Oregon City Schools will unveil the first-ever CNC Milling Center in Clay High School history Tuesday, March 19 at 5 p.m.
The open house, which will be held in room 128 will include a demonstration of the HAAS VF-1 Vertical Milling Center.
More than a dozen local businesses came together to facilitate the purchase of the HAAS VF-1, which is valued at more than $65,000.
The need for this type of machining is evident in the skills gap seen in manufacturing facilities throughout the country. National news media have done stories about the need for skilled workers in manufacturing.
The shortage of skilled workers is caused by two factors – lower numbers entering the field out of high school and large numbers of retiring skilled workers. Clay High School will graduate 20 seniors from the Integrated Machining & Engineering program in June 2013. “Our expectation is that all of them will be working upon graduation,” said Steve Bialorucki, Career Tech Director. “We have been releasing students for internships with local employers. The students attend academic classes in the morning, report to the classroom portion of the IM&E program and leave for work at around 12:30.
“Employers have been calling us earlier every year,” he said. “This year it was before Thanksgiving.”
“With this new piece of equipment, our seniors will have the opportunity to operate CNC (Computer Numerical Controlled) equipment and help grow any local manufacturing facility,” he said. “Without the assistance of this core group of businesses Clay students would not have this outstanding opportunity.”
Requests for funding for the equipment began with phone calls and a letter campaign in June 2012. Donors included John Hammill, Jr. of Hammill Manufacturing, $10,000; Bob Milano, owner of Ort Tool and Die, Corp., $5,000; Lester Meyer of Riverside Machining and Automation. $2,000; Steve Elliot from Dugan Tool & Die, $2,000; Mary L. Caprella, and Government & Public Affairs Director for BP Husky came through with the remaining $30,000. BP Husky was a 2013 Prism Award Winner in the Community Partner category.
In addition, HAAS discounted the equipment to reduce the cost over $15,000.
As the delivery date inched closer, Gary Ondrus worked with Instructor Tony Spallino devising a plan to unload it off the truck. Oregon City Schools does not have a forklift large enough to lift this large of a machine. Ondrus suggested contacting Ackerman Industrial. Paul Ackerman donated his time to unload the 7,900 pound piece of equipment on a cold and icy Friday in February.
Iscar Metals, Inc donated over $4,000 worth of tooling for the new machine. Tom Susor, Jr. from TAS, Electrical Contractors supplied the time to locate the electrical components and to power up the new machine; GKN Driveline supplied the special order lubricant/coolant for the first run of parts.
Each of these businesses will receive a plaque with one of the first parts created from this state-of-the-art automated manufacturing device. Recognition plaques will be awarded at the regular Oregon City Schools Board of Education meeting following the open house.
“We are proud to run a program with such great support from our local employers,” Bialorucki said.
“This whole project is just another example of the positive relationships Tony has cultivated over the past several years.”