Superintendent of Franklin County Technical School District, James Laverty, said that the adult program is an intensive one.”It’s 220 hours, over 12 weeks. And it’s also tied into the private sector, where they’re going to be providing them with additional training on site,” Laverty said.More than 760 thousand dollars was brought in through state funding and private funding to upgrade the workshop and update 50 year old machines students formerly learned on.Maxwell Pellerin, a senior student at the school, started working as a machinist last summer.

“But going out to work it was just a totally different experience, it was nothing like I’d done here before,” Pellerin said.The old manual equipment Pellerin learned on not only didn’t adequately prepare him to work on modern machines, but was also why students had so little interest in the machinist program that it almost shutdown.”And now they walk in, and this year alone it’s become the number one program of interest for the kids because it’s cutting edge technologies, machines are run by computers, and the kids are fascinated by that,” Steve Capshaw, President of Valley Steel Stamp Inc., said.

Capshaw, credited with securing the funding for the project, also told 22News precision machinists, who make things like landing gear components for jet fighters, and turbine blades are in high demand, but are not being hired because of a lack of modernized training programs offered in the Pioneer Valley.So yeah, these are baby steps, but they’re baby steps that simplify things for the end user and push PCs just a little bit further towards the less tech-minded end of the market.

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