Franklin County Career and Technology Center: Precision Machining Pre-Apprenticeship Program

Posted on Categories Business, Community, Workforce Engagement, Engagement, Uncategorized

At a Glance

The Franklin County Career and Technology Center (FCCTC) partnered with area manufacturers to provide customized training for precision machining and basic CNC processes to address a shortage of skilled labor in the region.  The CNC Operator program targets displaced as well as incumbent workers.


Based on input from its partnering companies about their workplace needs, FCCTC collaborated with several key stakeholders to establish a new, adult education training program – the CNC Operator Class. To get this program up and running,  the Director and Machining Instructor at FCCTC participated in a series of meetings with industry partners and representatives of the Franklin County Career Link and the South-Central PA Works (SCPa Works) to identify the workplace need that existed, determine deliverables and access existing funding streams to assure that qualified workers could obtain gainful employment.

Table 1. Roles and Responsibilities of Stakeholders in Development of CNC Operators Program
Stakeholder Role/Responsibility
FCCTC Training Provider
Franklin County Area Development Corporation Initial Program Coordination
Industry Reps (DL Martin, Epiroc, Manitowoc Crane) Identify Need, Provide Employment Opportunity
Franklin County CareerLink Provide Students and Funding Streams
SCPa Works Identify Funding Streams and Guidance

During the spring and summer of 2020, these stakeholders met to establish the new customized  for several local manufacturers including DL Martin Inc., Epiroc USA, JLG Industries and Manitowoc Crane Group.  They designed the program to prepare students for an entry-level position in the industry, and to prepare them to obtain the CNC Mill Operator certification should they continue with additional training.

The training is for incumbent workers and for COVID displaced workers identified through the Franklin County Career Link.  At the request of local manufacturers, trainings were planned and coordinated through FCCTC’s Pre-Apprenticeship program. Funding for the program comes from a combination of federal WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) and TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) funds. The partnering companies pay the tuition for incumbent workers.

In July 2020, eight students participated in the first CNC Operator training, a 60-hour introductory course. Six of these students then continued with the program and completed an additional 60 hours of training in CNC Operations leading to NIMS certification.  An FCCTC instructor both on-site at DL Martin and at FCCTC conducted the training.  However, due to a lack of available equipment, FCCTC moved the classes back to its campus midway through the training. A second class completed the training course in October and November of 2020, and in February 2021, a third class of five students began the training program.

Table 2. Timeline of CNC Operator Class Program Development
Activity Date
Program Development and Preparatory Meetings March 2020 – June 2020
Training #1 July 2020 – August 2020
Training #2 October 2020 – November 2020
OAC Meeting November 2020
Training #3 February 2021 – March 2021
OAC Meeting April 2021

As long as there is still a local economic need for it, FCCTC plans to continue offering the CNC Operator training not only to partnering companies, but also to additional qualified recipients identified through the Career Link.  In July 2021, a new training cycle will begin.


The CNC Operators program has benefited individual students, local companies, and the community as a whole.

    • Four students received NIMS CNC Operators and obtained employment with an industry partner.
    • Students are identifying pathways to careers in manufacturing.
    • Stakeholders now realize a legitimate training partner exists in Franklin County.
    • The CNC Operators program offers a blueprint for additional workforce development initiatives and a training reference for new businesses looking to locate in Franklin County.


Franklin County Career and Technology Center

Jim Duffey, Administrative Director

Link to CNC Operator Class Fact Sheet
Link to PDF Machining Flyer