“As a guinea pig for the Engineering Machining Program between Los Alamos National Laboratory and SFCC, I’m one of six students studying basic engineering and also how to work with metal. Eventually, we will be employed up in the Lab. I’m a little different than the other students in that I’m the only actual full-time employee right now. I got my job first in the Lab’s Machine Division, so I had some prior time at the Lab. I was there before we started this program, so I was able to help the new guys with security and other things, which was pretty awesome.
“This has been a crazy year, and we were only one of a few groups that were allowed in the college to get our time on the machines. You can’t do this work remotely. We use lathes and mill machines—we can make anything out of metal. It’s a unique program, and the safety standards are amazing. You learn how to safely work the machines, and some of those are big enough to walk into. There’s a lot of creativity involved in the process of making whatever you need to make, how to do it, how to approach things—it’s all very unique. I love being able to create things, to make things, so it’s right up my alley. I can’t imagine doing anything else at this point in my life. It’s a whole new world.”
~ Dan Bessette, Engineering Machining student