Pickens Technical College is constantly evolving to bring its students
more options in vocational education. That’s a fancy way of saying
that PTC is always looking for new ways to improve its classes for you.
One of the more recent advancements in PTC’s technical courses is
in the Advanced Manufacturing program. You might not recognize that official
class title. It’s because it used to be known as the Computer-Aided
The problem with the old program name was that instructor Michael Townsend
and the PTC Advisory Committee wanted to offer students more training
in skills they’ll need to be successful machinists. In an industry
changing rapidly, Townsend saw an opportunity to expand his course’s
studies to match the constant waves of new technology being introduced
to machine shops everywhere.
The reason for the change is to reflect the rapidly changing way in how
parts are produced. 3D printing, laser engraving, design, mold making,
and casting are making the process quicker and more efficient.
The name change moved the program into more varied areas of expertise to
match the shifting job market. As new technology is introduced, such as
mold making, casting, and 3D printing, workers in the machining industry
need new skills. Townsend took time out of his busy SkillsUSA schedule
to say that “students will benefit from these changes by having
additional directions to go when completing the program.”
Students get plenty of shop experience working with cutting edge technology
to prepare them for a successful career. They also get the benefit of
working with Townsend, an experienced instructor and manufacturing professional.
Over his 30-year career in manufacturing, Townsend has worked in electronics,
government programs, and spent almost two decades as an engineer and designer.
In other words, if you sign up for his class, Townsend can get you the
skills you’ll need for a long career.
The revamped Advanced Manufacturing course also gives students the chance
to gain invaluable experience in the Job Shop course by designing and
producing customer projects. With real-life experience on projects for
real customers scheduled into the course, you’ll be prepared for
the competitive job market upon graduation. One new focus of the Advanced
Manufacturing course is Computer Numerical Control (CNC) equipment. Now
a mainstay at many manufacturing and design companies, any entry-level
job seeker in this market should know how to program and operate CNC equipment
to get a foothold. Advanced Manufacturing at PTC ensures that you do.
Townsend believes that the changes in his course will provide more “engineering,
design, prototyping, and entrepreneurship opportunities” for students,
leading to better job placement rates. His classroom instruction, combined
with a school-wide commitment to providing students with real experience
opportunities and a renewed focus on new and emerging technologies, prepares
students for a long and fulfilling career as a machinist. If you’re
interested in entering this exciting and changing field, start with the
new Advanced Manufacturing course at PTC.