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May 21, 2013

Blinn’s Hodde Center expands machinist training capabilities with new equipment

CNC machine training makes graduates even more desirable to employers

Blinn College’s A.W. Hodde, Jr. Technical Education Center will continue the expansion of its machinist training program with the purchase of a metalworking lathe for use in its machinist classes.

Blinn’s Board of Trustees approved the purchase of the new Haas computer numerical controlled (CNC) lathe from Champion Technologies for $48,605 at the regular board meeting Tuesday night. TFE Company Inc. has agreed to purchase and donate another CNC machine for student training.

With the addition of the two new machines, the Hodde Center manufacturing lab will have eight manual machines and four CNC machines. MIC donated two CNC machines earlier this year.

“Every machining company we partner with utilizes the CNC machines, so the ability to provide hands-on training means our students will require minimal additional training once they are hired,” said Hodde Center Director David Yeager.

CNC lathes are rapidly replacing older production lathes due to their ease of setting, operation, repeatability and accuracy. CNC machine training makes Hodde Center graduates even more desirable to employers.

The Hodde Center also accepted a forklift, battery and charger from Blue Bell Creameries for use in student training. The center performs forklift training for local businesses but in the past has had to borrow equipment for hands-on instruction. Blue Bell’s gift was valued at $9,000.

“It’s a great gesture on Blue Bell’s part and it will certainly help us moving forward,” Yeager said.

The 12,000-square foot Hodde Center was built in 2009 to provide local training for a quality, viable workforce in Washington and the surrounding communities. Its staff works in cooperation with local businesses to provide a well-trained workforce that strengthens the local economy. For more information on the Hodde Center and its course offerings, call 979-830-4443 or visit