Leominster High CTEI machine shop teacher Steve McNamara received a five hundred thousand dollar grant for the shop from Mass skills Capital Grant Awards this past Fall.
This grant was received by McNamara working on a process of questions that took about all summer long. McNamara added that there was “about fifty questions I had to answer” over all. These questions included information on student population as well as details on high or low income associated with the students in their households.
This process was no surprise to McNamara, as this was his third time applying for the grant. He received one hundred and fifteen thousand dollars two years ago as he applied for this grant, but his goal was to work and receive more for the students and the shop.
This is the “biggest grant the school has ever got” McNamara says, and with this grant “all machinery will be brand new”.
With this grant, the machine shop will be getting eight more CNC (Computer Numerical Control) milling machines that will run entirely on computer control. In addition to these mills, thirty new computers will be purchased for the shop as well as a brand new fifty thousand dollar 3D printer.
With the success of acquiring this grant, McNamara’s hard work paid off. With the shop about to have entirely new equipment, in all his years at this school he says “that was my goal”, to give the shop what it deserves for the students to work in an environment with better software to continue to advance and learn.
Looking back on the advancement of machine shop, McNamara says that the “program has grown from five kids” back in 1992, and “now forty nine kids with four seniors on co-op”. He also states how with this grant the machine shop will have “tech better than most big shops in town” meaning that the students will be working with the best of the best.
McNamara’s motivation to keep working to earn this grant lives in his belief that “the sky’s the limit if kids want to learn”. So now the students in machine shop will continue to have an advancing education and continue to learn.