South Elgin High School students from were big winners last Thursday at the Technology & Manufacturing Association’s 28th annual Precision Machining Competition, an annual contest designed to encourage students to pursue high-paying careers in advanced manufacturing where skilled workers are in heavy demand.
South Elgin High School students won first place in the Angle Plate, Grinding Vice, and Basic CNC CAM competitions, while another student won first place in the NIMS Advanced Division. South Elgin High School students also racked up seven top-three finishes at the competition.
Nearly 300 students from 22 northern Illinois high schools participated in the competition at Mazak Corporation’s Midwest Technology Center in Schaumburg. The competition recognized 50 students for their excellent work in machining projects such as CAD design, sine bar, grinding vice, CNC turning, CNC milling, CNC CAM, and CNC programming.
Out of the 50 winners, seven students received perfect scores, five of whom were women. U.S. Dept. of Education Deputy Assistant Secretary Dr. Casey Sacks, TMA leadership, parents, instructors and company representatives were in attendance as students received their awards and explored possible job opportunities with area manufacturers.
“This year’s Precision Machining Competition broke many barriers tonight,” said TMA Chairman Rich Hoster. “We had a record setting 22 high schools compete and five women competitors placed in the top three in their respective competitions. The next generation of manufacturers continues to increase which means our industry of makers and doers will continue to thrive.
“These students have an incomparable opportunity to enter high-paying, high-performance jobs in high-tech manufacturing for decades to come.”
In the next decade, an expected 3.5 million new manufacturing jobs will be created, with an astonishing 2 million going unfilled because of a skilled worker shortage.
The Precision Machining Competition is one of TMA’s most significant and effective initiatives for career recruitment into precision metalworking. The competition is a chance to celebrate these inventive students and highlight the demand for technology and precision manufacturing skills in today’s workforce.
Founded in 1925, the Technology & Manufacturing Association represents and supports manufacturers in the Chicago metropolitan area and surrounding counties in northern Illinois, northern Indiana, and southern Wisconsin. TMA has about 1,000 members and represents over 32,000 employees and nearly 26 million square feet of manufacturing in Illinois.