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N.H. manufacturers praise ‘Boot Camp’ program

New Hampshire manufacturers are praising a program that crams a semester’s worth of training into two weeks.

The Machine Tool Boot Camp at River Valley Community College includes training in blueprint reading, occupational and lab safety, manual machining, and other topics. It was designed with direct industry input to meet the exact needs of the region’s advanced manufacturers.

The camp costs $600 and because it is a training program rather than a class, it doesn’t provide college credit. But it does let students experience the pressures of high precision and high-production manufacturing in a setting that allows for mistakes and learning.

Richard Dennis, a manager at Sturm, Ruger and Co.’s Newport facility, said unlike many job applicants, Boot Camp graduates know what they’re getting into when it comes to the technical nature of today’s manufacturing techniques.

“You are coming in with an edge with this program,” he told students at a recent luncheon also attended by state, education and industry officials. “You’re further in, and that only accelerates your options for further advancement.”

Students who have participated so far range in age from their 20s to 60s, employed and unemployed. The curriculum was designed to be adapted quickly to meet the changing needs of the college’s industry partners.

“We want folks like you to say, ‘I have these jobs open. We need these classes. Go!’ ” said adjunct instructor Chris Gray, who leads the program.

Associated Press

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