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WBEZ: 'New' Manufacturing Workers Need Strong Math, Reading Skills

WBEZ: 'New' Manufacturing Workers Need Strong Math, Reading Skills

6/7/2012 12:00 AM

​CNC stands for computerized numerical control, but calling these machines computerized is almost a misnomer. While the machines do lots of actual calculations, workers still need to understand and be able to compute some solid math.

"You need to have a math skill level that brings you up to basic trigonometry," said Ray Prendergast, who directs the manufacturing programs at Daley College.

But not just trigonometry. Prendergast said students need to know some algebra, understand Cartesian coordinate systems, and have reading skills – at the ninth grade level.

The college testing level for students measures them at proficiency for entry level courses - say an English 101 level. But Prendergast says "the majority of students" trying to get into his programs are not at those levels, for English or math.

That’s where these bridge programs come in. Daley College just began offering this remedial education program for manufacturing – the school also offers it for health care courses. For the manufacturing track, Daley students actually earn industry-recognized certifications while they attend the eight-week course, which is free. Full article at WBEZ