Are there still jobs available in manufacturing?
There are many manufacturing-based companies in Arizona and in the Phoenix area in particular. These companies are still seeking employees in a variety of positions including skilled operators of sophisticated equipment, technicians to maintain the production equipment, machinists who produce prototype parts and assemblies, and many other jobs requiring a broad knowledge of manufacturing skills. In addition, there are projections that, in the next five to ten years, many current workers in these positions will be reaching retirement and replacement workers must be available to take their place. People who are acquiring manufacturing skills now through Manufacturing Technology Programs, such as the programs at MCC, will be in position to move into these vacated jobs.
Are many MCC students currently working in manufacturing companies in the Valley? What kind of jobs are they doing?
Yes. There are many students who are currently employed in manufacturing and are seeking to improve their skills through the college programs. The student population has a varied background. A lot of the students are employed at the larger local companies (Intel, Boeing, Honeywell, TRW) but many others are at the medium and smaller companies employing 30 to 500 people. Their current assignments are as production worker, equipment technician, test technician, material controller, quality technician, machinist, machine operator, and others. All are looking to add to their knowledge to qualify themselves for promotion to higher skill positions or to solidify their current positions through the increased knowledge.
Do most people work to obtain an A.A.S. Degree or a certificate of completion?
The Manufacturing programs are designed to allow the student to take a stepped path approach towards completing a degree. The courses needed for a Certificate of Completion are also part of the degree requirements and can be taken at a rate of one class per semester or more than one class at a time as the student wishes . Only nine or ten courses are required for a Certificate and all of the courses are manufacturing courses. Many students take the certificate classes first so they can receive the certificate and put this knowledge to work sooner. They then can continue on to complete the General Education classes and a other manufacturing classes to receive the A.A.S. degree.
If one wanted to start with one or two classes, which classes would be good beginning classes in Manufacturing?
The course that provides the best overview of manufacturing is GTC104 Manufacturing Processes. In addition to the knowledge obtained in the classroom, students will participate in a number of “hands on” activities in a shop laboratory. These activities include machining (lathe and milling machine), welding (oxy-acetylene), casting, sheet metal work, and plastics molding. From this experience, the student will gain an appreciation for the manufacturing issues that are present in the production of the many products that we use in industry and in our everyday lives. Other good starter courses are DFT114 Blueprint Reading and either GTC107 or GTC108 Technical Mathematics (depending on the Mathematics evaluation test).
How many students in there in a typical manufacturing class?
The class sizes for all Occupational Programs, including Manufacturing Technology Programs are typically around 12 to 20 students. The classes are kept to this size to allow the instructors to adequately supervise the class in laboratory situations (where that applies) and to ensure a reasonable level of individualized instruction. A smaller group of students in the classroom usually improves communication and better exchange of ideas.