First of Its Kind Precision Machining Program

Apple Valley Unified School District

Apple Valley High School is the first high school in the high desert to offer a program in Precision Machining through the Regional Occupational Program. Last year, Apple Valley High School was presented with a check from the County Board of Supervisors to support a Precision Machining Academy through the purchase of tools and equipment, including two CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machines.

This year students at Apple Valley High School have the unique opportunity to explore a career that is in high demand. The precision machining industry has job openings but not enough qualified applicants to fill the positions. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, a projected growth in jobs of 8 percent from 2010 to 2020 is expected. Employers continue to need machinists who have a wide range of skills and are capable of performing modern production techniques and almost any task in a machine shop.

Pat Schlosser, director of secondary education at Apple Valley Unified School District, says “The final components of the machine shop are arriving daily and we look forward to completing our recruitment and starting our first class shortly. This will be a unique program at the high school level in California.”

Students in the ROP Precision Machining class will develop skills in applied machining including basic programming, set-up and operation of manual and CNC machine tools, technical mathematical programs for the machine trade utilizing algebra, geometry and trigonometry to solve shop math formulas and accurately determine tolerances, basic blueprint reading, conventional lathe and mill operations, small shop tools and operation, shop safety and teamwork. In addition, students will have access to the latest technology in precision machining.

Precision machinists make the components that are critical in today’s technology. They produce a huge number of both large and small objects that we use in daily life. Almost everything around us is assembled. A car, for instance has parts that can only be manufactured through precision machining. Kitchen equipment, a computer and even your phone will have some parts that were produced from precision machining.

Skilled machinist positions are available in almost every market. This unique training opportunity will help students see how math and science skills are key to entering a career in a high-growth industry.