WDT launches new Precision Machining program

WDT launches new Precision Machining program

Western Dakota Tech’s new Precision Machining program prepares students for better careers while offering the benefits and experience of hands-on learning.

WDT will begin offering the new nine-month diploma degree in the Fall 2014 semester. Plans are in place for a state-of-the-art precision machining lab to be built in conjunction with the program. The lab will contain high-quality mills and lathes and other industry-specific equipment.

The new program holds true to WDT’s mission of changing lives and building futures.

“Machining jobs are in-demand on a local, state and national level. That makes the Precision Machining program a great fit for Western Dakota Tech,” said WDT’s Dean of Accreditation and Advancement, Steve Buchholz. “This program is aligned with industry expectations and focused on student success.”

The Precision Machining Technology graduate will be able to set up and operate a variety of machine tools to produce precision metal parts, instruments and tools. Machinists use machine tools, such as lathes, milling machines and grinders to produce precision metal parts. Although they may produce large quantities of one part, precision machinists often produce small batches or one-of-a-kind items. The parts that machinists make range from simple bolts of steel or brass to titanium bone screws for orthopedic implants. Hydraulic parts, anti-lock brakes and automobile pistons are other widely known products that machinists make.

Labor market information for South Dakota and the nation shows there is demand for machinists now and in the future. Between 2010 and 2020, the number of machinists in South Dakota is expected to grow by 15.2 percent, according to the South Dakota Labor Market Information Center. Nationally, the number of machinists is expected to grow about 7 percent between 2012 and 2022, according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook.

According to the United States Department of Labor, the median annual wage of machinists was $40,910 in 2012.

The program will utilize WDT’s community-like learning setting, a helpful student support staff and instructors who are industry experts. Personalized admissions assistance and a low-stress financial aid process is available for all students.

Students applying for the Precision Machining program may be eligible for a Critical Needs Workforce Scholarship. The scholarship rewards students who enroll in a field that’s experiencing a shortage of qualified, skilled employees. Students are eligible to receive up to $5,000. The Critical Needs Workforce initiative is funded by the South Dakota Governor’s Office and the South Dakota legislature in 2014.

Western Dakota Tech is the only technical institute that serves the western South Dakota region. WDT offers more than 30 programs in a variety of fields, including Business and Computers, Construction Trades, Health Services, Legal and Public Services, Manufacturing and Mechanical Trades, and Science and Technology. More than 97 percent of WDT’s most recent graduates are working, continuing their education or serving in the military. Eighty-five percent remain in South Dakota.

WDT faculty, staff, and administration focus their efforts on helping students gain the skills and experiences they need to succeed. Through hands-on learning, internships, and industry partnerships, WDT students graduate ready to make real and immediate contributions to their employers and their communities.

Learn more about Precision Machining here, or by contacting WDT at (800) 544-8765, (605) 718-2565 or admissions@wdt.edu.

Dental Assistant students graduate from WDT

Western Dakota Tech held its 23rd annual graduation ceremony for students of the Dental Assistant Training Program on May 13. The program is customized for the Black Hills District Dental Society and helps fulfill the need for dental assistants in the Black Hills area. Twelve students graduated from the program this year, and 288 have graduated from the program since it began.

The 2014 graduates include:group1

• Jill Albers

• Stephanie Baier

• Alicia Contreras

• Haylee Crossman

• Brittnay Entsminger

• Whittney Hathorn

• Nancy Hayes

• Diana Ratliff

• Sarah Reichert

• Linda Rentería

• Amber Vickerman

Students in the program are sponsored by local dentists. Sponsors include BH Pediatric Dentistry, Community Health Oral Clinic, Robert Crosswait, Denture Clinic, Destination Dentistry, Fibonacci Dental, Jackson Dental, Ray Dental Group and Wilson Park Dental.

Dr. Kate Haave was the commencement speaker. Haave received her degree from the University of Nebraska in 2008 and has her own practice, Wilson Park Dental, in Rapid City. She has students in the graduating class this year.

Instructor Walter Raby has been a Diagnostic X-Ray Technician for more than 10 years and teaches Dental Assistant Radiology Courses in addition to teaching in the Dental Assistant Training Program. He currently works at Destination Dentistry in Custer, SD.

Western Dakota Tech is the only technical institute that serves the western South Dakota region. WDT offers more than 30 programs in a variety of fields, including Business and Computers, Construction Trades, Health Services, Legal and Public Services, Manufacturing and Mechanical Trades, and Science and Technology. More than 97 percent of WDT’s most recent graduates are working, continuing their education, or serving in the military, and 85 percent remain in South Dakota.

WDT faculty, staff, and administration focus their efforts on helping students gain the skills and experiences they need to succeed. Through hands-on learning, internships, and industry partnerships, WDT students graduate ready to make real and immediate contributions to their employers and their communities.

Learn more at www.wdt.edu or by contacting WDT at (800) 544-8765, (605) 718-2565 or admissions@wdt.edu.

Graduation party plans for the WDT graduate

As graduation looms on the horizon for Western Dakota Tech students, graduation party plans are in full swing. Are you planning a graduation party for one of our students? If the answer is yes, here are a few easy and inexpensive ideas to make your tech grad’s day extra special.

1. Think in numbers. Purchasing four cookie cutters in the numbers 2,0,1, and 4 can go a long way. Not only can you create actual cookies representing the year of graduation, but you can also use them to cut fruit (such as watermelon, honeydew, or cantaloupe) to create a festive fruit tray by skewering the numbers together. Freeze a few of the skewers and add them into a punch bowl as a festive accent to the beverage.

2. Offer a DIY photo booth. Set up an area with a camera on a tripod, pointed at a wall of blue and gold streamers. Have a few props on hand such as hats, glasses, moustaches or empty picture frames so guests can take silly or serious photos of themselves to commemorate the day.

3. Create a relevant menu. Get creative with your party snacks! If your graduate was in the nursing program, think about food such as mini hot dogs wrapped in crescent dough to look like bandaged fingers. If graduating from the Diesel Service Technology program, think of things such as mini chocolate covered doughnuts; instant spare tires!

4. Decorate in school fashion. Use balloons in blue and gold, and hang some school pendants on the wall. Streamers in shades of yellow and blue can be hung in the doorways. Roll silverware in white napkins and secure with a black ribbon to create the effect of a diploma.

5. Cherish the memories. Have a ‘memory jar’ available to guests along with small pieces of paper, and invite guests to share their favorite memory of the grad during school. Another way to do this is to frame a photo of the graduate with a wide cardboard mat, and have guests leave a few words of advice and sign the mat. After the party, the photo and mat can be mounted in a frame.

6. Create a money tree. Put a few small branches into a vase and clip on some clothes pins. Guests can pin money to the tree to help with expenses that the graduate may have acquired during their schooling.

No matter what degree the graduate has obtained from Western Dakota Tech, graduates have an excellent track record of finding careers in their fields. The Career Services Office can help studens be successful by assisting with resume and job interviewing skills, posting of career opportunities, hosting of on-campus job fairs, and career guidance.