Angelina College recently acquired 12 new LeBlond lathes using funds from the Texas Education Agency Innovative Academies Technical Assistance and Support grant.
Mike Standifird, AC machine tool technology instructor, said, “The machine tool program advisory committee requested we upgrade our lathes to prepare our students to work with industry-standard equipment. Dr. Simon, AC president, worked with the local schools to purchase them.”
The new LeBlond lathes allow the students to hold tighter tolerances when creating their class projects. All the lathes are equipped with taper attachments and all the modern safety devices so students are learning on the same types of machines as they will in the workplace.
Students use these lathes as part of their instruction to earn a one-year certificate in the computer numerical machine operator program, the two-year certificate in the machine operator program, or the two-year associate degree in the machine tool technology program.
“Graduates with certificates start as entry-level machine operators and earn $12-$15 per hour starting out. Graduates with associate degrees also start as machine operators, but perform at a higher level with starting pay at $15-$20 per hour,” Standifird said. “There are approximately 400 small-to-medium sized machine shops in our 12-county service area. These new lathes will help students improve their skill set and become employable.”
For more information about the machine tool technology program, contact the Technology & Workforce Division at (936) 633-5246.