Hands-On Learning, Business Partnerships Prepare Manufacturing Students for Success

A male student, wearing protective eye wear, works at a macine in a Capital Region BOCES Machining and Manufacturing classroom.
An aging and retiring manufacturing and machining workforce and a growing demand for products to be produced  inside the U.S. is leading to more job openings than workers available. With 2.4 million skilled manufacturing jobs projected to go unfilled in the U.S. in the next decade, it’s more important than ever that schools prepare students for the demands of the workplace.

At Capital Region BOCES, preparing students for such in-demand fields as manufacturing and machining is job number one.

Our two-year Manufacturing and Machining Technology program teaches students about design and prototype skills, as well as how to troubleshoot design problems and undertake the diagnostics necessary to manufacture parts. It also offers students the opportunity to work along with and learn from those in the area’s manufacturing business community—where they gain valuable hands-on, real-world job experience and a unique perspective on the latest industry trends.

“These partnerships are critical because they allow us to stay on top of what is going on in the industry and help us place students in good jobs. They also allow us to help grow the regional economy and overcome national trends—like the manufacturing industry worker shortage,” said Nancy Liddle, BOCES’ business liaison.

Current Machining and Manufacturing student Austin Smith said he enjoys the hands-on aspect of what he is learning and is prepared to make this his career.

2019 graduate Brett Margiasso, who launched a career in the industry even before collecting his diploma last June, said the opportunity to work in the field, learning skills and making connections, was invaluable. Margiasso began working in 2018 at TCI of NY through BOCES’ work-based learning program and was offered full-time employment upon graduation. 

“Brett has been doing an outstanding job, comes to work enthusiastically and has such a strong work ethic,” said Brian Hemlock, president of TCI of NY, which processes, recycles and repairs transformers and other oil-filled electrical equipment, and processes and re-uses electrical oils. “He is such a strong member of our team.

TCI is just one of more than 300 business partners Capital Region BOCES relies on to boost the educational experience of students.