Ventura College’s new degree program in advanced manufacturing is training the future manufacturing workers of Ventura County. Prompted by student interest, employer demand and Ventura County’s strength as a manufacturing sector, Ventura College’s new manufacturing training program will offer the latest information and technology in both lecture and laboratory settings.
Ventura College’s advanced manufacturing degree program offers an associate degree, certificates of achievement, pre-apprenticeships and a Journeyman Machinist program.
It’s a good time for students to get jobs in manufacturing, as the country looks to bring jobs back to the U.S. While learning on the job may have been sufficient in the past, local employers value the streamlined hiring and training process of having entry-level employees who can jump right in. This is particularly important in Ventura County, where manufacturing has been identified by the Economic Development Collaborative as one of six key industries.
“One of the reasons this program is so advantageous is because it trains our local residents to work in an industry where there are high paying jobs in Ventura County,” said John Clark, instructor in the manufacturing technology program. “Our graduates will be able to live here, work here and support their families.”
The advanced manufacturing program aims to prepare students to be career-ready by training them on full-size, industry-worthy CNC machines, which mirror the machines used in the workplace. Students already in the industry can take classes to expand or update their skills for career advancement. Students may also choose to pursue the AS in Advanced Manufacturing to launch their career in industry or transfer to a university to obtain a bachelor’s degree in management, engineering, industrial technology, agricultural engineering or mechanical engineering.
The advanced manufacturing program offers a pre-apprenticeship option to give students real-world experience while providing employers an opportunity to find skilled workers. The goal of the pre-apprenticeship program is to take a student with no knowledge of manufacturing and train them to be capable CNC machine operators in just one semester.
After taking two classes, MT V02 and MT V05, students are eligible to participate in VC’s apprenticeship program and earn approximately $18 an hour. In contrast, the state’s minimum wage is $13-$14 per hour, depending on company size.
For two and a half years, the student will work full-time in local industry to receive on-the-job training while taking at least one class per semester at Ventura College. In just three years, a student will earn a Journeyman Machinist Card from the U.S. Department of Labor, which can transfer anywhere in the U.S. Following program completion, the student may earn $25-$30 per hour.
Ventura College plans to offer two certificates of achievement in manufacturing technology, including CNC Machine Operation and CNC Machinist. The two stackable certificates are pending state approval. The first can be completed in one semester.