Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021

First machinery challenge attract employers

Posted: Monday, June 4, 2012

There's more to Berne, Indiana, than gourmet cheese and fine furniture.

On May 4, it was all about the showcasing of 16 high school students' machine skills in the first-ever Northeast Indiana High School Machining contest, played out before nearly 20 manufacturing company representatives, looking for highly skilled labor.

"Today is all about the students," Jerod Daily said. "We've invited nearly 20 industry professionals from Fort Wayne to Muncie, and all around locally to come and talk with our kids and see the skills these students have."

Students in teams of two, from Huntington North High School and South Adams High Schools, were combined into groups of four and set out to prove their abilities in a machine challenge. The blueprint to be interpreted and the object to be created included the students have technical skills on the manual milling machine, manual lathe and surface grinder; metrology or precise measurements; and machine shop knowledge that included competence in trigonometry, algebra, geometry, blueprint reading and shop safety.

"Not many programs are left that can train students with these kind of skills," Delaware Dynamics Human Resources and Safety Director Richard Taylor said.

"Schools that still teach these kinds of classes usually have equipment that is outdated or they've cut the program altogether."

"Companies like ours are desperate for students who can come out of high school with the ability to run these precision machines," Taylor continued. Taylor went on to say "and they can be hired right out of high school if they do." The beginning wages for an entry level, skilled machinist begins at around $30,000 per year.

The event was assisted by the Retired Machinist group of Northeast Indiana.