RFC donates equipment to JCTC

-A A +A
By Scotty McDaniel

With a donation from Roll Forming Corporation, Shelby County's Jefferson Community and Technical College has boosted its arsenal of equipment in its machine tool technology program.

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held at JCTC Thursday to celebrate the school's new Engel roll forming machine, valued at $12,500.

The machine tool technology program at JCTC involves operating machines that create tools for industrial applications. The new roll mill machine is equipped with a decoiler and cutoff, and it bends long strips of metal used in a variety of items - from office furniture to the aerospace industry.

Though much smaller than similar machines found at RFC, Bruce Gambrell, associate professor and machine tool program coordinator at JCTC, said students will be able to gain valuable experience on the machine. They will be designing and installing tooling on the machine. The new equipment will be used in safety, metrology, lathe operations, metallurgy and blue print reading curriculums.

Before the ribbon cutting, both Gambrell and RFC President and CEO Ray Leathers told those in attendance that donations such as this one come full circle, helping to teach workers a skill set that they can use in the community after graduating. As an example, Gambrell pointed out that he recently learned how to use the new machine from one of his former students, who went on to work for RFC.

Leathers said that supporting local education is important because it benefits the people and economy of the community.

"At the end of the day, it's all about people." Leathers said. "We want to create jobs for our community, for our neighbors, to provide the best possible living for our families."

Those who graduate from the program at JCTC may go on to work as machinists, machine set-up personnel, maintenance technicians, computer numerical control operators/programmers, or even apprentice tool-and-die makers and mold makers.

"That's what it's all about. Every one of us here at this school are here for one reason. There are some teachers teaching for a paycheck. Greg Phillips (night instructor) is just like me. He comes in here and teaches because he wants to create people that are going to go out and make a viable contribution to the community. And this (the roll mill machine) is going to enable us to do that," said Gambrell.

"It's one more step."