Shoreline gets grant to train more aerospace workers

CNC student photo

A student works on a part during a CNC program open house on May 29, 2014. Photo gallery

A pipeline to good jobs in the aerospace industry is getting bigger thanks to a state grant.

Shoreline Community College is getting $152,614 from the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges to put more students in CNC Machinist program. The money will also make it so more can attend classes, upgrade technology and then help graduates get jobs.

CNC machine photo

A CNC machine cuts a part during an open house event on May, 29, 2014.

“This grant is wonderful news,” said Dean of Science Susan Hoyne, who oversees the machining program. “These students are learning skills that get them good, well-paying jobs at companies like Boeing and the hundreds of aerospace suppliers in the region.”

CNC, or computer numeric controlled, machining involves very large machines that can turn blocks of metal into intricately machined parts. Students not only learn about the materials and the machines, but also the computer programs that are required. Over the past several years, Shoreline has led the way in aligning machining curriculum with the needs of the aerospace industry.

Besides opening new slots for students, the grant will pay for a career navigator position.

“The career navigator is key to the success of the student,” Hoyne said. “The navigator helps recruit students and helps monitor their needs that may affect their performance. Most importantly, the navigator stays in touch with employers in the region and helps match students with jobs.”

The CNC program currently runs sections during the day, evening and weekends, but many potential students still have barriers to attending. The grant will increase access for more students by funding faculty to create hybrid versions of the courses. Students in hybrid classes will do some work done online and the rest done with hands on the machines at the college.

In addition to the navigator and the main instructor, the program includes another instructor who helps on math and English while students are in the classroom or online. Called I-BEST, or Integrated Basic Skills and Training, that model was pioneered at Shoreline and other Washington colleges and is now considered across the nation a best-practice.

The grant specifically targets veterans, women, incumbent underemployed workers and the unemployed. The CNC program starts with three certificates that can be stacked. Students can also choose to go on to two-year and potentially four-year degrees.

Shoreline’s grant is one of 21 recently announced for Washington community and technical colleges. The grants are an important element of the state Legislature’s package to guarantee the Boeing 777X would be built in the state.

“We committed to continuing investment in the aerospace training programs that matter most to the industry,” Gov. Jay Inslee said.

A subcommittee of the Washington Aerospace & Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Pipeline Advisory Committee worked with state board staff to review and select the winning proposals. In all, 40 proposals were submitted from 24 colleges.

The programs will begin in the 2014-15 school year. Outcomes will be monitored and future funding will be dependent on the institutions meeting their stated program capacity. “We are grateful for this investment,” said Marty Brown, state board executive director. “We intend to continue to work closely with the Pipeline Committee and incorporate its recommendations to make sure in-demand programs.”

For more information about the CNC Machinist program at Shoreline Community College, go to www.shoreline.edu/cncmachinist

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