Machine Tools Contributed to G.W. Lisk Training Program

One company’s training program benefits manufacturers throughout Upstate New York. Hyundai WIA announced its support for the program with new machines.


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Scott Cummings (left) and David Phillips (middle), both of G.W. Lisk, are seen here with Hyundai WIA’s David Barber at the announcement yesterday of the machine tool supplier’s support of the Lisk training program.


For solenoid, valve and LVDT maker G.W. Lisk, one of the challenges of offering internal training for skilled manufacturing positions is finding modern equipment to use for training purposes. Open time on the most modern equipment generally has to be devoted to current production.

Machine tool supplier Hyundai WIA will help Lisk with this challenge. The company will lend the Clifton Springs, New York manufacturer the use of two new CNC machine tools, a vertical machining center and a turning center. Hyundai WIA America announced this commitment yesterday at an open house (still underway) at its headquarters in Carlstadt, New Jersey.

Lisk is not just any manufacturer offering on-the-job training. This manufacturer has developed a comprehensive 6-month training program in cooperation with nearby Finger Lakes Community College. The program has so far graduated 25 new CNC machining professionals since it was launched in 2011, all of whom have found manufacturing jobs. Some work for Lisk, while others work for other manufacturers in the area.

Company manufacturing manager Scott Cummings says Lisk realized that it had to do something dramatic to deal with the local shortage of qualified manufacturing employees. The company established its formal training program, which benefits employers throughout the region, primarily for the sake of maintaining an ongoing pipeline of qualified prospects from which Lisk can draw employees as needed. David Phillips, who used to head the company’s CNC department, left that position to become Lisk’s full-time training manager overseeing this program.

Prospective students are evaluated through a screening process that rejects most applicants. Only 15 of 56 applicants were accepted to the most recent class. Students who are accepted pay tuition of $2,400, a fee which also helps weed out non-committed applicants, but is not enough to cover the company’s expense. Lisk’s net investment to maintain this pipeline of manufacturing talent comes to about $100,000 per year, Mr. Cummings says.

Machine tool distributor Excel Machine Technologies came to the aid of Lisk’s program, communicating its value to manufacturing throughout Upstate New York to Hyundai WIA, which agreed to supply this program with new machines. The vertical machining center to be used in Lisk’s program will be an F500 machine, the company says. The turning center is yet to be determined, but likely will be an L2100SY multitasking machine.


A machining center similar to this one (albeit larger) will be one of the machines provided to the Lisk program. Seen here with Mr. Cummings and Mr. Phillips are Hyundai WIA president I.C. Lee and Jeremy Shamp of Excel Machine Technologies.