Jim Hokenson, a machining technician instructor at Moraine Park Technical College’s West Bend campus, is the state’s first Machine Tool Trade Master in the Machine Tool–Instructor/Trainer and Machine Tool–Technical/Specialty Skill Track.
Hokenson met the associate of applied science degree requirements and successfully completed 10,000 hours of post-journey level trade-related training to achieve the certification.
“To me it reflects being a pioneer in a new level of certification and recognition, enhancing the nationally recognized certification of Journeyman Tool and Die Maker and showing there is more beyond the journeyman's card,” said Hokenson. “I hope that as word of the Machine Tool Trade Master level spreads, more post-journey-level workers will pursue one of the three available disciplines of Instructor/Trainer, Technical/Specialty Skill or Management.”
“Just to keep pace with the increase in technology, efficiency and flexibility needed by Wisconsin manufacturers, employees need to keep learning so that they can stay ahead of the competition,” said Marcia Arndt, Moraine Park dean of manufacturing. “The Machine Tool Trade Masters Program was set up by the Wisconsin Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards to encourage continuous learning within the profession. Jim Hokenson becoming the first person to complete the Trade Masters program is evidence of what Moraine Park instructors are doing to take a lead in the computer numerical control (CNC) and tool- and die-making market in Wisconsin.”
Hokenson also feels that his certification shows his students that instructors can be students too and that continuing education is not just preached but also practiced. Hokenson took night classes, carrying six to eight credits per semester over the course of about three years including summers. “In some of the classes I took, I sat side by side with our Moraine Park students and even my students,” he said.
In addition to encouraging students to keep learning, Hokenson’s Trade Master studies provided him with different ideas on how to deliver materials. “I took classes on every CAD (computer-assisted drafting) software that is offered on the West Bend campus and I believe this adds value to the students because not every student we have is using the same software in their workplace,” he said. “It helps me to better answer questions and demonstrate techniques to them that are specific to the software they are using.”
For more information about CNC/Tool and Die Technologies, Tool Design Engineering Technology, Tool and Die Technologies Apprenticeship and other programs at Moraine Park, visit www.morainepark.edu and click on Academics.