Equipment updates for community college

Combining a $216,500 Duke Power Community College grant with $100,000 of its own money, Isothermal Community College, Spindale, N.C., has purchased machine tools for improving its machining-technology programs.

Combining a $216,500 Duke Power Community College grant with $100,000 of its own money, Isothermal Community College, Spindale, N.C., has purchased machine tools for improving its machining-technology programs. According to instructor Scott Bradey, the Duke Power grant allowed the programs to benefit from three additional Haas milling machines and three turning centers. The program lab already houses two standard and two vertical milling machines and four turning centers.

Less than 50 miles southeast of Asheville and near the South Carolina border, Isothermal Community offers machining, manufacturing and mechanical engineering training programs leading to certificates, diplomas and associate of applied science in mechanical-engineering degrees.

"We train our students for high-speed machining of different materials, such as aluminum, castings and various steels, in today's high-technology global marketplace," says Bradey.

He also says the added machines have new safety features, produce fewer operator errors and generate final product designs more precisely than the older lab machinery. That older equipment will be sold at a surplus sale.

Duke Power is a unit of Duke Electric, a large national electric utility. Its Community College Grant Program was established in 2004, the 100th anniversary of its founding. The program encourages community and technical colleges to provide additional training for manufacturing and related industries.

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