VC launches Machining Technology Program, offers scholarships
Machining Technology Program
A machinist verifies his tool setup.

Victoria College’s new Machining Technology Program is on track to begin in January, and scholarships are being offered to eligible students entering the program this spring.

The program was developed in direct response to the workforce needs of area industries, including petrochemical, manufacturing and machine shops. Students who graduate from the two-year program will earn an Associate of Applied Science degree in machining technology and could begin working as a machinist earning up to $18.78 per hour.

Machinists fabricate, modify or repair precision parts and instruments using tools such as lathes, milling machines, drill presses and grinders.

Craig Staff, owner of K & S Machine Company, said he is excited to serve on the new program’s advisory committee.

“K & S Machine Company is 100 percent on board with our full support of the program,” said Staff. “Up to this point it’s been the responsibility of the employers to provide in-house training to their employees, specifically tailored to the shop’s needs. The demand for skilled machinists is so great that often times the fundamental training, such as basic blueprint reading, machine shop mathematics and safety, is often overlooked in an attempt to simply get parts out the door.”

According to emsi Career Coach, over 500 machinists are employed regionally, and this number is expected to increase nearly 14 percent over the next four years. New machinists in the Golden Crescent region generally have a starting pay of around $25,758, while experienced workers could earn as much as $56,384.

“Machinist skillsets are in short supply,” said Staff. “If we don’t take action to train the next generation, America will be further crippled in the manufacturing sector.”

Classes for the new program will take place in one of six high-bay training labs in the Industrial Training Center at VC’s Emerging Technology Complex. The 40,000-square-foot lab is equipped with industry-standard equipment for specialized, hands-on learning. The equipment and teaching materials were funded by generous donations from the M.G. and Lillie A. Johnson Foundation and AEP Texas.

“Victoria College is pleased to add Machining Technology to our array of training programs and courses aimed at preparing students for good-paying careers while meeting the training needs of our business and industry partners,” said Jennifer Yancey, vice president of college advancement and external affairs. “We are also grateful for the support of the M.G. and Lillie A. Johnson Foundation and AEP Texas, whose donations allow VC to train students using state-of-the-art equipment.”

Students who enroll in at least 12 credit hours in the Machining Technology Program this spring can apply for a scholarship that will cover general tuition and fees for two classes. Limited scholarships are available and will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

Registration for Spring 2016 credit courses is going on now through Jan. 15, with spring classes beginning Jan. 19. New freshmen are required to sign up for a Pirate Orientation session at

For more information on the Machining Technology Program and the scholarship, call Dewayne Merriman at (361) 580-3700, ext. 3616, or stop by the Industrial Training Center, Suite 229, at VC’s Emerging Technology Complex, 7403 Lone Tree Road.

Published: Friday, 18 December 2015

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