LAPEER — A Baker College manufacturing program offered in Lapeer will open its doors to adults beginning in the 2016 fall quarter. Classes for the computer numerical control (CNC) machinist certificate program start Monday, Sept. 26.
The program was launched at the Lapeer Center for Innovation a year ago for a high school dual-enrollment program with the Lapeer County Intermediate School District.
“There’s a need for skilled CNC machinists across the state and locally — just take a look at the CNC help wanted signs across Lapeer County,” said Tom Spendlove, Baker College of Flint program director for engineering technology. “Our plan was to get the training running for the high school students, then offer evening classes for adults.”
Baker College will accept 12 students into the Lapeer CNC machinist program this fall. They must have a high school or GED degree.
“Students can be job-ready in nine months,” Spendlove said. “Graduates are prepared for a skilled career and a potentially high-paying entry-level position in manufacturing.”
The CNC machinist certificate program provides the essential manufacturing knowledge and experience needed to operate today’s technologically advanced lathes, turning centers, mills, routers and other manufacturing equipment. It requires 37 college credits that can be completed in three 10-week quarters, plus a 120-hour internship.
Classes will run two to three evenings per week for the fall, winter and spring quarters. Instructors are working professionals and class sizes are small in order to provide relevant job training with one-on-one interaction. Students may graduate from the program as early as June 2017.
Spendlove identified two reasons for the current shortages of skilled CNC machinists: retirement of aging traditional tool and die workers, and advances in design and manufacturing technology.
CNC-operated machining tools are used to cut out parts in various materials, from steel to plastic.
The Baker College Lapeer lab has stateof the-art precision cutting equipment, including Haas Automation CNC software, mills and lathes.
In 2015, the U.S. Dept. of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated CNC operators earn on average $24.82 per hour, with the lowest 10 percent earning an average $15.54 per hour. The online site PayScale Inc. reports the January 2016 average hourly rate for a CNC operator and programmer ranges from $13.27 to $25.52 with overtime rates ranging from $18.84 to $37.85 per hour.
The Lapeer Center for Innovation is located at 170 Millville Rd., Lapeer. The CNC machinist program is also offered at Baker College’s campus at 1050 W. Bristol Rd. in Flint Township.
For more information about the Baker College CNC machinist program in Lapeer or at Baker College’s Flint campus, contact the admissions office at 810- 766-4000 or email@example.com or visit www.baker.edu.