Technology students at Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau High School will get something of a competitive advantage thanks in part to the Tools for Schools award.
Each month, WXOW, SSE Music, Brenengen Auto and Dependable Solutions award $750 to a school project in the coulee region. This month, the money goes to help offset the cost of a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) milling machine for the GET tech-ed shop.
The machine uses input through a computer to create more precise tools and metalwork. It brings a real-world, industry standard into the classroom.
“There’s a huge shortage in the metal machining industry and we feel this is a great way to get kids excited again because that’s really what they’d be using in the line of work,” said GET tech-ed teacher Lance Walker.
Despite a trend toward automation in manufacturing, Walker said this device will actually help create a stronger human workforce.
“As a machinist you’re still very knowledgeable and as much needed. And there are times that the computer is wrong and the operator can help determine that when they’re educated and trained the right way.”
Walker expects to have the machine up and running in December, training students on the machine shortly thereafter.