100 Years, 100 Stories
MCC’s Computer Integrated Machining and Manufacturing (CIMM) program works to train high-skill employees for the manufacturing industry. Students in the program spend 10 weeks in the lab and classroom mastering the basics of machining, and the last six weeks as a paid intern at one of 43 local companies.
This new model and new curriculum kicked off in Spring 2013. Since then, 99 students have completed the program and 95 students were offered employment. That’s a 96 percent placement rate.
One of MCC’s business partners, Fike Corp. in Blue Springs, makes pressure relief devices. Fike has worked with interns from the MCC program every semester since Spring 2013 and has found employment for all of the them.
Joe Limata of Harrisonville took this journey and is now a Fike Corp. employee. He says he is more than grateful for the opportunity.
“It has been three years since I started taking classes at MCC,” Limata says. “It was the smartest career move I’ve made. People have said I was lucky to get in with such a great company and that I was lucky to experience an amazing tool and die department. I agree, there was luck, but you create your own luck, and I put myself in a position to capitalize on that luck. And MCCKC was a part of that.”
Limata got to meet the U.S. Secretary of Labor, Thomas Perez, when Perez visited MCC’s Business & Technology campus in August. The CIMM program was part of the MoManufacturingWINs (also called MoManWINs) grant. In 2012, MCC received $1.8 million from federal funding to train the unemployed, underemployed and veterans for high-skill jobs in manufacturing.
Limata, as a successful graduate of the program, took part in a roundtable discussion with Perez, students, other grads and officials to talk about programs aimed at helping “upskill” future employees.
His employer was also involved in that discussion.
“There were really not quality workers walking in our door, so once we got the internships up and running it was a perfect match,” says Kevin Mummaw, a supervisor at Fike.
“It is great to see this younger generation put their spin on the work we are doing. We were trapped in this box and they were outsiders looking in and showing us new ways of doing things to improve our process.”
Mummaw calls the staff at MCC “top of the line,” adding: “I could not asked for a better group of people to work with.”
“After my first semester I knew that college wasn’t for me, or that I wasn’t ready for college yet,” he says.
He took some time off from school and worked at Applebee’s to pay the bills. Then in 2012, he headed back to class. This time he enrolled in MCC’s machinist program.
“While I was there, I heard about the new program starting up that offered the possibility of an internship. I knew that if I could at least get my foot in the door, I was a hard worker and could learn fast.” He started researching the companies that offered internships.
“Fike Corp. was on my short list. The day of the interviews, the first company I sat in front of was Fike. I started my internship with them in May of 2013. Through all of this I had continued to work at Applebee’s even through my internship with Fike.
“At the end of my six weeks with Fike, they offered me a job in the tool and die department. It was a hard decision to make. Applebee’s had just offered me a good salary manager position, but I knew I had a lot more career opportunities with Fike Corp.,” Limata says.
“The Computer Integrated Machining and Manufacturing program truly prepares students to begin a career in manufacturing and machining, and the industry has so many opportunities. I am really grateful I took advantage of the opportunity.”