MARINETTE—Travis Plym, second-year CNC student at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC)-Marinette, won first place in the SkillsUSA Wisconsin state competition. Plym will participate in the CNC machining competitions at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Student Conference June 7-9.

A Peshtigo High School Class of 2019 graduate, Plym earned a technical diploma through NWTC as a CNC machinist in May 2020 and will earn a diploma through the technician program this spring.

“I didn’t know what to expect going in, but it was great to win,” Plym said. “I’m excited to compete virtually at the national competition in June.”

Plym received a scholarship for his win at the SkillsUSA state level, which will help pay for additional classes at NWTC to ensure he has opportunities throughout his career.

“Travis had to complete a written test on general machining knowledge and Blueprint reading, write a G code program, and machine a precision part on a lathe and milling machine,” said Pete Anderson, NWTC Marinette CNC instructor. “Any time our students can apply what they learn beyond the classroom is an incredibly proud moment.”

Matt Schmelzer, one of Plym’s current instructors at NWTC, wasn’t surprised at Plym’s win. “Travis is always willing to learn new things and ready to take on any challenge he faces,” Schmelzer said. “His never-ending drive to be a successful machinist has pushed him to academic achievements far past my expectations and I am proud to have him as a student of our CNC program and representative of NWTC.”

On the job at Great Lakes Custom Tool, Peshtigo, Plym uses what he learned at NWTC-Marinette. He works with software like MasterCam and AutoCAD, as well as various automated CNC machines. He is also part of the quality control team where he is certified to run a coordinate-measuring machine (CMM).

The Peshtigo, Marinette and Menominee region boasts dozens of small and large industries that have jobs for machinists.

NWTC is a post-secondary chapter of SkillsUSA, which is through the Wisconsin SKillsUSA organization. SkillsUSA is a nonprofit partnership of students, teachers and industry workers that promote careers in trade and technical pathways. The organization is designed to provide leadership and learning opportunities for students to establish goals and gain real life experiences.

For more information about NWTC’s machining program as well as other programs offered at the Marinette campus, people may visit nwtc.edu/marinette or call 715-735-9361.