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SOWELA Machine Tool Technology Program to Receive Donation of a 5-Axis Machining Center From Haas Automation INC.


Gift is part of larger Haas donation to all Louisiana technical and community colleges

(Lake Charles, LA) – As part of a newly announced agreement between the State of Louisiana and Haas Automation Inc. of Oxnard, California, SOWELA will receive a donation of a 5-axis machining center to add to its newly-developed Machine Tool Technology program. The donations will position Louisiana as the only state in the U.S. to equip every community and technology with these machines.

The Universal Machining Centers from Haas enable the automated production of parts on five vertical, horizontal and rotational axes at one time. CNC, (computer numerical control) automation enables a trained operator to oversee production with detailed accuracy, precision and efficiency. Job candidates with 5-axis CNC skills are highly sought-after by advanced manufacturers, which is why the Louisiana Economic Development’s LED FastStart program and the Louisiana Community and Technical College System created the partnership to install the equipment at every LCTCS college.

SOWELA’s machine, valued at just under $125,000, will be delivered by the end of November and available for Machine Tool Technology students and staff to use for training immediately following the delivery.

“This donation allows SOWELA to prepare inside and outside machinists to meet the local, state and national workforce needs with trained and highly skilled employees,” said Dr. Williams Mayo, School of Transportation and Applied Technology Dean. “It also allows us to provide employees who are crossed trained which brings efficiency to the industry. Most of all, this donation provides SOWELA with the ability to introduce the world of machining to the future workforce.”

Announced this past summer, the goal of the SOWELA’s Machine Tool Tech program is to prepare students to install conveyor systems, connect machinery to power supplies and piping, direct hoisting and setting of machines, and adjust the moving and stationary parts of machines to certain specifications.

Students will also learn to shape metal parts on lathes, grinders, drill presses, milling machines and computer numerical controlled (CNC) machines. Those who finish the new program will receive an Associate of Applied Science or Technical Diploma in Machine Tool Technology. The program is based on the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) curriculum, the gold standard for instruction.

Machine tool technology industry job projects show an estimated growth of 7.1% nationally between 2012 and 2022 and an additional 2% by 2024 based on data and projections available from Career Explorer. The new specialized program aims to help fill the expected increase in machine tool tech jobs.

Registration for spring semester of SOWELA’s Machine Tool Tech program will open on Monday, November 2, 2020.

About SOWELA Technical Community College
SOWELA Technical Community College provides traditional, distance, and lifelong learning experiences and awards associate degrees, technical diplomas, and certificates. The College empowers learners in career and technical education and enables transfer students to pursue a four-year degree, so all learners excel as globally competitive citizens. The College has been educating the region’s workforce for 80 years.