Program pumps out machinists

July 17, 2006

The Brevard Machinist Apprenticeship Program, taught through the Brevard Community College of Cocoa, Fla., graduates six students who are skilled and trained in creating metal parts for machining companies in the college’s area.
The four-year, state-certified program has students attending machining classes and working 8,000 hours at shops where they get on-the-job training. Their instruction includes reading engineering blueprint specifications for parts of a product, and using manual or computer lathes or mills to cut and shape metal and other materials into those specific parts.
The program’s instructors also work full time at area machining companies.
Some of the companies the students worked for manufacture highly specialized parts using exotic composites, such as those used in space shuttle parts. Others produce high volumes specific parts or multiple parts for such items as conveyor belts, cars, planes, cranes and appliances.
Joe Daly, Florida's District 45 apprenticeship officer, recently presented State of Florida Vocational Certificates to six students – Matthew Bradford, Suzanna Brantley, Alfred Chastain Jr., Penny Ford, Eric Kennedy and Karen Ruschak – who graduated from the program..