The Dart Foundation has issued a $45,000 grant to Bates Technical College to purchase a 3-D measuring instrument called a Computer Numerical Control Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM). This new piece of equipment will allow the Tacoma-based college eventually to begin offering training in CNC coordinate measuring machine operation and programming.

One version of a CMM. Photo by Blue tooth7 via CC.

“Our local employer demand has long requested that we offer this career training as manufacturing becomes more refined and parts are made with more complexity,” Assistant Vice President Brandon Rogers said in a statement. “These instruments measure the surface of 3-D objects and are used during the inspection phase of the manufacturing process. CMM programmers interpret blueprints and program the machine to take accurate measurements.”

Due to the CMM’s high price tag, Bates Technical College was not able to purchase the machine until now. Approximately 50 students per year attend the college’s current CNC Machinist program, which includes a bilingual Spanish-English track.

“Technical education depends on keeping our learning spaces and tools current with industry standards as we prepare students for the workforce,” said Executive Director of Resource Development Erin Zeiger. “This grant is an investment that will help ensure our students are well-trained for their future careers.”

Bates Technical College serves approximately 3,000 career training students and offers certificates and degrees in nearly 50 career education programs. The college was founded in 1940.

The Dart Foundation funds a variety of community service and education projects in specific communities throughout the country, with special focus on STEM-related projects.