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Advancing the U.S. machine tool workforce

America's Cutting Edge (ACE) CNC Training

Free Hands-On Machine Tool Bootcamps Offered at St. Thomas!

There is an urgent and growing need in the U.S. machining and machine tool industry for skilled individuals - operators, engineers, designers and more - in the 30,000 machining companies across the country. Creating next generation training to advance U.S. machine tool workforce, America's Cutting Edge (ACE) is a national initiative by the Department of Defense to restore the prominence of the U.S. machine tool sector. St. Thomas has partnered with ACE to offer FREE in-person bootcamps at our campus in St. Paul, MN.

Why you should consider ACE CNC Machining Training:

  • Manufacturing jobs in the U.S. are in high demand and you can gain highly sought after precision machining skills.*
  • CNC machining has excellent long-term employment prospects.**
  • Median annual salary is $56,500, while experienced machinists earn $70,000+ in Minnesota.***

*According to Indeed.com as of June 2023. Based on the number of CNC machinist/programmer/operator jobs currently open between 50-100 miles from the University of St. Thomas St. Paul MN campus .

**Based on Minnesota Employment and Economic Development (mn.gov) prediction of machinist job growth of 750 new positions and 3550 replacement openings between 2020 and 2030.

***Based on Annual Salary for CNC Machinist in Minneapolis MN as reported in CareerBuilder.com https://www.careerbuilder.com/colab/salary/cnc-machinist/minneapolis,mn

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Creating tomorrow's machinists

Explore the ACE CNC Training Program

America's Cutting Edge (ACE) is a FREE in-person CNC machine training program. Wondering if a career in manufacturing might be right for you? Watch this video from AmericasCuttingEdge.org

Bootcamp Registration

For Current High School Students

These bootcamps designed just for high school students are a great way to gain valuable hands-on skills and learn more about careers and educational paths in engineering and manufacturing!

Next available bootcamp for high school students:

  • June 24-28, 2024 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (5 sessions)

Prerequisites: None. All skill levels are welcome.

Cost: None. This program is completely FREE and includes lunch!

A certificate of completion will be awarded to all participants who complete the in-person bootcamp training.

Register for CNC Machining Bootcamp for High School Students

For Adults 18+

The ACE CNC bootcamp for adults is a great way to gain valuable hands-on skills and learn more about careers and educational paths in manufacturing and engineering. We work with individuals looking to up-skill or change careers. 

Next available bootcamp for adults 18+:

  • July 8-12, 2024, weekday evenings, Monday - Friday; and July 15-18, 2024, weekday evenings, Monday - Thursday. (9 sessions)

Prerequisites: None. All skill levels are welcome.

Cost: None. This program is completely FREE and includes dinner!

A certificate of completion will be awarded to all participants who complete the in-person bootcamp training.

Register for CNC Machining Bootcamp for Adults
Three business people look at a CNC machine.

Build your employees' skillsets

Opportunities for Businesses

There are several ways your company can become involved with CNC training at St. Thomas:

  • Send a cohort of employees to a bootcamp for skill enhancement, continuous education units, or to gain credit towards apprenticeship.
  • Demo new technology to get the most out of your CNC machines. 
  • Find your next employee by advertising job openings with our bootcamp participants.

Contact us today to learn about the program, cohort training, and sponsorship opportunities at cnc@stthomas.edu

ACE Bootcamp Team

Richard Wold headshot

Richard Wold

Richard Wold is a full-time instructor for the University of St. Thomas with over 35 years of providing manufacturing education in the areas of CNC programming and machining, tool design, plastic injection mold making, and diemaking. He is a journeyman toolmaker with extensive experience in metal stamping, diemaking, and prototype machining processes.
Richard Wold
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Kevin Westman

Kevin Westman is a mechanical engineering lab supervisor in the University of St. Thomas Schilling Machining and Manufacturing Center. He has an associate's degree in machine tool technology and worked as a journeyman machinist for 10 years.
Dr. Tiffany Ling headshot

Dr. Tiffany Ling

Dr. Tiffany Ling is the ACE Operations Director at the University of St. Thomas. She coordinates with organizations and students to promote the ACE bootcamps. She is an experienced engineering educator and project leader with a demonstrated history of working in the manufacturing industry. Tiffany is also the Engineering Capstone Director at St. Thomas and has been leading in the engineering design clinic capstone course since 2016.
Dr. Tiffany Ling