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Andrea J. Burney, APR

Director of  Public Relations



Precision Machining students

Students in Danville Community College's Precision Machining Technology program earned 96 of the 272 credentials awarded by the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) in Virginia during 2014. David Morgan, Director of Business Development for NIMS (pictured front center), and James A. "Jim" Wall, Executive Director of NIMS (pictured front, far right), recently toured the DCC precision machining lab and met with first and second-year students.

DANVILLE, VA, March 3, 2015 – Training the next generation workforce is at the heart of Danville Community College’s Precision Machining Technology program. Students in the program now have the credentials to prove it – earning 96 certifications awarded by the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) in Virginia in 2014. This is part of a growing collaboration with NIMS, the metalworking industry’s premier standards and skills certification body that is recognized both nationally and globally.

“It (NIMS) is a whole industry-led initiative,? said James A. “Jim? Wall, Executive Director of NIMS. “It allows a school to know that their curriculum aligns with the needs that have been identified by industry and also gives industry confidence in the readiness of their employees.?

Wall and David Morgan, Business Development Director for NIMS, recently toured the precision machining lab and met with program faculty about current successes and plans for future growth. DCC began offering NIMS credentials in September 2014, and students in the program have already earned 96 credentials in one semester’s time. “The goal for 2015 is that another 300 NIMS credentials will be earned by our students,? said Todd Sanders, Assistant Professor of Precision Machining Technology.

“It is a robust program that is industry-driven,? said Troy Simpson, DCC’s Director of Advanced Manufacturing/ Associate Professor of Precision Machining Technology. “The standards that we teach are now aligned to the NIMS standards. We’ve embedded it in the program so that when we reach the NIMS benchmarks, we test for those skill sets. By aligning the program curriculum to the NIMS standards, we have confidence that we are preparing our students for what industry needs and that industry will have confidence in them".

Wall explained that earning NIMS credentials provides students with a “labor market advantage? by giving nationally-recognized validation to their metalworking skills which they can present to employers in the field. NIMS has developed skills standards in 24 operational areas covering the gamut of metalworking operations including metalforming and machining. The standards range from entry (Level I) to master (Level III). All standards are industry-written and industry-validated.

Preparing students for employment in modern manufacturing is the objective of DCC’s Precision Machining Technology program, and giving them the opportunity to earn NIMS credentials further enhances their workforce training and preparedness. The two-year diploma program trains students for a variety of occupations, including machine tool operator, machinist, shop manager, and tool and die maker. "These are very good, high paying jobs in the region," Simpson said.

Next year, Simpson anticipates having the largest second-year precision machining class in the history of the program – 60 students. He indicated that industry demand is the driving force behind the program’s growth and that students normally receive employment offers prior to completion of the program. DCC President Dr. Bruce Scism indicated that "the employment record of the students illustrates the program’s relevance with industry and we remain committed to its future growth.?

Wall said there is a global shortage of precision machinists, specifically Computer Numerical Control (CNC) operators. He added that DCC’s Precision Machining Technology program is “right on target? to fulfill the needs of employers in the field.

“It’s really exciting, because the programs that you’re building here with the whole regional approach are really going to set this region apart from other regions in the country and in the world,? Wall said. “The work is going to go where there are skilled people to perform it, and increasingly, the places where there’s a supply of skilled workers in our industry are slim. To have these great expansion plans happening now is timely.?


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