Fourth Precision Machining and CNC Automation class graduates from Suncoast Technical College

Program already has trained 89 students, with the original goal of 100 in five years

Students work with HAAS equipment at Suncoast Technical College. Photo courtesy Sarasota County Schools

Sarasota County Schools’ Suncoast Technical College has graduated another class “of trained apprentices for the modern world of manufacturing,” the district has announced.

This is the fourth year of the Precision Machining and CNC Automation program, a news release points out. Suncoast Technical College (STC) gives the students hands-on experience with state-of-the-art Haas CNC (computer numerical control) machining equipment, the release notes; the students use MasterCam Cad/Cam software to program it. “The machines produce several products that meet today’s needs,” the release continues, including titanium medical hip implants, equipment for NASA’s space program, surgical tooling, plastic injection molds, jet fighters, and automotive and Tervis Tumbler molds. The CNC equipment is also used to make other products, such as Taylor guitars and boat molds at Marine Concepts in Bradenton.

The goal of the program — aligned with local manufacturing needs and the vision of the Sarasota and Manatee Manufacturing Association (SAMA) — was to train 100 machinists in five years, the release says. STC has graduated its 89th student, the release points out. The college also has produced the most National Institute of Metal Working Skills (NIMS) certifications in Florida — 285 — and has added MasterCam certification training to the program.

Additionally, STC trains students in traditional machining, the release says.

The average wage range for graduates right out of the program, the release points out, is $26,500 to $38,000 a year. However, some make more than $20 an hour in their first jobs.

All of the graduates either are working, have job offers or are continuing with engineering classes in college, the release says.

STC was a recipient of $12,500 from the Gene Haas Foundation for use in scholarships for 2018, the release adds, noting, “There any many ways students at STC can get help pay for their training.”

STC is located at 4748 Beneva Road in Sarasota.