Businesses continue to equip Tech machine shop

TURNERS FALLS — The Franklin County Technical School Machine Technology program has another boost from the area’s industry in the form of $50,000 worth of precision measuring tools and equipment to complement the new computer controlled machining behemoths purchased through the business-led fundraising campaign begun last year.

The latest donation comes from L.S. Starrett Co., the Athol-based manufacturer of precision tools, gauges and instruments, saws and hand tools.

Representatives from the company delivered more than 150 items to the school in March, ranging from 6-inch rulers at $24 a piece to a $4,887 Altisimo height gauge. According to the school, high precision machinery necessities including calipers, micrometers, tap wrenches and protractors totaled $30,500 value.

A Starrett Co. optical comparator inspection device worth approximately $20,000 will be installed at a later date, with Tech machine shop instructors visiting the company to be trained in its use.

Private donations and state funding have modernized a machine technology program that previously utilized machinery that was in some cases 50 years old.

The effort was spurred by local manufacturers in need of workers trained on modern manufacturing equipment, which marries lathes and routers and other heavy cutting equipment with computer programming.

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