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LWIT Machining Technology program receives $400,000 in new machines

(Left to right) LWIT Instructor Dennis Candelaria and students Loretta Aragon, Zac Sandum, Michael Fox, and Jennifer Lamphear learn about the HAAS lathe with live tooling. - Contributed
(Left to right) LWIT Instructor Dennis Candelaria and students Loretta Aragon, Zac Sandum, Michael Fox, and Jennifer Lamphear learn about the HAAS lathe with live tooling.
— image credit: Contributed

Kirkland's Lake Washington Institute of Technology’s Machining Technology program this week received nine new machines totaling around $400,000, which helps the popular program further increase student skills in the hot manufacturing market.

The three Protrack lathe machines, three Protrack milling machines, two high-tech HAAS milling machines, and the cutting edge HAAS lathe with live tooling capability are the latest technology in the manufacturing industry, giving LWIT students a distinct edge when it comes to hands-on experience at graduation.

The new machines are a direct reflection of the booming manufacturing market and demand for skilled machinists. Currently LWIT’s Machining Technology program has 72 enrolled students, including the program’s largest percentage of females in the program’s history, and a waiting list of interested students. The students encompass a vast array of backgrounds from around the region, from a handful of displaced Kimberly Clark workers to those choosing to change careers to recent high school graduates.

“I get calls from people wanting people to fill their vacancies and I can’t meet their needs,” said Mike Clifton, LWIT’s senior Machining Technology instructor. “The short of it is I can place anyone ready and willing to go to work as soon as they complete the program.”

The program offers several tracts to meet student needs. One is a two-quarter Principles of Machining certificate designed to help displaced workers quickly qualify for entry level positions so they can work as they continue their education. The second offering is a four quarter Certificate of Proficiency, which offers more hand-on experience and skill than the two-quarter option. The final offering is a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree in Machine Technology.

The Machine Technology program at LWIT has operated for more than 40 years, making LWIT a regional leader in machine technology training.

 

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