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December 2017

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Space Coast Machinist Apprenticeship Program

Space Coast Machinist Apprenticeship Program received the Non-Profit of the Year Award given by the Space Coast Public Service Awards and Hall of Fame during a recent ceremony at the King Center for the Performing Arts in Melbourne, FL.

Space Coast Machinist Apprenticeship Program is a non-profit, charitable 501(c)3 organization dedicated to training machinists in the Space Coast Region of Florida. It is a traditional machining apprenticeship program that combines classroom studies taught by professional working machinists in conjunction with on-the-job training by local manufacturing companies. is a registered apprenticeship program with the Florida department of Education, Office of Workforce Education and Continuing Education as part of the National Apprenticeship Program in accordance with the standards recommended by the Florida Apprenticeship Advisory Council. Once completed, the apprentice receives the State of Florida journeyman certification.

Space Coast Machinist Apprenticeship Program started in 1997 in coordination with Brevard Community College to provide a way to train machinists in the area. The organization now consists of 18 local manufacturing companies, and 37 apprentices in the 2016-17 academic year. Since inception, 84 students have completed the demanding four-year program and have received the distinction of Journeyman Certification. This year, the program celebrated its 20-year anniversary.

Leonard J. DeFrancisci, co-owner of DEMACO, a designer and builder of industrial pasta machines, also volunteers as the President of . DeFrancisci said, "Our key to success is using a collaborative effort, building partnerships with technical, workforce development, economic development, government and veterans organizations, as well as educational institutions and businesses."

Space Coast Machinist Apprenticeship Program works closely with Eastern Florida State College for use of classrooms and the machine shop on the Cocoa Campus. Last year, donated three machining lathes to the college for its machine shop for use by the whole community. Additionally, partnered with NASA in the HUNCH Program. In HUNCH, NASA engineers from the Johnson Space Center and the Kennedy Space Center worked with students from to build parts that were launched into space and are currently on the International Space Station.

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