Wenatchee Valley College Foundation was awarded a $25,000 Industrial Technology Program Enhancement grant from the Alcoa Foundation this month. The funds will be used to purchase four pieces of equipment that will replace older equipment currently used in WVC’s Industrial Technology program. The newer equipment will also expand the program’s capacity to provide machining trade skills.
The new equipment to be purchased includes a large band saw, hydraulic tube bender and two metal lathe/mill combos.
WVC students who to take courses in drafting, welding and fabrication, aerospace electronics, industrial electronics, automotive technology, refrigeration, and agriculture programs will benefit from the use of these machines, and they will gain entry-level knowledge into machining trades, such as tool making, iron working, and other manufacturing technologies.
“Students will be able to learn about the equipment, learn the safety procedures associated with the equipment, and then begin fabricating,” said Zack Jacobson, WVC Industrial Technology program director. “They’ll bring that knowledge into their profession and be more competitive in the job market, where they may be competing against others who haven’t had the opportunity to work on machines like these.”
The need for new machining tools came from the reaction Jacobson received from his machining contacts, he explained. “They were shocked that we didn’t have these tools,” he said.
Jacobson, WVC Associate Dean of Workforce Education Dean Mary Watson and WVC Foundation Executive Directory Stacey Lockhart applied to the Alcoa Foundation for the funds to purchase the necessary equipment.
“Alcoa has a machine shop and a metal fabrication shop, and they’re frequently hiring,” Jacobson said. “Our ability to train students to use this equipment will enable the college to help Alcoa meet their employment needs.”
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