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Last school year, the Precision Machining department at Pickens Technical College changed its name to Advanced Manufacturing because it’s no longer all about machining in this field. With the use of advanced software, three-dimensional printers, laser engravers, and computer numerical control (CNC) equipment, the manufacturing sector is advancing quickly, leaving those without the training to use these new devices and equipment in the dust.

Instructors Michael Townsend and Sean Hennessy wanted to re-focus their curriculum on the new technology disrupting the manufacturing sector, especially in the United States. With a new course title came a new emphasis on preparing students for a career in this rapidly-changing environment.

With classes starting, the revamped Advanced Manufacturing department is ready to help students learn the new standards in this industry, which can offer excellent opportunities to all workers, even entry-level employees who want to move up and improve their careers over time. Townsend and Hennessy teach their students how to impress in the private sector by giving them the time they need to learn how to use CNC equipment, which involves proper programming, set-up, and operation to use to its fullest potential.

While CNC equipment and 3D printers unlock limitless potential for manufacturing designers and other professionals, using them correctly is not easy. With a new wave of students starting their education in advanced manufacturing, the industry will see more proficiency in using advanced technology and techniques to rethink what manufacturing processes can produce.

PTC is all about putting students in the driver’s seat when it comes to their education. The Advanced Manufacturing department at PTC gives students the opportunity to gain experience using new tools and processes in the Job Shop, where they produce customer products using the skills and theories they have learned. In an industry that has experienced large changes over a relatively short period of time, it’s critical that all entry-level workers get their foot in the door by gaining experience with their education. Books and classroom instruction are critical, but so is experienced, and at PTC, students get both in the Advanced Manufacturing department.

Stop by the manufacturing classroom or shop to see what the students there are creating. Classes have begun for this year, but it’s never too late to make a change and begin the process of starting your career anew by gaining experience and education in this exciting field. Talk to Michael Townsend or Sean Hennessy and find out how they prepare students for the next step in their careers, and how to get a first-rate education in manufacturing that will get you a job. Both instructors have contacts and connections with local businesses that often look to PTC first when hiring new workers. Local machine shops and manufacturing businesses in the Denver area know they can trust PTC students to come in and do an excellent job because they already have experience with the advanced manufacturing techniques and processes that are now defining the industry.