In May, we had the honor to host the 26th annual 2017 Precision Machining Competition for Illinois high school students at our Midwest Technology Center in Schaumburg, Illinois. This competition recognizes excellence in precision machining skills and encourages students to pursue careers in manufacturing by reaching them at a critical time during their K-12 education.
Organized by the local Technology & Manufacturing Association (TMA), this year’s event attracted more than 250 students from 19 local high schools who submitted more than 300 parts. Students chose from 25 eligible projects of varying degrees of difficulty across three divisions. Each student had to machine a part according to exact specifications, submit the completed part, and judges measured part accuracy. Students could also compete in the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) Intermediate, NIMS Advanced, NIMS CNC Intermediate and NIMS CNC Advanced divisions and submit their projects to NIMS to receive official certification for their skills.
The parts produced by these students ranged from a C-clamp set, hammer or small V-block in Division I to a surface gauge, precision vise or MTAC test pin in Division III, and all were quite impressive. It was exciting to get a preview of some of the talented young people who will soon be entering the workforce to fill many of the jobs that are being vacated by retiring workers or that require new skills due to today’s advanced technologies.
We were thrilled to partner with TMA to host this event and wholeheartedly support the manufacturing industry in Illinois as well as students as they make important decisions about their careers that may include a future in manufacturing. That’s why we held many of the event’s activities in the machining demonstration area of our Midwest Technology Center to give students, their parents and instructors an opportunity to explore the latest in advanced machining technology. We also encouraged attendees to visit with various representatives of the local manufacturing industry who answered questions for students and shared information about the many different types of careers in manufacturing.
These types of events are important in our quest to encourage the next generation of manufacturers. To learn more about this competition or other ways TMA is promoting manufacturing technology education visit www.tmaillinois.org.