South Elgin H S students learn about career opportunities during Lakeview Precision Machining visit
South Elgin, IL – Students in the Precision Manufacturing program at South Elgin High School work with sophisticated CNC and other machining equipment in their shop but until recently students in the current production technology program had never visited a commercial machining facility.
On November 6, Lakeview Precision Machining Inc. of South Elgin – a Technology & Manufacturing Association member – hosted 16 students on a tour of its facility to meet its team for an up-close and hands-on experience with its precision machining operations.
“This was a great experience for the students,” says Russ Bartz, the school’s Precision Manufacturing instructor. “It gave them the opportunity to see a real working manufacturing operation, visiting all Lakeview departments from accounting and engineering, to machining, quality assurance and shipping, to ask questions and to share the work experiences of Lakeview Precision’s machinists and other department staff. Our thanks to Lakeview Precision for opening its facility to us.”
Students were accompanied by Bartz and Dan Peacock, the school’s instructor for Project Lead the Way, a national program that brings real world expertise into classrooms. The group was greeted and introduced to the tour by Debbie Sommers, Lakeview Precision Machining president/owner, who spoke about the company’s 50-plus years of experience in precision machining and her personal career journey.
“I was where you are,” she explained. “Then, after high school, I began working here at Lakeview, and through the years rose through different company positions to become president. There are tremendous career opportunities for you in manufacturing as you come directly out of high school, as well as for graduates from technical schools, four-year universities, or after service in our military.”
The participating students agreed that the visit had been a positive experience and gave them the opportunity not only to see machinists at work as they produced complex, precision parts, but also to visit and learn about the roles that other departments at Lakeview Precision play in the production of the precision parts that have made them respected in the industry.
South Elgin High School’s Precision Manufacturing program introduces students to the high-tech nature of modern machining, combining classroom learning with hands-on shop experience with modern computer-controlled machining equipment. It also introduces students to the availability of apprenticeships and paid training programs. Site visits such as that to Lakeview Precision Manufacturing enhance that insight into the industry’s career opportunities.
“As manufacturing companies face the loss of their experienced machinists as they retire, they will need an injection of young, well-trained talent,” says Bartz, an experienced machinist himself before becoming a teacher “Our program’s objective is to introduce young people to those opportunities and to train them to be able to pursue them.”
Lakeview Precision Machining, a certified woman owned and operated company, has more than 50 years of experience providing high quality precision-machined components.
A unique depth of machining capabilities and equipment combined with experienced employees and ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015, and OHSAS 18001:2007 certifications enable it to leverage those strengths to meet each specific customer need.