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CNC Machining

by linda slopsema

We have heard quite a lot from area manufacturers regarding their need for skilled machinists both now and into the future.

Over the summer months, Networks Northwest conducted an employer survey with 55 machining industry employers in our ten-county region.  Sixteen companies completed the survey which yielded the following results:

Total anticipated to be hired next 12 months

Of total, number of replacement hires due to retirements

Of total, number of replacement hires due to typical turnover

Of total, number of new hires due to business growth


89 - 105

17 - 26


61 - 70


42 - 50

9 - 14


35 - 43

CNC Machine Tool Operators

14 - 15



9 - 10

CNC Machine Tool Programmers

4 - 6

2 - 4



Machinist Position Other

29 - 34

2 - 4



Many of you know that we have had a successful machining program for years through the Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District that shares a machining lab with Northwestern Michigan College located at the Parsons-Stulen Building on Aero Park Drive in Traverse City.  NMC also offers machining courses through the Technical Division to support the Manufacturing Technology and Welding academic programs, using the lab in the afternoons and evenings.  Additionally, NMC Training Services offers customized training for area manufacturers either on-site at NMC or on-site at the employer.

Recently NMC, Networks Northwest, and area manufacturers partnered to develop new CNC Lathe and Mill courses.  NMC will be offering the new CNC Lathe course (MFG 217) starting in January 2017.   The 80-hour course is designed for those familiar with machine shop equipment, theory, cutter-speed calculations, basic blueprint reading, micrometer, caliper inspection tools, and manual lathe. This is a lab-based and online course designed to introduce participants to computer numerical control (CNC) turning machines, including set-up and programming. Seven projects will be completed via individual practice with instructor support during fabrication.  We look forward to offering this course to support the growth of our area manufacturers.

Additionally, Machining I (MFG 113) and Machining II (MFG 114) will continue to be offered for participants beginning to develop machining skills. 

Contact Heather Robinson at 231-995-1300 or for additional information or to register for academic classes.  Contact Linda Slopsema at 231-995-2006 or for customized training.

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