COD Offers New CNC Operations Certificate Program
By Brian Kleemann
The new Computer Numeric Controlled Operations certificate program at College of DuPage will prepare students to work in the manufacturing industry as a CNC operator.
Recently approved by the Illinois Community College Board, the certificate will provide graduates with a credential that will help them gain entry-level work in production, structural, aerospace, renewable energy and advanced manufacturing. Jim Filipek, coordinator of COD’s Manufacturing program, said the certificate should interest a wide range of prospective students, from high school graduates to displaced workers to employees returning to the manufacturing industry.
“The CNC Operations certificate provides a more targeted direction for students to get into the workforce faster,” he said. “There’s a great need for skilled employees in this area, and this program matches that need.”
The 17 credit-hour CNC Operations Certificate program consists of six classes that can be completed in as little as two semesters. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 6 percent increase during the next 10 years for employees with these skills.
“In the past, we’ve had students take a few key courses in CNC operations and then they leave,” he said. “The certificate gives them a track to stay on, and earning this credential demonstrates to an employer that they are willing to move up within an operation. It’s a great building block to future success.”
For students who want to continue their education, Filipek said the certificate aligns with the Automated Manufacturing Systems Associate in Applied Science degree.
Enrollment in COD’s Manufacturing program is up 19 percent over the past year, he said. Courses can be taken during the day or evening in order to provide flexibility for working students on any shift.
Filipek said manufacturing opportunities continue to grow in DuPage County and the surrounding areas. In fact, he averages one to two calls per week from employers seeking skilled employees, and companies are often casting a wide net in order to find what they need.
“Creating the CNC Operations certificate demonstrates one way that we are listening to the industry,” he said. “It’s clear that skilled employees are needed, and College of DuPage is always ready to provide the necessary training for successful manufacturing careers.”
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