If the calls to Steve Bialorucki are any indication, business at area machine shops is good.
The director of Career and Technology Education at Clay High School, Bialorucki said he is getting calls earlier each year from employers interested in forming internships for students enrolled in Clay’s Integrated Machining and Engineering Program.
“Last year, we had about half of the seniors working by Thanksgiving,” Bialorucki said, adding that he is noticing growth in medical device manufacturing as well as some segments of the renewable energy manufacturing equipment.
|Tony Spallino, instructor for Integrated Machining and Engineering,
demonstrates the milling center at Clay High School. (Press file
photo by Ken Grosjean)
Students attend classes in the morning and generally leave for work around 12:30 p.m.
Bialorucki said last year he expected all of the June graduates in the program to be working full-time when they graduated and that has proven to be the case as all 20 seniors are now employed.
This year there are 15 seniors and 17 juniors in the program.
The 2013-14 school year will be the first full school year at Clay with a new computer numerical controlled milling machine that was funded by donations from area businesses.
The HAAS VF-1 model was installed in February.
Instructor Tony Spallino has logged more than 150 hours of training in different areas of VF-1 operation and related software, Bialorucki said.
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, and BP Husky, which donated $30,000.
Area businesses also donated labor and material for its delivery and installation.