Thursday, October 11, 2012

Inspiring Success Story: Machinist Benjamin Perrigo Gets Hired!

"LCC is a small school with a great vocational program," Benjamin Perrigo, Class of 2012.

Benjamin Perrigo operates equipment in LCC's
Machine Trades lab.
Benjamin Perrigo is a grateful graduate, and excited about his new job at The Leatherman Tool Group in Portland, Oregon, where he's been hired as a Level 2 production machine operator. In his new position he will operate punch presses, grinders and milling machines used to make blades that go into Leatherman tools. 

Benjamin attended LCC on the GI-Bill after serving as petroleum supply specialist in the Army. His job consisted of mechanical work, a field he wanted to continue after leaving the service.

LCC's Machine Trades program was a logical fit. Benjamin wanted to hit the ground running once he obtained his degree, and he'd heard the program gave graduates good preparation for the workforce.

Manufacturing jobs have changed over the last decade, going high tech and requiring workers to have more training and computer skills. It's estimated that within five years as many as 3 million manufacturing jobs will come back to the USA from foreign soil. But they won't be the old-style labor jobs. They'll be high-skill, high-demand positions, the kind that require at least a community college degree.

Which puts LCC's Machine Trades program center stage. Benjamin earned his two-year associate in applied science degree, while learning (and practicing) many of the computer skills that have become necessary in today's manufacturing environment.

"Employers want people who can program, set-up and operate computerized machine tools", Benjamin explained.

Machine Trades instructor Kam Todd continues to enhance the college's reputation for training machinists who, upon graduating, enter the workforce with competitive skills designed to give them an edge.

At the end of Spring quarter Benjamin was voted 'Outstanding Machine Trade Student' for 2012. He also credits LCC for assisting him with his Post-9/11 GI-Bill benefits, without which he would not have been able to reach his educational goals after serving his country.

"I got amazing help from Financial Aid staff. LCC is a Veteran-friendly college" he said!

Learn more about Veterans Services at Lower Columbia College.
Learn more about Machine Trades programs at Lower Columbia College.
Benjamin Perrigo operates computerized machinery
Benjamin Perrigo and a student work in the lab.

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