
students. So instead of going to class that semester, students were actually going to the
company. After graduation, they were offered positions, and a few of them are still
TMA represents almost 1,000 manufacturers and over 30,000 employees in the Midwest and provides programs to improve operations, strengthen the workforce, and grow businesses. The organization was founded in 1925 to help metalworkers in the Chicago area help solve issues that affected their trade.