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FINDING A GREAT CAREER IN ADVANCED MANUFACTURING BY HAPPENSTANCE

man talking to female in front of automated machineWhen Anthony Cartmel of Russellville was in high school, he thought he wanted to be an automotive mechanic. In fact, his plans were to take automotive technology classes at the Russellville Area Technology Center (RACT) and then complete his training at Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College (SKYCTC). However, when he tried to sign up for the automotive classes, he was told the class was full and he would have to pick another program.

By happenstance, he enrolled in the Machine Tool program at RATC, and the rest, as they say, is history. He found a true passion for Advanced Manufacturing. In fact, Anthony, while attending RACT, won the Gold Medal in the Regional Skills USA competition in Machining.

By the time Anthony enrolled at SKYCTC in the Computerized Manufacturing and Machining Technology Program, he had a good foundation in lathes and milling machines and the fundamentals of applied machining, and he had a real love of the craft.

When CGS Machine and Tool called the College looking for someone to work part-time while attending school, Anthony s name surfaced.

Anthony is one of those students who has a real knack for advanced manufacturing and machining, says Brian Sparks, Associate Professor of Engineering Technology at SKYCTC.

The flexible schedule at SKYCTC allowed him to work at CGS while going to school. He was able to come toman standing in front of automated machine work in the evenings and apply what he d learned that day in class at SKYCTC.

Every class I took at SKYCTC applied to what I do at CGS, says Anthony. In fact, one class I never thought I would use in my job, Algebra, I have never stopped using since I left school, he said.

CGS Machine amp; Tool, Inc., employs approximately 50 workers at its Bowling Green facility. The company machine s and fabricates parts for companies such as; Link Belt Crane, Bendix, BG Metalforming, Nasco, and Holley Automotive, to name a few.

Anthony has far exceeded our expectations, said Frankie Skipworth, Operations Manager at CGS. We couldn t have picked a better person to run the 7-axis machine. Machining seemed to click with him. I rank him as one of our best machinists on the floor.

Anthony says the equipment at SKYCTC was exactly comparable to what he now works with at CGS. That gave him great experience and a good foundation to prepare him for his current job. The Okuma Multi-Access Lathe is the most high-tech piece of equipment that he has worked with. Only two other companies in the state have that machine. He has been working with this machine for over a year and it is what he had been waiting for.

The technical programs at SKYCTC teach hands-on skills related to a specific skillset and knowledge based careers, says Steve Allen, President and Plant Manager at CGS. We can work advanced manufacturing students while they are in school and many times hire them when they graduate, earning a great salary with little or no college debt to pay back .

When Anthony graduated from SKYCTC in 2008, he became full-time at CGS and has worked there ever since. He currently lives in Auburn with his wife and two children.

The advice Anthony would give to other students is, Stay with it, it will keep you on your toes! When you think you might be getting burned out, you will find something new to keep you interested. Technology is always changing, so you are always learning.