Christine Miller was working as a clerk at a North Shore Community College (NSCC) bookstore when COVID-19 hit. Left without a job, she began to explore her options. She had heard of a free NSCC machinist training program and decided to investigate. Not only did Christine successfully complete the program, she was hired at a good starting salary by Procter and Gamble before she even graduated.
For those who would also like to change careers, or add to an existing skill set, the next round of free training will begin January 19, 2022. Upcoming virtual info sessions will be held on December 30 at 10 a.m. and January 6 at 9 a.m. so prospective students can learn more about the program. Sign up here if interested in Free Training.
“Manufacturing is the second largest industry in Massachusetts. There is projected need for over 100,000 workers over the next six to 10 years. This pathway has so many opportunities for growth and stability across many sectors – pharmaceutical, biotech, medical devices, plastics, food and beverage, environmental and more. People should seriously look into the free training as a huge opportunity to change their career, or more importantly, start a career!” said Kate O’Malley, Advanced Manufacturing Training Expansion Program (AMTEP) Program Manager. “There are roughly 500 manufacturers on the North Shore and they are all looking for good people. It’s a great time to enter this sector.”
NSCC has partnered with the General Electric Foundation over the past two years to provide this training. The goal of AMTEP is to triple the training footprint and build sustainable capacity to create a “ready to work” manufacturing pipeline on the MA North Shore. The AMTEP initiative is targeted to train over 900 adult learners and high school students by 2025 by maximizing capacity & enrollment, expanding manufacturing awareness, and engaging youth and community, with the end game translating to jobs.
Along with Essex Tech, Gloucester High School, and MassHire, NSCC has recruited, and equipped men and women for rewarding careers in advanced manufacturing. The placement rate is 82% with 130 adults completing training via the AMTEP grant, and 107 have employed successfully into good paying manufacturing jobs. There are currently 50 students in process at Essex Tech and E-Team/LVTI, and 160 slots available in 2022. There is room for 35 more adults to engage in a Foundations course at NSCC in January.
Although the program serves a robust CNC machining need, it also offers electromechanical assembly, and welding for North Shore industry partners. Students can also access contextualized manufacturing classes for students needing to complete their high school equivalency and those needing help with English language skills.
Alumni of the program, who are now gainfully employed in their field, have nothing but praise for their choice. Miller explained, “I knew I wanted to change direction. I had always been hands-on and paid attention to detail. A friend suggested that the program sounded as if it were meant for me.
“It was a little overwhelming at first because I didn’t know the tools or the machines, but the teachers were wonderful. They encouraged us to keep trying until we got things right and were so supportive,” Miller added. “I was so excited to be offered a great job even before I graduated!”
Joan Mota, a 2021 spring graduate, works at Harmonic Drive as a machine operator. Joan came to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic when he was 10 years old. He studied machining at LVTI in high school, but did not pursue the field after he graduated. “In high school, the only thing I thought about was playing baseball. I didn’t think about what I would do when it all ended.
“I worked odd jobs in manufacturing, landscaping, and truck driving. I lived week to week. I saw the ad for the training on Facebook and inquired with NSCC. The program impacted my life tremendously. It opened opportunities for jobs that I couldn’t get interviewed for before. Now I always feel like I’ll have a job and I’ve been able to save money too,” Joan added.
“The day I graduated, my kids were there and they were saying “Daddy, we’re so proud of you.” That felt great and now I’m able to build a future for me and for them. I’m very happy I did this program,” Joan said.