Machining Competition Reaches Out to Young Talent


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group of high school students gathered in hall featuring several machine tools

Mazak Corp. hosted this year’s annual TMA precision machining competition for high school students at its Midwest Technical Center in Illinois.


For 27 years, the TMA (Technology & Manufacturing Association) has held a precision machining competition to honor excellence in precision machining skills among Illinois high school students. While the competition has existed for almost 30 years, it’s never been more relevant than in today’s skill-starved manufacturing environment.

Stepping up to the plate this year was Mazak Corp., which hosted the event at the company’s Midwest Technical Center in Schaumberg, Illinois. More than 240 students from 20 local high schools, submitted more than 292 projects for this year’s contest. Students chose from 25 eligible projects of varying degrees of difficulty across three divisions. New to the event this year were three categories with three awards each covering design and programming for machine tools: CNC CAM Basic, CNC CAM Intermediate and CNC Design. Attendees also visited with more than 35 representatives from the local manufacturing industry who answered students’ questions and discussed the many opportunities in manufacturing careers.

Moving onto a national stage, students could also compete in the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) Intermediate, NIMS Advanced, NIMS CNC Intermediate and NIMS CNC Advanced divisions and submit their projects to NIMS to receive certification for their skills. Each student had to machine a part according to exact specifications, submit the completed part and judges measured part accuracy.

It’s refreshing to see the talk of manufacturing and education coming together being realized in an event such as this. Learn more about the TMA education program its website.