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Sarasota News Leader January 24, 2014 Page 52 she explained to the board. He had told her he needed data about what careers were available and what employee skills manufacturers were seeking before addressing any changes in the SCTI curriculum. In November 2012, Bowden announced that the school district was working on the new precision manufacturing program. That came as a result of the work of a committee organized to address the survey results. The County Commission provided $330,000 to buy the necessary equipment, Eavey noted on Jan. 17. Bowden added that the first class will graduate on June 26; its members were seated on Sept. 3. While SCTI originally planned to start the program in August 2013, he said, "It was the hiring of the instructor that I thought would be the lynchpin for success of this program." Ed Doherty is the precision machining That person proved to be Edward Doherty, a program instructor at SCTI. Image courtesy machinist, Bowden continued. "He was born School Board to be a machinist. He loves what he does … He can find work after graduation. "We expect absolutely has a passion for manufacturing." job offers to flow better" after manufacturers Doherty joined the SCTI faculty on Aug. 26. To see the students at work with regular employmake sure the class can graduate in late June, ees over each of those weeks, he said. Bowden pointed out, the students will work through spring break and on some Saturdays. Still, if every student cannot find a job, Bowden told the local government leaders he plans to As part of the course, Bowden noted, the stu- call people at area firms to remind them of dents will spend two weeks — one each — at the commitment they made to the program. two different machine shops on a full-time basis. It is not enough for them to just visit a THE ROAD AHEAD manufacturing facility, he added, or to spend Recruiting the first class — which began with a day at such a place. 18 people — was not difficult, Bowden pointed The approach SCTI settled on, he explained, is out. However, recruiting the second, third a result of the effort to make sure the students and fourth classes may be more challenging.

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