WNC News & Notes: Students get skill boost, a shot at employment

The Western Nevada College Manufacturing Lab received $1 million in new machinery.

The Western Nevada College Manufacturing Lab received $1 million in new machinery.

Machine tool technology students at Western Nevada College will benefit twofold from new machinery provided by Gosiger Inc. and a grant that will upgrade the hands-on technology center.

Not only will WNC students learn to use some of the latest computer numerical control machines, they will be under consideration for employment by local manufacturers that visit the campus to see demonstrations of the machines.

“It’s a win-win for us,” said machine tool technology Professor Paul Eastwood. “They lend us the machines for instructional purposes, and they come in to demonstrate them to local manufacturers.

“It’s a good idea because when we invite the local manufacturers to our facility, they often ask us about potential employees.”

The Okuma Turning Center and Harding Milling Center are CNC machines from Gosiger’s Fullerton, Calif., plant. By moving them to the Woody Wurster Machine Tool Technology Center at WNC, students can learn the specific skills that manufacturers are using.

Each of the CNC machines will use Mastercam software, giving students another skill that should benefit them as they seek employment.

“It’s one that quite a few local manufacturers use, so the students are more appealing,” Eastwood said. “With the machines and software coming in, we are upgraded with the newest equipment on the market.”

Sven Klatt, who began teaching CNC programming at WNC last year, helped broker the deal for the new machinery after being approached by Gosiger representatives.

“They had done cooperative programs with schools throughout the United States. I put the right people at the college in contact with Gosiger,” Klatt said.

In addition, a separate grant has allowed WNC to purchase a Haas CNC Turning Center machine, which has just arrived at the college.

“There’s $1 million of new technology at the machine shop,” said Klatt, general manager of Vineburg Machining Inc. of Mound House. “I don’t know of any other college adding that much new machining technology. It’s a huge improvement, something that the private sector and the college worked hand in hand to get off the ground. It’s going to be a win for all of us.”

Eastwood said the machines have been installed and will be operational in time for fall classes.

Student turns schoolwork into art

Western Nevada College student Austin Lambert has combined his welding skills with his artistic talents to create an award-winning sculpture. Now, his work has found a permanent home outside the WNC Andy Butti Welding Technology Center.

“The Archer,” a life-size sculpture of a man pulling back a bow, took first place in the ceramics and sculpture category during the college’s 2013 student art show in Carson City.

Lambert originally welded a smaller version of the sculpture while attending Douglas High School in Minden, then created the life-size tin version in his welding class during the spring semester. Lambert said he was inspired to create a larger rendition to display outside the Welding Technology Center, offering it a signature piece of art.

“I like the way it turned out,” Lambert said. “I take to the rustic side of art — sword fighting. I like the medieval (period).”


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