As a positive solution to a tight labor market for highly skilled CNC machinists, EMT International, a market leader in finishing equipment and transport systems for the high speed, digital ink jet market developed its own introductory ‘boot camp’ program to attract new employees and inspire an interest in further education and certification in CNC machining.
Four full-time employees were hired to participate in the introductory eight-week CNC machining program which was held January through February 2023. The multifaceted program included a combination of classroom education, job shadowing, and hands-on operational lab training.
“Our criteria in the selection of candidates for our boot camp CNC machining program were some level of mechanical skill, a desire to learn a new technical career, and a positive attitude,” said Kari Brunette, HR Manager of EMT International. “No level of CNC machining background was required.”
The classroom educational materials included how to read drawings, dimensioning and tolerancing, machine setup, and working on a manual machine. Each participant spent an hour a day with a mentor on the EMT shop floor watching, learning, and asking questions to solidify their classroom instruction. Afternoons were spent nearby in lab training at Northwest Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC) which offered participants a hands-on operational experience on multiple machines individually and as a team.
EMT Technical Trainer Derrick Ray, who previously taught a CNC curriculum at NWTC, guided the eight-week program. “The intent of EMT’s CNC Machinist training program was to introduce participants to the basics of the technical skills required to pursue a broader 1- or 2-year CNC Technician Technical Diploma program at NWTC,” said Ray. “All four participants passed the eight-week program and were very pleased with what they learned and elements of the overall program.”
“We congratulate Derrick, who helped organize and led the successful boot camp CNC machining program, and to all our employees on the manufacturing floor who were supportive in their role as mentors,” said Brunette.
The experience and success of the CNC machining boot camp has solidified EMT’s commitment to expand its educational training with similar programs for other roles within the company.
“Over the past year, the focus at EMT International has evolved to create a learning environment for current as well as new employees,” added Brunette. “In addition to hiring a dedicated Technical Trainer, we have installed an LMS with customized curriculum training plans and revamped training space in our production area. EMT views innovative educational training as a way to navigate the tight labor market and fill and maintain vital roles with qualified individuals.”