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 Machining program.
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.