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Machine Tool Technician Program

Women in Manufacturing

Machine Tool instructor inspecting a finished machine part created by Ingrid.

Women machinists have been with us for many years. WWI and WWII brought women onto the factory floor in roles such as machinist. While this is a non-traditional occupation, many women presently excel in manufacturing.

Ingrid Vendela, a 2010 graduate of the Machine Tool Technician program, is employed at RMS in Coon Rapids, Minn., where she works on the precision manufacturing of implants and surgical instruments related to spine, fracture and reconstructive orthopedics, cardiovascular and neurological stimulation components.

"RMS is a company we visited both years I attended WITC," Vendela says.  "After touring it the first time, I knew it was the place I wanted to work.  I thought my attention to detail and work ethic would be a good fit.  At RMS, quality is ranked higher than quantity." 

Currently, Vendela makes parts for spine implants and inspects every part that comes off the machine.  These products are held to very tight tolerances (tightest is +/- .00015).  "It helps motivate me to know that the parts I make are helping others," she says.

Final Adjustments on milling machine X/Y table."WITC prepared me for a position in the machining industry," Vendela says. "The instructors are excellent!  They have expert knowledge that comes from their experience in the field, not just from a book.  They're patient and answer our questions - even the same one over again.  They make us think.  They don't always tell us the answer, we have to figure it out, which helps students because our instructors are not going on the job with us."

Hands-on learning occurs early in the program, which was something that Vendela found exciting.

"What I like best about the program was making parts that people use everyday.  One of the first days after school started, we were making our first part.  We learned something new every day. I would recommend this school and program to anyone who has imagination and likes to make things out of different materials.  WITC's Machine Tool Technician program is highly rated in the region."

Women like Vendela, are successful in non-traditional occupations like machining.  Explore WITC today to see what new opportunities await you.