In the Computer Integrated Machining program, you’ll spend considerable time in study and actual operation of industrial equipment and tools, including computer numerical controlled (CNC) lathes and milling machines. Students will also be introduced to computer controlled measuring machines and computer aided design/computer aided machining (CAD/CAM) software and its applications. This program prepares students to enter the workforce fields of CNC, CAM, tool making, mold making, machine tool operating, quality control, industrial sales, and production or manufacturing.
Machinists are in huge demand locally and across the country. In addition to finding jobs, students from the Machine Tool program can continue their education at a four-year college or university to earn a bachelor’s degree.
Tim Longenecker, a 2010 Machine Tool and Computer Aided Manufacturing graduate, discusses the opportunities he has had in his life and the responsibilities of his job at Astro Machine Works based on his education at Thaddeus Stevens College.
"You can say, 'I made that.'"
“I didn’t really see myself going to college. At the time, I didn’t know how attractive the financing was at Stevens, I didn’t know the resources that were available. I used to be a landscaper, and I would hear an ad for Thaddeus Stevens and think, ‘I don’t want to mow lawns for the rest of my life. Maybe I can find something better to do.’
“I thought it would be really awesome to do something where I work with my hands, where I make things. We have a little bit of time, in the shop, when can work on different things. If we have an idea for something we’re making and want to do it a different way or add a feature or try something different, the instructors really encourage that. You can say, ‘I made that.’
“Stevens is different, that’s what I like about it. You meet a lot of people. It’s a very diverse group of people and everyone is here, especially the instructors, because they love what they do. Most of them didn’t plan on teaching, but they do it because they have a passion for the trade and the students.”
"You get to do something different every day."
“I think a lot of girls like to make really intricate things, but don’t think that they could make something out of wood or metal. But it’s a lot less intimidating than you originally think it’s going to be, at least in my experience. At first, I was kind of nervous, but once I started this type of thing, I found out I really liked it.
“Try to really research what the Machine program is, so you know that you want to do it. It’s a lot more exact than some of the other majors are. You get to get a print and make a part that has a function, and you get to do something different every day. All the stuff we learn gets applied to actual hand-drawn experiences instead of just theory all the time.
This summer I have an internship at a company, JST Corporation, that offers apprenticeships, which I plan to pursue after graduation.”