The Belmont Career Center is looking for students to enroll in the Machine Trades program at the school.
Instructor Robert Jackson receives phone calls from local and distant machine shops at least once a week. "I even receive calls at home from companies that are desperately in need of students with machining skills," explained Jackson. "In the next ten years, U.S. industry is going to require 100,000 machinists just to keep pace with new manufacturing," he continued.
"I received a call in May from a company in Dover, Ohio, that offers machinists annual salaries of $60,000 to $80,000 per year," Jackson added. "The shop owner said he has been trying to find a machinist for two years with no luck. He would be willing to hire any of our students."
Students in the Machine Trades program learn safety and the operation of lathes, conventional and CNC milling machines, grinders and drill presses. A very high degree of accuracy is involved in the measurement of parts that are being produced. The skills obtained in this program prepare students to enter the workforce as an apprentice machinist.
Russell Blake, class of 1988, has been a machinist since graduation. "My parents could not afford to send me to college, so my father said it was best that I learn a trade at the Belmont Career Center," said Blake. "It was the best decision I ever made."
Eric Wade, class of 2003, credits his education at the Career Center and the opportunity for early job placement during his senior year. "These are not just jobs, they are careers with wages and benefits comparable to many careers demanding a bachelor's degree with large student loans to repay," Wade expressed.
Enrollment for next school year is taking place right now at the Belmont Career Center. Students and parents who would like to know more about the Machine Trades program may contact Jackson at the school. He can be reached at (740) 695-9130, ext. 124.
Pictured in the Machine Trades lab working with a CNC milling machine is student Salina Howard from Martins Ferry High School.