Training the Next Generation: The Value Vocational Education Brings to Manufacturers

Well-trained, supported students with opportunities for co-operative work experiences can begin to change the face of your shop and energize your manufacturing shop floor.


Zachary Gammons is a young machinist for North Easton Machine Co. Inc.’s (NEM) milling department. Zach, a 2015 graduate of Bristol Plymouth Regional Technical School in Taunton,
Massachusetts, gained full-time employment at NEM after working as a co-op student. Bristol Plymouth’s Co-Operative Education Program’s mission is to enable students to become skilled productive members of a global workforce. They engage students in a process of learning that links work experience with classroom knowledge. In 2015, the co-op program assisted 86 seniors and 32 juniors with employment at 81 local companies.

Zach came to work for NEM in January 2015, as part of a co-operative position that was developed to have a junior and senior employee share a full-time machinist position. At the time of Zach’s
placement, the management team projected there would be a need for an entry-level machinist hire later in the year. NEM offered an incentive to Zach that he would be considered for any entry-level position upon graduation if he applied himself to his assignments.

He came to work prepared to learn and maintained excellent attendance. He showed initiative and worked well as a team member. One day after graduation, Zach was hired to work full-time as a machinist in NEM’s milling department. He has steadily gained machining and setup skills. He has participated in training with MassMEP and has traveled to a PMPA mini-conference in Connecticut.

Zach has also represented NEM at Bristol Plymouth Technical School’s “Employer Showcase,” which
introduces freshmen students to career opportunities as part of their shop exploratory process. Zach is focused and quiet. Taking the time to engage him in discussion reveals a person who wants to create a career in machining, not just work at a job. He has ideas about using 3D printers to verify CAD programs and explains complex geometry and fi xturing to younger students with ease. Zach is a shining example of the value and revitalization that vocational education can bring to manufacturers.
Well-trained, supported students with opportunities for co-operative work experiences can begin to
change the face of your shop and energize your manufacturing shop floor.

North Easton Machine Co. Inc. is located at 218 Elm St., North Easton, Massachusetts 02356
Website: northeastonmachine.com