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Instructors learn program to prepare future manufacturing, technical workers

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Retirements and fewer opportunities to take technical education classes due to funding cuts are creating a shortage of employees with skills to design, engineer and repair equipment. The Sierra Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) Community Collaborative (www.sierraschoolworks.com) was formed in response to this need. The collaborative brought together 10 high school and Sierra College career technical education instructors to learn MasterCam — a computer aided design and manufacturing software application — and Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machining skills at Rocklin High School on June 6. Dan Frank, engineering support technology instructor at Rocklin High School and Scott Seacrist, iDesign instructor at Lincoln High School, conducted the training at Rocklin High School’s engineering lab. Participants learned how to set up computer code in MasterCam, and then created dominoes and stacking blocks on CNC milling machines. The California Community College Chancellor’s Office awarded an SB70 grant to Sierra College to create a pipeline of students from middle school to high school to college interested in and prepared to fill the need for skilled technical employees. To learn the needed skills for local, in-demand, highly-paid careers, students can pursue engineering, mechatronics, welding, energy technology, and design and engineering support at Sierra College. For information about the Sierra STEM Collaborative, go to www.sier raschoolworks.com or contact Carol Pepper-Kittredge, director of the Center for Applied Competitive Technologies at Sierra College, at cpepper-kittredge@sierracollege.edu or (916) 660-7801.