Advanced Precision Machining

Front Range Community College Upgrades Machining Facility, Expands Curriculum

[July 2, 2014] The economic realities faced by the precision manufacturing industry are not necessarily breaking news to readers of our CNC machine shop blog. We are happy to report however, that the last few years have seen an increase in demand for milling and machining services across the US, and especially here locally for Colorado machine shop operations. As a result, Advanced Precision Machining has responded by expanding our business, investing in new equipment, and keeping our staff current on the latest CNC machining techniques and technology. An unfortunate and unforeseen byproduct of this economic improvement has been a shortage of qualified labor. Specifically, difficulty in hiring qualified CNC machinists. Demand now is at an all time high for entry level, and the most experienced milling and machining personnel. In an effort to support our own business needs, and the Colorado machining industry as a whole, we reported on APM co-founder Kirk Tuesburg's instructor role at Front Range Community College's (FRCC) CNC machining training center here in Longmont. We are happy to report that Kirk has been actively involved with teaching, and developing curriculum for the non-credit CNC machine shop training classes aimed at delivering new talent to the workforce.

In the near future, local operations are sticking with their business plans to hire even more CNC machinists because the market and labor pool warrant it. This is indeed good news from a business and economic standpoint. We would like to take this opportunity to bring you up to date on the progress being made within the program at FRCC, including new facilities and equipment. Until recently, Kirk was instructing and training new students at FRCC's Career Development Center (CDC) at its Boulder County Campus in Longmont. The size and scope of the CNC machine center was small, and classes were limited to non-credit, introductory sessions geared toward entry-level machining techniques. Instructors taught on only a few CNC mills and CNC lathes owned by the CDC. Thanks to a recent $25 million dollar Department of Labor federal grant, FRCC now boasts a new 11,230 square foot Advanced Technology Center. The upgraded facilities include new classroom space, and a larger machine shop floor with more than two dozen pieces of precision machining equipment.

To further fulfill demand for the shortage of qualified CNC machinists, FRCC is offering a new curriculum with both non-credit entry level classes taught on traditional, manually operated mills and lathes, and more advanced credit classes taught on today's more modern CNC machines. In addition, customized training will now be available for machine shops wanting to enhance their employee's skill sets. Within the new center, the focus will be strictly on precision machining, with the goal of bringing the next generation of machine shop operators into the workforce, and meet the employment needs of local businesses.

For more information on FRCC's new Advanced Technology Center, This Daily Call newspaper article provides a great write up from earlier this year. To learn about the range of milling, turning, finishing, and prototyping machine shop operations provided by Advanced Precision Machining, contact us today.

About the Author

Gerry Dillon is a co-founder, current owner and certified CNC machinist at Advanced Precision Machining (APM), a full-service machine shop located in Longmont, Colorado. Before making his home in the United States in 2000, Gerry was born and raised on the emerald isle of Ireland and took an interest in milling and machining from an early age, ranking #1 in the Irish National Apprenticeship Program. In 2005, he partnered with his friend and colleague, Kirk Tuesburg, currently APM’s machine shop manager, together launching what’s grown into a leading Colorado machine shop. Gerry brings over 30 years of machining experience to the shop floor, and is certified in all aspects of geometric dimensioning and tolerancing.

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