Residents invited to explore entry level manufacturing jobs

To participate in College of the Canyons' job preparation program, no experience is necessary but officials said prospective students should be familiar with computers, because there is time spent learning G-code and M-code in order to learn how to control machines like the one pictured.
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Local residents looking for a new career path are invited to Friday’s open house event at College of the Canyons, which will discuss a free program to help students find entry-level jobs manufacturing parts for various industries.

In partnership with the college’s Center for Applied Competitive Technologies, COC’s Fast Track Institute will host a fast-paced, intensive job preparation program for job seekers who are looking to jump start a career in Computer Numerical Controlled machining operations.

The upcoming open house event will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday in Room 107 of the Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center and detail what prospective students should expect once they are accepted into the program, according to the registration website. 

It’s basically if you want a job manufacturing parts that are needed in various industries like the medical and aerospace field, then join the program and you’ll almost certainly get one, said John Milburn, the executive director of the employee training institute.

“We actually run these (training programs) when demand tells us there’s enough jobs openings in the area,” Milburn said, mentioning how the program has, on average, a roughly 90%-placement rate, and some cohorts have placed 100% of the students who completed the program.

“In manufacturing, there is a need for a dependable and trained skilled workforce,” Milburn said. “The companies start workers out at entry-level positions to train, but those jobs usually lead to upward mobility down the road; so there’s chances for higher paying jobs and higher skilled jobs.”

Because many of the manufacturing companies are local to the Santa Clarita Valley and northern Los Angeles County, “we do place a lot of people locally,” according to Milburn. Students can be placed at businesses like Aerospace Dynamics International and Boston Scientific, among others.

“There’s also a number of smaller companies here in the Antelope Valley that hire from our school. You wouldn’t necessarily know their names but these are very good jobs making airplane parts, medical devices and all kinds of things every day,” Milburn said.

“It’s exciting,” Milburn said, adding, “we like to say it’s not your grandfather’s factory anymore.

These manufacturing jobs are high tech environments that require people with skills.”

Students who attend Friday’s open house will enjoy the chance to hear all about the program, who would be a good fit and what’s going to be expected of those who are selected, according to Milburn. The program will run for eight weeks Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

“We’re emulating work,” Milburn said. “We want people who want to roll up their sleeves and get to work because at the end of the program, these people will be working in manufacturing.”

There’s no cost to students if they are selected to participate in the intensive training program and no experience is needed, “but we do hope people are familiar with computers,” Milburn said, “because there is time spent on computers learning G-code and M-code, so there is a lightweight amount of coding to learn in order to know how to control the machines.”

Residents who are interested in participating in the program but won’t be able to make it to the orientation should reach out to Lynda DePerno directly by contacting 661-362-3112 or [email protected].

“The program doesn’t start until later, so we can still take somebody in after the open house event,” Milburn said. “We’re looking for the right candidates, so if somebody couldn’t make it Friday then we’ll still interview them. We’re open and we want to talk to anybody who could have the skills to excel in the field.”

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