At a special called board meeting, Texarkana College Trustees received notice of funding through the Carl D. Perkins Basic Grant Program in the amount of $379,488 for the 2020-21 academic year to allow for the purchase of training equipment for TC’s career and technical education programs. Brandon Washington, VP of Operations and Dean of Workforce and Community & Business Education, said that when writing the grant request, his top priority was to request funds to support the training needs of area business and industry.
“The funds will be used to invest in the future workforce of our region,” said Washington. “Our industry partners tell us there is a need of skilled machinists to fill vacant positions. We took note of their concern and aligned our grant request with their needs. The workforce data we studied to prepare the grant request showed that approximately two-thirds of the nation’s manufacturers are currently looking to hire skilled computer numerical controlled (CNC) machinists. By providing this training at TC, it is a win for job-seekers, incumbent workers, and manufacturers in our area.”
Washington said instruction will be taught on the new training equipment through TC’s Industrial Maintenance program, one of TC’s flagship programs housed in the brand-new Ledwell Workforce Training Center on TC campus.
“Our new facility is first-class and our lead instructor, Thomas Holt, is a skilled and effective educator with years of industry experience,” said Washington. “Students learn skills that are highly marketable in our region and have job opportunities available to them upon graduation. Holt does an outstanding job of networking with our area employers to introduce them to students and match their needs with our students’ skills.”
Holt said students frequently ask him how to become a machinist, and this program will provide them with the training they need.
“With these funds, we are able to purchase a CNC Lathe and a 5-Axis Vertical Mini Mill,” said Holt. “Students will learn how to enter designs into computer programs that produce blueprints for tools and dies. Computer numeric control programmers convert CAD designs into CAM programs that contain instructions for a sequence of cutting-tool operations. Once these programs are developed, CNC machines follow the set of instructions contained in the program to produce the part. Machinists will be trained to operate CNC machines and write CNC programs and will be able to complete either task.”
Washington said the new training equipment will be on campus and ready for students who enroll in the Industrial Maintenance program for Spring 2021.
For more information about TC’s Industrial Maintenance program or to enroll for the Spring 2021 semester, please visit www.texarkanacollege.edu or call 903-823-3012 to visit with an advisor.