SWCS Grad Ranks Seventh Nationally

Nick McIntyre has been nationally recognized as a skilled machinist just weeks after graduating from high school.

McIntyre, a 2014 Southwestern High School graduate who was involved in the motorsports fabrication/precision machining program at the Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES Hewes Educational Center for the last two years, recently placed seventh in the nation in precision machining at the 50th SkillsUSA National Conference, which took place in Kansas City, Kansas.

To qualify for the event, he also attended and won both the regional and New York State SkillsUSA competitions.

“I’ve always liked machinery – my grandfather and uncle are both machinists,” McIntyre said. “I enjoyed being able to work on personal projects at BOCES while learning at the same time – I’ve made hammers, tic-tac-toe boards, a vise and a meat tenderizer.”

According to McIntyre, the competitions are based on the accuracy and completion of machining activities – he succeeded based on his performance using a computer numerical control mill and a computer numerical control lathe.

“The biggest thing I learned is to maintain speed while staying accurate (with the machines),” McIntyre said regarding the competitions. “I liked meeting people from the conference the most.”

McIntyre is enrolled in the two-year machine tool technology program at Alfred State College this fall, and hopes to work at a local machine shop and eventually open his own business. His favorite machine is the manual mill or the computer numerical control mill.

Nick’s parents, Jim and Julie McIntyre, were equally proud.

“The reality is that there are programs (at BOCES) that are outstanding,” Jim said. “Parents should seriously consider talking with their children about getting involved and entering a skilled trade.”

According to his parents, Nick received five job offers from local companies directly after graduating from high school.

“As soon as I visited BOCES I was impressed,” Julie said. “My dad owned a machine shop, and I’m very happy that (Nick) chose this field.”

SkillsUSA is an organization that aligns students, teachers and industry experts to work together ensuring America has a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA helps each student hone their skills in a variety of disciplines through regional, state and national competitions. The National Championship event has grown from 54 competitors in three contests to more than 6,000 competitors in 99 hands-on skill and leadership contests representing 130 different occupational areas.

For more information on career and technical education programs offered by Erie 2 BOCES, visit www.e2ccb.org.