Gillette College to start new tech program; Cloud Peak Energy on board

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 8, 2014

Contact: Wendy Smith (307) 674-6446 ext. 2801/Email wsmith @ sheridan.edu

GC to start new tech program; Cloud Peak Energy on board

Aiming to meet the workforce needs of Campbell County, Gillette College will bolster its technical education this fall with the addition of a new machine tool program.

Gillette College Dean of Career and Technical Education Jed Jensen said the program will follow the machine tool curriculum from the Northern Wyoming Community College District. Gillette College is currently purchasing new equipment and acquiring donated equipment from regional companies for classroom use. Jensen joined Gillette College two years ago and identified the machine tool area of study as a need.

“How do we know that machine tool jobs are in need?” Jensen asked. “A. We can look up yesterday’s newspaper and see two or three. B. We can drive down Douglas Highway and go to several companies and see, ‘Machinist Wanted’ signs.”

The machine tool program at Gillette College will build on the success of technical instructor Paul Plourde’s dual enrollment program with Campbell County High School, Jensen said.

“Gillette College launching a machine tool program will strengthen our dual enrollment dynamic with Campbell County High School,” Jensen said. “It will give our students more opportunities of higher learning and ultimately better prepare them for the workforce.”

In support of the new machine tool program, Cloud Peak Energy has pledged $10,000 to help fund the machine tool instructor position and offset costs.

“Cloud Peak Energy is excited about the partnership with the Gillette College Machine Tool Technology Program,” said Dave Traverso, Systems Manager at Cloud Peak Energy. “The cutting edge technology and education will provide students the necessary resources to become skilled workers in an industry with great demand.”

For more information on the Gillette College tech programs, call 686-0254.

Machine Tool Tech Program1(Photos courtesy of Cloud Peak Energy.)

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