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Members of the W.R. Castle Fire Department display new spanner wrenches made by students of Big Sandy Community and Technical College’s Waterjet and CNC machine program.

Big Sandy Community and Technical College’s Waterjet Cutting Technology and CNC Machining Program students recently put their newly-gained knowledge and skills to good work with real-time problem-solving.

After taking a tour of the Appalachian Manufacturing Initiative laboratory, W.R. Castle Assistant Fire Chief Brian Phillips inquired about having the students manufacture some fire hose spanner wrenches, used for various tasks in routine duties by firefighters.

That inquiry led to a real-world waterjet cutting project requiring students to reverse engineer a product and duplicate the tool.

"We are so appreciative of BSCTC allowing their students to utilize their skills to provide a much-needed resource," said Paul Burchett, WR Castle Fire Chief.  

BSCTC President Sherry Zylka, spoke of the importance of such programs especially, with the decline of the coal industry and many now out of work or looking to start another career.

“BSCTC is all about innovation, and with such programs as water jet technology, we are able to educate and meet the needs of our community simultaneously. This is a great point of pride,” Zylka said.

If you are interested in a career in the waterjet cutting system and CNC machining, the Appalachian Manufacturing Initiative will start a new 16-week session beginning September the 20th.  For more information or to sign up for the program please contact Stephen Music at, (606) 788-2808, or email, Smusic0015@kctcs.edu.

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