Building a training program in U.S. high schools, colleges

Sept. 9, 2020
Amanda Del Buono and Thomas Wilk interview Dean Steadman CNC Education program manager for FANUC

Dean Steadman, CNC Education program manager for FANUC, joins Amanda Del Buono and Thomas Wilk, editor in chief of Putman Media’s Plant Services magazine, to share how the company built its training program to help manufacturers throughout the United States find the trained CNC machinists they need. The following is an excerpt from the interview. Read the full transcript here: 

Learn more about FANUC education programs: 


Tom Wilk: We see that so often in maintenance reliability where there are apprenticeships that exist to bring new workers into the field, but that's not the primary stream of new workers anymore. It's one of multiple streams, right? And we find that we're getting people in there who either trained in mechatronics, trained in control system design, CNC, robotics, and then they realized that this might be one small piece of the larger puzzle. It sounds like that's what you're seeing too, students in from different directions.

Dean Steadman: Yeah. We're just one piece of the puzzle as well. We try and work with other industry companies. We try and keep a handle on what's actually going on in the industry, what type of equipment and processes they're using to try and relay that back to the schools. Primarily, we target high school and community college for associates degrees and things, so we can add our content and our equipment and services to programs that already exist for engineering or for mold making and things like that, different courses that they already run. But we do try and reach a bit further down to middle school. I think you've got to sort of capture their imagination when they're a bit younger. We're not per se, going to be trying to teach them anything at that point. We're just showing them the types of industries that are out there and how cool it can be.

Beyond the community college, we do a little bit with some universities, but they're not really interested in the actual operation and learning how to use a CNC machine, but they will use the equipment for research purposes. And then outside of sort of the generic academia stuff, we do what with veteran retraining groups, incumbent workers and inmates as well. There's a few programs that will work with the prison services as well.

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