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NIC CNC program offers students earn while you learn opportunity

Posted: Monday, Nov 6, 2023
Former NIC Precision Manufacturing and CNC Technology Student Dominic Crone works in a CNC lab on Feb. 16, 2022, at NIC’s Parker Technical Education Center in Rathdrum.

The North Idaho College Precision Manufacturing and CNC Technology program announced a partnership with local businesses allowing students to work for cash and college credit. 

The program, Partnered Training, gives second-semester students the option to spend three days a week working for a local company and two days a week in class. This allows students to receive paid on-the-job training replacing lab time on campus.

A spring cohort beginning in January was also announced, allowing more students the opportunity to enter the program.

Precision Manufacturing and CNC Technology Instructor Kurt Kimberling started tossing around the idea of Partnered Training after hearing how many of his students struggled to balance full-time school with their finances.

“It can be a burden to foot the bill for school and life,” Kimberling said. “The restructure gets people into a position where they can make money and get trained much faster.”

Kimberling worked with local industry leaders to create the program, which also helps local companies with labor shortages. Several businesses have signed up to work with NIC including Wagstaff, Inc.

“Wagstaff, Inc. is extremely excited for the foundation of the new program based on the student’s needs as well as the manufacturing industry,” Wagstaff, Inc. Manufacturing Director Shellie Allen said. “This forward thinking on building the alliance between education and the industry will open many doors.”

Kimberling said the program boasts a 100% job placement rate for graduates that choose to pursue work in the field, but through Partnered Training, students will be more prepared for industry work upon graduation.

“Employers get people in their facility to aid in their production and see how they fit as well as train there,” Kimberling said. “It’s great for our students too because they get actual industry experience while they learn.”

Precision Manufacturing and CNC Technology is a one-year program that trains students to become entry-level machinists ready to join the workforce upon graduation.

Graduates of the one-year program receive an intermediate technical certificate and can return for another year to receive an advanced technical certificate and an associate degree.

Students can also apply to receive funding through Idaho LAUNCH to cover 80% of program expenses.

To apply for the Precision Manufacturing and CNC Technology program, visit For more information, contact NIC Precision Manufacturing and CNC Technology Instructor Kurt Kimberling at or (208) 665-2788.

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