Degrees and Certifications:
I got my start in the machining trade at Valley Career and Technical Center in 2007, attending and completing this program was the best career decision I have ever made. The career path I am on would not have been possible without the education I received while in this program.
After graduating high school and completing the Precision Machining Program I attended the Apprentice School in Newport News, Virginia. The Apprentice School is owned by Newport News Shipbuilding and apprentices in the school receive their on the job training working in the shipyard. I had the privilege of working on parts for Virginia class submarines and both Nimitz and Ford class aircraft carriers.
The positive experience of this apprenticeship left a lasting impression on me both as a professional and in my personal life. I am an avid supporter of apprenticeship and other forms of continued education for my students. An individual who continues to educate themselves and improve their skills will have a career that never gets stagnant, and will continue to grow personally and professionally throughout their working years.
After about five years of service at Newport News Shipbuilding I decided to move back to the Shenandoah Valley to be closer to my family and my eventual wife. I began working at a small job shop in Grottoes (soon to relocate to a new facility in Verona) called Blue Ridge Machine Works (BRMW). My duties at Blue Ridge consisted of programming and operating CNC vertical milling centers.
After some time at BRMW I made a move to Virginia Panel Corporation in Waynesboro and worked as a process specialist. My duties at Virginia Panel consisted of programming and operation of a CNC Swiss style lathe (some call it a screw machine). This experience was an eye opener for me considering that most of my prior machining experience had been with larger machines and parts ranging from thirty ton weldments to small handheld objects. Working in this setting required learning some new skills as some of the parts had features that required large magnification to inspect.
When I became aware that my current position was open, I was ecstatic. I had been forming an opinion throughout my career that I would like to have some sort of job that would allow me to work with people and teach machining techniques. This was the perfect avenue for that venture, and to have the privilege of doing it at the school where I cut my machining teeth was a welcome bonus.
As stated before, completing this program was the best career decision I have ever made and it will be the same for you or your son or daughter. As the instructor of this program my top priorities are to teach my students what it takes to make a paycheck in a machine shop, to motivate them to continue their education in a beneficial and driven way, and to never be satisfied with what was accomplished yesterday but to focus on what we are doing now and look forward to what we will do tomorrow.