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May 2019

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Industrial Technology Center

Clackamas Community College has a new 43,000 sq. ft. that prepares the next generation of CNC machinists.

Manufacturing professionals, machine tool suppliers, students and instructors gathered to see the new facility in October 2018.

This Okuma VMC is one of nine new CNC machines that provide Clackamas Community College students access to the latest machining technology.

A win-win relationship: Manufacturing technology supplier Gosiger, Inc. has worked with the college to provide CNC machines, training and more for seven years. In return, Gosiger customers can visit the facility for machine demos and lunch-and-learn events.

This chess set is from one of the CNC programs designed by Gosiger engineers that shows students what modern CNC machines make possible.

The American workforce is aging across all industries, and even more so in the manufacturing sector. According to Cisco Systems, one-third of today's manufacturing workers are over the age of 50 and the average age of highly skilled workers is 56. The company's research projects a shortage of 875,000 highly skilled manufacturing professionals by 2020, and two million unfilled manufacturing jobs by 2025.

These statistics point to the importance of developing a new generation of skilled CNC machinists. While trade schools and colleges are among the primary conduits for filling this need, students may find it difficult to master the latest CNC technologies without access to current equipment. Fortunately, some machine tool OEMs and resellers are helping these schools by developing mutually beneficial relationships.

One example is a program instituted by Ohio-based manufacturing technology provider Gosiger, Inc. For a number of years, the family-owned business has worked with several educational organizations across the U.S. including 50-year-old Clackamas Community College in Oregon City, OR. Cynthia Risan, the school's Dean of Technology, Applied Science and Public Services, explained, "We educate students in manual machining, CNC machining and renewable energy skills. In 2012 Brad Lisle, an Applications Engineer with Gosiger, came to us with a proposal: If we could provide space in our facility for two or three CNC machines and allow them to bring in potential customers for demonstrations, we could use the equipment in our manufacturing technology classes. We saw this as an excellent opportunity to expose our students to current CNC technology, so we carved out about 500 sq. ft. of floor space, did some remodeling and Gosiger brought in an Okuma ( CNC lathe and 4-axis vertical machining center (VMC) as a start.

"At that time, our facility was quite limited. We had only one CNC machine, an Okuma Cadet lathe, so having Gosiger bring in new Okuma machines helped us better equip our students for finding jobs in the manufacturing workforce."

Since then, both the manufacturing program and relationship with Gosiger have grown significantly, according to Mike Mattson, Manufacturing Department Chair. "Clackamas County voters approved a bond to upgrade the college's buildings and equipment, with $20 million allocated to expanding the which includes the manufacturing department. We now have a modern, 43,000 sq. ft. facility with all new CNC equipment. Gosiger arranged significant discounts for us on nine new pieces of Okuma equipment including five Genos L250 lathes, two Genos M560-V VMCs with 4th axis rotary tables, a Genos L300-MYW horizontal lathe and a Genos M460-V-5AX 5-axis VMC. They also continue to loan us additional machines, such as a Nomura Swiss-style machine, which keeps us up-to-date on the latest CNC technology."

This expansion in space and equipment enabled Clackamas to build a solid curriculum around advanced CNC machines. Gosiger also loans the school two-three additional current CNC machines for 6- to 12-month periods, changing them out between quarters, so as not to interrupt classes.

About 130 full-time and 300-400 part-time students take classes each year. The school offers a one-year certificate program that prepares students for entry-level machine operator jobs, and a 2-year Associate of Applied Science degree program for those who wish to be CAM programmers and skilled CNC machinists. The school also provides short-term CNC training for manufacturers who want to sharpen their machining skills.

"Every student who completes the coursework and chooses to work in manufacturing receives multiple job offers from which to choose. Because they are well prepared to operate CNC machines equipped with current technologies like the Okuma OSP control, employers such as Boeing, Siemens, Benchmade Knife Company, Warn Industries and many others know that these new hires can quickly get up to speed."

"This has been a win-win situation," Dean Risan said. "The college, Gosiger, the students and the manufacturing community all benefit. Not only has Gosiger helped us make the latest high-end CNC machining centers, lathes and screw machines available for our students and instructors, they also provide training on all new equipment. On National Manufacturing Day in October 2018, we had the grand opening of our new manufacturing facility. Hundreds of manufacturing employers, students, high schoolers and industry partners gathered for the event and Gosiger was the main anchor."

"Together with Gosiger and other partners, such as Sandvik Coromant cutting tools and Mastercam CAD/CAM software, we host interactive lunch-and-learn workshops for 50 to 100 manufacturing professionals. This enables them to interact with our students and faculty, see the kind of work we are doing and learn about the programs we offer."

Risan believes this type of interconnection between academia and industry is a model that other educational institutions could consider adopting. "The relationship between Clackamas Community College and Gosiger has been and continues to be a healthy and positive one for all concerned. Together we are preparing a new generation of skilled machinists capable of making immediate contributions to their employers, and who will help to shape the future of manufacturing."

For more information contact:

Gosiger, Inc.

108 McDonough Street

Dayton, OH 45402


Clackamas Community College

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