Nate BeckerNate Becker, a Machinist Apprentice at Eclipse Automation, competed in the Ontario Technological Skills Competition in the Precision Machining field in early May. Some of the best students in the province put their talents to the test in a timed skills contest, and we are pleased to announce that Nate placed 2nd in his division.

The Ontario Technological Skills Competition provides each participant the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and task knowledge in their chosen industry through a variety of practical applications. In order to be eligible, participants are required to be under 29 years of age, have a Canadian citizenship, and be enrolled in a post-secondary program.

Nate is currently in his second year of a three year general machinist program at Conestoga College. Having been advised by his college professor, Nate chose to enter the precision machining field as he felt it related most to the experience and know-how he had acquired from Eclipse Automation and through school. As a first-time competitor, Nate believes Eclipse helped prepare him for this competition. The knowledge and skills gained by working in the machining department, including accurate blueprint reading, properly setting up parts, and best practices for efficient machining were able to give him a competitive edge against other participants.

The precision machining competition consists of three parts; the milling project, the lathe project, and the job interview. Competitors are tested on a wide variety of abilities, including interview professionalism, drawing, job planning, production of physical components, reading imperial measurements and machining using graduated collars on machine axis with no digital readouts.

Both the milling and lathe projects are worth the largest amounts (total of 95%) and are judged on whether the assignment is completed within the tolerances stated on drawing. Any measurement outside of the stated tolerance receives a mark of zero for that section. Points are awarded for adequate completion during specified time limits and for health and safety practices during the competition, including working in a safe manner and arriving prepared with proper certified safety equipment.

The job interview portion of the competition consists of a mock interview that includes multiple industry related questions and includes a resume submission. The interview acts as a means to prepare competitors for actual job interviews and is worth 5% of the participant’s overall mark.

Eclipse Automation is proud to support its employees both in and outside of the workplace, aiming to inspire innovation and create a culture that stimulates and supports topical learning by providing access to a range of experts in different fields.