Custom Fabrication is a high school-based computer numerical control (CNC) program that yields skilled laborers ready for employment upon high school graduation. The two-semester program, which is credentialed through Western Technical College, is a collaborative effort between the Sparta Area School District, Western Technical College, and industry leaders in Western Wisconsin. Students will earn a CNC Operator Pathway Certificate, the Wisconsin Employability Skills Certificate, and their high school diploma upon graduating from the Sparta Area School District and the program.
During the program, students are mentored by CNC professionals to ensure a basic understanding of CNC and by local human resources directors to learn employability skills and local businesses’ hiring criteria. Upon graduation, students have the foundations they need if they choose to continue their education at Western Technical College, where they’ll have the opportunity to earn a Machine Tool Operation Technician Diploma or Manufacturing Systems Technician technical diploma or enter the workforce.
To ensure job placement at minimum wage or higher within six months of students completing their training, local employers have agreed to provide internships for Custom Fabrication students. The school district will teach students the necessary “soft” skills, while the employers will allow them to further learn the CNC sills they’ll need to become valued employees after graduation, or to continue their education. Custom Fabrication represents an investment in the local economy, and in local families. By providing education and training to graduates, together we are investing in our community’s future.
Sparta High School
Student population: 750
506 North Black River Street, Sparta, WI
CNC Employment Statistics
- From 2012 to 2022, Wisconsin's WORKnet estimated employment in computer-controlled machine tool operators, metal, and plastic in Wisconsin is projected to increase by 16.43 percent--from 9,395 to 10,939, with employment in Monroe County and Western Wisconsin expected to increase by 10.3%.
- Industrial machinery mechanics is seen as a "bright outlook" job, and O*NET OnLine, a partner of the American Job Network, projects growth as much faster than average from 2014 to 2024 (over 14%) with a projected 145,900 job openings.
- Maintenance and Repair Workers also received a "bright outlook" rating from O*NET OnLine with projected growth averaging from 5% to 8% from 2014 to 2024 and projected job openings at 443,700 during that time.
Source: Wisconsin's Worknet