Ever seen a yo-yo created before your eyes? Three students in Alamance Community College’s ABLE program did just that when they toured the school’s Computer-Integrated Machining department to learn more about the many hands-on opportunities available.
Alex, Brooks and Maria are three young adults who take classes through Adult Basic Literacy Education (ABLE), a program in Academic and Career Readiness. ABLE offers free courses to adults with intellectual developmental disabilities who have the academic and adaptive skills to be successful in a college classroom setting with a goal of further academic study and possible employment.
With Department Head Eric Teabo as their guide, Alex, Brooks and Maria spent more than an hour in the Computer-Integrated Machining (CIM) department to learn how the CNC machines worked to cut metal ground stock, engraved, and shaped with a lathe to create a finished product – in this case a steel yo-yo. Afterward, Teabo helped the students attach colorful strings of green, red, and yellow around the yo-yo’s and tie proper finger loops.
Brooks, one of the first ABLE students to earn her GED diploma, displayed her fascination with the process, tossing questions and commentary to Teabo throughout the afternoon. Both Alex and Maria showed their interest as well, peering through the glass-paneled CNC machines to watch the metal transform with each new step toward the final product.
“And that is manufacturing in a nutshell,” concluded Eric.
“This kind of interaction and touring various industrial departments gives ABLE students a tangible lens for exposure to ACC and really, connect ACC personnel with the ABLE students as a community,” said Sabrina Otero, Academic and Career Readiness Coordinator. “Our hope is to provide opportunities for staff and faculty to open their doors to ABLE students and get to know them and show them all that our college offers.