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Posted on : Thursday 2nd July 2020 02:58 PM

CNC Machines Chooses Kissimmee Coast Guard Vet

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SANFORD, FL - - - CNC Machines announced today that it has elected Cristina Velez Santos of Kissimmee, Florida as the recipient of its Veteran to Machinist scholarship. This is the third of three scholarships the organization will award this year.


CNC products, a Florida-based used CNC machine dealer, established the veteran-exclusive scholarship program late last year as a means of supporting both the longevity of the American manufacturing industry and veterans returning to civilian life who want to start new careers. To qualify, applicants posted 1,000-word essays on why they want to become a machinist.


"We believe in staying part of the solution to the manufacturing skills gap. Our targets with this scholarship program are simple: Grow the American manufacturing industry; and support veterans returning to civilian life and in seek of their next career," said Curt Doherty, founder and CEO, CNC Machines.


"A various workforce is also crucial to closing that skills gap and women are fairly underrepresented in the field, making up only about 29 percent of employees," he added. "Ms. Santos is an unique example of the kind of talent that wishes to be tapped into."


Santos served in the U.S. Coast Guard for four years as a Boatswain's mate third class. During the course of her first two-year stint, she worked aboard the USCG Cutter Elm, which would go to sea two weeks at a time then spent two years at a search and rescue small boat station where she presented translation services between the Coast Guard and local fishermen while on patrol and helped civilians during emergencies. During her service, she performed firefighting, search and rescue, navigation, rigging, deckhand duties, and maintenance; and operated heavy equipment.


"I enjoyed using tools and executing maintenance the most during my time in the Coast Guard and learned about Valencia College's Accelerated Skills Program. I signed up for a tour of their Advanced Manufacturing Training Center and I spotted out about welding as a career option. I knew right away that I had found my career path," said Santos, who is enrolled in the school's Welding 1 program full time and works part-time to help pay for her education.


"I was able to launch the Welding Program because I received a career source scholarship and a veteran grant but the CNC Machines Veteran to Machinist Scholarship makes a great difference in enabling me to obtain certifications to start my welding career," said Santos. "I wish to one day open my own custom fabrication shop, becoming a accredited welding inspector, a certified welding educator, and bring to the manufacturing industry and volunteer my skills to projects that benefit the community."

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