(Project Manager Kevin Remus (left), and intern Chase Blackbird (right).)
In the past, 3D CNC typically only hired full-time machinists, preferring to recruit new members after they graduated from college or trade school. This last year, however, the leadership team came across the SciTech Internship Program, and decided to try something a little different.
“In the 19 years that I’ve been here,” said Kevin Remus, 3D CNC Project Manager, “we’ve never brought on a first year student. But your program [SciTech] made that very accessible. Other state projects aren’t worth the reimbursement, or there are too many strings attached. But everything here has gone very well.”
When small Minnesota companies, like 3D CNC, hire interns through the SciTech program, SciTech provides them with a hiring incentive: covering half of the interns’ wages, up to $2,500 per student. It’s the program’s way of supporting the small companies who, in turn, are supporting the students they hire through industry experience and expert advice.
3D CNC takes their mentorship and support one step further, by helping provide access to the essential tools that interns Matthew Stevens and Chase Blackbird need to refine their trade.
“Buying even basic tools yourself can easily cost anywhere from one-to-three thousand dollars,” Stevens said, “That’s just not doable. But everyone needs to have them.” 3D CNC now supplies a lot more tools for their employees and their interns, Remus said, for this very reason.
About the interns:
With a major in machine tool technology, Matthew Stevens just finished his first year at Ridgewater College, where he focused on fundamental machining and basic program coding. Chase Blackbird attends Alexandria Technical and Community College. Also majoring in machine tool technology, he studied manual machines and conversational programing.
Blackbird is a third generation machinist and was encouraged to pursue machining by his father. His internship at 3D CNC started with working on quality and inspection. Though he laughed saying he was “really nervous about it,” Blackbird came at the task with a high-level standard for appraisal, thanks in-part, he says, to his father’s evaluation of his work over the years.
Stevens’ responsibilities at 3D CNC involved running a mill that made parts out of everything from plastic to aluminum. Stevens has always loved machining and manufacturing, and hopes to own his own mill someday.
“When you finish working a job like this,” Stevens said, “you’ll be leaps and bounds above everyone else. It really puts you ahead.”