May 5, 2017 / PHOTO - Instructors from Mexico City complete training at VU
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From left, Vincennes University instructor Bob Nash teaches a machining class in the VU Haas Technical Education Center to a group of instructors from Mexico City that include Azael Gonzalez, Alejandro Calderon, Esau Ramos, Armando Hernandez, Andres Garduno, and Jaime Almaraz. Instructors have come to VU from three other countries and more than 30 states to take training from VU instructors at the HTEC facility. ###
VINCENNES, Ind. - Six instructors from Mexico City completed two weeks of intensive training at Vincennes University’s Haas Technical Education Center (HTEC) on Wednesday.
They join instructors from Canada, South Africa, and about 30 U.S. states who came to VU for training to make them better instructors in CNC machining technology.
“Our current class has six instructors from Mexico City who are each taking four classes, under instructor Bob Nash, over two weeks in CNC Programming and Operations on Haas CNC mills and CNC lathes. This will be the core group of trainers for their research and development center as they establish training there,” said Doug Bowman, director of the HTEC at VU.
The Vincennes University HTEC was the first teacher training center for the HTEC Network of 1,800 member high schools, colleges, and universities. In this role the VU Center has trained and certified hundreds of HTEC teachers.
“We are here because our intention is to build some training courses in Mexico City. We will be training students from engineers to technicians who must have a background in CNC machining and manufacturing. The training here is very good and very complete,” said Jaime Trejo Almaraz.
VU, Haas Automation, and HFO Midwest have invested heavily in the VU Center to help ensure that it is an effective tool in helping HTEC teachers to receive the training and the credentials that they need to go back and take their programs to the next level. The Gene Haas Foundation annually supports the center with teacher training scholarships so that as many educators as possible can attend training and certification classes.
Bowman says that about 100 instructors travel to VU annually for training at the VU HTEC and he believes the future is bright for continued demand for training.
“One thing unique to this class is that two our graduates are helping to teach the class. These were previously unemployed coal miners who took our training and are now planning to return to eastern Kentucky where they will be the director and instructor of an HTEC, training additional people. We have been helping get that center started by helping in the design of the building and by training 20 persons from the region while they await the start of instruction there this fall,” Bowman said.
Teacher training is available 12 months of the year and VU leases three buildings at an adjacent apartment complex to house participants. Courses are designed to allow teachers to take the ideas and curriculum back to their schools and to implement them into their programs if they desire. Courses are built around NIMS credentials and teachers have the opportunity to become NIMS certified in each course.
“Vincennes University was recommended to us. When we made Haas aware of our plans, they recommended VU as the place to be trained. You have a good team here and they encourage us to be better teachers,” said Alejandro Gonzalez Calderon.
In addition to Almaraz and Calderon, other instructors completing the training at VU this week included Esau Ramos, Andres Garduno, Azael Gonzalez, and Armando Hernandez.
Bowman said the HTEC is busy throughout the year. In addition to providing instructor training, it also provides incumbent worker training and multiple 15-week Right Skills Now CNC Machining programs.
Implemented in 2103, the Right Skills Now CNC Machining program was developed to address the severe shortage of CNC machinists and the high unemployment rate among military veterans.
The program is focused on military veterans but is open to all adult learners that are looking for an accelerated CNC training program. One of the unique features of this program is that candidates are interviewed beforehand by a company in their geographical area and are groomed for a position within that company throughout the 15 weeks of training. Students earn a minimum of six NIMS credentials and gain skills in many forms of CNC setup, operation, and programming. Students become very proficient in the use of precision measuring tools, setup procedures using standard indicators and edge finders, and in more automated setup procedures using probes and tool setters. All aspects of machining are covered, but the focus is on CNC machining because that is where the most serious shortage is. In Indiana alone, in a study by the Indiana Chapter of the National Tooling and Machining Association, it is projected that there will be a need of 7,000 machinists in the next five years due to attrition and growth potential. Most of these jobs are CNC machinist positions.