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May 2017

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Programs with High Schools Provide Real World Skills in Manufacturing

(l-r): Ray Whitehead, President of Pegasus Manufacturing; Galesburg High School Students Brian Wright and Selena Suarez; and Steven Zhao, CEO of SMTCL USA Inc.

(l-r): Steve Wilder, Superintendent of Knoxville Regional School System; Ray Whitehead, President of Pegasus Manufacturing; Steven Zhao, CEO of SMTCL USA Inc.; and Jeff Huston, Principle of Galesburg High School

(l-r): Jeff Huston, Principle of Galesburg High School; Engineering Class of Galesburg High School; Steven Zhao, CEO of SMTCL USA Inc.; Ray Whitehead, and President of Pegasus Manufacturing

Students watching an SMTCL CNC horizontal boring mill in operation.

SMTCL USA Inc. received an award at the Digital Manufacturing Showcase event from Galesburg High School, Galesburg, IL, for SMTCL's part in a new partnership bringing manufacturing training to high school students. This new program gives students an opportunity to learn CAD design, CNC programming and CNC operation. Students from six local high schools will be able to take the classes.

Steven Zhao, Chief Executive Officer of SMTCL USA Inc., accepted the award honoring SMTCL's part in providing a vertical machining center for the students to use. Zhao commented, "Our corporation has a long history of helping young people learn manufacturing skills that can improve their lives."

"Manufacturing is the nation's biggest sector for growth in both jobs and revenue. CNC machines allow U.S. companies to compete with companies throughout the world by using modern technology to make high quality components. This educational program will also help companies that need employees with skills in operating modern CNC equipment," said a company spokesperson.

Pegasus Manufacturing Inc., SMTCL's distributor in Illinois, has taken a lead role in developing a curriculum that teaches students skills that they need to compete in today's world of manufacturing. Pegasus' President, Ray Whitehead, stated, "The educational programs are designed to give students the technical skills required to enter the advanced manufacturing workforce."

Although CNC training has been done in community colleges and vocational schools, this program with the high schools is one of a very few in the U.S.

"High schools have been strictly focused on preparing all students for a four-year university, when many students do not follow that path. We are giving them another option by teaching them real-life manufacturing skills. By learning CNC machine programming and operation, students can get a good job in manufacturing immediately after high school or they can use these skills to help them if they pursue degrees in engineering or industrial design," said Zhao.

The award presented to SMTCL was designed by a student in the program, Selena Suarez, and manufactured in aluminum on the machine provide by SMTCL. Suarez, whose next project is to design a prototype for a new jeep, stated, "Seeing the machine take a computer design and turn it into a 3-D object that you can touch is incredible."

The VMC850B vertical machining center provided by SMTCL has the latest FANUC control. This is the same control that is used by manufacturers such as Caterpillar, John Deere and Ford Motor Company. By learning to program on a FANUC control, students will be prepared for a job with most major manufacturers.

For more information contact:


17038 E. Gale Ave.

City of Industry, CA 91745


Pegasus Manufacturing Inc.

1382 Enterprise Ave.

Galesburg, IL 61401


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