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PA celebrates first graduates of DCED-funded training program at Northampton Community College

Precision Machining program prepares low-income individuals, veterans, and others in the Lehigh Valley for good-paying manufacturing careers


State Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Director of Workforce Development Initiatives Gwen Ross visited Northampton Community College (NCC) in Bethlehem to discuss the ongoing commitment to strengthening Pennsylvania’s manufacturing industry and to celebrate graduates of the new Precision Machining program funded through the Manufacturing PA Training-to-Career Program (MTTC).

In April, DCED awarded NCC a $50,252 MTTC grant to implement the eight-week, 250-hour program that teaches the safe handling and operation of machining tools most used in the manufacturing industry. NCC focuses on recruiting individuals for the Precision Machining program who are low-income, lack basic technology skills, are veterans, career changers, or out-of-school youth who have no post-graduation plans.

There were 12 summer cohort graduates of the program, which began in June. The students passed multiple National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS) credential tests and received certifications in various areas that qualify them for entry level, good-paying positions in machining and manufacturing.

“Our team is grateful that DCED saw the merit in this program and the benefits it would provide our graduates and the local employers who will be happy to hire them,” said Lauren Loeffler, vice president of Workforce Development and Community Education at NCC. “Our instructor, in partnership with our program managers and our local employers prepared these students with the necessary technical and employability skills needed to be a great employee looking for a career, not just a job. There were 12 local employers that participated in our Employer Day the week before graduation and did initial interviews with our students. Many students already have second interviews set up to gain employment in a field with tremendous opportunities. We could not be more proud of our graduates, the NCC team, and the faith placed in our program by DCED.”

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