Recently, our high school was notified that we had been endowed a $30,000 grant from Master Builders of Iowa – WORKS Endowment (MBI) and a $25,000 grant from Turner Construction. The grant money will be used to purchase 2 new Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) machines for our Industrial Tech program. 

“We are really excited about the opportunities receiving this grant from MBI and the new CNC equipment into the woodworking courses will offer,” exclaimed Ryan Andersen, one of our high school Industrial Technology teachers. “By providing our students with access to modern CNC routing equipment, we can better prepare them for future careers after high school! The addition of these machines to our program provides critical hands-on experience for our students who are considering CNC operators/programmers/machinists careers.”  

One machine is for wood, the other for metal. Steve McCoy, another SEP Industrial Tech teacher shared that the goal of acquiring these machines is to provide students with a relevant, high-tech, and hands-on educational experience. Graduated students who want to pursue a career as a CNC machinist and/or programmer can fulfill the needs of today’s industrial employers and are ready to meet the manufacturing challenges of the future. Southeast Polk metalworking classes will focus on introducing CNC machining and the CNC mill. Students will learn how to safely set up and operate a CNC mill and make a three-axis part. Our students will complete lessons in the online Haas certification program. These online lessons are designed to provide the basic knowledge necessary to get started as a CNC machine operator or CNC machinist. They offer an introduction to basic CNC machine operation, proper machine safety, and fundamental machining processes. After the online lessons are completed, a hands-on test at the local Haas Factory Outlet in Cedar Rapids will be conducted. After successful completion of the hands-on test students will then obtain a Haas CNC Milling Certificate.  

We are so thankful to MBI And Turner Construction for giving our students this opportunity and the upper hand when they start their careers! 

MBI will be hosting the Workforce Awards Breakfast on March 1, 2022, where these grants will be highlighted before a large MBI audience at the Iowa Events Center. Look for more information as we continue to build on our skilled trade career opportunities!