Monday, July 11, 2011
Finger Lakes Community College and G.W. Lisk Co. will offer a six-month program starting Sept. 12 to train students for machinist jobs in advanced manufacturing.
Students will learn how to use machine tools to make components that meet precise specifications for automotive parts and aerospace and medical instruments.
“G.W. Lisk, like many advanced manufacturers, has jobs it cannot fill due to a lack of skilled workers,” said Scott Cummings, manufacturing manager for the company. “We turned to FLCC for its experience in educational programming to help us put together a course in the basics of machining. Graduates could apply for jobs with us or any number of advanced manufacturers in the region.”
The Clifton Springs manufacturer makes a variety of valves, flame arrestors and solenoids, including the solenoid that triggered the emergency backup system Capt. Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger used to land a disabled U.S. Airways jetliner in the Hudson River in 2009.
“G.W. Lisk’s story is common. Traditional manufacturing may have declined, but the great untold story in the Rochester region is the success of advanced manufacturing companies, which offer a very different work environment and require higher-level skills,” said Lynn Freid, manager of training and business development for FLCC.
Advanced manufacturers offer good jobs that require what are known as “middle skills,” more than a high school education but not necessarily a college degree, Freid added. “Machining and other technical jobs in advanced manufacturing can form a solid foundation for those who continue on to get degrees in engineering or manufacturing, CAD/CAM (computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing), or machine tool technologies,” she said.
Many modern machine shops are climate-controlled with almost all phases of the manufacturing process controlled by computer interface, Cummings said.
Cummings added that even he started as an entry-level worker and took advantage of G.W. Lisk’s tuition assistance to get his New York State Journeyman Certification.
Classes and labs will be held at G.W. Lisk Co., 2 South St., Clifton Springs. Mandatory orientations will be held at 9 a.m. on Aug. 4, 11 and 17, also at G.W. Lisk. Space in the class is limited. To register or get more information, contact Colleen Aiezza at FLCC at (585) 785-1906 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since machining is a technical field that requires complex problem-solving and critical thinking, many successful machinists also find opportunities for advancement into management positions, Cummings said.
To be eligible for advanced manufacturing training, students must have a valid driver’s license, be a high school graduate or have a general equivalency diploma. Tuition is $1,850, including all materials. Tuition assistance may be available through programs for dislocated or unemployed workers and low-income youth. Students hired by G.W. Lisk Co. may be eligible for tuition reimbursement.