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Calhoun Community College recently announced the implementation of AMP, its first advanced machine tool program.

An acronym for Alliance for Machining Professionals, AMP will launch for the fall semester.

“With a huge industry gap and desperate need to fill hundreds of open positions for machinists, Calhoun administrators and industry partners collaborated to create AMP,” said John Holley, Calhoun's dean of Technologies. “Discussions for the program began in 2017, so we are excited to roll it out in the upcoming fall semester.”

The AMP programs differ from Calhoun’s traditional machine tool program, as it offers eight new advanced classes to the curriculum.

“Students accepted into this program attend class two days a week for an average of eight hours per day and get paid while working with one of our industry partners three days a week,” said Tad Montgomery, Calhoun's machine tool technology instructor.

Montgomery said companies such as Brown Precision, Inc., ATI, Dynetics, IN’TECH America and M&J Precision are some of the industry partners that train students on-site, as well as offer jobs once they complete the program.

Advanced training in the program includes soft-skill exercises, such as lean manufacturing processes and problem solving. Participation in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) is also incorporated into the curriculum, such as BEST Center, Robotics Career Technical Coursework and Project Lead the Way.

For consideration into the program, applicants must be eligible to take Math 100 and English 101 at Calhoun. Students are also required to sign a commitment towards consistent attendance, wear proper attire and display professional behavior.

“We try to format the program to replicate a real life, on-the-job experience,” Montgomery said. “Students are required to track their hours by clocking in out and using thumb print technology.”

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