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COA’s Machining Graduates Are Ready for the Workforce

BARCO — College of The Albemarle’s (COA) 2018 machining graduates are ready to apply their skills in the workforce. Tyler Kelly, Joel McCoy and Qwatrail Weeks completed their last day in COA’’s Computer Integrated Machining (CIM) program on Thursday, July 12.

Kelly, a 2018 Camden Early College graduate, received two job offers and decided to accept employment with Hockmeyer Equipment, beginning July 23. Kelly switched over to the Camden Early College from Camden High School after finding out more about classes offered through COA. He attributes his success in the class to COA instructor, Thomas Chambers, and noted that his favorite tool was the Computer Numeric Control (CNC). “It allowed me to create a program, load it on the machine, and after setting it up, the machine then cuts out parts,” said Kelly. Kelly is excited about his future in machining and how the field opens the door for him to move up in his career.

Weeks, an Elizabeth City resident, also noted that the CNC milling machine was her favorite tool. The machines and tools used in the CIM program are similar to those used in the workforce, but on a smaller scale. Weeks used to work at Subway and decided to go back to school to specialize in a trade. She now plans to apply for positions at Motion Sensors and Sumitomo Drive Technologies to begin her career in the field of machining.

McCoy moved from Jacksonville, NC eight years ago and resides in Tyner. McCoy is in the process of enrolling in COA’s Computer-Aided Drafting Technology program with plans to earn an Associate in Fine Arts. He also works for Hockmeyer Equipment under COA’s Work-Based Learning program. McCoy is forty-two years old and plans to complete his degree to make a smooth transition from the class environment to a shop. McCoy’s first career was in construction. Looking back on his first career, McCoy noted, “When I started my career in construction, I had no education behind my work. I wish I had gone to school 20 years ago to learn the baseline knowledge before starting the job. I am excited to enter my second career with the backing of education.”

COA will host the 5th Annual Advance Manufacturing Event and Open House on Friday, Oct. 5, 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Regional Aviation and Technical Training Center, 107 College Way, Barco. This event is open to the public.