LCCTC trains with Precision Making Tools
Lancaster County Career & Technology Center trains new workforce in Precision Machining  
Digital Article Series, Thriving

By Eleanor Farley – A feature piece from our Fall-Winter 2023 issue of the Lancaster Thriving Publication!

Both listed as High Priority Occupations by the Pennsylvania Center for Workforce Information & Analysis, Machinists and CNC (Computerized Numerical Control) Tool operators are a growing job market in the Lancaster region. CNC machines, in particular, are becoming more prevalent in the manufacturing realm, due to their accuracy, efficiency, and quality of the products they produce. As helpful as these machines are, they required a skilled workforce to program, run, and maintain. As a result, the industry surrounding these machines is also poised to grow in the next decade. 

At the Lancaster County Career & Technology Center, we aim to educate Secondary and Post-Secondary students in high-priority trades. Our graduates enrich our local workforce and can step into careers in their field of study following successful completion of their program. Our Secondary Precision Machining program trains high school students on how to interpret blueprints and operate CNC machines as well as machining equipment like a lathe, drill press, band saw, and surface grinder. 

During a visit to the precision machining lab, students were operating various machines and creating pieces and tools based on their respective blueprints. In their third month of school at the Advanced Manufacturing Center at our Mount Joy campus, high school students could explain how the tools worked, the materials used for the machining bits, and the process involved in making a piece from start to finish. Students were also creating alumni keychains using the CNC machines. These keychains are sent to members of our LCCTC alumni association, and the students were pleased to show off their hard work. 

A Keychain may seem like a simple piece. Still, in creating this promotional item, students get hands-on experience programming the CNC machines and creating items identical in size, shape, and weight. This accuracy is necessary when creating components that require precise calibration to create the perfect piece of a much larger puzzle. In addition to operating the machines, graduates will also be able to perform machine maintenance, troubleshoot issues, and ensure the manufacturing process runs smoothly in a factory or shop setting. 

Next year, the LCCTC is proud to expand the precision machining program to adult students in January, introducing a 210-hour course running on Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday evenings, starting January 16 and running to May 30, 2024. This course will allow adult students to pivot into a machinist or CNC operator career following their completion of the program. As manufacturing systems become more automated, those machines will need parts that are increasingly precise in their measurements and function. The LCCTC is proud to train a burgeoning workforce for this growing field. 

If you or a loved one is interested in our programs, visit to learn more. 

Eleanor Farley, Communications Coordinator 

Lancaster County Career & Technology Center 

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