Success Stories

Women Operating CNC Machinery

SWIC Student Found Her Future at Manufacturing Day event

Southwestern Illinois College Precision Machining Technology graduate and Industrial Maintenance Mechanics student Ashley Robinson of Wood River realized what she wanted to do with her education after visiting the college in 2013.

The college’s Manufacturing Day celebration would not have been as alluring to prospective students without those machines. The annual event held at SWIC in conjunction with local manufacturers provides students a chance to see industrial technology in education and in the workplace.

Motivated by what she saw, Robinson excelled at her studies. In this year’s state-level SkillsUSA competition, she won first place in CNC Turning, first in CNC Technician and third in CNC Milling. She will go on to compete at the national level in late June. SkillsUSA is a national technical education organization that partners educators, employers and students to teach greater skills to Americans, according to its website.

And as far as her education goes, Robinson said she isn’t done yet. She finished her Associate in Applied Science degree in Precision Machining Technology this spring and plans to finish her Associate in Applied Science in Industrial Maintenance Mechanics sometime in 2016, she said. After that, she’s going to pursue an engineering degree at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

“Basically, the programs I’m going through now, both of them are the background information for engineering,” Robinson said. “I’d rather know how to fix the machines and the parts, and then learn how to program them. Everything I’m learning about now is teaching me what I need when I go for my engineering degree.”

Industrial Technology Coordinator Mark Bosworth lauded Robinson’s motivation. “She’s an excellent student who has a host of skills,” he said. “I am certain she will succeed once she enters the workforce. We’re proud of how she demonstrates what our students can do.”