Mid-State Machine Tool Technician student at work in the machine tool lab on the Wisconsin Rapids campus. (Contributed)

NCWWDB, Mid-State partner to provide free machine tool training

For the Metro Wire

Those looking for a start in the machine tool field will soon have a no-cost option for the training needed for an entry-level position.

The North Central Wisconsin Workforce Development Board (NCWWDB) is partnering with Mid-State Technical College and the Job Center of Wisconsin to offer a 14-week customized Pre-Apprenticeship Machine Tool Training program.

The training is anticipated to run from mid-February through late May and will be entirely free for participating students thanks to funding by the NCWWDB.

Machinists are in high demand locally for their ability to create precision parts for use in manufacturing using computerized numerical control (CNC) machines. According to Derek Heikkinen, business services director at NCWWDB, a recent internal survey indicated that nearly half of the area’s manufacturers in the Central Wisconsin Metal Manufacturing Alliance (CWIMMA) will need 1,559 welders and machinists by 2021.

“The industry will lose nearly 50 percent of its current workforce in the next 10 years due to retirements,” Heikkinen said, “making this partnership with Mid-State a much-needed short-term solution to address the pending shortages.”

Completing the Pre-Apprenticeship Machine Tool Training Program will provide participants with 12 credits of Mid-State’s Machine Tool Technician program completed as well entry-level skills needed to get started in the field, enter an apprenticeship, or continue on in the technical degree program.

Those interested in registering for the Pre-Apprenticeship Machine Tool Training program can contact the Wisconsin Rapids Job Center directly at (715) 422-5000.