Montana State University

Gallatin College MSU to offer new CNC machine technology program

July 9, 2014 -- MSU News Service

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Tel: (406) 994-4571

Gallatin College Montana State University has announced it will offer a new computer numerically controlled, or CNC, machine technology program beginning in August.

The one-year program enables graduates to pursue careers as CNC machine operators and leads to a certificate of applied science degree. Graduates will also receive industry-recognized credentials from the National Institute for Metalworking Skills along with level one and two Haas Automation certificates. Haas Automation specializes in building CNC machines.

CNC machine operators are trained to run lathes, mills and precision measuring tools, according to Megan Shutt, workforce navigator at Gallatin College MSU. She added that these tools are used to perform machining functions such as milling, turning, cutting, drilling and finishing products or component parts.

Shutt said that graduates of the program will be knowledgeable about CNC terminology, equipment set-up, programming, operations, troubleshooting, blueprint reading, computer literacy, computer-aided design programs and equipment capabilities. Graduates will also be knowledgeable about laws and regulations, quality assurance techniques, measuring and inspection.

The program is funded, in part, by the U.S. Department of Labor's Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) round III grant and Strengthening Workforce Alignment in Montana's Manufacturing and Energy Industries (SWAMMEI) grant.  According to Shutt, the SWAMMEI project is designed to get students into good-paying jobs quickly. By meeting the specific needs of local employers, aligning curriculum with national industry-recognized credentials and providing opportunities for enhanced on-the-job training, SWAMMEI programs offer businesses a better pool of candidates, she added.

In addition, Shutt said local and regional demand for skilled CNC operators is the driving force behind starting the new program, and she said that statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor show that job opportunities in the field are expected to increase 18.6 percent locally and 10.61 percent nationally by the year 2020.

A variety of manufacturing businesses in the Gallatin Valley are expanding and looking for qualified workers, Shutt said, adding that Gallatin College MSU can supply the manufacturing community with a steady stream of qualified CNC operators to assist in the growing manufacturing sector.

The new program will be housed in Gallatin College MSU’s new campus facility, Gallatin College East, located off of East Frontage Road and Osterman Drive. Students who are interested in enrolling in the program, which begins Aug. 25, are invited to submit applications to Gallatin College MSU. Community members who are interested in viewing the new facility are invited to attend an open house ceremony at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 12.

More information on Gallatin College MSU programs is available by contacting Shutt at 994-5514 or or by visiting Shutt will also be available to speak about Gallatin College MSU programs on July 10 and July 24 at a booth at “Music on Main” in downtown Bozeman.

Gallatin College MSU offers programs and certificates in areas such as aviation, welding, interior design, design drafting technology, bookkeeping, medical assistant and residential building performance. It also offers associate degrees, developmental coursework in math and writing, and dual enrollment courses at local high schools. 

Contact: Megan Shutt, Gallatin College workforce navigator, (406) 994-5514 or