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May 11, 2015

On May 8, Quality Controlled Manufacturing Inc. (QCMI) celebrated the graduation of its first cohort of students from their innovative Machinist Training Program, which began in November of last year. The graduates and their families enjoyed a sit-down lunch and very personal ceremony. Each instructor spoke, sharing something about each of the students and about their own lessons learned through the process.

Families were given a tour of the facility where their loved ones had spent the last five months completing an intensive 16-course curriculum. Many were surprised to find the level of skill, time and detail required to create the aerospace parts QCMI manufactures, such as airplane doors—one of which can take months to complete.

Candidates were matched to the program through the East County Career Center and underwent a lengthy application process to be accepted. This included meeting baseline training eligibility as well as demonstrating high-level math skills and interviewing with QCMI. Both cohorts, the second of which graduates in July, represent a wide range of ages and include male and female candidates.

The Machinist Training Program is the result of a joint effort between QCMI and the San Diego Workforce Partnership. Both parties worked closely to leverage career center resources, subsidized funding and an expert curriculum to create the Customized Training, which serves as a model for the public-industry collaboration that’s so valuable to regional workforce development.

It is not always an easy road to secure an impactful program such as this, but with a specific goal in mind all involved went above and beyond to get results. “Both parties had the same purpose,” said Kristen Walker, SDWP Program Specialist. “The goal was always to help people find permanent employment by upgrading their skills, which leads to self-sufficiency.”

And that’s exactly what they did—each graduate has been guaranteed job placement in a position that will utilize their training and will earn between $15-$20 per hour, plus benefits.


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