MCAM Northwest

What Mastercam’s recent channel changes mean for MCAM Northwest and how partnering your business with a local school provides monumental mutual benefits.

By Callie Morgan
Monday, May 3rd, 10:00 AM PDT

In an effort to better serve the educational community, CNC Software, Inc. (Mastercam) made changes to their customer channels. Mastercam industrial resellers, including MCAM Northwest, also serve educational customers, to act as a conduit for education and industry, with mutual benefits.

“One of the greatest benefits of involvement a local manufacturer can receive would be hiring directly from the program or school,” says Sheldon Schnider, the Machining program chair at Chemeketa Community College, “and having the ability to secure the best students possible for good long-term industry employees.” 

Sheldon Schnider, who teaches introductory and advanced CNC Mill and Lathe Mastercam courses, is quite thrilled at what Mastercam’s channel changes mean for boosting the school’s partnerships, which have proven to be very effective in getting students gainful employment.

“We can provide a better skilled entry-level employee for the future,” says Schnider, “[That will] stay current with industry trends and technology, and provide networking opportunities for industry and students.”

The Chemeketa Machining program’s current industry partners include DMG Mori, Seco Tools and MCAM Northwest, but they would like this list to grow to include more local employers.

MCAM Northwest has been involved in local manufacturing education since our founding in 1998. It has been our mission to encourage manufacturing education and serve the local industry through shared knowledge. In pre-Covid times, we were involved with live events at community colleges across Northwest, several times per year. 

“We have always been that liaison between education and industry,” states MCAM Northwest Sales Representative Garrett Dias, “We go to several events, we sit on several advisory boards, as far as advocating for our customers, because finding qualified skilled programmers is a very difficult thing to do.” 

A study by Deloitte predicts that 2.1 million manufacturing jobs will remain unfilled due to the skills gap through 2030. The skills gap in manufacturing, the growing disparity between the skills employers need and the skills employees have, due to younger generations being steered away from the industry, has been something we have been aiming to fight through our involvement in local schools. Manufacturing has long been viewed as a place of repetition, grind and grit, when, in reality, it is a center of incredible technological innovation, with the recent growth of robotics, AI, IOT, automation and more advanced technologies in the industry. 

Partnerships can help bridge the skills gap. Industry leaders visiting, arranging seminars or demonstrations at high schools and community colleges can encourage more youth to pursue careers in manufacturing by rewriting public perception about the industry. 

MCAM has always provided Mastercam support and training to local instructors, it just means now, with Mastercam’s recent changes, we can also provide schools and instructors with Mastercam software licenses. The bigger picture is that we can foster even more meaningful partnerships between more schools and manufacturers than before to remedy the skills gap on a local level.

We encourage our industrial customers to reach out to us about partnering up with local manufacturing programs, so manufacturing can continue to innovate and thrive in the Northwest and in the nation as a whole.


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