Skip to content Skip to navigation

Right time to become CNC machinist, says employer

Employers point to in-demand career fields – the ones being offered at Gateway

CNC Machinist

Gateway trains students to enter into career field which are in-demand locally, such as computer numeric control machining

Mark Beilman of the Elkhorn-based Precision Plus says this is the right time to become a computer numeric control machinist, a well-paying, high-demand career.

“This training will lead to long-term careers. Manufacturing is strong here – in Wisconsin, in general – and these jobs are here to stay.”

- Mark Beilman

Mark points to area employer need for qualified and trained machinists, coupled with a newly revamped Gateway CNC program and new manufacturing center on the Elkhorn Campus expected to open its doors to students in early 2016.

“There is a need for machinists,” says Mark, Precision Plus director of education and training. “Many applicants don’t have the required experience, so there is a lot more training involved to bring them up to that experience level.

“The machining profession is facing an aging workforce. We need to recruit more young people into this high-demand, high-pay profession.”

Mark says the opening of the center in Elkhorn will benefit area employers, as well as students attending Gateway.

“Having this facility in our backyard is exciting for us,” says Mark.

Precision Plus helped the college in opening the center through a $50,000 donation to be used toward the expansion, and in industry connections to bring in state-of-the-art machining equipment for student training. Other companies -- such as Haas, PartMaker and Morris Midwest -- have also stepped forward to support the expansion and revamped CNC program, further illustrating the importance of a new training facility and expanded program to the industry.

“It’s in the back of everyone’s mind – if you want to expand your business, you need the workforce. If you don’t have the workforce, you can’t expand. The jobs are out there, and those graduating from the Gateway program would be qualified to apply and land those jobs.”

Precision Plus is one of several area companies to engage in Swiss machining, which produces highly precise parts with high tolerance levels. Walworth County is considered a leader nationally in the area of Swiss machining. Gateway’s new facility will feature a Swiss screw machining machine for student training, fueled by Precision Plus.

“This training will lead to long-term careers. Manufacturing is strong here – in Wisconsin, in general – and these jobs are here to stay.”


Employer looks to Gateway to train workers for open positions

Mike Miller, East Troy director of Public Works and Utilities, advocates training the next generation of wastewater treatment plant operators soon – right now, in fact.

“People are not entering this field at all,” says Mike. “We have been saying that five to 10 years out, there will be no one to operate our treatment plants. What will we do about that? “This is why I have pushed for us to participate in Gateway’s apprentice program.”

- Mike Miller

He says programs such as Gateway’s apprentice and academic programs, which provide training for operators, are needed right now. Why? There is an extreme lack of qualified treatment operators, which will only increase as the current workforce retires.

“People are not entering this field at all,” says Mike. “We have been saying that five to 10 years out, there will be no one to operate our treatment plants. What will we do about that?

“This is why I have pushed for us to participate in Gateway’s apprentice program.”

Gateway offers a wastewater treatment operator apprentice program. Also, much of the training needed for operators is embedded within its Freshwater Resources academic program. Municipalities from southeastern Wisconsin seek apprentices and graduates of the program to meet the growing need for skilled operators.

Life is Big. Be Prepared.