Manchester High School receives manual mill
By David Fenker | The Paper of Wabash County
Industrial Tech students at Manchester Jr.-Sr. High School will now be able to graduate with an additional set of machine shop skills.
MHS received a three-axis manual mill from Warsaw-based Instrumental Machine and Development Thursday, April 19. North Manchester native and MHS alumn Todd Speicher, owner of IMD, delivered the machine, along with IMD employee (and MHS alumn) Evan Speicher.
Todd Speicher described IMD as a “small machine shop” that needs employees who have basic machining knowledge when they apply.
“We're a family-owned business, and we all are originally from Manchester, went to school at Manchester; I served on the school board at Manchester, and I have strong ties with Manchester,” he said. “I want to help Manchester. I'm just trying to pay it back, pay it forward a little bit, what we've earned.
“We've been very blessed, and this is one way we can do that.”
He noted that machine shops big and small are facing an employment shortage, and that helping train high school students will both help the industry and give the students a leg up.
“I think Manchester is a great bedroom community to help feed [the industry's need],” Speicher said. “I drove back and forth for 30 years.”
He continued, “The thing is, not all students are geared toward college, and because of the opportunities that there are locally here in machining – I mean, you can make some really great salaries in machining.”
The machine, which includes a digital readout, is valued (used) at about $5,000. IMD also donated around $3,500 worth of tooling, which Speicher said his company retired and no longer uses, for the mill.
The donation will help with MHS's recent push to expand its machining and industrial maintenance offerings, part of a partnership with Warsaw-based Orthoworx.
“This is a big step in the pathway for advanced manufacturing,” principal Dr. Jon Lippe said.
Aaron Hook teaches the industrial tech courses at MHS, and was on hand for the delivery.
“We're hoping to give kids more exposure to machining. We've got a few lathes, but we've got nothing to do any milling work,” he said. “There's a great, great need for machinists … in our area, and we want to gives kids opportunities.”
The mill will allow Hook to teach students additional skills and to improve what they've already learned.
“We'll be looking to train them in the basics of cutting metal, precision measuring, some of the math that you have to go through to think about how to get what's on the paper into something physical,” he said.